George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German British, Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well-known for his operas, oratorios and organ concertos. Handel received important training in Halle-upon-Saale and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712, he was influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition. Within fifteen years, Handel had started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera. Musicologist Winton Dean writes; as Alexander's Feast was well received, Handel made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah he never composed an Italian opera again. Blind, having lived in England for nearly fifty years, he died in 1759, a respected and rich man, his funeral was given full state honours, he was buried in Westminster Abbey in London. Born the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era, with works such as Messiah, Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks remaining steadfastly popular.
One of his four coronation anthems, Zadok the Priest, composed for the coronation of George II, has been performed at every subsequent British coronation, traditionally during the sovereign's anointing. Another of his English oratorios, has remained popular, with the Sinfonia that opens act 3 featuring at the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years, since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque music and informed musical performance, interest in Handel's operas has grown. Handel was born in 1685 to Georg Händel and Dorothea Taust, his father, aged sixty-three when George Frideric was born, was an eminent barber-surgeon who served the court of Saxe-Weissenfels and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Georg Händel was the son of a coppersmith, Valentin Händel, who had emigrated from Eisleben in 1608 with his first wife Anna Belching, the daughter of a master coppersmith, they were Protestants and chose reliably Protestant Saxony over Silesia, a Hapsburg possession, as religious tensions mounted in the years before the Thirty Years War.
Halle was a prosperous city, home of a salt-mining industry and center of trade. The Margrave of Brandenburg became the administrator of the archiepiscopal territories of Mainz, including Magdeburg when they converted, by the early 17th century held his court in Halle, which attracted renowned musicians; the smaller churches all had "able organists and fair choirs", humanities and the letters thrived. The Thirty Years War brought extensive destruction to Halle, by the 1680s it was impoverished. However, since the middle of the war the city had been under the administration of the Duke of Saxony, soon after the end of the war he would bring musicians trained in Dresden to his court in Weissenfels; the arts and music, flourished only among the higher strata, of which Handel's family was not a member. Georg Händel was born at the beginning of the war, was apprenticed to a barber in Halle at the age of 14, after his father died; when he was 20, he married the widow of the official barber-surgeon of a suburb of Halle, inheriting his practice.
With this, Georg determinedly began the process of becoming self-made. Anna died in 1682. Within a year Georg married again, this time to the daughter of a Lutheran minister, Pastor Georg Taust of the Church of St. Bartholomew in Giebichtenstein, who himself came from a long line of Lutheran pastors. Handel was the second child of this marriage. Two younger sisters were born after the birth of George Frideric: Dorthea Sophia, born 6 October 1687, Johanna Christiana, born 10 January 1690. Early in his life Handel is reported to have attended the gymnasium in Halle, where the headmaster, Johann Praetorius, was reputed to be an ardent musician. Whether Handel remained there or for how long is unknown, but many biographers suggest that he was withdrawn from school by his father, based on the characterization of him by Handel's first biographer, John Mainwaring. Mainwaring is the source for all information of Handel's childhood, much of that information came from J. C. Smith, Jr. Handel's confidant and copyist.
Whether it came from Smith or elsewhere, Mainwaring relates misinformation. It is from Mainwaring that the portrait comes of Handel's father as implacably opposed to any musical education. Mainwaring writes that Georg Händel was "alarmed" at Handel's early propensity for music, "took every measure to oppose it", including forbidding any musical instrument in the house and preventing Handel from going to any house where they might be found; this did nothing to dampen young Handel's inclination. Mainwaring tells the story of Handel's
Feast of the Ascension
The Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ called Ascension Day, Ascension Thursday, or sometimes Holy Thursday, commemorates the Christian belief of the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is one of the ecumenical feasts of Christian churches, ranking with the feasts of the Passion, of Easter, Pentecost. Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter, although some Christian denominations have moved the observance to the following Sunday; the observance of this feast is of great antiquity. Eusebius seems to hint at the celebration of it in the 4th century. At the beginning of the 5th century, St. Augustine says that it is of Apostolic origin, he speaks of it in a way that shows it was the universal observance of the Church long before his time. Frequent mention of it is made in the writings of St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory of Nyssa, in the Constitution of the Apostles; the Pilgrimage of Aetheria speaks of the vigil of this feast and of the feast itself, as they were kept in the church built over the grotto in Bethlehem in which Christ is traditionally regarded as having been born.
