One of the fun things about having a few songs in hymnals is that I’m introduced to new people via my music. I recently got an email from Jonathan, a music director in Madison, Indiana, asking for permission to introduce “People of the Lord” to his congregation. “Sure,” I said, “as long as I can add the newsletter article and recording to my blog.”
It’s fun to see churches using my music, but what I was most impressed by is that this music director is committed to teaching his congregation new music, introducing a new hymn from Glory to God each month! You can read his monthly updates here: http://www.madisonpresbyterianchurch.org/page/music_ministry.
Click on October for mine, or read below:
As I continue to sing through our new hymnal, Glory to God, this month another Psalm paraphrase struck me as being particularly well constructed. “People of the Lord,” #632, is a setting of selected verses from Psalm 78. I think my favorite aspect of this setting is the asymmetric meter. This is just a music-speak way to say that the beats are not all of the same duration. The time signature for this piece is 7/8 (cleverly apropos to a setting of Psalm 78) and is broken down 2+2+3 or short-short-long. The use of asymmetric meter in a Psalm paraphrase hearkens back to the Genevan Psalter. Another wonderful aspect of this Psalm setting is that the verses work in canon. The verses are written from the Psalmist’s perspective and sung in unison (or canon). Unison singing indicates the singular perspective of the Psalmist. The refrain is sung from the perspective of the people of God and is sung in parts. The part singing, then, indicates the plurality of the people of God. Here is a link to a youtube video of the Psalm.