Audubon Park Psalter

PsalterCoversThe Audubon Park Psalter is a five volume set: one for each of the liturgical years (A, B, and C), a fourth for Solemnities, Feasts and other holidays, and a final fifth volume for weddings and funerals. It uses the new Revised Grail Psalm translation for the verses with the ICEL refrains. Each of the first four volumes is 60-70 pages and contain over 50 psalm settings. The fifth volume is shorter at 32 pages with 24 settings.

After several years of leading very eclectic music programs, I felt the need for a psalter that would raise the standard of music available and that could be adapted to many different settings. The Audubon Park Psalter is designed to be flexible instrumentally and vocally. The verses are written most often in a one pulse per measure chant style (like Gelineau) so that a consistent tempo may be kept between the refrain and the verses. This makes the singer’s task of learning multiple verses easier than a through-composed setting, but by keeping a pulse, it is possible to have much more interesting melodies than a common 3-5 note chant settings would offer.

Because the verses are most often written in traditional four-part harmony, a choir could sing the text or accompany the cantor by singing on a neutral syllable. A string quartet or woodwind ensemble could also read the vocal lines for additional accompaniment colors. You can even use handbells to accompany these settings! Because of the consistent rhythm, a skilled ensemble of piano, guitar and drums, could take many of these settings into different jazz or contemporary styles. Written with a harmonic language that is interesting, yet accessible, these settings are designed to be singable, playable and achievable for most any parish music program. Check out the playlist of recordings of live performances from the psalter.

TIFF and JPG files of the refrains are available for download. You may find them by occasion or first line: