Plato said, "Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and charm and gaiety to life and everything in it."
With a vision to bring the music of the gospel to enlighten individuals and families, the Church on Nov. 28 launched and updated a portion of the lds.org website dedicated to music. Find it at lds.org/music.
"One of the most popular things on the website is the interactive music player," said Diane Bastian, Church music manager. "It now has better sound and new features." The new version is great at transposing music. If you need a hymn in a higher or lower key, the player can play it, and you can print out the new version for performing. If you want to practice your part for a choir performance, you can play your part alone or at a higher volume with the other parts. Play songs for family home evening or learn new hymns. The new music player requires Flash and will not work on some mobile devices without additional software.
Another popular aspect of the site is the ability to download Church hymns and songs to your computer or mobile device. These can be accessed through the music library, a huge combination of music playlists that allow downloads to take place. Lyrics and sheet music can also be downloaded. For example, the Liahona collection lets visitors see and print music in many languages from published magazine pages dating back to 1990. Playlists and downloads are available in Spanish, Portuguese, French and English.
For those who have a music calling, the site is an excellent resource. Learn how to conduct music or play a keyboard or organ by taking courses complete with multimedia examples. Choir directors have access to a library of music that can be used without cost. The entire "Savior of the World" music can be downloaded complete with ideas on stage production and costumes. A question-and-answer section rounds out this portion of the site with guidelines on such things as standing for national anthems or performing popular LDS-themed music for sacrament meetings.
"All the music on the site is searchable by text, title, composer, number, topic or even scripture," said Sister Bastian. "This includes children's music, hymns and all other music collections." The library has music from the hymn book, Children's Songbook, Church magazines, seminaries and more.
The future of the Church music site is exciting. There are plans to continue adding content well into future. There will be more language support, new music and more submissions from members of the Church. President Thomas S. Monson said, "Music can help you draw closer to your Heavenly Father. It can be used to educate, edify, inspire and unite" (Ensign, May 2010, p. 66).