A standard style of pointing psalm text?
  • Good Morning from Northern Kentucky,

    This is my first post here on the forum, but I've left some comments. I appreciate the insights and wisdom this forum has provided for a few years. I turn to you with a question of curiosity. I was wondering if anyone knows of a standard method of pointing psalm texts? I like the Mundelein Psalter style as well as Adam Bartlett's but I notice so many variations. I am looking for the most "economical" method because writing them out through-composed just takes too much time. I want to make more moves to singing the psalms at out Masses, but it just takes too long to organize each piece. If there is a "universal" method to text pointing I would love to know.

    Some background; I have been watching the National Shrine masses and really enjoy how they do the responsorial psalm. I have thought about how to take what the Shrine does and bring it to a level my volunteer choir can handle. I anticipate still arranging for my choir, but if we could use text pointing, it would be so helpful in rehearsals.

    Matt Spencer
    Blessed Sacrament Church
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 831
    I'm not sure what you mean by ‘style’, but from my experience as a typesetter I interpret it as the way you write the pointing out with bolds, italics, underlines or accents.

    The way it has been done in the Vatican chant books for the last couple of decades is what I'm accustomed to and what I (therefore?) prefer:

    Qui habitat in protectione Altissimi *
    sub umbra Omnipotentis commorabitur.

    In vernacular texts, this can also be done by using simple accents (sometimes in addition to the Vatican style italics and bolds):

    You who dwell in the shelter of the Most Hígh,*
    who abide in the shàde of the Almíghty.
    Thanked by 1Paul F. Ford
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,455
    A sample of the pointing in Fr Weber's Propers of the Mass. (not actually a psalm verse)
    / shows a pause,
    | signals the next note is different, starting the cadence
    Italic marks the syllables in the cadence,
    Bold the stressed syllable of the final, remaining syllables staying on the final note.
    I find that simple to read, but there are many many other styles around!
  • RevAMG
    Posts: 153
    There are some methods that are very easy. For pointing the psalm tones by Dom Laurence Bévenot, OSB, for example, all that is needed is boldface type for the syllable on which the singer leaves the reciting-note and a flex (†) when there is an uneven number of lines in the strophe. For example, take Psalm 25 and Psalm 100:

          Lord, make me know your ways.
          Lord, teach me your paths.
          Make we walk in your truth and teach me:
          for you are God my savior.

          Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth. †
          Serve the Lord with gladness.
          Come before him, singing for joy.

    For the Way of Beauty Psalm Tones (link), the last two natural stressed syllables in each line are pointed with an acute accent (´). The two pointed syllables can move laterally within the line according to the natural stress of the spoken word, and the final stressed syllable may or may not be the final syllable. For example, take Psalm 150:

          O praise Gód in his hóliness *
              praise him in the fírmament of his pówer.
          Praise him in his nóble ácts *
              praise him according to his éxcellent gréatness.
          Praise him in the sóund of the trúmpet *
              praise him upon the lúte and hárp.