Pointing a psalm

The words to an Anglican psalm are usually printed in separate verses centered underneath the chant.

Single chants (with 7 bars) are repeated for every verse. Double chants (with 14 bars) are repeated for every pair of verses. Marks are inserted in the words to show how they should be fitted to the chant. Each verse is divided into two halves. A colon is usually used to indicate this division. This corresponds to the double bar line in the music. The words before the colon are sung to the first three bars of music; the words after the colon are sung to the last four bars.

Single bar lines (or in some psalters an inverted comma or similar symbol) are inserted between words to indicate where the bar lines in the music fall. In markup mode a single bar line can be entered with the bar check symbol, |.

\markup {
  \fill-line {
    \column {
      \left-align {
        \line { O come let us sing | unto the | Lord : let }
        \line { us heartily rejoice in the | strength of | our }
        \line { sal- | -vation. }
      }
    }
  }
}

[image of music]

Other symbols may require glyphs from the fetaMusic fonts. For details, see Fonts.

tick = \markup {
  \raise #1 \fontsize #-5 \musicglyph "scripts.rvarcomma"
}
\markup {
  \fill-line {
    \column {
      \left-align {
        \line { O come let us sing \tick unto the \tick Lord : let }
        \line {
          us heartily rejoice in the \tick strength of \tick our
        }
        \line { sal \tick vation. }
      }
    }
  }
}

[image of music]

Where there is one whole note in a bar all the words corresponding to that bar are recited on that one note in speech rhythm. Where there are two notes in a bar there will usually be only one or two corresponding syllables. If there are more that two syllables a dot is usually inserted to indicate where the change in note occurs.

dot = \markup {
  \raise #0.7 \musicglyph "dots.dot"
}
tick = \markup {
  \raise #1 \fontsize #-5 \musicglyph "scripts.rvarcomma"
}
\markup {
  \fill-line {
    \column {
      \left-align {
        \line {
          O come let us sing \tick unto \dot the \tick Lord : let
        }
        \line {
          us heartily rejoice in the \tick strength of \tick our
        }
        \line { sal \tick vation. }
      }
    }
  }
}

[image of music]

In some psalters an asterisk is used to indicate a break in a recited section instead of a comma, and stressed or slightly lengthened syllables are indicated in bold text.

dot = \markup {
  \raise #0.7 \musicglyph "dots.dot"
}
tick = \markup {
  \raise #1 \fontsize #-5 \musicglyph "scripts.rvarcomma"
}
\markup {
  \fill-line {
    \column {
      \left-align {
        \line { Today if ye will hear his voice * }
        \line {
          \concat { \bold hard en }
          | not your | hearts : as in the pro-
        }
        \line { vocation * and as in the \bold day of tempt- | }
        \line { -ation | in the | wilderness. }
      }
    }
  }
}

[image of music]

In other psalters an accent is placed over the syllable to indicate stress.

tick = \markup {
  \raise #2 \fontsize #-5 \musicglyph "scripts.rvarcomma"
}
\markup {
  \fill-line {
    \column {
      \left-align {
        \line {
          O come let us \concat {
            si \combine \tick ng
          }
          | unto the | Lord : let
        }
        \line {
          us heartily \concat {
            rejo \combine \tick ice
          }
          in the | strength of | our
        }
        \line { sal- | -vation. }
      }
    }
  }
}

[image of music]

The use of markup to center text, and arrange lines in columns is described in Formatting text.

Most of these elements are shown in one or other of the two verses in the template, see Psalms.

See also

Learning Manual: Psalms, Vocal ensembles templates.

Notation Reference: Fonts, Formatting text.


LilyPond Notation Reference v2.25.13 (development-branch).