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Nyanyikanlah (Hallelujah! Sing Praise to Your Creator)

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

See how Psalm 148 is the primary reference, but a similar thought is found in Psalms 8, 33, 104, and 135. In addition, God’s provocative questions to Job in Job 38-41 aim to stir similar praise, awe and humility. However, back in Genesis 1 and 2 we are motivated to do the same.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The God who was active in providing his Son for our redemption, has also been active in the course of history and in the lives of his people. His activity in the course of history began when he created all things. Belgic Confession, Article 12 teaches that God, “when it seemed good to him, created heaven and earth and all other creatures from nothing, by the Word—that is to say, by the Son.” In addition, “God created human beings from the dust of the earth and made and formed them in his image and likeness.”
 
His activity also includes his constant care for all he has created. “…He watches over us with fatherly care, sustaining all creatures under his lordship” (Belgic Confession, Article 13). Additionally, God reveals himself by this “creation, preservation and government of the universe, since that universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book...” (Belgic Confession, Article 2).
 

We also believe that God’s mighty acts are revealed “in the unfolding of covenant history…witnessing to the news that Our World Belongs to God and he loves it deeply” (Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 33). Primary among these actions in the unfolding of covenant history is “the long road of redemption to reclaim the lost as his people and the world as his kingdom” (paragraph 18). As God’s people observe his work in their lives and in history they respond with praise and adoration.

Additional Prayers

O God, beginning with the angels and descending through the skies,
your call to worship unites all creation in song.
Give us wisdom and strength, enabling our wholehearted praise,
for you alone are worthy; you alone are Lord. Amen.

Tune Information

Name
NYANYIKANLAH
Key
F Major or modal

Musical Suggestion

The Psalm text in Indonesian was prepared by Tilly Lubis in 1988. A new English versification to fit this traditional Indonesian melody was prepared in 2009 by David Diephouse, professor of history at Calvin College; he is a gifted musician as well as a text writer.
 
This psalm setting was arranged in SATB form by H. A. Pandopo in 1999, and provided with a simple keyboard accompaniment in 2008 by Christina Mandang, professor of worship at the Reformed Seminary in Jakarta, Indonesia. She wrote, “We usually use some djembes, maracas, wooden sticks, cabassa and some other percussion instruments to accompany that song.” Watching and hearing her lead this song was a delight. First she demonstrated with her Indonesian group, and then everyone sang together. They also moved to the music in ways that invited everyone to dance along.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 92)
— Emily Brink

Hymn Story/Background

At the 2008 Calvin Symposium on Worship, a group from Indonesia sang this joyful setting of Psalm 148, the psalm that invites anyone and everything to praise our God. The melody has stuck with me ever since!
 
Tilly Lubis-Nainggolan set her setting of Psalm 148 to a traditional Toba Batak melody from Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Gondong, a Toba Matak music ensemble, would typically accompany this kind of melody with a variety of indigenous stringed and percussion instruments, including hand drums and clapping, sometimes with a driving rhythm. This joyful psalm setting invites singing by an ensemble with the entire congregation joining in on the final repeated phrase of each stanza.
 
This psalm setting was arranged in SATB form by H. A. Pandopo in 1999, and provided with a simple keyboard accompaniment in 2008 by Christina Mandang, professor of worship at the Reformed Seminary in Jakarta, Indonesia. She wrote, “We usually use some djembes, maracas, wooden sticks, cabassa and some other percussion instruments to accompany that song.” Watching and hearing her lead this song was a delight. First she demonstrated with her Indonesian group, and then everyone sang together. They also moved to the music in ways that invited everyone to dance along.
 
— Emily Brink

Author Information

Tilly Lubis-Nainggolan (b. 1925; d. 2002) was an Indonesian legal translator (Indonesian-English), who also wrote Indonesian hymns and translated some Indonesian hymns into English. She was closely connected to YAMUGER (Yayasan Musick Gereja Indonesia), an institute which has published much indigenous Indonesian church music, especially for congregational song. 
— Emily Brink

David James Diephouse (b. 1947) a long-time professor of history, received his B.A. from Calvin College, and M.A. and Ph.D. at Princeton University. He taught history at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, before moving to Calvin College in 1976, where he taught modern European history and also served as a visiting instructor at Calvin Theological Seminary. Much of his research deals with the role of religion in 19th and 20th century German society and culture; one of his publications is Pastors and Pluralism in Württemberg 1918-1933. He served Calvin College as an academic dean and in several other administrative capacities, and retired from teaching in 2013.
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

H. A. Pandopo is a pseudonym for H. A. (Harry) van Dop (b. 1935), a Dutch missionary and musicologist who spent most of his career in Indonesia. He was born in the Netherlands, studied organ, theory, and harmony from Klaas Bartlema, a musicologist at the broadcasting corporation in Hilversum, also studied at the Theological Faculty at the University of Utrecht, and took additional studies in Indonesian Culture and Language at the Hendrick Kramer Institute. From 1972-2004 he was a member of YAMUGER (Yayasan Musick Gereja Indonesia), an institute for the study and promotion of indigenous Indonesian church music, including the publication of hymnals, sheet music, and recordings. He also taught music at Jakarta Theological Seminary and the Jakarta Institute of Fine Arts. He returned to Amersfoort, the Netherlands, in retirement. In 2010, several of his former Indonesian students produced two CDs of Indonesian church music in honor of his 75th birthday. After the tragic death of his former student Christina Mandang (1972-2010) while serving as worship leader at an international conference in Grand Rapids, MI, he returned to Jakarta to teach in her place for a couple of years. 
— Emily Brink
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.