The Rest of The Way Posts

CHANTING THE PSALMS—A “JOYFUL NOISE”
Sunday, April 19, 2020 by Leona Choy

This is a sequel to my previous blog post about delving more deeply into the treasures of the Psalms. There is still another exciting spiritual way to worship through the Psalms. Chant them with a vocal sound between speech and music which is available to anyone.

We don't need to be musically trained or have an acceptable singing voice. Dogs may howl when you try singing. Our vocal cords can even be gravelly with age. In fact, even if “you can't carry a tune in a basket,” you can still chant! I'm talking specifically about chanting the Psalms individually, privately, not in a church but as a devotional practice between you and God.

To chant is simply to speak or sing rhythmically in words or sounds without harmony or instruments. Chant is a monophonic series of syllables or words uttered rhythmically on the same note or a limited range of notes presented monotonously without much voice inflection. To chant means to repeat something in a monotone with a slight vocal sound behind it.

In antiquity, even before recorded history, it is thought that chanting was one of the first vocal forms of what eventually developed into what we now call music. Battle cries, the shouts of protesters, even repetitive calls of sports fans for their teams can be considered a form of chanting.

Forget the negative use of chant as in frenzied ritual songs and dances of pagan societies calling upon their demonic spirits or gods. Chants or mantras spoken or sung for the purpose of opening the mind to undefined spiritual influences are evil and dangerous. Also, for the purpose of our discussion, forget the beautiful, sophisticated, professionally performed Monastic Gregorian chants. We're not aiming at that kind of chant.

I'm offering suggestions appropriate for all of us modern day lay Christians eager to use chant in our private worship. The rhythm of the Hebrew poetry in the Psalms in parallel lines lends itself perfectly to simple chant—even when translated fom the Hebrew into English or other languages. The chant I propose is from the biblical text itself, non-sectarian and not associated with any particular Christian ecclesial entity. Chant is a way to read Scripture aloud in a worship style.

The earliest Christians were all Jewish and carried over some of their traditional religious songs, perhaps changing the words over time to reflect their new experiences and beliefs. For sure they would have continued singing the Psalms with which all Jewish people were familiar. Music was generally learned by heart through repetition. There's a good chance that much of it was chanted.

There is little in the Bible to tell us how the Jewish people sang in worship or how we are to sing, technically speaking. We have no sound recordings preserved to tell us what the music was like which David and other psalmists composed. The period of David and Solomon was the golden age of Hebrew music and poetry. Jubal was named as the inventor of musical instruments (Gen. 4:21). The Hebrews were much given to the cultivation of music. It was an essential part of training in the schools of the prophets (1 Sam. 10:5). There arose a class of professional singers (2 Sam. 19:35; Eccl. 2:8). Solomon's Temple, however, was the great school of music. In the conducting of its services large groups of trained singers and players of instruments were constantly employed (2 Sam. 6:5; 1 Chr. 15:16; 23;5; 25:1–6). Don't you wonder what that music sounded like? Only a few written notes of instruction are appended to some psalms of which the meaning is mainly obscure to us. We'll have to wait for Heaven and be delightfully surprised beyond what we could imagine.

We know something of Synagogue chants of Jesus' day. In His boyhood rabbinical school, Jesus would have learned to recite all the Psalms. There is good reason to believe He chanted them. Chants were also used in processional singing on the annual treks to Jerusalem. Wouldn't we like to know what song it was when the Bible says, “when [Jesus and His disciples] had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” We could guess it was a Psalm—more than likely chanted. Doesn't it excite you to try to learn to chant as close as we can to the Psalms as David and Jesus did?

 

The Bible tells us to make “a joyful noise” unto the Lord (Psalm 95:1–2). Paul encouraged us to sing “psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs” as a form of worship (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). A chant or song-like prayer can deeply convey our worship of God, express thanks and trust and dependence on Him, and offer our petitions to Him. That's what the Psalms are all about. Chanting them in our private devotions is a beautiful expression of worship.

