Featured Recording: Meet the Korean-Genevan Psalter!

Featured Recording

When I think of the Genevan Psalter, I usually imagine its contents being sung in medieval French, or Dutch, or English.  I wasn’t expecting to find a set of YouTube recordings of Genevan psalms being sung in Korean.  Until now, I didn’t think the Korean language was even compatible with the structure of Western music!

Today’s Featured Recording comes from the Samyang Presbyterian Church in Seoul.  It’s a recording of the congregation singing Genevan Psalm 68, which corresponds to number 124 in our blue Psalter Hymnal.  Sadly, I don’t know much about the church, the hymnbook they’re singing from, or the uploader of the video.

Thankfully, knowing all the details isn’t necessary in order to appreciate the beauty of this recording.  Obviously the congregation is very familiar with the Genevan Psalter, because they sing this selection with confidence.  If you browse through the 128 other videos on this uploader’s channel, you’ll find psalm after psalm rendered in just the same way.  Some of the more recent uploads include the English translation of the lyrics for easier following along.

What can we conclude from the fact that a church in South Korea sings the timeless words of the psalms in their own language to a collection of tunes composed in 16th-century Switzerland?  Honestly, I’m not sure.  But if nothing else, at least this recording serves as a reminder that God’s church is, as the hymn puts it, “Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth.”  I can’t help but think of the closing words of Psalm 68 as we sing them from the Psalter Hymnal:

Ye kings and kingdoms of the earth,
Extol Jehovah’s matchless worth
With psalms of adoration.
Praise Him whose glory rides on high,
Whose thunders roll through clouded sky
With mighty intonation.
Ascribe ye strength to God alone,
Whose worth in Israel is known,
For whom the heavens tremble.
O Lord, our strength, to Thee we bow,
For great and terrible art Thou
Out of Thy holy temple.


(Click here for last week’s Featured Recording)

1 Response to “Featured Recording: Meet the Korean-Genevan Psalter!”

  1. 1 Featured Recording: “Classical” Music | URC Psalmody Trackback on May 3, 2013 at 10:11 am

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