How to listen to St. Dunstan's Psalter

By Ken Myers



For over a year, Sarah James has been faithfully recording plainchant settings of the Psalms, one of the fruits of the workshops she led at the beginning of “COVID-tide” teaching us how to chant using the Saint Dunstan’s Plainsong Psalter.

Several weeks ago, she completed the recordings, and they are all available at Cantica sacra in a few different means of access.

Before giving instructions about finding all of those recordings, I wanted to let you know that they are also now available on YouTube. Sarah’s father, Tim Smith, a retired professor of music, has created a YouTube playlist with videos for each Psalm to illustrate these audio recordings. He has added in each video a scrolling text for the Psalm, pointed for those who want to chant with the recording. He has also added some commentary on each Psalm. This is a wonderful resource which will, I hope, introduce many more people to this great liturgical/devotional/musical practice.

Back to Cantica sacra resources:

This page lists all of the Psalms in order, with links to individual pages that include Sarah’s recordings. Many of the pages also include Anglican chant settings of the Psalms, and some of them include other settings.

Every week of the Church calendar is represented with a page like this one for Trinity Sunday Those pages are listed here The propers for each week are presented on these pages, and recordings of each day's Psalms — as appointed in the lectionary at the beginning of our Prayerbook — are also embedded on these pages.

If you are in the habit of reading or singing all of the Psalms each month — following the pattern in the Prayerbook Psalter for Morning and Evening Prayer — this page has links to separate pages for all 30 days of the month, each page featuring recordings of the Psalms appointed for that day (e.g., here’s the page for tomorrow, Day 1; I have only finished creating the pages through Day 21, but the others will be posted soon).


To find your way back to these Psalter pages, use your mouse to hover your cursor over the PSALMS, HYMNS, ETC. link on the navbar at the top of any Cantica sacra page. A dropdown menu will appear, allowing you to move the cursor down to the word PSALMS. Another subsidiary menu appears, with links to the pages PSALMS, MONTHLY CYCLE and PSALMS, BY NUMBER. (see image)


To get back to the page with the list of each week in the Church year, over your cursor over the PSALMS, HYMNS, ETC. link on the navbar and select WEEKLY LITURGICAL ELEMENTS from the dropdown menu.


I hope this all makes sense. Get in touch with me if you have questions (cantor@canticasacra.org).


Ken Myers is founder and host of Mars Hill Audio, choir director of All Saints Anglican Church in Charlottesville, VA, and the editor of canticasacra.org.