Here are two simple tutorials for beginners to show you how to chant the Psalms.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdmyaixzDXs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL1mLDM-wSo

After you’ve viewed the above links, in a nutshell: first sort of hum to find your own comfortable pitch without strain. Voice the words of the first phrase of a psalm all on that one note; on the final few words, either raise your voice up to the next note or drop it down to the one below. In either case, stay at that chosen pitch for the first phrase of the next line and then again drop it or raise it in the opposite direction. Finish off the stanza or verse by dropping down to a lower note for the final words. Just practice. You’ll grow to love reading the Psalms this way.

There are many other patterns of chant available for you to experiment with. The one above is a simple one-size-fits-all and it will work to chant all the psalms. After you get the hang of it, you can improvise and just let your chant go where it will according to the sacred words before you. You are the boss of your chant. Because there are no original compositions to be found, there is no right or wrong. You are on your way to an exciting worship adventure. The Lord will be delighted to hear and accept your praise and answer your prayer petitions.

 


The Rest of The Way


Previous Posts

METAVERSE—ILLUSION CONFUSION?
Leona Choy
11/23/2021

NO GREEN BANANAS?
Leona
11/10/2021

REPLICATING THE TOWER OF BABEL?
Leona Choy
11/10/2021

LEARNING TO NAVIGATE THE NINETIES
Leona Choy
11/2/2021

“MOTHER, MAY I?”
Leona Choy
10/24/2021

MY PERSONAL OCTOBERFEST
Leona
10/20/2021

SO—IT'S PERFECTLY NORMAL?
Leona Choy
10/9/2021

LOST IDENTITY
Leona Choy
10/7/2021

PRAYER for the REST OF MY WAY
Leona Choy
10/5/2021

A GIANT IS COMING YOUR WAY!
leona choy
10/3/2021

HORSING AROUND AT MIDNIGHT
Leona Choy
9/17/2021

BECOMING BRANDED
Leona Choy
8/30/2021

HELPING GOD HYDRATE
Leona Choy
8/23/2021

ON YOUR HANDS AND KNEES
Leona Choy
8/15/2021

LOCKDOWN LETHARGY
Leona Choy
8/11/2021

ILLUSIVENESS OF TIME
Leona Choy
8/8/2021

MARATHONER BUDDIES
Leona Choy
8/5/2021

NEW PATHS AHEAD
Leona Choy
7/25/2021

“ALL” INCLUSIVE
Leona Choy
7/22/2021

BUTTERFLY PRAYERS
Leona Choy
7/20/2021

GOD'S FULLNESS OF TIME
Leona Choy
7/15/2021

WHAT'S THIS ABOUT MILLSTONES?
Leona Choy
7/9/2021

A BOOK YOU CAN'T DO WITHOUT
Leona Choy
6/28/2021

A GROWING SENSE OF URGENCY
Leona Choy
6/2/2021

TRANSHUMANISM?! COMING--READY OR NOT?
Leona Choy
5/23/2021

Your Voice Matters
Leona Choy
5/15/2021

CHASING THE WIND?
Leona Choy
5/3/2021

