Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Parish Book of English Hymns, alpha release

What people know is that Catholics have a slight problem in finding a good hymnbook. The trouble with attempting to produce a really high quality one usually comes down to issues of copyright, permissions, royalties, and the like. What people do not know is that most of the best Catholic hymns in English are part of the commons of the faith and belong to everyone, that is, there is nothing to restrict the publication of them in a good hymnbook. Until now, however, it has been difficult to know what is and what is not part of the commons.

For this reason, the CMAA has put together an alpha release of the Parish Book of English Hymns. It is our working page for the production of a new hymnal with only English hymns. And yes, the page includes all important provisos: hymns should never replace propers. Perhaps 75% of the hymns here are already put in clean PDF downloads, thanks to the work of Jonathan Eason and Noel Jones. They really could use some help from others. Information for contacting them is on the page, along with a Finale template.

Already, however, the page can be useful. My own parish used one last week. We put it in the program and sang it and it was wonderful.

Your comments are most certainly welcome as we embark on this new adventure in creative commons publishing.

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