Now with online tutorial teaching you sing them, from Pontifex University
Every psalm tone can be applied to any psalms – so if you know even one melody, you can sing the whole psalter
I am so pleased to offer you a full version of the Coverdale psalter pointed for singing – all 150 psalms in a beautiful translation and as sung by the Anglican Ordinariate congregations.
I am grateful to Steve Cavanaugh for all the hard work he has put in to format and edit this (he was helped by a few other friends and past student of mine at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.
Download it here: Whole Coverdale psalter pointed pdf from the Psalm Tones page on this blog. If you want to know how to sing the psalms with the tones (also available from the psalm tones page), then those with a bit of experience will be able to work it out from the videos and free material available on the psalm tones page of this blog.
Online tutorial: For those who can’t work it out from this then I have created an online course at www.Pontifex.University. This cost $90 and is is designed not only to teach you how to sing it, but also to teach you how to teach others and to sing with others, so you can introduce into your family, social groups, parishes, schools. Furthermore it comes with 2o hours (2 units) of Continuing Education credit if you want to persuade your parish or school to help you with the cost.
So what’s so good about this?
First, because the text is pointed according to the natural emphases of speech (and not with any one psalm tone in mind) it means that if you can sing one psalm tone from the selection that I give you, then you can immediately sing the whole psalter. So, looking at the example of Psalm 1, above, the ‘points’ are the little marks above the the last two emphasized syllables in each clause in the text. This pointing does not change if you change the melody you sing. It is fixed by the pattern of speech not by the music you sing to it. So there is a selection of around 90 psalm tones available to you (again for free from the Psalm Tones page on this blog) and every one is designed to be sung to this pointing system. This means that every psalm tone can be applied to any psalm according to preference.
You really can teach someone to sing the psalms in five minutes. I have done it in classes and we have a monthly social evening – pot luck and vespers – in California where I live and I explain to those who attend how to do it, and they pick it up in no time.
Third, all the 150 psalms are here. In the Paul VI psalter for example, several of the psalms are missing, and about half that are there have missing lines.
Fourth, they are set out over a 30-day cycle to be started on the first of each month in two daily offices: Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. This makes this ideal for lay people to use as their basic psalter. You don’t need to sing seven times a day to sing all the psalms. If you want to add daily prayer or night prayer you can do so of course! The picture here is of a 16th century English psalter.
Substitute these psalms for the ones in the version of the Office that you use. What you don’t get here is the basic structure of each office – for example opening prayers, gospel canticles, closing prayers, scripture readings. That’s not a problem. Use whatever version you like – for example Universalis.com Morning Prayer from your smart phone – and just change the psalms. You can substitute the psalms of the day and Office from the Coverdale version, say Evening Prayer for the 14th of the month – for whatever psalms you have in your version. You can even do this with the Magnificat magazine if you want.
And finally, for the entreprenuers out there...if anyone out there wants to publish a psalter using these pointed psalms that can be made available for sale as a printed version, then you have permission to do so. I’d love to see it happen! Ask me for the Word file if you need it.