Although Poland as a whole did not embrace the Reformation in the 16th century, the country nevertheless managed to produce a metrical psalter of high quality that is virtually unknown by outsiders. This is the Psa?terz Dawidów, or David’s Psalter, consisting of 150 metrical texts by the great Renaissance poet Jan Kochanowski set to tunes by Miko?aj Gomó?ka. So highly esteemed was this collection by Poles that it has reputedly been used liturgically by both Catholics and protestants. Midi files of the tunes can be found here: Melodie na Psa?terz Polski and pdf files of the scores here.

Twenty-three of these Psalms were recorded in 1996 in a collection titled, Mikolaj Gomolka Melodie Na Psalterz Polski - Melodies For The Polish Psalter, and is available from the Polish Art Center. The recording received a Fryderyk award from the Polish music industry.

Might there be possibilities for setting English translations of these Psalms to their proper tunes from David’s Psalter? It is certainly worth considering.

Here are some performances from this collection below:

Psalm 1:


Psalm 29:


Psalm 77:


Articles by David T. Koyzis

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