What does Psalmody mean in the Bible?

Dictionary

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Psalmody
The art or act of singing psalms. Psalmody was always esteemed a considerable part of devotion, and usually performed in the standing posture; and as to the manner of pronunciation, the plain song was sometimes used, being a gentle inflection of the voice, not much different from reading, like the chant in cathedrals; at other times more artificial composition were used, like our anthems. As to the persons concerned in singing, sometimes a single person sung alone; sometimes the whole assembly joined together, which was the most ancient and general practice. At other times, the psalms were sung alternately, the congregation dividing themselves into two parts, and singing verse about, in their turns. There was also a fourth way of singing, pretty common in the fourth century, which was, when a single person began the verse, and the people joined with him in the close: this was often used for variety in the same service with alternate psalmody.
See SINGING.
Webster's Dictionary - Psalmody
(n.) The act, practice, or art of singing psalms or sacred songs; also, psalms collectively, or a collection of psalms.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Psalmody
The service of the ancient Christian church usually began with reading or with the singing of psalms. We are not to understand this as if their psalmody was performed in one course of many psalms together, without intermission, but rather, with some respite, and a mixture of other parts of divine service, to make the whole more agreeable and delightful. As to the persons concerned in singing the Psalms publicly in the church, they may be considered in four different respects, according to the different ways of psalmody; for sometimes the Psalms were sung by one person alone; and sometimes the whole assembly joined together, men, women, and children: this was the most ancient and general practice. At other times the Psalms were sung alternately; the congregation dividing themselves into two parts and singing verse for verse. Beside all these, there was yet a fourth way of singing, pretty common in the fourth century, which was, when a single person began the verse, and the people joined with him in the close.
Psalmody was always esteemed a considerable part of devotion, and upon that account was usually performed in the standing posture. As to the voice or pronunciation, used in singing, it was of two sorts, the plain song, and the more artificial; the plain song was only a gentle inflexion, or turn of the voice, not very different from the chanting in our cathedrals; the artificial song seems to have been a regular musical composition, like our anthems.
It was no objection against the psalmody of the church, that she sometimes made use of psalms and hymns of human composition, beside those of the inspired writers. St. Augustine himself made a psalm of many parts, in imitation of the hundred and nineteenth, to preserve his people from the errors of the Donatists. St. Hilary and St. Ambrose likewise made many hymns, which were sung in their respective churches. But two corruptions crept into the psalmody, which the fathers declaim against with great zeal. The first was, the introducing secular music, or an imitation of the light airs of the theatre, in the devotions of the church. The other was, the regarding more the sweetness of the composition than the sense and meaning; thereby pleasing the ear, without raising the affections of the soul.
The use of musical instruments in singing of psalms, seems to be as ancient as psalmody itself. The first psalm we read of was sung to a timbrel, namely, that which Moses and Miriam sung after the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt; and afterward, at Jerusalem, when the temple was built, musical instruments were constantly used at their public services. And this has been the common practice in all ages of the church. When the use of organs was first introduced, is not certainly known; but we find, that about A.D. 660, Constantine Copronymus, emperor of Constantinople, sent a present of an organ to King Pepin of France.
Clement Marot, groom of the bed chamber to Francis I, king of France, was the first who engaged in translating the Psalms into metre. He versified the first fifty at the instigation of Vatablus, Hebrew professor at Paris; and afterward, upon his return to Geneva, he made an acquaintance with Beza, who versified the rest, and had tunes set to them; and thus they began to be sung in private houses, and afterward were brought into the churches of the French and other countries. In imitation of this version, Sternhold, one of the grooms of the privy chamber to our King Edward VI, undertook a translation of the Psalms into metre. He went through but thirty-seven of them, the rest being soon after finished by Hopkins and others. This translation was at first discountenanced by many of the clergy, who looked upon it as done in opposition to the practice of chanting the Psalms in the cathedrals.
Early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, metrical psalmody was introduced into this country. The new morning prayer began at St. Antholin's, London, when a psalm was sung in the Geneva fashion, all the congregation, men, women, and boys, singing together. Bishop Jewel says, that "the singing of psalms, begun in one church in London, did quickly spread itself, not only through the city, but in the neighbouring places; sometimes at Paul's Cross six thousand people singing together."
