Frequently Asked Questions

How can I help?

  • Send us Christ­ian hymns in Ar­a­bic or in In­di­an lang­uag­es. This is a long stand­ing need; your help will bless mill­ions!
  • Help us find pic­tures of hymn­ists, trans­lat­ors & com­pos­ers (click here for list of pic­tures we’re seek­ing).
  • Pub­li­cize our ad­dress in In­ter­net mail­ing lists, news groups, church news­letters, re­li­gious ma­ga­zines, lo­cal news­pa­pers, re­li­gious broad­casts, etc.
  • Link to us from your church & per­son­al Web sites.
  • Pray that God will con­tin­ue to show us His will for this site.

God bless you for your sup­port!

Why don’t I hear music? Try this checklist:

  • Is the mu­sic lack­ing on all pages, or just spe­ci­fic pag­es? If only on a few pag­es, let us know—the prob­lem might be in the page it­self.
  • Do you have a sound card & speak­ers?
  • Are the speak­ers plugged in?
  • If the speak­ers need bat­ter­ies, are they in­stalled? Are they fresh?
  • Is the vol­ume turned up? Is the sound mut­ed? Check the speak­er dials & any soft­ware which con­trols vol­ume.
  • Do you have an old­er sound board? If so, en­sure you have the latest driv­ers. You can oft­en down­load these from the man­u­fac­tur­er’s Web site.
  • Try playing a MI­DI file off-line (that is, while not con­nect­ed to the In­ter­net). Most com­put­ers come with samp­le MIDI files you can use; if not, down­load one of ours & save it on disk. If you can’t play MIDI files off­line, the prob­lem is in your com­put­er.
  • Other soft­ware may be chang­ing the sys­tem mix­er vol­ume set­tings. New­er ver­sions of Mi­cro­soft In­ter­net Ex­plor­er & Me­dia Playe­r can cause this; other au­dio play­ers are al­so guilty of this be­hav­ior. Un­der Win­dows, you can fix this as fol­lows:
    • Click the Win­dows Start button
    • Select Run
    • Enter Sndvol32.exe & press En­ter (it might be a good idea to cre­ate a short­cut on your deskt­op or task bar to save this short­cut).
    • Adjust the MIDI vol­ume slid­er un­til you can hear the mu­sic.

    Unfortunately, the prob­lem may re­cur, so re­peat these steps if the mu­sic goes si­lent again lat­er.

Sorry, we can’t di­ag­nose prob­lems long dis­tance. If you still can’t hear the music, please see your lo­cal tech­ni­cian.

Why do I see strange things like ­, … and extra hyphens? If you’re seeing these char­ac­ters, your brows­er isn’t "HTML compliant" (that is, it doesn’t meet the international standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium). To fix the problem, update or switch your browser.

Why is the text/font hard to read? Our site doesn’t spe­ci­fy a par­ti­cu­lar font for Eng­lish text (see next ques­tion for other lang­uag­es). Your brows­er picks the font, so if it’s hard to read, you’ll have to blame your browser.

Why does the text in [lang­uage xyz] show strange char­ac­ters or rec­tang­les? There can be two caus­es for this prob­lem:

  1. Your com­put­er doesn’t have a font that knows how to dis­play the “miss­ing” char­ac­ters. For ex­am­ple, the de­fault font used by Mi­cro­soft In­ter­net Explorer (MSIE) for Greek text un­der Win­dows XP is “Times New Ro­man,” which can dis­play some, but not all Greek char­ac­ters & di­a­cri­ti­cal marks. We’ve found the free font “Gen­ti­um” to be good a re­place­ment for Times New Ro­man in the case of Greek. For other lan­guag­es, brows­ers & op­er­a­ting sys­tems, you can find fonts via In­ter­net search en­gines.
  2. If the prob­lem per­sists even when the cor­rect font is in­stalled, your brows­er is prob­ab­ly ig­nor­ing the font. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, the mere pre­sence of a font on your sys­tem does not guar­an­tee your brows­er will use it. Our site gives font hints to brows­ers for lang­uag­es with non-La­tin al­pha­bets, but some brows­ers don’t bo­ther check­ing these hints (MSIE be­ing one of the of­fend­ers). How­ev­er, ma­ny brows­ers let you ex­pli­cit­ly choose the fonts to use for par­ti­cu­lar lan­guag­es. For in­stance, with MSIE, choose Tools-In­tern­et Opt­ions-Fonts (though ev­en this doesn’t al­ways work). Fire­fox seems to read our font hints cor­rect­ly. For other brows­ers, please con­sult the help file or ask a com­put­er sup­port tech­ni­cian.