It may be that prior to the 5th century the event narrated in the Gospels was commemorated in conjunction with the feast of Easter or Pentecost. Some believe that the much-disputed forty-third decree of the Synod of Elvira condemning the practice of observing a feast on the fortieth day after Easter and neglecting to keep Pentecost on the fiftieth day, implies that the proper usage of the time was to commemorate the Ascension along with Pentecost. Representations of the mystery are found in diptychs and frescoes dating as early as the 5th century; the Latin terms used for the feast and ascensa, signify that Christ was raised up by his own powers, it is from these terms that the holy day gets its name. In the Book of Common Prayer of the Anglican Communion, "Holy Thursday" is listed as another name for Ascension Day. William Blake's poem. In Western Christianity, the earliest possible date is April 30, the latest possible date is June 3. In Roman Catholicism, the Ascension of the Lord is a Holy Day of Obligation and in the Anglican Communion, Ascension Day is a Principal Feast.
The three days before Ascension Thursday are sometimes referred to as the Rogation days, the previous Sunday — the Sixth Sunday of Easter — as Rogation Sunday. Ascension has a vigil and, since the 15th century, an octave, set apart for a novena of preparation for Pentecost. In traditional Methodist usage, The Book of Worship for Church and Home provides the following Collect for Ascension Day called Holy Thursday: Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens, that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that according to his promise he abideth with his Church on earth unto the end of the world. Amen; the Roman Catholic Church in a number of countries that do not observe the feast as a public holiday has obtained permission from the Vatican to move observance of the Feast of the Ascension from the traditional Thursday to the following Sunday, the Sunday before Pentecost. The United Methodist Church allows the traditional celebration on Holy Thursday to be moved to Sunday.
This is in keeping with a trend to move Holy Days of Obligation from weekdays to Sunday, to encourage more Christians to observe feasts considered important. The decision to move a feast is made by the bishops of an ecclesiastical province, i.e. an archbishop and the neighbouring bishops. The switch to Sunday was made in 1992 by the church in Australia; the U. S. ecclesiastical provinces which retain Thursday observance in 2009 are Boston, New York, Newark and Philadelphia. When celebrated on Sunday, the earliest possible date is May 3, the latest is June 6. In the Eastern Church this feast is known in Greek as Analepsis, the "taking up", as the Episozomene, the "salvation from on high", denoting that by ascending into his glory Christ completed the work of our redemption. Ascension is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox liturgical year; the feast is always observed with an All-night vigil. The day before is the Apodosis of Easter. Before the Vigil, the Paschal hours are said for the last time and the Paschal greeting is exchanged.
The Paroemia at Vespers on the eve of the Feast are Isaiah 2:2–3. A Lity is celebrated; the troparion of the day is sung, which says: During the Polyeleos at Matins, the Epitaphios, placed on the altar on Holy Saturday is taken from the altar and carried in procession around the church. It is put in the place reserved for it; the Gospel is Mark 16:9–20. The kontakion is sung, which announces: The megalynarion and irmos from Ode IX of the Canon i
Passion of Jesus
In Christianity, the Passion is the short final period in the life of Jesus beginning with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ending with his crucifixion and his death on Good Friday. It includes, among other events, the last supper, Jesus' agony in the garden, his arrest by the Sanhedrin priests, his trial before Pontius Pilate; those parts of the four Gospels that describe these events are known as the "Passion narratives". In some Christian communities, commemoration of the Passion includes remembrance of the sorrow of Mary, the mother of Jesus, on the Friday of Sorrows; the word passion has taken on a more general application and now may apply to accounts of the suffering and death of Christian martyrs, sometimes using the Latin form passio. The accounts of the Passion are found in the four canonical gospels, Mark and John. Three of these, Matthew and Luke, known as the Synoptic Gospels, give similar accounts; the Gospel of John account varies slightly. The events include: The conspiracy against Jesus by the Jewish Sanhedrin priests and the teachers of the law, now known as Council Friday.
Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his anger and outburst at the Cleansing of the Temple A meal a few days before Passover. A woman anoints Jesus, he says. In Jerusalem, the Last Supper shared by his disciples. Jesus gives final instructions, predicts his betrayal, tells them all to remember him. On the path to Gethsemane after the meal. Jesus tells them they will all fall away that night. Gethsemane that night, Jesus prays, the disciples rest. Judas Iscariot leads in either "a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees", or a "large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and elders of the people," which arrests Jesus. During the arrest in Gethsemane, someone takes a sword and cuts off the ear of the high priest's servant, Malchus; the high priest's palace that night. The arresting party brings Jesus to the Sanhedrin. According to Matthew's Gospel, the court "spat in his face and struck him with their fists." They send him to Pontius Pilate. According to the synoptic gospels, the high priest who examines Jesus is Caiaphas.
