Souterliedekens

Souterliedekens

The Souterliedekens (literal: Psalter-songs) is a Dutch metrical psalter, published in 1540 in Antwerp, and which remained very popular throughout the century. The metrical rhyming psalms were - probably - arranged by an Utrecht nobleman: Willem van Zuylen van Nijevelt (d. 1543). For the melodies he used folksongs from the Low Countries (though some have German or French origin). This publication has great value, because the publisher (Symon Cock) not only added the phrase 'sung to the tune of...' but he provided also the actual music (melody) with the texts.

Nowadays many of the folksongs can only be reconstructed because of the survival of the Souterliedekens. Composers like Jacobus Clemens non Papa, Gerardus Mes and Cornelis Boscoop made polyphonic settings based on the melody of the monophonic Souterliedekens. The melody often functions as cantus firmus. The Antwerp printer Tielman Susato dedicated four volumes of his music-books (Musyck Boexkens) to Clemens Souterliedekens (vol. IV to VII).

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