OLD 124TH

Composer: Louis Bourgeois

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 >

Tune Information

Title: OLD 124TH
Composer: Louis Bourgeois (1551)
Meter: 10.10.10.10.10
Incipit: 12343 21171 34565
Key: C Major
Source: Day's Psalter, 1563;Trente quatre Pseaumes de David, Geneva, 1551, ed. Louis Bourgeois; Genevan Psalter, 1551
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

GENEVAN 124 (also known as OLD 124TH) was first published in the 1551 edition of the Genevan Psalter. Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) harmonized the tune in 1985. One of the best known from the Genevan Psalter, the tune is published in most North American hymnals. By 1564 it was adopted in English and Scottish psalters and became known either as OLD 124TH or as the abridged TOULON, which omits the third line (see 521). Originally, the rhythm of the second line was the same as the fifth, and the third line contained a spritely syncopation: H QQ H H QH H QH. The rhythm in the Psalter Hymnal follows that of most recent North American hymnals.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988

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