Why are some in­dex en­tries low­er case? Low­er case ent­ries in­di­cate an al­ter­nate ti­tle, pseu­do­nym, etc.

Is there an in­dex of hymns by date writ­ten, by author birth/death dates, etc.? Sorry, no. We don’t have the re­sources to cre­ate or main­tain such in­dex­es.

Why is the back­ground mis­sing on some pag­es? Why is the title or introductory text not centered on some pages? Your brows­er doesn’t ful­ly sup­port style sheets. You need to up­date your brows­er. For example, both Firefox 2 & Internet Explorer 7 center these sections correctly.

Why don’t you have my fa­vo­rite hymn, xxxxxx? If it’s a re­cent work, it’s prob­ab­ly co­py­righ­ted. Click here to see fre­quent­ly re­quest­ed hymns in that ca­te­gory. Al­so, if the ti­tle starts with “A,” “An,” or “The,” it’s in­dexed un­der the next word (that is, the in­dex­es ig­nore these short words at the be­gin­ning of ti­tles).

Why are some lyrics dif­fer­ent than those in our hymna­l? Our sourc­es may have been dif­fer­ent than those your hymn­al used. His­tor­ic­al­ly, hymn­al com­pil­ers have tak­en lib­er­ties with lyr­ics, ar­range­ments, etc., caus­ing the (usually minor) differences you see. Even we sometimes make small changes to lyrics, though we keep such mod­i­fi­ca­tions to an ab­so­lute min­i­mum. The most com­mon rea­son is to make ar­cha­ic vo­cab­u­lary, spell­ing, or gram­mar clear­er to those whose pri­ma­ry lang­uage is not Eng­lish (due to the world wide reach of the In­te­rnet). How­ev­er, we don’t un­der­take such chang­es light­ly, & make our best ef­fort to re­tain the orig­in­al po­e­try.

How do you choose the tunes? We nor­mal­ly use the tune found in the source where we found the lyr­ics. If the source doesn’t as­sign a tune, we pick one that seems to fit best (this is rare, though; the tune we use is al­most al­ways in a pub­lished hymn­al).

Why don’t you list tune xxx as an al­ter­nate for hymn xxx? Our al­ter­nate tune lists are not ex­haust­ive, & due to time & space con­straints, prob­ab­ly ne­ver will be. We simp­ly give some that we have seen pub­lished in var­i­ous mu­si­cal tra­di­tions. Al­so, please real­ize that what’s con­sid­ered a "well known" tune in one de­nom­in­a­tion is oft­en vir­tu­al­ly un­known else­where.

I found tune xxx in the “Tunes by Name” in­dex, but when I go to the in­di­cat­ed page, a diff­er­ent tune plays. This can hap­pen if the tune is not the pri­ma­ry tune on any of our hymn pag­es. In this case, the in­dex points to a page where it is an al­ter­nate tune.

Can you ident­i­fy the people & scenes in the the pic­tures? Usu­al­ly, but not al­ways, the au­thor of the lyr­ics is on the left, & the com­pos­er of the mu­sic is on the right. How­ev­er, this is some­times re­versed, de­pend­ing which way the pic­tures face. To see which is which, let the mouse point­er ling­er over the pic­ture, & the cap­tion will display. If it doesn’t, up­grade to a more mod­ern brows­er. Most brows­ers al­so let you see the cap­tions when you print the page, or do a “print preview.”

