History of Psalmody

Whereas Martin Luther would admit any suitable text to be sung in worship unless it was unbiblical, John Calvin would allow only those texts which came from Scripture. Calvin commissioned poets to write metrical settings of the Psalms for the congregations in Strassburg and Geneva. Calvinist churches throughout Europe developed large repertories of psalmody, especially churches in England and Scotland.

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Music in the Worship of the New Testament

From the beginning of the New Testament experience, the believer’s response to Jesus Christ has included song. Most of the New Testament songs or hymns have found their way into the enduring liturgy of the church, including the Magnificat, the Benedictus, the Gloria, and the Nunc Dimittis. New Testament music in worship included psalmody, hymns composed in the church, and spiritual songs—alleluias and songs of jubilation or ecstatic nature. Further, many of the elements characteristic of later liturgical practice are rooted in New Testament actions and elements of worship.

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