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 >
First published in the 1551 edition of the Genevan Psalter, GENEVAN 121 is in HypoMixolydian mode. Howard Slenk (PHH 3) provided the harmonization.
GENEVAN 121 is presented in original rhythm rather than in all even notes, as it had been in earlier editions of the Psalter Hymnal. The melody consists of two groups of three phrases in which phrases 2 and 3 are linked without a break. Because each phrase has its own rhythmic pattern, this tune may be difficult for some people to sing. That difficulty is balanced by the ease of the melodic intervals, which are almost always stepwise. Sing the tune with confidence, especially after the question in stanza 1.