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The World-Wide Web can answer nearly every question on the planet, but when it comes to Reformed music, this ever-helpful global information database contains some serious holes.  If you’re looking for information on the blue Psalter Hymnal, it’s still more likely to be found inside your organ bench than on the internet.

Here at URC Psalmody we’d like to see that trend change.

Welcome to the brand-new Psalter Hymnal Resource Library, where we’re working hard to fill in the gaps of information on Reformed worship music!  Eventually, our goal is to compile a list of resources for every selection in the blue Psalter Hymnal.  For now, bear with us—this is a work in progress, but we hope it’s a helpful one.

If this is your first time visiting the Psalter Hymnal Library, we’d like to give you a simple introductory tour of our virtual shelves.

Browsing the psalms

As you search for a particular psalm setting in the Psalter Hymnal tables, you’ll see row upon row of entries that look more or less like this:

Psalm 51 Psalter Hymnal 95 m t a v

The columns in these tables are arranged simply and (hopefully) logically.  Listed first is the psalm to which each particular Psalter Hymnal selection corresponds, from 1 to 150.  Next is the number of the song within the Psalter Hymnal itself, from 1 to 493.  On the right are links to the various resources available for each selection—“m” for meditations on the psalm and the Psalter Hymnal’s setting, “t” for text and sheet music, “a” for audio recording, and “v” for video recording.  Click each letter to open each reference.  (When a particular number does not yet have these resources available, the spaces are left blank.)

Believe it or not, the colors in between the entries mean something too.  The bar on the left is usually grey, but will turn green for new entries and orange for entries under construction.  The bar on the right is blue to mark entries with links, as opposed to those that have (sadly) not yet been connected.

As you browse, be aware that clicking on one of the links in the tables will usually pop your internet window out of the Psalter Hymnal Resource Library.  Just click the “Back” button in your browser to return.  To avoid this problem and keep the library open as you work, right-click on each link instead and choose “Open in new tab” or “Open in new window.”

Browsing the hymns

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun 399 v

The hymns of the Psalter Hymnal (numbers 311-493) are arranged in the same basic setup as the psalms, except that the first line of the hymn replaces the psalm number, and that there are no “m” (meditations) links for the hymns.

The other shelves

URC Psalmody’s Resources page contains a long, long list of links—to the Genevan Psalter, the 1912 Psalter, and the URC/OPC Psalter Hymnal Project, for example—in addition to miscellaneous blog posts, magazine articles, books, conferences, and music recordings.  As time goes on, this section of the library will doubtless continue to grow and expand.

In summary, we hope you’ll find this online library easily navigable, and that your Psalter Hymnal-related research, whatever it may be, will be successful.

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