(This is the first in a series of short articles correcting errors heard in pulpits and in conversations about church music. We hope these will be helpful in arming and aiding people who are interested in truth.)
Reformed Hymnody is NOT a recent phenomenon.
Hymns were used in the Reformed churches of Martin Bucer (1491-1551) in Strasbourg when Jean Calvin was still a young man. Calvin also included hymns, some of which were his own, in the Strasbourg Psalter and early versions of the Genevan Psalter. It wasn’t until the complete (final) version of the Genevan Psalter in 1562 that Calvin himself excluded hymns. That was nearly 500 years ago.
There were also Reformed hymns, like the much-loved “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” or “All My Hope on God Is Founded” of Joachim Neander (a German Reformed pastor/theologian) written in 1680 (334 years ago). So no, the use of hymnody in Reformed worship is not a recent thing by a long shot; in fact, we find it at the very birth of the Reformation itself.