Library & Index

The primary repository of song-sheets and resources is stored on Dropbox. Users should ask for access or sharing.

The lectionary cycle covers just over two thirds of the 150 psalms over the three years but many have been featured in blog posts. The ‘Search’ function is one way to find a particular psalm if it has been discussed previously, although it will also show anything with that number in it, which can be a little tiresome.

your wordThe attached pages present a partial index of psalms including a link to relevant blog posts or in some cases a very few of the thousands of musical settings available. It is not intended as a compendium of available music — see the links page for some useful ideas in that area.

Psalms lists: Index of posts relating primarily to the psalms listed.

Book 1, Ps. 1-41
Books 2 to 4, Ps. 42-106
Book 5, Ps. 107-150
Canticles and songs


(Greek ἀντίφωνον, ἀντί “opposite” + φωνή “voice”) a responsory by a choir or congregation, to a psalm or other text.


St Gallen
St Gallen village scene

This is an excuse to mention the UNESCO-listed Swiss monastery and baroque library in St Gallen (St Gall), definitely worth a visit.

As well as the fascinating library, the Abbey was the source of one of several systems of neumes, or shorthand musical annotations, for psalms and other songs.

For interest, the e-library is here >, though a little German language will help. The Wiki entry enthuses that St Gallen is:

… one of earliest and most important monastic libraries in the world.

Abbey Library, St Gallen
Abbey Library, St Gallen

The interior, being baroque, may appear over the top. But behind this more modest facade (right) are all sort of treasures both musical as well as literary and historical.

The St Gallen system was similar to the one shown at below, rather than square notation which became standard after the 12th century. This example is actually in the Humanist Library, also worth a visit, in Sélestat in Alsace.

Manuscript from 11C in Sélestat

Try this at home

What do these notes mean?
What do these notes mean?

And on another track, ten points to anyone who can identify not the tune but the meaning of the notes shown here adorning the front of this nice house in Vaison la Romaine.

Nothing to do with psalms at all, I freely admit; but hey, sometimes you have to cut loose.

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