Psalm 150 is the last, but by no means least of the Psalm settings I wrote this month.
Interestingly, it was the first one I drafted. The exuberance and repetition in the Psalm text gave me the idea of writing a Taizé style chorus, repeated and adding descants, but in a regal rather than meditative style. I wrote the basic chord sequence and some of the descants at the beginning of the month and then put it away. When I returned to it today, I saw that the basic form of the song was strong; I just needed to tweak the descants so that everything flowed.
You’ll notice that the song is built on a repeated 10 measure phrase. In some ways this is unusual; music is normally written in divisions of four. But the irregular phrase length keeps the repeats from feeling banal. Also keeping the song’s motion moving forward is the unresolved final chord.
Which brings me to my biggest dilemma: how do I end this song? On the recording I fade out, which is not possible in a worship setting. I guess I’ll have to treat it like a Taizé chorus and just let it flow until it seems like it’s done, at which point I guess I’ll just ritard into the final chord.
Take a look at the score. Be thankful that I didn’t go through with my original plan of using 5 flats!