Hymn Sets Project – Q&A

What are the advantages of this project?
  • The quality of the backing music is higher than can be achieved with MIDI music, and better than most of our existing backing tracks.
  • Only here do we offer vocals, though that will help you only if the lyrics we’ve used are acceptable to you.
  • The set for each hymn, lyrics, sheet music, backing track and vocals, all match each other, so you can use them as you wish with confidence.
What are the disadvantages of this project?
  • The backing tracks and vocal version are done using MP3 files.  Therefore the tempo and key are set.  MIDI files give complete flexibility in these areas, whereas MP3 files give very little flexibility in tempo (with quality loss) and no flexibility with key.  That is why my first focus with MyMIDI Worship Resources was with MIDI files – for flexibility.
  • The words that I have settled on are fixed in the vocal record.  They are also fixed in the lyrics and sheet music PDF files, but you could edit them if you have the tools.
What do I do with the download?

The download will result in a zip file on your computer.  Most browsers offer you a list of recent downloads, and they help you to locate the downloaded file.  Often it is into your “download” folder, but in some browsers you choose where it goes.  You then need to either “unzip” or “extract” the zip file to gain access to the files within.  Hopefully once you’ve done that you’ll be able to work out the rest.

Why are you doing only public domain hymns?

I have started with public domain hymns and songs because it dismisses the copyright complexity.  I can provide sheet music that I have arranged, lyrics, backing music and vocal performance however I like.  I may look into copyright songs further down the track, but I make no promises.  The existing plan is already extremely ambitious, and unless others join me in making it happen, it will dominate the foreseeable future.

Why have you used the “man” and “mankind” older language, rather than more recent options?

The very first trigger towards this project was nursing homes in COVID-19 lock-down.  It was therefore my choice from the outset to use the most traditionally well known version of the lyrics I could find.  There have been some exceptions already, but only where it won’t leave people feeling like the song has been changed from what they knew.

What about tunes to these songs that you’re not offering?

This is a tough topic, because so many of the old popular hymns are sung to many different tunes around the world.  I’m afraid it is going to be hit-and-miss, because covering them all is going to be out of the question.  If others offer to join me in this project, and I am very open to that possibility, then new possibilities will arise.  But for now, what we produce, we produce.  I apologise already, in the Christmas Carol collection, that I have done only one tune for “Away in a Manger”, and not both popular tunes.  That will be remedied, but I doubt it will be in time for Christmas 2021.

Any tips about getting the most out of the MP3 files?

The backing tracks and the singers have been arranged in stereo, so if there is any way for you to play them back in stereo, please do.  The quality of what you hear will be much higher.  That would be my only tip.

Why the guilt trip, saying it’s free then asking for donations?

I know this is something that happens quite a lot these days, but I don’t apologise for it.  I actually think it’s one of the more positive innovations of our time.   I am a full time minister for a growing local church in Australia.  My congregation allows me the freedom to pursue this, and people from my local church have come and spent hours with me, recording their vocals.  There is a very real cost to my local church for this project, and in a very real way I would like to be able to repay that, at least in part.  But it is not meant to be a guilt trip.  I do not want donations except where it can be afforded, but I do want everyone who uses these resources to see them as a blessing, to aid in the worship of our wonderful God.

Can I pass these resources on to others?

If you want to share this resource, please direct people here so they can download for themselves.  This project will grow, and if everyone comes here they can get the updates themselves.

What if I find a disagreement between the Lyrics and Sheet Music documents?

Please contact me through this website and tell me what you’ve found.  I’ve proof-read multiple times and people have sung from both, so there shouldn’t be any errors remaining.  But there’s always one.

How can I be involved in growing this project?

The main work to be done is in recording singers.  If you would like to be a contributing singer, or you would like to be a recorder of one or more singers where you are, then you should definitely contact me to discuss.  The two big things are 1) recordings have to be clean – no unwanted noise – and good quality, and 2) in handing over vocal recordings you hand over all rights to them. I would need any persons singing or recording to sign documents to that effect, in keep everyone safe into the future.  I don’t want to appear ungracious, but I do have to be careful.

RETURN to the project page.