Composer: Louis Bourgeois

Louis Bourgeois (b. Paris, France, c. 1510; d. Paris, 1561). In both his early and later years Bourgeois wrote French songs to entertain the rich, but in the history of church music he is known especially for his contribution to the Genevan Psalter. Apparently moving to Geneva in 1541, the same year John Calvin returned to Geneva from Strasbourg, Bourgeois served as cantor and master of the choristers at both St. Pierre and St. Gervais, which is to say he was music director there under the pastoral leadership of Calvin. Bourgeois used the choristers to teach the new psalm tunes to the congregation. The extent of Bourgeois's involvement in the Genevan Psalter is a matter of scholar­ly debate. Calvin had published several partial psalter… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Title: GENEVAN 77
Composer: Louis Bourgeois (1551)
Meter: D
Incipit: 11712 32111 71232
Key: g minor
Source: "Genevan Psalter," 1543
Copyright: Public Domain


GENEVAN 77 was first published in the 1551 edition of the Genevan Psalter as a setting for Psalm 86. It was set to Psalm 77 in the 1562 edition. Claude Goudimel (PHH 6) composed the harmonization in 1564. GENEVAN 77's many repeated phrases make it memorable; it is in Hypo-Dorian mode. The plaintive character of this music is well suited to the psalm text but must not become mournful. Sing stanzas 1 and 2 quietly and stanzas 3 and 4 with increasing strength and volume.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988



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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #77
Text: I Cried Out to God to Help Me
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
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Instances (1 - 16 of 16)

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #77

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Rejoice in the Lord #111


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The New English Hymnal #187

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #52

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Worship (4th ed.) #445

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Include 20 pre-1979 instances
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