Difference Between Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual songs

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    Psalms, Hymns, vs Spiritual songs

    Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are all sung in the praise of God. They have some basic differences depending upon where they have been taken from, their music and words, the instruments accompanying them, etc.


    Psalms is also called the Book of Psalms. It is a book of the Christian Bible and the Hebrew Bible. The book has 150 poems which have been obtained from the Scriptures. Each poem or song is individually referred to as a Psalm. They are always referred to by verse and chapter. They are usually accompanied by stringed instruments or percussion instruments. In the modern times, people add music to the Psalms. For example, the Psalm,”Bless the Lord O My Soul.”
    The Psalms are either songs or hymns. Sometimes musical directions are also given with the hymns or songs. One of the popular songs of the Psalms is “The Song of Thanksgiving.” One of the popular hymns of the Psalms is “Hymns of Praise.”

    Hermann Gunkel divided the Psalms according to different genres:

    Royal Psalms
    Complaint Psalms/Lamentations
    Thanksgiving Psalms
    Wisdom Psalms
    Mixed or smaller genres
    Songs of Zion
    Historical Litanies
    Pilgrim Liturgies
    Judgment Liturgies
    Entrance Liturgies


    Hymns are formal and traditional songs which are sung by the congregation in praise of God in public. Traditional hymns have specific tunes, for example, “Amazing Grace.” For hymns, the music is directed in the Book of Psalms. They have a particular rhythm ( Hymns are words or lyrics, and the melodies of the lyrics are interchangeable. The music that is used with hymns is referred to as chordal. For over 100 years hymns have been sung, and their structure is derived from classical music. It usually has a four-part harmony.

    Spiritual Songs

    Spiritual songs may be described as the songs which are spontaneous and are inspired by the Holy Spirit itself.
    They are also referred to as a type of Psalm. In the Book of Psalms the poems are titled under “song” or “hymn.” An example is, “I Will Sing With My Spirit.” Praise songs or worship songs are those songs where music is the main feature of the song and is accompanied by many different instruments. These songs may be influenced by different cultures and music also.


    1.Psalms is also called the Book of Psalms which is a book of the Christian Bible and the Hebrew Bible; hymns and songs are different types of Psalms.
    2.The Psalms are either songs or hymns; sometimes musical directions are also given with the hymns or songs.

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