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 >
Louis Bourgeois's (PHH 3) GENEVAN 25 was first published in the 1551 edition of the Genevan Psalter. Howard Slenk (PHH 3) harmonized the tune in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal. One of the most beautifully constructed Genevan tunes, 25 is noted especially for its rhythmic interest and form (AABC). Like many melodies of its time, the rhythmic units move easily between groupings of two and three quarter-notes. For example, the first phrase is grouped 3+2+3+2+2; the first note of each group carries the stressed syllable of the text. Though set to a reflective text, the music should not be sung too slowly; feel the half note as the basic pulse.