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Where to find music

I have restarted a smalll choir of approximately 16 to 20 members and the church doesn't have a budget set aside at this time to allow the purchase of music so I would like to find a site that allows for me to download digitally and then make copies as needed.
We have a copyright along with a rehersal lincease.
Along with directing this group, I am also accompianing the choir so it would help if the selections are not real complicated so that I can play and direct as needed.
Thank you for your assistnace.
on March 17, 2016 12:42pm
St james music press has a bargain for those of us who need church music of quality, but have limited or meager budgets.  For an annual fee of $140. you can download and print as many copies of as many pieces on their website as you wish. The selection is vast and includes music for brass, handbells, various voicings for choir, children's choir, etc.  Most of the repertoire is traditional with organ or piano accompaniment or unaccompanied. 
on March 17, 2016 2:28pm
Hi Clayton, 
Have you discovered yet?  It's massive.  Everything is either old enough that the copyright has expired so it can be legally downloaded for free, or has been put up by contemporary composers for free distribution to make more people aware of their work.  Either way, you can download scores and make as many copies as you need.  
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 18, 2016 2:51am
Also check my site out...we give away lots of unison sheet music, and the multi-part arrangments are $18-20.00 for unlimited copies. Not all of our songs are for church use, but they are definitely all appropriate and clean.
on March 18, 2016 8:14am
You might also want to take a look at Swirly Music. This site hosts the works of a large and growing roster of composers (full discolosure: including me) producing a wide variety of choral music: sacred, secular, all voice combinations, a cappella, accompanied (piano, organ, other instruments), available both as downloads and as printed choral octavos. There are also works in other genres from solo instrument or voice to chamber and symphonic pieces.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 18, 2016 10:35am
Hello Clayton,
As a composer, church musician and conductor, I am saddened to hear that your church does not have a budget for the purchase of music. I hope you will be able to change this backward looking attitude. On the one hand there may be ways to help your church raise funds for music purchase, such as a special concert put on expressly for such purposes, but if it is a general 'attitude' that the church has taken that is another problem altogether, and is all part and parcel of general church decline in North America. Generally speaking, every single piece of music that your choir sings has at one point been laboriously written by a hard working composer and librettist making his or living by doing so. When this process stops there goes good up-to-date music appropriate to the needs of 'today', whenever and whatever that is.
On the other hand, you mention having a "copyright along with a rehearsal license".  This is a step in the right direction, and implies your church in fact does have a budget for purchase of music, though for purchase of specific music.  (Perhaps you could explain this apparent contradiction). I’ll presume the “licenses” you have are the CCL (Church Copyright License) which allow for the use of specific songs that have been obtained from a few thousand publishers for CCL purposes- one for copying of written music (scores), and one for performed songs. However, it does not allow for “Photocopy or duplicate octavos, cantatas, musicals, handbell music, keyboard arrangements, vocal scores, orchestrations or other instrumental works” (From CCL regulations).  
It seems to me that if you have a CCL you have access to the music of some 3000 subscribing publishers. That’s a lot of music! Perhaps I do not understand your problem. If your license is not CCL, what does it allow?
on March 18, 2016 11:30am
Most of my choral music was written for a church choir of about your size. If you let me know what your forces are and what you're looking for (season, style, etc) I'd be happy to send you some of my compositions and arrangements, along with appropriate permissions.
Jim Davis
on March 19, 2016 5:57am
Where to find music? Desirably free. You can get it from me. Free of charge. A lot of  music. The only condition is that you should mention the source. Legislation of the USA is not applicable for Europe. Please use this opportunity. Any music any time.
on March 20, 2016 5:47am
Likewise me. I have compositions for small church choir, previously published and unpublished.
on March 20, 2016 8:01am
There is a large amount of choral and church music available in Google Books.  Go to and use Advance Search checking boxes for full view only and date between Jan 1600 and Dec 1922 (my understanding, and I'm not a lawyer so this isn't authoritative legal advice, is that materials printed before 1923 are in the public domain in the United States.) Then try out search terms like church music, hymn, hymnal, carols, chorus, or the names of older songs/hymns if the sort you are interested in.  It will take some experiementing, but eventually you should be able to find lots of material.
on March 20, 2016 3:03pm
You may be interested in  An operation in Great Britain which has been around for a few decades, it sells its own engravings of classical choral works, sometimes with separate instrumental parts where appropriate, not always with piano reductions of unaccompanied pieces, sometimes with translations of foreign texts, but consistently with a viewable .pdf of first pages.  The list is huge.  They sell and email to you the .pdf and include in that price (varies by size of work - quite reasonable, considering what buying published copies would cost) permission to print as many copies as you need.  They ask for the size of the group only for their records.  When I was conducting a church choir I used a large number of their renderings.  Some mistakes cropped up, but lately I've found more mistakes coming out of major publishers.
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