Monday, September 20, 2010

Free Psalm Recordings, Scottish Psalter

NOTE: a more comprehensive list of psalm recordings can be found here:


I enjoy listening to recordings of psalm singing.  Some time ago, I began a quest to hunt down all the psalm recordings available online.  I was looking for recordings a) from the Scottish Metrical Psalter of 1650, b) unaccompanied by musical instruments, and c) free to download.  I've compiled a list of everything I could find that met my criteria, and thought I would share it with y'all.

The number of recordings available online has multiplied greatly in the last couple of years, so I'm no longer including links to every recording that I can find.  I'm just including my favorites and the ones I listen to most regularly.  I've divided the list into five parts according to the five books of the psalms:

Book 1: Psalms 1-41
Book 2: Psalms 42-72
Book 3: Psalms 73-89
Book 4: Psalms 90-106
Book 5: Psalms 107-150

A little more about the people behind the recordings:

1. Santa Fe--as you probably know, Jesh and I have been hosting occasional psalm singing gatherings, attended mostly by people from the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland in Santa Fe, plus occasional guests.  We currently have these recordings hosted on; the list is here.
2. CCRPC--Christ Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCGA) in Wylie, Texas.  This church uses the Comprehensive Psalter, which has the same text as the 1650 Psalter, but divided into selections with assigned tunes. Their recordings are posted here.  They are singing straight through the psalter, and posting new recordings monthly.
3. Free Church--the Free Church of Scotland has a few psalm recordings on their website, but many of them are from their modernized psalter, not the 1650.  They also have some Gaelic recordings.  Another list of Free Church recordings can be found here, but most of those are duplicates from the Free Church site; the only one I got from that site was Psalm 130.
4. Highland Harmony Singers--a group of singers in Scotland who aim to promote psalm singing.  I got their recordings from the website
--Any recordings that have the singers identified as "unknown" or something similar are also from the site.
5. Aberdeen FCC--found on the website of the Aberdeen Free Church of Scotland Continuing.  This page has a very useful list of audio files of psalm tunes; scroll down to the very bottom for sixteen very nice recordings of psalm singing.  And this page has two "sample tracks."
6. Niallags--these are psalms sung and recorded by Niall Maclennan and posted in this set on Soundcloud.
7. Connor Q--Connor Quigley has posted a number of psalm recordings on Soundcloud.  Many of these are from the Scottish Psalter; you can listen to them here.  Direct links are in the lists above.
8. EPC youth--The Brisbane youth group of the EPC (Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Australia) have recorded an album of psalms from the Scottish Psalter.  You can listen to the recordings on Soundcloud here.

If you know of other recordings that are a) from the 1650 Scottish Psalter, b) unaccompanied by instruments and c) free to download, please let me know and I'll add them to the list.


  1. Thanks Sharon, someone has put up recordings of congregational singing from the Edinburgh FPs:

  2. Yes, James, I just discovered those this morning, and logged into Blogger to add them to this post. :)

  3. This list is unwieldy. What we really need is a website dedicated to the Scottish Psalter, with lots of recordings neatly organized (anyone?)

  4. "What we really need is a website dedicated to the Scottish Psalter "Now that sounds like a great idea!

  5. @Sharon, that's actually,
    from the homepage: "in time will provide a range of resources for metrical Psalm Singing". It's a friend of mine who has started it.

  6. James, also has recordings from the Sing Psalms version, so I wouldn't say that it is dedicated to the 1650 Scottish Psalter in the sense I was thinking of.

    Another site dedicated to psalm-singing in a general sense, but not exclusively the Scottish Psalter, would be

    While I appreciate both sites, I think that those of us who use the 1650 Scottish Psalter do so for good reasons (accuracy of translation being the primary one), so I don't like to see it lumped in with others as though it's "just another Psalter."

    A guy named Michael Owens has put together a fantastic site for the Genevan Psalter:
    This is the sort of thing that I would love to see done for the Scottish Psalter.

  7. The Free Church ones (at least the ones at the Psalms4T site) were from a Psalm-singing event several years ago at Dingwall Free Church. They're also available as a tape/CD entitled "Together Joyfully".

  8. On the subject of psalm tunes used in the FP Church, does anyone know the origin of the tune "Stratherrick"? Is it printed in any of the standard Scottish or Irish books, or is it a 20th century FP creation? We heard it quite often in Dingwall FPs. Part of the third line was sometimes almost a shout - sounds a bit charismatic - a "praise shout"!

  9. Peter, it's not in my Psalter (Free Church '92 edition) and a Google search didn't pull it up either. If you happened to have a recording of the tune, or the tune in print, I'd be happy to listen to/see whatever you have. :)

  10. I don't see Stratherrick in any of my other psalters or hymnbooks either. Is it common meter?

  11. Stratherrick (C.M.) was composed by the late John Campbell (latterly an elder in Duthil-Dores Free Church (Continuing) and his wife Joan. Isobel Scott provided the harmonies. As far as I know it has never appeared in any published collection.

  12. Thank you for the information, Ruairidh!

    I'd be interested in seeing the tune, so if anyone happened to have the tune written down somewhere (even just the melody line) and felt inclined to scan it and e-mail it to me (my address is on the "about me" page), I would be quite grateful. :)

  13. I have received a pdf of the Stratherrick tune, and a midi file as well. Thank you, Ruairidh!

  14. Thank you so much!

  15. There's now a selection of psalm singing videos on the Free Church of Scotland website

    Some are from 1650 psalter the rest are from the Sing Psalms 2003 version.


  16. My name is David. I am an admirer of the work undertaken by some of the smaller Scots denominations. Psalms are so important aren't they !

  17. Hello, David! Yes, I agree, the psalms are an important part of both public and private worship. We are so blessed to have been given an inspired song book. Colossians 3:16 & James 5:13

  18. Here's a selection of psalms from a weekly Bible study we have in Glasgow. I hope you enjoy!

  19. Thank you very much, Niall! I am downloading and listening now. I am enjoying the harmony, and the Scottish accents. :) And I'm happy to see several psalms for which I had not previously been able to find recordings. I'll add these to the list soon!

  20. Hi John Campbell, Dores also wrote the tune "Bonar" but I've never seen it written down in notation.

  21. Hi Sharon,

    There's about a dozen recordings linked to at the bottom of this page:

    Every Blessing!

  22. James--thanks for the link! I am having trouble downloading these, but can listen to them on the website well enough. I will add them to the list above soon.

  23. Also on the EPC website are samples from a Psalm CD that they have produced, though since each sample is just one stanza, I won't include them in the list above. I wonder what psalter the EPC uses? Only a few of these tunes are in our Free Church split-leaf psalters.

  24. Thanks for this valuable resource! Very helpful.

    Rev. Mark Koller

  25. Stumbled across this page today... thought you might be interested.

    And I'm happy to fulfill the requests for a site dedicated to the Scottish Psalter.

  26. Ah, but Sean, your website doesn't have a sortable/searchable database of psalm recordings!

    Thanks for the link. I think I've seen it before actually. I'll add that site to the list above at some point.

  27. They're not free recordings, but here is a site I found with CDs:


  29. Thank you Sharon and friends. We've been looking for online compilations like these for a while. So glad we found this.

    I think we have met at the FPCS in Santa Fe! We enjoy worshiping with you all when we are in the area.
    Heather Hakim


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