Louis Bourgeois (b. Paris, France, c. 1510; d. Paris, 1561). In both his early and later years Bourgeois wrote French songs to entertain the rich, but in the history of church music he is known especially for his contribution to the Genevan Psalter. Apparently moving to Geneva in 1541, the same year John Calvin returned to Geneva from Strasbourg, Bourgeois served as cantor and master of the choristers at both St. Pierre and St. Gervais, which is to say he was music director there under the pastoral leadership of Calvin. Bourgeois used the choristers to teach the new psalm tunes to the congregation.
The extent of Bourgeois's involvement in the Genevan Psalter is a matter of scholarly debate. Calvin had published several partial psalter… Go to person page >
GENEVAN 119, by Louis Bourgeois (PHH 3), was first published in the 1551 edition of the Genevan Psalter; Howard Slenk (PHH 3) harmonized the tune in 1985. GENEVAN 119 is in Hypo-Ionian mode (major). The six long lines of the melody use two slightly different rhythmic patterns and mostly stepwise motion. A bright but not loud organ registration helps this tune to "sing itself." Antiphonal performance is helpful in the singing of a select group of stanzas.