Some historical background on the Wode Psalter.
The Reformation of 1560 was a major event in Scottish history. It involved:
The new intellectual and cultural climate that this event engendered encouraged new ways of thinking and doing, and the University of Edinburgh itself has its roots in that new environment.
Church life was transformed, and for the newly-promoted congregational singing a metrical Psalter containing Old Testament Psalms was employed.
These texts were presented in relatively plain music settings that would appeal to, and be understood by, everyone in the congregation.
The Wode or St Andrews Psalter comprises an important collection of manuscript musical part books of the Psalms.
These harmonisations of 106 metrical psalms from the Anglo-Genevan Psalm Book and other songs created the 'gold standard' for post-Reformation devotion and worship in Scotland.
One set of Parts was possibly intended for use in the Chapel Royal.
As well as commissioning and copying much 16th-century music, Wode added numerous comments to his manuscripts, resulting in the largest body of annotations found in any early modern British musical manuscript. Together they constitute an illustrated 'diary' for the second half of the 16th century.
This article was published on Jan 11, 2010