Posts Tagged ‘music resources for small churches’

'Ringing in 2nd Sunday of Advent with some Hyfrydol' photo (c) 2009, Paulo Ordoveza - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I am always on the lookout for good music resources for congregations who don’t have any instrumentalists.  Recently as I was searching for recorded music to use at a funeral, I discovered yet another source of good quality piano accompaniments for congregational singing.  It’s a series of collections available in CD or downloadable mp3 files.  The series is called Worship Service Resources. Lamon Records, Nashville, TN,  is the publisher.  The CDs are available from the publisher, from Amazon.com and other outlets, and you can download the mp3s from Amazon or iTunes.  The CDs run about $16-$20 new, and I noticed that there are some used copies available on Amazon.  Mp3 albums run $8.99 to $9.99, with individual tracks costing .99 each.  There are ten collections, and each collection contains 25 hymns.

I surveyed the entire hymn list on iTunes.  Included are many traditional hymns, such as “A Mighty Fortress,” more recent hymns, such as “How Great Thou Art,” and gospel hymns, such as “He Touched Me.”  There is a Christmas collection that includes all the classics like “Silent Night,” along with “O Holy Night” and “The Birthday of a King” that might appeal to soloists and choirs.

Here is the entire playlist from the collection “Majestic Hymns:”

1. All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
2. A Mighty Fortress is Our God
3. And Can It Be
4. Come Christians Join to Sing
5. Come Thou Almighty King
6. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
7. Doxology
8. God of Our Fathers
9. Great Is Thy Faithfulness
10. Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
11. Holy, Holy, Holy
12. How Firm a Foundation
13. How Great Thou Art
14. Immortal, Invisible
15. I Sing the Mighty Power of God
16. Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
17. Like a River Glorious
18. Love Divine All Loves Excelling
19. My Faith Has Found a Resting Place
20. O For a Thousand Tongues To Sing
21. O God, Our Help in Ages Past
22. O Worship the King
23. Praise To the Lord the Almighty
24. The Church’s One Foundation
25. This Is My Father’s World

View my post reviewing other available CDs here.

For other links to sources of instrumental music for hymn singing, see below:



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My keyboard

My keyboard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A lay pastor colleague of mine called my attention to hymnpod.com, a free source of traditional hymn accompaniments online.  Christopher Tan, a pianist from Singapore, has recorded  many, many tunes using an electronic piano, and they are exceptionally clear and singable, and they are lovely to listen to.

The tunes are all in the public domain.  Here is a sample, the Swedish tune to which we sing the hymn “How Great Thou Art.”

You can download these tunes to your computer by right clicking on the play button and then select “save audio as.”   On iTunes you can download a number of them for free and also subscribe to podcasts of more tunes as Christopher Tan makes them available.   Then you can make audio CDs to use in worship, or you can sync them to your iPod and play them back through a compatible player.

For more music resources, see this post reviewing CDs for worship use, and this post about smallchurchmusic.com, a site that offers free downloads of hymn accompaniments in multiple formats.  You can also click the resources tab above and scroll down to the music section for more help.

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Compact Disc

Image via Wikipedia

In an earlier post I evaluated a free online source of mp3 files called smallchurchmusic.com.  You can read that post here.

Here are three sources of hymn accompaniments on CD:

1. Pfeiffer House Music offers 300 traditional hymns in a collection called Hymns for Church.   You can purchase it in two volumes of six CDs each, or download them as mp3 files.  The CD version costs $39.96 for each of the two volumes, and the downloads cost $30.00 for each volume.  All the accompaniments are simple (electronic) piano played at an easy tempo.  I listened to several samples on the site, and they sound quite useful for congregational singing.  Each hymn starts with the last line as an introduction, and then several verses are played.

Hymnal booklets are available for shipping to purchasers for $15.00, and the same material in downloadable pdf format is available for $5.00.  You can choose music and words together, or words only in large print.  Pfeiffer house also carries files of the words for projection onto a screen.  Free shipping and discounts are available when both volumes of CDs are purchased together.

2. The Hymn Project offers 200 hymns on seven CDs for $99.00.  The hymns are played straight from the hymnbook on piano.  On my computer, the piano on these accompaniments sounded richer than those on Hymns for the Church (above).  My guess is that they are played on an acoustic piano, and I prefer that to the sound  of an electronic piano.  The hymn list is very similar to that of the other collection.  The site includes resources, such as a tutorial for using these CDs with iTunes on a computer and transferring them to a portable device such as an iPod.  You can listen to sample music continuously as you browse the site.  I can connect you with a lay pastor who has used these.

3. The third–and by far the most expensive–option is the CD Hymnal which offers 250 hymns on a set of ten CDs.  The arrangements are orchestrated and more complex than those of options 1 and 2.  You can hear a variety of instrumental sounds.  They are enjoyable to listen to, but they might overwhelm a small congregation for singing.   Samples play as you browse the site.  The set comes with a book of words and a Powerpoint Presentation CD.  You can also order these individually, and a sampler CD is available.  This set includes some contemporary selections that are not available in the other two collections, such as “Great is the Lord,” “Majesty,” and “Sweet, Sweet Spirit.”  Disc Ten is all Advent, Christmas and Epiphany music.  You can order from the publisher.  The price on the site is $299.00 plus shipping/handling.  Cokesbury offers this set for $239.99, but was listed as out of stock on November 28, 2011.

For most small church situations I would recommend option 1 or 2.  However, if you want an orchestrated sound and can afford it, you could go with option 3.


For more small church music resources, see this post on hymnpod.com and this one on smallchurchmusic.com.

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