TO SWEAT OR NOT TO SWEAT
Leona Choy
4/23/2021

A BRUSH OF ANGELS' WINGS
Leona
4/14/2021

IN THE WRONG/RIGHT PLACE AT THE WRONG/RIGHT TIME?
Leona Choy
4/3/2021

THROWING IN THE TOWEL?
Leona Choy
3/25/2021

STIFLE OURSELVES?
Leona
3/14/2021

A TARGET ON OUR BACK
Leona
3/6/2021

NEW BOOK ON THE WAY
Leona Choy
2/28/2021

PERSECUTION BY ASSOCIATION
Leona Choy
2/18/2021

MORE WISDOM FROM THE HEN HOUSE
Leona Choy
2/15/2021

A blog post EXTRA
Leona Choy
2/12/2021

LESSONS FROM THE BARNYARD
Leona Choy
2/8/2021

MY CHANGING "EARTH SUIT"
Leona Choy
2/3/2021

TIMES OF TROUBLE
Leona Choy
1/31/2021

PLAYING "KING OF THE HILL"
Leona Choy
1/27/2021

EBS: ALERT! “THIS IS A TEST”
Leona Choy
1/23/2021

SAGEBRUSH CHRISTIANS
Leona Choy
1/21/2021

THIS PRESENT DARKNESS
Leona Choy
1/12/2021

“LET FREEDOM RING!”
Leona Choy
1/11/2021

CONCERNING CLIMATE CHANGE
Leona choy
1/8/2021

NEITHER ROBOTS OR PUPPETS!
Leona Choy
1/4/2021

STILL CLIMBING NEW HILLS
Leona Choy
1/1/2021

ARCHI AND THE FINISH LINE
Leona Choy
12/29/2020

IT'S ALL ABOUT FOOTWEAR
Leona choy
12/26/2020

“STAR OF WONDER, STAR OF NIGHT...”
Leona
12/24/2020

UNSCRAMBLING SCRAMBLED EGGS
Leona Choy
12/22/2020

THE REVEAL!
Leona Choy
12/19/2020

[ in-foh-dem-ik ] INFODEMIC: WMD of 2020
Leona Choy
12/14/2020

RIP VAN WINKLE AND THE FIRST ELECTION
Leona Choy
12/7/2020

“BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE!”
Leona Choy
11/30/2020

IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS
Leona Choy
11/27/2020

THE GRINCH (VIRUS) THAT STOLE THANKSGIVING
Leona Choy
11/23/2020

A THANKSGIVING STORY
Leona Choy
11/20/2020

FIXING YOUR EYES
Leona Choy
11/15/2020

LIVING THROUGH THE “NOT YET”
Leona Choy
11/12/2020

CARPE DIEM IN LOCKDOWN
Leona Choy
11/9/2020

EXTRA FOR ELECTION WEEK
Leona Choy
10/31/2020

ATTENTION: ALL FRETTERS!
Leona Choy
10/29/2020

HANDS OFF!
Leona Choy
10/26/2020

SEASONAL SPECTACULARS
Leona Choy
10/22/2020

THE LATE GREAT ELIMINATOR
Leona Choy
10/19/2020

RAINY DAY REMINDER
Leona Choy
10/17/2020

VIEW FROM THE HEAVENLIES
Leona Choy
10/15/2020

BEAUTIFUL DREAMER?
Leona Choy
10/12/2020

BUT IF HE DOESN'T?
Leona Choy
10/8/2020

READY OR NOT—HERE I COME!
Leona Choy
10/6/2020

A TESTED HELP
Leona Choy
10/5/2020

ENCHANTED GROUND?
Leona Choy
10/1/2020

BEAUTIFUL TOGETHER
Leona Choy
9/28/2020

OUR PREOCCUPATION WITH “SETI”
Leona Choy
9/24/2020

SHINE THROUGH ME
Leona Choy
9/21/2020

“THINGS TO COME...”
Leona Choy
9/17/2020

RIDING THE SHOCK WAVES
Leona Choy
9/14/2020

SLEEP WITH OUR CLOTHES ON
Leona Choy
9/10/2020

HOW DO YOU SMELL BY NOW?
Leona Choy
9/7/2020

"I AM NOT A ROBOT!”
Leona Choy
9/3/2020

