Book of Praise


During the Reformation in the 16th century music in the church took a new direction. John Calvin's Genevan Psalter has been sung by the church ever since.


For the accompaniment of the Psalm melodies that are used in the Book of Praise, several accompaniment books are available. Due to the European origin of the Psalter and popularity in those countries, most of these books are published overseas. (This does not affect their usefulness in North America - musical notes speak a language that everyone understands!) There is much more sheet music on the Genevan tunes published, but we will restrict this reference to complete bundles of all 150 Psalms.

1. Goudimel

Goudimel wrote 4 voice harmony for the Genevan tunes soon after these melodies were composed. Goudimel is suiteable for SATB choir and the melody is often in the Tenor. The keys are sometimes higher than common for congregational singing.  

2. ds. H. Hasper

Reverend Hasper published in 1945 an accompaniment bundle in a different style. The organists Jacq. P . Bekkers of The Hague and Jac. Kort of Amsterdam made the harmonization. This book is not difficult to play from because mostly the half note is harmonized and the quarter (black) note is not harmonized.  

3. J. Worp 

The Psalms by Johannes Worp were originally written for the melodies sung in "whole notes". George Stam revised this book into a version many people are familiar with today, containing the proper rhythms. Although not loved by many, this book is used by many! It gives a firm foundation for proper accompaniment of the Psalms.

4. Simon Landsman

Simon Landsman did not follow the melodies as they were written and he added accidental sharps and flats, transferring the melodies from the variety of church modes into the major or minor scale.  

5. George Stam

The Psalm accompaniment by George Stam sounds contemporary, but is a very welcome variation on the other bundles listed here. These harmonies are mostly suitable for SATB choir.   

6. W.H. Zwart

Willem Hendrik Zwart prepared this book. It is one of the most recent publications as accompaniment of all Psalms in one book. The character of the harmonies and preludes is romantic (frequent use of dominant 7th chords and sub-dominants), and sometimes an organ with two manuals is required. 

7. Martin Mans

Martin Mans wrote many preludes and harmonies for organ. This is very accessible music that is easy to listen to. Published through Wim Zwart these books are available world wide.