The courtyard outside the high priest's palace, the same time. Peter joined the mob awaiting Jesus' fate; the cock crows and Peter remembers what Jesus had said. The governor's palace, early morning. Pilate, the Roman governor, examines Jesus, decides. In response to the screaming mob Pilate sends Jesus out to be crucified. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the betrayer, is filled with remorse and tries to return the money he was paid for betraying Jesus; when the high priests say that, his affair, Judas throws the money into the temple, goes off, hangs himself. Golgotha, a hill outside Jerusalem morning through mid afternoon. Jesus dies; the Gospel of Luke states that Pilate sends Jesus to be judged by Herod Antipas because as a Galilean he is under his jurisdiction. Herod hopes Jesus will perform a miracle for him. Herod mocks him and sends him back to Pilate after giving him an "elegant" robe to wear. All the Gospels relate. Matthew and John have Pilate offer a choice between Jesus and Barabbas to the crowd.
In all the Gospels, Pilate asks Jesus if he is King of the Jews and Jesus replies "So you say". Once condemned by Pilate, he was flogged before execution; the Canonical Gospels, except Luke, record that Jesus is taken by the soldiers to the Praetorium where, according to Matthew and Mark, the whole contingent of soldiers has been called together. They place a purple robe on him, put a crown of thorns on his head, according to Matthew, put a rod in his hand, they mock him by hailing him as "King of the Jews", paying homage and hitting him on the head with the rod. According to the Gospel of John, Pilate has Jesus brought out a second time, wearing the purple robe and the crown of thorns, in order to appeal his innocence before the crowd, saying Ecce homo. But, John represents, the priests urge the crowd to demand Jesus' death. Pilate resigns himself to the decision, washing his hands before the people as a sign that Jesus' blood will not be upon him. According to the Gospel of Matthew they replied, "His blood be on us and on our children!"Mark and Matthew record that Jesus is returned his own clothes, prior to being led out for execution.
According to the Gospel accounts he is forced, like other victims of crucifixion, to drag his own cross to Golgotha, the location of the execution. The three Synoptic Gospels refer to a man cal
Messiah Part II
Messiah, the English-language oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, is structured in three parts. This listing covers Part II in a table and comments on individual movements, reflecting the relation of the musical setting to the text. Part I begins with the prophecy of the Messiah and his birth, shows the annunciation to the shepherds and reflects the Messiah's deeds on earth. Part II covers the Passion in nine movements including the oratorio's longest movement, an air for alto He was despised mentions death, resurrection and reflects the spreading of the Gospel and its rejection; the part is concluded by a scene called "God's Triumph". Part III of the oratorio concentrates on Paul's teaching of the resurrection of the dead and Christ's glorification in heaven; the libretto by Charles Jennens is drawn from the Bible from the King James Bible, whereas several psalms are taken from the Book of Common Prayer. The librettist commented: "... the Subject excells every other Subject.
The Subject is Messiah...". Messiah differs from Handel's other oratorios by telling no story, instead offering reflections on different aspects of the Christian Messiah. Christopher Hogwood comments: Messiah is not a typical Handel oratorio, it is a meditation rather than a drama of lyrical in method. The oratorio's structure follows the liturgical year; the sources are drawn from the Old Testament. The birth and death of Jesus are told in the words of the prophet Isaiah, the most prominent source of the libretto; the only true scene of the oratorio is taken from the Gospel of Luke, the annunciation to the shepherds. The imagery of shepherd and lamb features prominently, in the aria "He shall feed His flock like a shepherd", the only extended piece to talk about the Messiah on earth, in the opening of Part II, "Behold the Lamb of God", in the chorus "All we like sheep", in the closing chorus of the work, "Worthy is the Lamb". Verses from different biblical sources are combined in one movement, but more a coherent text section is set in different consecutive movements, such as the first "scene", the annunciation of Christian salvation, as a sequence of three movements, recitative and chorus.
