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Evan C

Psalm Recommendations for a Piece I'm Writing

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Evan C   

I am currently writing a suite for organ with each movement being an instrumental meditation/reflection on one of the psalms. I have selected two (2 and 116) and I am looking for three more.

Any good suggestions? (as in: personal favorites, ones that have particularly striking musical imagery, ones that you think work well with the others I've selected, etc.)

Edited by Evan C

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I like your choice of Psalms 2.  It has repeated contrasts that could easily work into musical themes.  It has God laughing.  It has both destruction and joy.

 

I might recommend Psalms 8 because I've always been dissatisfied with how it has been used, reduced and fragmented in various CCM songs.  It is a contained  and coherent whole that deserves a musical piece all for itself.  It's thematic material would leave losts of room for both variation  and unification of melodic themes.

 

I've always thought that Psalms 33 was written as if for a classical or romantic symphony, but I could imagine it as an organ piece too.

 

Also you might think about stuff similar to Psalms 42, where there are allusions and comparisons to water.  "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls" in verse 7 seems like something an organist could make something of.

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I might recommend Psalms 8 because I've always been dissatisfied with how it has been used, reduced and fragmented in various CCM songs.  It is a contained  and coherent whole that deserves a musical piece all for itself.  It's thematic material would leave losts of room for both variation  and unification of melodic themes.

The Book of Psalms for Worship has some good treatments of Psalm 8. I can send scans of the music to either of you if that's something you'd want. (Keep in mind it's all a capella.)

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Evan C   

I might recommend Psalms 8 because I've always been dissatisfied with how it has been used, reduced and fragmented in various CCM songs.  It is a contained  and coherent whole that deserves a musical piece all for itself.  It's thematic material would leave losts of room for both variation  and unification of melodic themes.

I hadn't considered it, but that is a good choice. Thanks!

I've always thought that Psalms 33 was written as if for a classical or romantic symphony, but I could imagine it as an organ piece too.

It's certainly very musical, but I wrote an orchestra piece on Psalm 150 a few years ago, and those two Psalms have quite a few similarities, so I'll probably go for something different.

Also you might think about stuff similar to Psalms 42, where there are allusions and comparisons to water.  "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls" in verse 7 seems like something an organist could make something of.

Definitely, I've been going back and forth between Psalms 42 and 84, both of which have similar imagery.

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