Why do some por­traits have gold-col­ored bor­ders? This is our way of re­cog­niz­ing the con­tri­bu­tions of peo­ple who have have pub­lished one or more works on hymn­ol­o­gy or the stu­dy of church mu­sic (hymn­als & song books don’t count for this pur­pose).

Do you have high re­so­lu­tion ver­sions of pic­tures? Sor­ry—the on­line imag­es are the on­ly ones avail­a­ble.

How can I get the lyr­ics? Feel free to cut & paste any pub­lic do­main lyr­ics di­rect­ly from the screen. We don’t main­tain a lyr­ics ar­chive or da­ta­base, due to lack of time.

How can I get the sheet mu­sic? We don’t pub­lish or sell music; the ma­ter­i­al on this site is from our hymn­al col­lect­ion. Most of it is out of print, so if you want a pa­per co­py, check used book stores or flea mark­ets. Or, you can simp­ly print the score.

How can I tell where the mu­sic came from? The score files show the sources.

Where’s the sheet music? What are the “NWC” files I get when I click the score link? These are Note­Wor­thy Com­pos­er files. See our Down­loads page for fur­ther de­tails.

Why don’t you use open source mu­sic no­ta­tion soft­ware in­stead of a com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tion? Though open source soft­ware would be ideal, we’ve not found any that is both quick & based on in­ter­na­tion­al stand­ards. For ex­am­ple, we looked at Li­ly­Pond, but found its text ed­it­or in­put me­thod far too time con­sum­ing. For us to use open source soft­ware, it would need to meet these re­quire­ments:

  1. It must have a graph­ic­al in­ter­face that can run on ma­ny op­er­at­ing systems (Ja­­va might be a good choice).
  2. It must use a file for­mat en­dorsed by the In­ter­na­tion­al Stand­ards Org­an­i­za­tion (ISO) or the World Wide Web Con­sor­ti­um (XML, for in­stance).
  3. It must be able to im­port mul­ti­ple score files from other ap­pli­ca­tions. For ex­am­ple, we cur­rent­ly have thou­sands of files in Note­Wor­thy Com­pos­er for­mat, & would need a way to con­vert all of them at once (as op­posed to one at a time).

If such an open source ap­pli­ca­tion ex­ist­ed (or were de­vel­oped), we would de­fin­ite­ly con­sid­er it.

Why don’t you use Port­a­ble Do­cu­ment For­mat (PDF) files for the scores? PDF files are much larg­er than Note­Wor­thy Com­pos­er files. PDF’s are ad­e­quate for small num­bers of files, but for the large num­ber of scores in this site, PDF’s would use too much stor­age space & band­width.

How can I view the score files on a Mac­in­tosh? Since Note­Wor­thy Com­pos­er (a Win­dows pro­gram) is re­quired to open the score files, Mac­in­tosh users would need em­u­la­tion soft­ware that can run Win­dows pro­grams. Or, on new­er Mac­in­tosh ma­chines, you ran run the Win­dows operating system directly.

Why don’t you have more con­temp­o­ra­ry music? Co­py­rights. We can’t post co­py­right­ed ma­ter­i­al with­out the co­py­right hold­er’s per­mis­sion, & we simp­ly don’t have the time to pur­sue per­mis­sion for all the co­pyright­ed ma­ter­ial out there. If there are fa­vor­ite hymns you’d like to see on­line, please get the co­py­right holder’s writ­ten per­mis­sion be­fore con­tact­ing us. Our Pop­ul­ar Hymns page has a list of co­py­right­ed ma­terial peo­ple oft­en re­quest. Bot­tom line: please do your home­work.

