Technical Details

The format of choice is the ABC Plus format, favored by folk music distributors on the internet. All scores will also be converted into pdf, MIDI, and mp3 formats. Some advanced features of ABC Plus are used, and for accurate translation to a printed score, please consider using abcm2ps version 4.12 or later. Note that a bug has crept into recent versions of abcm2ps which causes grief for the Open Hymnal files. For now, please use version 5.2.0 or earlier.


The maintainer of the Open Hymnal Project is Brian J. Dumont (editor at openhymnal dot org). I have gone through serious efforts to make sure that no copyright mistake makes it into this database. If I am in error, please inform me as soon as possible. This entire effort has used only free software, and I am indebted to the efforts of many other individuals, including the authors of the various ABC and ABC Plus software. Undoubtedly, I am also indebted to all of the great Christians who wrote these hymns.

This database comes with no guarantees whatsoever.

I would love to get email from anyone who uses the Open Hymnal, and I will take requests for hymns to add. My decision of whether to add a hymn will be based on these criteria (in the following order):
  1. It must be in the public domain or freely distributable
  2. It must be a Christian piece
  3. Whether I have access to a printed copy of the music (surprisingly, a MIDI file is usually a terrible source)
  4. Whether I like the hymn :)

If you would like to contribute to the Open Hymnal Project, please send an email to me, I would love the help! PLEASE EMAIL ME IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES, no matter how small. I want to ensure that every slur, stem, hyphenation, and punctuation mark is correct; and I'm sure that there must be mistakes right now.