Just curious - church music

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
User avatar
wrigjef
Member
Posts: 396
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Contact:

Just curious - church music

Postby wrigjef » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:26 am

I can understand that if all the rights were not in place at the time that the church hymns app came out, that certain songs would not have music included? I do wonder though if anyone is working on getting those rights or wavers so they can be included. I can understand how things can not be in place because they slipped through the cracks but I can't imagine anyone actively "holding back" right to sheet music for a church hymn.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20778
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: Just curious - church music

Postby russellhltn » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:40 am

wrigjef wrote:but I can't imagine anyone actively "holding back" right to sheet music for a church hymn.

Some of the hymns are not written by LDS church members.

And it may not be a case of "holding back" as it is at a licensing cost that's too high for a app that's not limited to members only.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 6148
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Re: Just curious - church music

Postby lajackson » Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:45 pm

wrigjef wrote:I can't imagine anyone actively "holding back" right to sheet music for a church hymn.

The copyright to some hymns does not belong to the Church. I do not know the details of all of them, but I do know that in the case of one particular hymn, the Church pays 4 cents for every copy of the hymn it publishes. That means printed programs, hymn books, everything.

It is possible that a similar arrangement applies to other copyrighted hymns, or that the Church was able to work an agreement for hymnbook publication. Those agreements would be more difficult to work for an app.

Yes, some authors and composers do charge for the right to their church hymns. It is a big business area for some.

User avatar
mfmohlma
Senior Member
Posts: 784
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Hillsboro, OR

Re: Just curious - church music

Postby mfmohlma » Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:16 pm

As someone who is related to musicians who have spent countless hours creating and refining music for others to use, remember that someone had to write the music that we sing. It does not come "free". What may seem like restrictive license requirements are sometimes the only way a musician can make money (and feed his/her family) and be compensated for their work.

That being said, there are many musicians who have graciously given up or shared their copyright so that we may enjoy the music they have composed. To them I am grateful, but I also do not copmplain when I have to pay for copies of music that I intend to enjoy or use.

User avatar
sbradshaw
Senior Member
Posts: 2501
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Provo, UT
Contact:

Re: Just curious - church music

Postby sbradshaw » Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:19 pm

Some of the hymns aren't even owned/managed by the original authors or composers, either. There are music companies that hold rights to the songs, or specific arrangements of the songs.

As a project manager for the LDS Music Content LDSTech project, I can tell you that the church has indeed been working hard for the past several months to get rights for as many songs as possible, in as many languages as possible, too. There have been recent efforts. There are still a few that can't be included.

pahollow
Member
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:48 pm

Re: Just curious - church music

Postby pahollow » Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:08 am

I have been asked in the Windows Gospel Library forum to post this here:

viewtopic.php?f=141&t=20818#

Maybe the Church could allow the copyrighted Hymns to be available as a download for a small fee. We pay for Hymnbooks so it seems reasonable to group the unpublished "eHymns" and a small fee charged. Mine was the first post under pahollow:

Is there a timeframe for copyright Hymns being included in GL for example #86 "How Great Thou Art" et al? The listing says, "...due to licencing restrictions... Also, is there a reason why Hymn number 342 "Advance Australia Fair" is not included" it is odd in both cases that we have to pick up hard copy Hymnbooks in these few instances.

When I asked about Copyright a few years ago, I as told LDS lawyers we working on it! I know legal systems are slow but this surely this must be some kind of record (although a home teaching app may be a close second.

On the matter of inserts such as local national anthems, I was told there was no problem with inclusion at all but still it is not there. Maybe this is the wrong forum but you know "enquiring minds..."

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20778
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: Just curious - church music

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:46 am

pahollow wrote:Maybe this is the wrong forum but you know "enquiring minds..."

The problem is the forum is primarily user-to-user. The people you need to reach don't visit. I'd suggest using the Feedback link on the main lds.org site. I doubt if you'll receive a timely response, but it will get into the system and routed to someone.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

User avatar
sbradshaw
Senior Member
Posts: 2501
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Provo, UT
Contact:

Re: Just curious - church music

Postby sbradshaw » Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:04 pm

pahollow wrote:Also, is there a reason why Hymn number 342 "Advance Australia Fair" is not included" it is odd in both cases that we have to pick up hard copy Hymnbooks in these few instances. ... On the matter of inserts such as local national anthems, I was told there was no problem with inclusion at all but still it is not there. Maybe this is the wrong forum but you know "enquiring minds..."

Is the Australian national anthem included in Australian-printed copies of the hymnbook? I'd never heard of that. My hymnbook ends at 341 with "God Save the King".

The problem with including a few national anthems is that you are expected to include all of them. If it were up to me, I wouldn't include any at all. There are two potential problems with including national anthems:

1) Some national anthems may not fit in as well with the gospel message (take, for example, France's national anthem which talks about blood and war, which was in the previous edition of the French hymnbook but has since been removed). Should we be glorifying war in a hymnbook? Or encouraging thoughtless pride?

2) It would be unrealistic to include all national anthems. In the English hymnbook, you'd have to include the national anthems for Great Britain, England, Wales, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand... and that's just in the English hymnbook.

Some national anthems or patriotic songs are included at the end of the English, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, and Thai hymnbooks.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

User avatar
sbradshaw
Senior Member
Posts: 2501
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Provo, UT
Contact:

Re: Just curious - church music

Postby sbradshaw » Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:32 pm

Sister Bastian, head of the music department, has responded to some emails in the past about the hymns that aren't included for copyright reasons. I hope she doesn't mind her response being included here as I feel it would be helpful:

From April 2012:
Diane R. Bastian wrote:[W]e have painstakingly worked to receive permission to use music and texts from the 1985 hymnbook. Some requests were denied, and some wanted us to count views, or pay a yearly or exorbitant fee. We’ve chosen not to publish those.

The only hymn texts used on the music app or on the Church music web site are those we’ve gotten permission to use and done IP reports on. Many of the hymn texts are public domain, and may be published freely. Others are Church-owned, and the mechanical rights to others are owned by the composers.

From October 2013, on the LDS Music for iOS project mailing list:
Diane R. Bastian wrote:
Mike Klingler wrote: Does anyone know if the church has done anymore on making the musical scores available for those songs currently with copyright issues? I have suggested before, the possibility of an in-app purchase to pay something for those songs that have copyright issues. I'd be happy to pay a little something to have all of the Hymns available. Or maybe you could do a free version of the app and a purchased one, that is similar in price to purchasing an actual hymn book to cover the cost of royalties to the copyright holders so that all the music would be available.

We decided with the change in the music web site last year, we would petition again for the digital rights to those pieces that had been denied in the past. Those we chose not to include in the 2004 version of our web site fell into 3 categories:
  • They wanted exorbitant fees or huge yearly fees
  • They wanted us to pay per download
  • They categorically denied us use.
We did pay some one-time fees, and are willing to consider reasonable fees, but not pay per download or exorbitant fees. We’re actually more open to paying some fees than before, and have written the necessary permission letters. [...]

We did contact all copyright owners before launching the web site in 2004, and have again this year. We are doing everything we can to make these pieces available.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 6148
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Re: Just curious - church music

Postby lajackson » Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:12 pm

sbradshaw wrote:Is the Australian national anthem included in Australian-printed copies of the hymnbook? I'd never heard of that. My hymnbook ends at 341 with "God Save the King".

Hymn "342" (or the last number in the book) has been reserved for national anthems or other patriotic songs of other countries that are deemed appropriate by priesthood leaders. And yes, in some countries they are published as part of the book. In others, they are an insert that may be added.


Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest