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Black Psalmody Database

Choral Settings of the Psalms by Black Composers

About the Psalter

The Psalter is the first book of the final section of the Tanakh, or the Torah-Hebrew Bible. It is also the longest book of the Christian Bible with 150 Chapters. The word "Psalm" comes from the Greek work psalmoi which means "songs sung to a harp or instrument." Psalms were typically sung by an individual or a group and was accompanied by an instrument.

Types of Psalms

  • Hymns

  • Communal Laments

  • Individual Laments

  • Royal Psalms

  • Psalms of Thanksgiving


King David authored 73 psalms. There are approximately 76 additional psalms attributed to him but its authorship cannot be confirmed.

Asaph authored a dozen psalms.

The Korahites authored 11 and have 12 attributed to them.

King Solomon authored Psalm 90.

Two are authored by the Ezrahites:

Psalm 88 (Herman) and Psalm 89 (Ethan).

The rest of the psalms have no author or attributor.

The Psalms are divided into five books:

Book One: Psalms 1-41

Book Two: Psalms 42-72

Book Three: Psalms 73-89

Book Four: Psalms 90-106

Book Five: Psalms 107-150

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