Singing apart together: communities and the heritagization and eventization of Genemuider bovenstem psalm singing in the Netherlands

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Genemuider bovenstem is a particular style of psalm singing, originating from the town of Genemuiden in the Netherlands, in which a higher voice is added to the Genevan melody of the psalms. It has roots in liturgical contexts, and has been designated as Intangible Cultural Heritage. This article discusses the construction of singing com- munities in Genemuider bovenstem psalm singing as performed both in the Sunday worship practices of strictly Reformed church communities, and in collective regional singing events on weekdays that receive financial and practical support from the Dutch government. We present the results of empirical research in Genemuiden, demonstrat- ing the existence of a mutually reinforcing overlap between church communities and the publics who attend psalm-singing events. Our work serves to further nuance extant theories that suggest that the eventization and heritagization of religious practices lead to a diminution in the status of church communities and of their control and ownership over their practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Religion in Europe
Issue numberonline
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Sept 2023


  • Psalms
  • Eventization
  • Religious heritage
  • Collective singing
  • Ecclesioscapes
  • Strictly Reformed
  • Church

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