A curious controversy on this subject arose among the Dissenters in the end of the seventeenth century. Whether singing in public worship had been partially discontinued during the times of persecution to avoid informers, or whether the miserable manner in which it was performed gave persons a distaste to it, so it appears, that in 1691, Mr. Benjamin Keach published a tract entitled, "The Breach Repaired in God's Worship: or, Psalms, Hymns, &c, proved to be a Holy Ordinance of Jesus Christ." To us it may appear strange that such a point should be disputed; but Mr. Keach was obliged to labour earnestly, and with a great deal of prudence and caution, to obtain the consent of his people to sing a hymn at the conclusion of the Lord's Supper. After six years more, they agreed to sing on the thanksgiving days; but it required still fourteen years more before he could persuade them to sing every Lord's day; and then it was only after the last prayer, that those who chose it might withdraw without joining in it! Nor did even this satisfy these scrupulous consciences; for, after all, a separation took place, and the inharmonious seceders formed a new church in May's Pond, where it was above twenty years longer before singing the praises of God could be endured. It is difficult at this period to believe it; but Mr. Ivimey quotes Mr. Crosby, as saying, that Mr. Keach's was the first church in which psalm singing was introduced. This remark, however, must probably be confined to the Baptist churches. The Presbyterians, it seems, were not quite so unmusical; for the Directory of the Westminster divines distinctly stated, that "it is the duty of Christians to praise God publicly by singing of Psalms together in the congregation." And beside the old Scotch Psalms, Dr. John Patrick, of the Charter house, made a version which was in very general use among Dissenters, Presbyterians, and Independents, before it was superseded by the far superior compositions of Dr. Watts. These Psalms, however, like those of the English and Scotch establishment, were drawled out in notes of equal length, without accent or variety. Even the introduction of the triple-timed tunes, probably about the time of Dr. Watts's psalms, gave also great offence to some people, because it marked the accent of the measure. Old Mr. Thomas Bradbury used to call this time "a long leg and a short one." The beautiful compositions of Dr. Watts, Mr. C. Wesley, and others, have produced a considerable revolution in modern psalmody. Better versions of the Psalms, and many excellent collections of hymns, are now in use, and may be considered as highly important gifts bestowed upon the modern church of God.

Sentence search

Psalmodical - ) Relating to Psalmody
Psalmodize - ) To practice Psalmody
Psalmistry - ) The use of psalms in devotion; Psalmody
Hallelujah - It was also sung on solemn days of rejoicing, as an expression of joy and praise, and as such it has been adopted in the Christian church, and is still used in devotional Psalmody, Revelation 19:1,3,4,6
Psalmody - Psalmody was always esteemed a considerable part of devotion, and usually performed in the standing posture; and as to the manner of pronunciation, the plain song was sometimes used, being a gentle inflection of the voice, not much different from reading, like the chant in cathedrals; at other times more artificial composition were used, like our anthems. There was also a fourth way of singing, pretty common in the fourth century, which was, when a single person began the verse, and the people joined with him in the close: this was often used for variety in the same service with alternate Psalmody
Abbey, Saint Maurice of Agaunum - About 522Abbot Ambrosius introduced the "Perpetual Psalmody," as practised by the Acremetre
Saint Maurice of Agaunum Abbey - About 522Abbot Ambrosius introduced the "Perpetual Psalmody," as practised by the Acremetre
Psalmody - We are not to understand this as if their Psalmody was performed in one course of many psalms together, without intermission, but rather, with some respite, and a mixture of other parts of divine service, to make the whole more agreeable and delightful. As to the persons concerned in singing the Psalms publicly in the church, they may be considered in four different respects, according to the different ways of Psalmody; for sometimes the Psalms were sung by one person alone; and sometimes the whole assembly joined together, men, women, and children: this was the most ancient and general practice. ...
Psalmody was always esteemed a considerable part of devotion, and upon that account was usually performed in the standing posture. ...
It was no objection against the Psalmody of the church, that she sometimes made use of psalms and hymns of human composition, beside those of the inspired writers. But two corruptions crept into the Psalmody, which the fathers declaim against with great zeal. ...
The use of musical instruments in singing of psalms, seems to be as ancient as Psalmody itself. ...
Early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, metrical Psalmody was introduced into this country. Wesley, and others, have produced a considerable revolution in modern Psalmody
Cathedral Schools - In the medieval lower school, reading, writing, Psalmody, and Christian Doctrine were taught
Alleluia - " It is still occasionally used in devotional Psalmody
Hymn - ...
See Psalmody
Publius, a Solitary - He devoted his whole time to Psalmody, reading the Scriptures, and prayer, together with the labour necessary for his maintenance and the entertainment of strangers, and latterly for the government of his brotherhood
Air - ) In harmonized chorals, Psalmody, part songs, etc
Psalms, Book of, - It is, however, with David that Israelitish Psalmody may be said virtually to commence. But after the conquest of Jerusalem his Psalmody opened afresh with the solemn removal of the ark to Mount Zion; and in Psal 24-29 which belong together, we have the earliest definite instance of David's systematic composition or arrangement of psalms for public use. Yet that the Psalmody of Israel may not seem finally to terminate with hint, the glories of the future are forthwith anticipated by his son in Psal 72. The reign of Hezekiah is naturally rich in Psalmody, Psal 46,73,75,76 connect themselves with the resistance to the supremacy of the Assyrians and the divine destruction of their host
Selah - But this opinion is liable to great objection; for in this case David and Habakkuk are the only writers that thus impress consideration on their Readers, and they that always, neither at what we should consider the most striking parts of their writings: and if this were indeed the sense of Selah, how comes it that not one of the Lord's servants have ever used?...
