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The Revd Richard Coles assesses the influence that the King James Bible has had on music during the past 400 years. With the help of composers, writers and musicians he follows the trail of the King James translation from madrigals to missionaries and from Handel to hip-hop.
He considers the problems and rewards of setting the sometimes-difficult language of the 1611 version in choral anthems and oratorios. But he also tracks its journey into the American gospel tradition and discovers its central importance in the lyrics of Bob Dylan.