PROLIFERATION OF DROPOUTS
Leona Choy
8/31/2020

MESSAGE FROM 8TH CENTURY B.C.
Leona choy
8/27/2020

BRIDGES TO SOMEWHERE
Leona Choy
8/24/2020

GET UP OFF THE FLOOR
Leona Choy
8/20/2020

"Under" the Circumstances?
Leona Choy
8/17/2020

TOO MUCH STUFF
Leona Choy
8/13/2020

Pacemakers and Pacesetters
Leona Choy
8/10/2020

Bug Out Bags and More
Leona Choy
8/6/2020

GIVE ME THIS DAY FRESH BREAD
Leona Choy
8/3/2020

FAMILY TREE HUGGERS
Leona Choy
7/30/2020

“WHO WERE YOU?”
Leona Choy
7/27/2020

WALKING WITH JESUS
Leona Choy
7/23/2020

WHAT DOES MY COVID JOURNEY LOOK LIKE?
Leona Choy
7/20/2020

HEARING VOICES
Leona Choy
7/16/2020

A TIME TO BE HELD
Leona Choy
7/13/2020

RUMBLE STRIPS AHEAD!
Leona Choy
7/9/2020

“WHATEVER IS LOVELY AND BRINGS PEACE...”
Leona Choy
7/7/2020

TO PLAN OR NOT TO PLAN
Leona choy
7/5/2020

MY OWN INDEPENDENCE DAY
Leona Choy
7/3/2020

WHAT'S OUT THERE?
Leona Choy
7/1/2020

“FULL OF SAP AND VERY GREEN”
Leona Choy
6/28/2020

SPIRITUAL ATHEROSCLEROSIS
Leona Choy
6/25/2020

JUST FOR FUN
Leona Choy
6/23/2020

WHO'S COUNTING?
Leona Choy
6/20/2020

PRAYER IS NOT FOR SISSIES
Leona Choy
6/18/2020

MY KITCHEN TIMER SPEAKS
Leona Choy
6/16/2020

SQUEAKING HINGES
Leona Choy
6/14/2020

“US WOMEN ON OUR OWN”
Leona Choy
6/12/2020

PREPARING AN ETERNAL “NEST”
Leona Choy
6/10/2020

TENDING TO MY CATERPILLARS AND COCOONS
Leona Choy
6/8/2020

STILL LEAPING UPSTREAM
Leona Choy
6/6/2020

POKING HOLES IN THE DARKNESS
Leona Choy
6/3/2020

ARE WE THERE YET?
Leona Choy
5/31/2020

NEW WINE-SKIN PEOPLE
Leona Choy
5/30/2020

EARTH SUIT vs SPACE SUIT: Increasing Tension
Leona Choy
5/29/2020

ONLY A CHAPTER
Leona Choy
5/28/2020

WOUNDED WARRIORS
Leona Choy
5/26/2020

WEARY OR JUST TIRED?
Leona Choy
5/24/2020

WEARING PAJAMAS IN COMBAT?
Leona Choy
5/22/2020

RETHINKING THE PREPPER MINDSET
Leona Choy
5/20/2020

THE INTRIGUE OF ISOLATION
Leona Choy
5/18/2020

CONTEST OF THE CONDIMENTS
Leona Choy
5/15/2020

THOUGHTS FOR US “VULNERABLES”
Leona Choy
5/13/2020

WHO WANTS TO PLAY STATUE?
Leona Choy
5/12/2020

BALCONY CONCERTS
Leona Choy
5/11/2020

GIANTS IN OUR FAMILY TREE
Leona Choy
5/8/2020

WHAT ABOUT THOSE GRASSHOPPERS?
Leona Choy
5/6/2020

METATHESIOPHOBIA!
Leona Choy
5/4/2020

WITHERED HANDS
Leona Choy
5/3/2020

WRITE A TIME CAPSULE
Leona Choy
5/1/2020

CASTING PRACTICE
Leona Choy
4/30/2020

MASKS
Leona Choy
4/29/2020

LAST STRAW?
Leona Choy
4/28/2020

MY SURVIVOR ASSIGNMENT
Leona Choy
4/25/2020

SEGUE TIME
Leona Choy
4/24/2020

SURE, I'LL PRAY FOR YOU
Leona Choy
4/23/2020

MEANWHILE, WE GROAN
Leona Choy
4/22/2020

PARABLE OF THE DISORDERED EGG
Leona choy
4/20/2020