When Handel composed Messiah in London, he was a successful and experienced composer of Italian operas. He had started in 1713 to compose sacred music on English texts, such as the Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate, he set many oratorios on English libretti. In Messiah he used the same musical means as for those works, namely a structure based on chorus and solo singing. Only a few movements are a combination of solo and chorus; the solos are a combination of recitative and aria. The arias are called Air or Song, some of them have da capo form, but in a strict sense, repeating a first section after a sometimes contrasting middle section. Handel finds various ways to use the format in order to convey the text; the movements marked. Recitatives marked. Handel uses four voice parts in both solo and chorus, alto and bass. Only once is the chorus divided in an upper chorus and a lower chorus, it is SATB otherwise; the orchestra scoring is simple: oboes and basso continuo of harpsichord, violoncello and bassoon.
Two trumpets and timpani highlight selected movements, such as the closing movements of Part II, Hallelujah. Handel uses a cantus firmus on long repeated notes to illustrate God's speech and majesty, such as "King of Kings" in the Hallelujah chorus; the following table is organized by movement numbers. There are two major systems of numbering the movements of Messiah: the historic Novello edition of 1959, the Bärenreiter edition of 1965 in the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe. Not counting some short recitatives as separate movements, there are therefore 47 movements. In the table below, the Novello number is given first and is the index for the notes to individual movements in the "movements" section the Bärenreiter number. To emphasise the movements in which the oboes and the used trumpets and timpani play, the summary below does not mention the regular basso continuo and the strings in movements. Details on the development of keys, different tempo markings times within a movement are given in notes on the individual movements.
Movements in Italian are indicated in the Source column, however the exact origin is supplied in the notes on the movement. Scene 1 is the longest scene of the oratorio and reflects the Passion, in Jennens' words "Christ's Passion. Part II is the only part opened by a chorus, continues to be dominated by choral singing. Block observes that the emphasis on the Passion differs from modern western popular Christianity, which prefers to stress the nativity of the Messiah. Behold the Lamb of God The opening chorus "Behold the Lamb of God" begins like a French overture in
The Christian holy day of Pentecost, celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. In Christian tradition, this event represents the birth of the early Church. In Eastern Christianity, Pentecost can refer to the entire fifty days of Easter through Pentecost inclusive. Since its date depends on the date of Easter, Pentecost is a moveable feast; the holy day is called "White Sunday" or "Whitsunday" in the United Kingdom, where traditionally the next day, Whit Monday, was a public holiday. In Germany Pentecost is called "Pfingsten" and coincides with scholastic holidays and the beginning of many outdoor and springtime activities, such as festivals and organized outdoor activities by youth organizations; the Monday after Pentecost is a legal holiday in many European nations. The term Pentecost comes from the Greek Πεντηκοστή meaning "fiftieth".
It refers to the festival celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover known as the "Feast of Weeks" and the "Feast of 50 days" in rabbinic tradition. The Septuagint uses the term Pentēkostē to refer to the "Feast of Pentecost" only twice, in the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit and 2 Maccabees; the Septuagint writers used the word in two other senses: to signify the year of Jubilee, an event which occurs every 50th year, in several passages of chronology as an ordinal number. The term has been used in the literature of Hellenistic Judaism by Philo of Alexandria and Josephus. In Judaism the Festival of Weeks was a harvest festival, celebrated seven weeks and one day after the first Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread in Deuteronomy 16:9 or seven weeks and one day after the Sabbath in Leviticus 23:16; the Festival of Weeks was called the feast of Harvest in Exodus 23:16 and the day of first fruits in Numbers 28:26. In Exodus 34:22 it is called the "firstfruits of the wheat harvest." The date for the "Feast of Weeks" came the day after seven full weeks following the first harvest of grain.
In Jewish tradition the fiftieth day was known as the Festival of Weeks. The actual mention of fifty days comes from Leviticus 23:16. During the Hellenistic period, the ancient harvest festival became a day of renewing the Noahic covenant, described in Genesis 9:8-17, established between God and "all flesh, upon the earth". By this time, some Jews were living in Diaspora. According to Acts 2:5-11 there were Jews from "every nation under heaven" in Jerusalem visiting the city as pilgrims during Pentecost. In particular the hoi epidemountes are identified as "visitors" to Jerusalem from Rome; this group of visitors includes both Jews and "proselytes". The list of nations represented in the biblical text includes Parthians, Elamites, Judaea, Pontus, Phrygia, Egypt and those who were visiting from Rome. Scholars have speculated about a possible earlier literary source for the list of nations including an astrological list by Paul of Alexandria and various references to the Jewish diaspora by writers of the Second Temple era.
