Frequently Asked Questions

How are you able to provide audio samples of songs that are still in copyright?

For all copyright material on this site, use is covered either by a licence from PRS for Music,or through an individual agreement with each copyright holder. If you are a copyright holder who would like to discuss this further then please contact Mission and Discipleship.

Are you able to provide the lyrics for songs?

We are exploring the possibility of providing lyrics for songs that are out of copyright. Unfortunately it won’t be possible to do so for those which are still in copyright (copyright lasts for 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the author dies).

We sing some of these songs to different tunes, how can I share that with others?

Our starting point has been to record the tunes which are used in CH4. However, we are aware that there are many alternatives and often strong local traditions about which tune is sung for a particular text. You can search by metre (the number of syllables per line) to find alternative tunes for any text but we would also be very happy to hear about particular combinations which are used and which we may be able to add as specific suggestions at a later date. Please contact Mission and Discipleship with any suggestions.

How did you choose who to record for this website?

One of the aims of this project was to showcase the breadth of musical life across the Church of Scotland. While some of the recordings were made by professional musicians, the majority are of musicians in their local church where they lead worship every Sunday. We have aimed for groups of different sizes and from a wide geographical reach and around 400 different musicians were involved in the original recordings for this project. We have also made use of sampler CDs which were produced when CH4 was first released, recordings from the General Assembly with its unique sound, and albums from the Wild Goose Resource Group.

A group in my church has recorded some of these songs, can they be included on the website?

We are always happy to consider including recordings which model how to sing the songs well and show something different to the recordings already available. This would be at the discretion of Mission and Discipleship.

We don’t have a musician in our church, can you provide backing tracks for these songs?

Many churches have started to use backing tracks or midi machines as they struggle to find musicians who can play for them. There are already lots of these resources available and so we have not sought to replicate these but have instead produced a resource which people have told us they needed but which didn’t exist. For those churches who don’t have a musician we would also encourage them to look at alternatives which don’t rely on backing tracks and many of the recordings on this site model these. For example, singing a cappella (with voices only) was the tradition in both the Church of Scotland and in other countries for hundreds of years. There are also songs accompanied by different instruments from the ones you may be used to and you may find you have people living locally who don’t play organ/piano/guitar but would be happy to play for you. While either of these options may mean having to sing different songs, sit closer together, or to learn how to do things a bit differently, we believe they generally help create a more meaningful time of worship and are worth strongly considering instead of backing tracks or at least mixing and matching depending on the song. If you are from a Church of Scotland congregation looking for advice on this question, or to explore other options, please contact Mission & Discipleship who will be happy to have a chat with you about this.