Frequently Asked Questions
How can I help?
God bless you for your support!
Why don’t I hear music? Try this checklist:
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:
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.
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:
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.”