After the destruction of the temple in 70 AD offerings could no longer be brought to the Temple and the focus of the festival shifted from agriculture to the giving of the law on Sinai. It became customary to gather at synagogue and read the Book of Ruth and Exodus Chapters 19 and 20; the term Pentecost appears in the Septuagint as one of names for the Festival of Weeks. The biblical narrative of the Pentecost includes numerous references to earlier biblical narratives like the Tower of Babel, the flood and creation narratives from the Book of Genesis, it includes references to certain theophanies, with certain emphasis on God's incarnate appearance on Sinai when the Ten Commandments were presented to Moses. Theologian Stephen Wilson has described the narrative as "exceptionally obscure" and various points of disagreement persist among bible scholars; some biblical commentators have sought to establish that the οἶκος given as the location of the events of in Acts 2:2 was one of the thirty halls of the Temple, but the text itself is lacking in specific details.
Richard C. H. Lenski and other scholars contend that the author of Acts could have chosen the word ἱερόν if this meaning were intended, rather than "house"; some semantic details suggest that the "house" could be the "upper room" mentioned in Acts 1:12-26 but there is no literary evidence to confirm the location with certainty and it remains a subject of dispute amongst scholars. The events of Acts Chapter 2 are set against the backdrop of the celebration of Pentecost in Jerusalem. There are several major features to the Pentecost narrative presented in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles; the author begins the narrative by noting that the disciples of Jesus "were all together in one place" on the "day of Pentecost". The verb used in Acts 2:1 to indicate the arrival of the day of Pentecost carries a connotation of fulfillment. There is a "mighty rushing wind" and "tongues as of fire" appear; the gathered disciples were "filled with the Holy Spirit, a
Messiah Part I
Messiah, the English-language oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, is structured in three parts. The wordbook was supplied by Charles Jennens; this article describes the relation of the musical setting to the text. Part I begins with the prophecy of the Messiah and his virgin birth by several prophets, namely Isaiah, his birth is still rendered in words by Isaiah, followed by the annunciation to the shepherds as the only scene from a Gospel in the oratorio, reflections on the Messiah's deeds. Part II covers the Passion, resurrection and the spreading of the Gospel. Part III concentrates on Paul's teaching of the resurrection of the dead and Christ's glorification in heaven; the popular Part I of Messiah is sometimes called the "Christmas" portion as it is performed during Advent in concert, sing-along, or as a Scratch Messiah. When performed in this way, it concludes with "Hallelujah" from Part II as the finale; the libretto by Jennens is drawn from the Bible: from the Old Testament of the King James Bible, but with several psalms taken from the Book of Common Prayer.
Regarding the text, Jennens commented: "...the Subject excells every other Subject. The Subject is Messiah...". Messiah differs from Handel's other oratorios in that it does not contain an encompassing narrative, instead offering contemplation on different aspects of the Christian Messiah: Messiah is not a typical Handel oratorio, it is a meditation rather than a drama of lyrical in method. The oratorio's structure follows the liturgical year: Part I corresponding with Advent and the life of Jesus; the birth and death of Jesus are told in the words of the prophet Isaiah. The only true scene of the oratorio is the annunciation to the shepherds, taken from the Gospel of Luke; the imagery of shepherd and lamb features prominently in many movements, for example: in the aria "He shall feed His flock like a shepherd", in the opening of Part II, in the chorus "All we like sheep", in the closing chorus of the work. By the time Handel composed Messiah in London he was a successful and experienced composer of Italian operas, had created sacred works based on English texts, such as the 1713 Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate, numerous oratorios on English libretti.
For Messiah, Handel used the same musical technique as for those works, namely a structure based on chorus and solo singing. Only two movements in Messiah are purely instrumental: the Pifa; the solos are a combination of recitative and aria. The arias are called Airs or Songs, some of them are in da capo form, but in a strict sense. Handel found various ways to use the format to convey the meaning of the text. Verses from different biblical sources are combined into one movement, however more a coherent text section is set in consecutive movements, for example the first "scene" of the work, the annunciation of Salvation, is set as a sequence of three movements: recitative and chorus; the movements marked "Recitative" are "secco", accompanied by only the continuo, whereas the recitatives marked "Accompagnato" are accompanied by additional string instruments. Handel used four voice parts, alto and bass in the solo and choral movements; the orchestra scoring is simple: oboes and basso continuo of harpsichord, violoncello and bassoon.
