Other Sources of LDS Music
Recent years have seen a significant increase in the amount and the quality of gospel-related works being produced by Church members in all the arts. The calibre of these artists and the availability of their art is simply unprecedented, and I attribute it to growing Church membership, encouragement from Church leaders, and advances in communication.
As far as music goes, thanks to increased bandwidth, and the general acceptance of the PDF and MP3 file formats, the Internet is now music’s newest friend. (Perhaps not the music executive’s newest friend, but that’s a question for another day.) I’ve listed some good places to start exploring, so happy surfing!
Sometimes you get what you pay for, especially when you’re paying a patient editor to review hundreds of submissions and separate the wheat from the chaff. (The occasional bit chaff of still slips past them). Some of these publishers will mail you the music, others will let you download it and print it yourself.
- Jackman Music, the largest publisher of LDS print music
- LDS Music Source (generally 85¢/copy)
- Providence Music Publishing (5 copies for about $10 = $2/copy)
- Aaron Waite ($2 per title, unlimited number of copies)
- Copy Pack Music (30 copies for $6 = 20¢/copy)
- Michelle Willis' LDS Hymn Arrangements (35 copies for $9 = 26¢/copy)
- Spire Music, major works by Rob Gardner
As you know, several people have made their work freely available to us on the web. Most of them can be found on Free LDS Sheet Music, which is the first place I check when I want to see if there’s a free arrangement available. I’ve also listed a few other ones that aren’t linked from that site.
Finally, a list of lists: other places that tell you where to go and how to get there. Whether you’re looking for Christian/LDS sheet music, recordings, concerts, or the info on your favorite artists you’ll probably find someone who offers it:
- LDS Composers Directory
- International Music Sore Library Project (IMSPL), a.k.a. Petrucci Music Library
- The Choral Public Domain Library
- Open Directory ...LDS/Arts/Music
- Open Directory ...LDS/Shopping/Music
Back to basics
If you’re looking specifically for a musical number for Church but still feel unsuccessful, then it might be time to dig through the hymnbook a bit deeper. Choirs are encouraged to “use the hymnbook as their basic resource” (Hymns, x), and there’s no reason to spend all day searching for a complicated solution when we already have a simple one at our fingertips.
You can enhance your hymnbook powers with the interactive music player on the Church music web site: it allows you to play and print the hymns and children’s songs in any key you need, so every song (or any verse of a song) can have as many sharps or flats as you want. Sweet! Maybe a new key signature is all you need to freshen up a standard number. (But be sure to warn your accompanist BEFORE the choir practice that the third verse of “I’ll go where you want me to go” will be sung in unison with five flats!)