CHANTING THE PSALMS—A “JOYFUL NOISE”
Leona Choy
4/19/2020

OUR GREEN ROOM/GREENHOUSE
Leona Choy
4/16/2020

PSALMS IN COLOR
Leona Choy
4/15/2020

TV WATCH AND PRAY
Leona Choy
4/14/2020

JUST PASSING BY?
Leona Choy
4/9/2020

A SAFE PLACE ON THE ROCK
Leona Choy
4/8/2020

GETTING A GOOD SHAKING
Leona Choy
4/7/2020

THE UPSIDE OF DOWNTIME
Leona Choy
4/6/2020

ANNOUNCING! PANDEMIC READ-A-THON!
Leona Choy
4/4/2020

GOD'S OBSESSION WITH FRUIT
Leona Choy
4/3/2020

BLOOMING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Leona Choy
4/2/2020

GRAY CLOUD FOLKS
Leona Choy
4/1/2020

END OF THE STORY
Leona Choy
3/31/2020

RAVENS DELIVERY SERVICE
Leona Choy
3/30/2020

CALAMITY COMFORT
Leona Choy
3/29/2020

A DESERT FABLE
Leona Choy
3/28/2020

A PERSONAL MESSAGE
Leona Choy
3/27/2020

SURFING THE PANDEMIC WAVES
Leona Choy
3/25/2020

HOW ARE YOUR “WITS” DOING?
Leona Choy
3/24/2020

FALLEN ROCKS
Leona Choy
3/23/2020

HUNKERING AT EAGLE SUMMIT
Leona Choy
3/21/2020

TENT DWELLING
Leona Choy
3/21/2020

A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE
Leona Choy
3/20/2020

HANDS ON THE PLOW
Leona Choy
3/19/2020

SUBMARINE LIVING
Leona Choy
3/18/2020

A NEW HAPPY DANCE
Leona Choy
3/17/2020

SOCIAL DISTANCING
Leona Choy
3/13/2020

THE RELUCTANT PILGRIM
Leona Choy
3/11/2020

THE MYSTERIOUS "SELAH" WORD
Leona Choy
3/9/2020

MY CLAP OFFERING
Leona Choy
3/8/2020

ONE DOLLAR DAFFODIL
Leona Choy
3/7/2020

BOUND BY AN INVISIBLE THREAD
Leona Choy
3/4/2020

NOT SILENCED
Leona Choy
2/26/2020

BEING OWLISH ABOUT WISDOM
Leona Choy
2/24/2020

"In the beginning..." before GOOGLE
Leona Choy
2/22/2020

PULLED FROM THE BRINK
Leona Choy
2/20/2020

APPLE OF HIS EYE
Leona Choy
2/9/2020

SINGING HER WAY HOME
Leona Choy
1/31/2020

EATIN' SHORTBREAD
Leona Choy
1/24/2020

PLATFORM, PODIUM, PULPIT OR PEDESTAL?
Leona Choy
1/17/2020

BUCKET LIST AGAIN?
Leona Choy
1/12/2020

IN SEARCH OF A MAKEOVER
Leona Choy
12/31/2019

SEASONAL SAG
Leona Choy
12/30/2019

THE MYSTERY OF TIME
Leona Choy
12/28/2019

2020 MY RENEWED EAGLE YEAR
Leona Choy
12/26/2019

Post Surgery Report
Leona Choy
12/3/2019

SURGERY ENCORE
Leona Choy
11/23/2019

“You Have the Right to Remain Silent”
Leona Choy
10/31/2019

WHO IS SHAKING MY TREE?
Leona Choy
10/30/2019

WHO IS THE BOSS OF ME?
Leona Choy
10/15/2019

LORD, MOVE MY MOUNTAIN!
Leona Choy
10/13/2019

ANOTHER WAITING ROOM
Leona Choy
10/11/2019

DON'T BE SHEEPISH
Leona Choy
10/10/2019

THE VALUE OF SELF-TALK
Leona Choy
9/28/2019

LASER PRAYER
Leona Choy
9/27/2019

THANKS FOR THE MEMORY
Leona Choy
9/12/2019

CARRY ME, FATHER
Leona Choy
9/5/2019

MY PERSONAL SPIRITUAL WORKOUT
Leona Choy
