U.S.—In a research paper presented Friday, several biblical scholars suggested that all the Hebrew psalms were actually set to the same four basic chords.
"Every biblical psalm appears to have been set to the chord progression G-D-Em-C, over and over again," said Dr. Lance Miles, a researcher who has devoted his life to one Hebrew verb tense. "It's catchy, it's poppy, and it's easy to play."
According to the new research, the psalms were written that way so unskilled harpists could learn them quickly for the worship set each Sabbath and festival day. "Once they'd learned one psalm, they'd learned 'em all," Miles said. "Rather than spending years of study learning a musical instrument, the coolest-looking, best-dressed Hebrew could be chosen to lead the people in worship once he'd mastered the key of G."
Archaeologists have corroborated the report, having recently discovered a capo designed for use on a harp, so worship leaders could modulate the pitch to a comfortable key and not have to learn any new chords.
The scholars also found that the Hebrew songs of worship often transitioned to a minor chord for the bridge, but quickly built back up into the G-D-Em-C progression after repeating it eight times.