light, hope, inspiration

Psalmistry Music: Purpose & Background

The Psalms Project began in 1995, with a goal of providing a unified teaching and worship resource based on the Psalms as set in a contemporary Christian music format. It was first published in 2000 and encompasses all of the Psalms as well as additional devotional music.

• In composing the Psalms, I attempted to summarize the original wording and concept of a Psalm, rather than using a phrase or thought as a take-off for further exposition.

• Consistent with the purpose of teaching and worship, I created simple melodies that would stick in the mind like oatmeal and thereby assist recollection of the associated Word.

• I desired a unified, reliable and simple resource for all users, including music teams, pastors and congregations. Search, listen, print, play. All sheet music is in PDF format. All resources are readily downloadable.

• Although the music was composed on a guitar, the melody lines and written chords should facilitate use by multiple instruments.

• The lyric pages are intentionally kept simple to facilitate printing as lead sheets and overheads.

• The site includes downloadable printable sheet music (including guitar chords), midi and sample mp3 files. I have also included Noteworthy Composer files (nwc), a friendly program through which to record and print digital music. Each file type is discussed in the help page.

The Psalms vary in focus, mood and purpose. The music reflects that breadth of expression. Some Psalms are congregational; some are for individual and small group use. Some are joyful or spirited; some are contemplative, sad, seeking hope, help or guidance. Some may be best suited for private devotions at home. A variety of musical flavors—judaic, formal, upbeat, ballad—reflect the diversity of the Psalms.

Recommendations as to the Psalms: Hard to say which are favorites, and that may differ with the individual. However, one might start with the following examples: Psalms 8, 23, 31, 42, 46, 52, 54, 57, 61, 63, 67, 71, 76, 86, 87, 90, 91, 94, 95, 115, 121, 131, 138, 139 and the Psalm 119 series.

My primary Biblical resource has been the NIV. I have also used the King James, RSV, Young's Literal Translation, and the Darby translations for additional expression or clarification purposes. I am indebted to Ian Vink for his shareware Biblical resource, Biblepro.

Stephen Pearson, Composer and Songwriter

Stephen Pearson
Composer, Songwriter
Psalmistry Music



© 1995-2005 Stephen J. Pearson