Others, and that a great majority of writers on Scripture, have concluded that the word Selah had reference to the music in the temple-service, and was a note of the ancient Psalmody, but which now and for a long time, hath lost its use
Marcella, Friend of Jerome - A circle of ladies gathered round her, and her house became a kind of convent dedicated to the study of the Scriptures, and to Psalmody and prayer
Singing - Among the Baptists, during the early part of their existence, Psalmody was generally excluded as a human ordinance; but some congregations having adopted it about the beginning of the 18th century, a violent controversy was excited
Poetry - Israel's song at the Red Sea (Exodus 15), the priests' benediction (1618834612_7), Moses' chant at the moving and resting of the ark Numbers 9:35-36), Deborah's song (Judges 5), and Hannah's song (1 Samuel 2) laid the foundation for the full outburst of Psalmody in David's days; and are in part appropriated in some of the psalms. When David became king be gave Psalmody a leading place in the public liturgy
Magnificat - 400) quoted it in his treatise ‘On the good of Psalmody
Funeral, Rites - Psalmody, or singing of psalms, was the great ceremony used in all funeral processions among the ancient Christians
Harp - ]'>[3] ...
The κιθάρα was the traditional instrument of Psalmody, and the κιθαρῳδός, along with the αὐλητής, performed at the festive seasons of Hebrew life (cf
Germanus, Saint, Bishop of Auxerre - His lodging overflowed with visitors; a choir kept up ceaseless Psalmody by his bedside
Eusebius of Alexandria, a Writer of Sermons - Let him come in early morning to church for the Eucharistic service (the features of it are enumerated: the Psalmody, the reading of Prophets, of St
Levites - The heavier work being no longer needed of transporting the tabernacle, and Psalmody being their chief duty, they entered service as early as the age of 20 (1 Chronicles 23:24-27). Their temple Psalmody was the forerunner of our church music; and to them we probably owe the preservation of some of the Scriptures
Korah - ...
Korhites under David had the chief place in keeping the tabernacle doors (1 Chronicles 6:32-37), and in the Psalmody (1 Chronicles 9:19; 1 Chronicles 9:33)
Samuel - Here David learned the elements of that sacred and prophetic Psalmody of which he subsequently became the great representative
Hymns - ...
From these hints we may construct an outline of the Psalmody of the early Church, to which we may probably add a very interesting collection of private psalms recently discovered by Rendel Harris and published by him in 1909-the Odes of Solomon (q
Synagogue - The prophets' assemblies for Psalmody and worship led the way (1 Samuel 9:12; 1 Samuel 10:5; 1 Samuel 19:20-24)
Hymn - ...
It has been questioned whether Psalmody formed an element in the early synagogue-service (see esp
the Man Who Took a Rain of Mustard Seed And Sowed it in His Field - What could be a smaller seed, at the time, than the emigration of the son of Terah out of Ur of the Chaldees and into the land of the Canaanites? Again, what seed could well be smaller than that ark of bulrushes, daubed with slime and pitch, and hidden away among the flags by the river's brink? And, then, what less likely to spring up into all the psalms and hymns and spiritual songs of the Church of God than those little snatches of sacred Psalmody that a shepherd boy sang to his few sheep on the plains of Bethlehem? And to come to Old Testament institutions and ordinances also
David - in His Races - And a holiness, too, with a height, and a depth, and a fire, and an inwardness, and a solemnity, and a far-sounding Psalmody in it, all of which would seem scarcely to be attainable in this life unless under the stain of blood, or of something that stains still worse than blood
Moses - "The man of God" in the title Psalm 90, for as Moses gave in the Pentateuch the key note to all succeeding prophets so also to inspired Psalmody in that the oldest psalm
Gregorius Nyssenus, Bishop of Nyssa - The emperor put a public chariot at his disposal, which served him and his retinue "both for a monastery and a church," fasting, Psalmody, and the hours of prayer being regularly observed all through the journey (t
Psalms - ...
The captivity taught the people a bitter but wholesome lesson; then accordingly Psalmody revived
Basilius, Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia - Not the day only but the night also was divided into definite portions, the intervals being filled with prayers, hymns, and alternate Psalmody
Lutherans - The Lutherans are partial to the use of instrumental music in their churches, and admit statues and paintings, as the church of England does, without allowing them any religious veneration; but the rigid Calvinists reject these, and allow only the simplest forms of Psalmody