9/4/2019

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS?
Leona Choy
9/1/2019

Lessons from My Cup
Leona Choy
8/20/2019

STRAW & THE CAMEL'S BACK
Leona Choy
8/7/2019

BECOMING MORE "FRUITY"
Leona Choy
7/10/2019

CREATIVE ENCOUNTERS
Leona Choy
7/3/2019

PITCHING IT RIGHT
Leona Choy
6/30/2019

“WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP?”
Leona Choy
6/25/2019

34580 and COUNTING
Leona Choy
6/18/2019

MOUNTAINS AND MOLEHILLS
Leona Choy
6/14/2019

CHEERLEADING
Leona Choy
6/6/2019

HANDS ON THE PLOW
Leona Choy
5/22/2019

WAITING FOR GRADUATION DAY
Leona Choy
5/17/2019

I THINK BOOKS
Leona Choy
5/13/2019

ONLY TALK WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL!
Leona Choy
5/4/2019

HO-HUM FAITH
Leona Choy
4/18/2019

BREATHTAKING THOUGHTS
Leona Choy
4/7/2019

TOO MUCH ON MY PLATE?
Leona Choy
3/31/2019

EARTH SUIT vs SPACE SUIT: Increasing Tension
Leona Choy
3/4/2019

AVOIDING A SPIRITUAL "OOPS!"
Leona Choy
3/1/2019

PURSUING WISDOM
Leona Choy
2/19/2019

A THORNY MATTER
Leona Choy
2/15/2019

A SOMEWHAT GRUMPY CHAT WITH GOD
Leona Choy
2/12/2019

A FISH STORY
Leona Choy
2/8/2019

LET'S EAT NOODLES TOGETHER!
Leona Choy
1/21/2019

SATISFIED--A SECRET TO SHARE
Leona Choy
1/11/2019

STILL RUNNING
Leona Choy
12/29/2018

RESISTANCE TO ASSISTANCE
Leona Choy
12/6/2018

CHALLENGE OF THE FOURTH QUARTER
Leona Choy
11/26/2018

KEEPING A TRADITION
Leona Choy
11/15/2018

PUBLISHING FUND PROGRESS
Leona Choy
11/5/2018

"GOING STEADY" WITH MY "SUGAR CANE"
Leona Choy
11/3/2018

A SHOUT-OUT FOR A NEW BUTTERFLY
Leona Choy
10/31/2018

THANKSGIVING IN OCTOBER
Leona Choy
10/7/2018

REPEAT OFFENDERS
Leona Choy
9/30/2018

SHINING WHEN YOUR BATTERY IS LOW
Leona Choy
9/21/2018

I DESERVE IT...DESERVE IT NOT....
Leona Choy
9/13/2018

WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Leona Choy
9/10/2018

WAITING FOR GOD'S DUE TIME
Leona Choy
9/3/2018

STONES AND COVERUPS AND HOLY EARS
Leona Choy
8/31/2018

IT'S ALL ABOUT SHOES
Leona Choy
8/29/2018

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS MY CELL TOWER
Leona Choy
8/27/2018

REJUVENATION GOD'S WAY
Leona Choy
8/17/2018

STUCK IN THE MUD?
Leona Choy
8/13/2018

TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR
Leona Choy
8/8/2018

WHEN'S A GOOD TIME TO "EXULT"?
Leona Choy
7/30/2018

Survey For the Calendar-Challenged
Leona Choy
7/25/2018

Destiny Decisions
Leona Choy
7/19/2018

BEDROOM SLIPPERS OR HIKING BOOTS?
Leona Choy
7/18/2018

Hurrah for the Prepper Bridesmaids!
Leona Choy
7/13/2018

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS?
Leona Choy
7/10/2018

BARNACLES
Leona Choy
6/5/2018