psalmodic /sah mod"ik, sal-/, psalmodical, psalmodial /sah moh"dee euhl, sal-/, adj.psalmodist, n.
/sah"meuh dee, sal"meuh-/, n., pl. psalmodies.
1. the act, practice, or art of setting psalms to music.
2. psalms or hymns collectively.
3. the act, practice, or art of singing psalms.
[1300-50; ME < LL psalmodia < Gk psalmoidía singing to the harp. See PSALM, ODE, -Y3]

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      singing of psalms in worship. In biblical times professional singers chanted psalms during Jewish religious services. Occasionally, the congregation interpolated a short refrain between the chanted verses. The alternation of soloist and chorus was called responsorial psalmody (see responsory). Another method, antiphonal (antiphon) psalmody, was the alternation by two half choirs in the singing of psalm lines or half lines (see antiphon). Psalms were also sung without either refrain or alternating singers (direct psalmody). These methods of psalmody were adopted by the early Christian Church in the East and West. Early Christian psalmody was the germ from which evolved both the classical Gregorian chant and also the Byzantine, Ambrosian, and other Christian chants (see also psalm tone).

      In 16th-century Reformation churches congregational singing was reintroduced. Until about 1700 all except Lutherans excluded hymns having nonbiblical texts. Metrical, strophic (stanzaic) translations of the psalms were set to composed or borrowed melodies for congregational singing (metrical psalmody). The most noted collection of metrical psalms is the Genevan psalter of 1562, prepared at the direction of John Calvin, with melodies collected by Loys Bourgeois and translations by Clément Marot and Theodore Beza. It was translated into Dutch in 1566, largely replacing the previous Dutch psalter that had been published in 1540. English psalters, influenced by the French, appeared in 1562, 1564, 1621, 1671, and 1696. A 1612 psalter for “English Separatists” was taken to America by the Pilgrims of 1620, and the Bay Psalm Book was published there in 1640—the first book printed in the New World.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Psalmody — Psal mo*dy, n. [Gr. ?; ? psalm + ? a song, an ode: cf. F. psalmodie, LL. psalmodia. See {Psalm}, and {Ode}.] The act, practice, or art of singing psalms or sacred songs; also, psalms collectively, or a collection of psalms. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • psalmody — [säm′ə dē, sal′mədē] n. [ME psalmodye < LL(Ec) psalmodia < Gr psalmōdia < psalmos (see PSALM) + ōidē, song (see ODE)] 1. the act, practice, or art of singing psalms 2. psalms collectively 3. the arrangement of psalms for singing… …   English World dictionary

  • Psalmody —    The practice of singing the psalms, greatly varied among the many Jewish and Christian traditions. Strictly speaking, the term would encompass many musical settings of partial psalm texts designated otherwise: hymns, motets, anthems, and… …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

  • psalmody — noun Etymology: Middle English psalmodie, from Anglo French, from Late Latin psalmodia, from Late Greek psalmōidia, literally, singing to the harp, from Greek psalmos + aidein to sing more at ode Date: 14th century 1. the act, practice, or art of …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • psalmody — noun a) The singing or the writing of psalms. b) A collection of psalms. See Also: psalmodist …   Wiktionary

  • Psalmody — It is the book of church hymns. We have an annual Psalomdy, and another for Kiahk , i.e. used during the month of Kiahk which comes right before Christmas …   Dictionary of church terms

  • psalmody — act of singing psalms in church services Ecclesiastical Terms …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • psalmody — psal·mo·dy || sÉ‘(l)mÉ™dɪ / sælmÉ™dɪ n. reading from the Book of Psalms; singing of sacred songs …   English contemporary dictionary

  • psalmody — [ sα:mədi, salm ] noun the singing of psalms or similar sacred canticles. ↘psalms arranged for singing. Derivatives psalmodic adjective psalmodist noun Origin ME: via late L. from Gk psalmōidia singing to a harp …   English new terms dictionary

  • psalmody — n. Psalm singing, psalmistry …   New dictionary of synonyms

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