When I click the link for an al­ter­nate tune, I get an er­ror mes­sage, or hear no­thing. Dif­fe­rent mu­sic might al­rea­dy be play­ing. Press your brows­er’s Stop but­ton to term­in­ate the mu­sic, then click the tune link again.

Why does the mu­sic stop after one verse? We have to blame your brows­er for this one. Both Mi­cro­soft® In­ter­net Ex­plo­rer & Net­scape® Nav­i­gat­or play the mu­sic con­tin­u­ous­ly. If you want to hear mu­sic for more than one verse, con­sid­er us­ing one of these brows­ers.

Why does the mu­sic sound chop­py? You might have an out­dat­ed soft­ware driv­er for your sound board, or other programs may be “steal­ing clock cy­cles.” We re­com­mend clos­ing other pro­grams when list­en­ing to mu­sic.

Why does the mu­sic sound tin­ny/like a harp­si­chord/weird? You prob­ab­ly have an out­dated soft­ware driv­er, or a low qual­i­ty sound board/speak­ers. It’s prob­ab­ly worth some time to fix the prob­lem. With the right set­up, your sound should be almost CD-qual­i­ty.

Why is the mu­sic so fast/slow? Speed is large­ly a mat­ter of per­son­al taste. If you want to change the tem­po, you can down­load NoteWorthy Composer & create a MI­DI file to suit your needs.

How do I de­com­press the ar­chived ZIP files? You need an UNZIP utility.

Where can I get MI­DI files for other types of mu­sic? There are many Web sites spe­cial­iz­ing in MIDI. Try look­ing on a search en­gine like Google.

Can you show gui­tar chords? Sorry, we don’t have that cap­a­bil­i­ty. But there are other Web sites that spe­cial­ize in wor­ship mu­sic played by gui­tar.

Why can’t I tell Au­to­play the num­ber of times to play the tune, instead of the length of time? This is due to a lack of sup­port in the Hy­per­text Mark­up Lang­uage (HTML) used on the World Wide Web. We en­cour­age us­ers to con­tact the World Wide Web Consortium & let them know about this con­cern. The more peo­ple they hear from, the more like­ly they are to fix the prob­lem in fu­ture ver­sions of HTML.

Why isn’t my re­gion in your coun­try list? Our cri­ter­ia is that an area must have a coun­try code, as de­fined by the In­ter­na­tion­al Or­gan­i­za­tion for Stand­ard­iz­a­tion, to be on the list.

Our Web site links to the Cy­ber Hymn­al. Can you tell us when your pages change, so we can up­date our links? Sadly, no, due to lack of time. But our Re­cent Ad­di­tions page lists the new ma­ter­i­al we put on­line.

Do you have any fam­i­ly his­to­ry on the au­thors or com­pos­ers? This type of data is outside our scope. We re­com­mend you vi­sit one of the ma­ny of gen­e­al­o­gy sites on the Web.

Can I down­load your en­tire site? There are ma­ny prog­rams on the In­ter­net to down­load en­tire Web sites. For the pag­es on our site which have re­strict­ive co­py­right no­tic­es, you should ob­tain per­mis­sion from the co­py­right own­er.

Is your site avail­a­ble on CD-ROM? Afraid not. As a low budget pri­vate site, we don’t have time to run a pub­lish­ing bus­i­ness. Main­tain­ing this site is a full time job.

Can I play your music on a re­gu­lar CD player? Not di­rec­tly, but with some ef­fort & the right software you could con­vert the MIDI files to MP3 for­mat, then “burn” them onto a CD. You might see if your con­gre­ga­tion­ has a will­ing & able teen­ag­er, as that age group of­ten has ex­perience in CD cre­a­tion.

Who are you? What’s your de­nom­in­a­tion? This is a pri­vate Web site, do­ing our best to ad­vance God’s king­dom, us­ing the tools He gives us. We be­long to the same de­nom­in­a­tion as Je­sus: “Christ­ian.”