William Byrd (ca. 1540-1623): Sing joyfully

The English Renaissance composer William Byrd's setting of the 81st Psalm is a jubilant invitation to praise God and one of our favorites

Motet on Psalm 81:1-4 for six-part mixed choir a cappella

Warum wir dieses Werk lieben

The virtuosic motet “Sing joyfully” invites you to sing praise to God in a variety of ways and with all the instruments at your disposal.
Even during his lifetime, the six-part motet “Sing joyfully” was William Byrd’smost popular work. It was composed towards the end of the 16th century. With its ornate yet sweeping polyphonic motifs and lively onomatopoeia on the words “Blow the trumpet,” it remains a favorite piece in Anglican worship today.

Was bei einer Aufführung wichtig ist

The part division is interesting, with divided soprano and divided alto, while tenor and bass are not divided. This can be explained by the instrumentation of English cathedral choirs, in which alto, tenor and bass were usually sung by professional male voices, while the soprano was filled by boys’ voices. This score arrangement meant that the lower voices (which were rhythmically complex) were sung by experienced professionals and only the two lighter upper voices were sung by the young boys.

If you have to cast the alto with female voices today, it means that you may have to transpose the piece higher so that the alto voices are not too low.


Public domain sheet music for this work


Do you like our NoonSongs?

Audio Archive

You can listen to many of the older NoonSongs again in our large audio archive. However, we do ask that you register for this.


Follow the NoonSong LIVE on sirventes berlin’s YouTube channel or watch older NoonSongs there.


Browse NoonSong’s programs (liturgies) since 2008 while also enjoying the accompanying audios and videos.

Support us

We appreciate your support, because the NoonSong only exists through donations and contributions from the supporting association.

This could also be of interest to you

Der NoonSong pausiert

Der NoonSong pausiert

Der NoonSong pausiert ab dem 15.7.2023. Der nächste NoonSong findet am 19.8.2023 um 12:00 Uhr statt.

Heinrich Schütz:

Heinrich Schütz:

Die Passion nach dem Evangelisten Matthäus von Heinrich Schütz ist eine eindringliche Chormusik, die a-cappella ganz auf Instrumente verzichtet.

NoonSong: Anekdote

NoonSong: Anekdote

NoonSong-Sänger Werner Blau wird auf der Strasse laut hupend von einer schwarzen Limousine angehalten.