Two trumpets and timpani highlight selected movements, for example in Part I the song of the angels Glory to God in the highest. Handel uses both homophonic settings to illustrate the text best. Polyphonic movements end on a dramatic long musical rest, followed by a broad homophonic conclusion. Handel stresses a word by extended coloraturas in several movements which are a parody of music composed earlier on Italian texts, he uses a cantus firmus on long repeated notes to illustrate God's speech and majesty, for example "for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it" in movement 4. The following table is organized by movement numbers. There are two major systems of numbering the movements of Messiah: the historic Novello edition of 1959, the Bärenreiter edition of 1965 in the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe. Not counting some short recitatives as separate movements, there are therefore 47 movements. In the table below, the Novello number is given first and is the index for the notes to individual movements in the "movements" section the Bärenreiter number.
To emphasise the movements in which the oboes and the used trumpets play, the summary below does not mention the regular basso continuo and the strings in movements. Details on the development of keys, different tempo markings and times within a movement are given in notes on the individual movements. Movements in Italian are indicated in the Source column, however the exact origin is supplied in the notes on the mo
The Book of Psalms referred to as Psalms or "the Psalms", is the first book of the Ketuvim, the third section of the Hebrew Bible, thus a book of the Christian Old Testament. The title is derived from the Greek translation, ψαλμοί, meaning "instrumental music" and, by extension, "the words accompanying the music"; the book is an anthology of individual psalms, with 150 in the Jewish and Western Christian tradition and more in the Eastern Christian churches. Many are linked to the name of David; the Book of Psalms is divided into five sections, each closing with a doxology —these divisions were introduced by the final editors to imitate the five-fold division of the Torah: Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4 Book 5 Many psalms have individual superscriptions, ranging from lengthy comments to a single word. Over a third appear to be musical directions, addressed to the "leader" or "choirmaster", including such statements as "with stringed instruments" and "according to lilies". Others appear to be references to types of musical composition, such as "A psalm" and "Song", or directions regarding the occasion for using the psalm.
Many carry the names of individuals, the most common being of David, thirteen of these relate explicitly to incidents in the king's life. Others named include Asaph, the sons of Korah, Moses, Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman the Ezrahite; the LXX, the Peshitta, the Latin Vulgate each associate several Psalms with Haggai and Zechariah. The LXX attributes several Psalms to Ezekiel and to Jeremiah. Psalms are identified by a sequence number preceded by the abbreviation "Ps." Numbering of the Psalms differs -- by one, see table -- between Greek manuscripts. Protestant translations use the Hebrew numbering, but other Christian traditions vary: Catholic official liturgical texts follow the Hebrew numbering since 1969; the variance between Massorah and Septuagint texts in this numeration is enough due to a gradual neglect of the original poetic form of the Psalms. It is admitted that Pss. 9 and 10 were a single acrostic poem. Pss. 42 and 43 are shown by identity of subject, of metrical structure and of refrain, to be three strophes of one and the same poem.
The Hebrew text is correct in counting as one Ps. 146 and Ps. 147. Liturgical usage would seem to have split up these and several other psalms. Zenner combines into. 1, 2, 3, 4. A choral ode would seem to have been the original form of Pss. 14 and 70. The two strophes and the epode are Ps. 14. It is noteworthy that, on the breaking up of the original ode, each portion crept twice into the Psalter: Ps. 14 = 53, Ps. 70 = 40:14–18. Other such duplicated portions of psalms are Ps. 108:2–6 = Ps. 57:8–12. This loss of the original form of some of the psalms is allowed by the Biblical Commission to have been due to liturgical practices, neglect by copyists, or other causes; the Septuagint, present in Eastern Orthodox churches, includes a Psalm 151. Some versions of the Peshitta include Psalms 152–155. There are the Psalms of Solomon, which are a further 18 psalms of Jewish origin originally written in Hebrew, but surviving only in Greek and Syriac translation; these and other indications suggest that the current Western Christian and Jewish collection of 150 psalms were selected from a wider set.
Hermann Gunkel's pioneering form-critical work on the psalms sought to provide a new and meaningful context in which to interpret individual psalms—not by looking at their literary context within the Psalter, but by bringing together psalms of the same genre from throughout the Psalter. Gunkel divided the psalms into five primary types: Hymns, songs of praise for God's work in creation or history, they open with a call to praise, describe the motivation for praise, conclude with a repetition of the call. Two sub-categories are "enthronement psalms", celebrating the enthronement of Yahweh as king, Zion psalms, glorifying Mount Zion, God's dwelling-place in Jerusalem. Gunkel described a special subset of "eschatological hymns" which includes themes of future restoration or of judgment. Communal laments. Both communal and individual laments but not always include the following elements: address to God, description of suffering, cursing of the party responsib