Worship Customizing Program Makes Web Debut

A revolutionary new resource made its public debut on the World Wide Web this week, opening new doors for Christian worship leaders and music lovers throughout the earth.

SongMap, the signature resource of the LifeWay Worship Project, became available for public use on Monday and is the first Web-based technology that enables users to download sheet music and audio files of custom arrangements in the keys they prefer and from the specific sections of the songs they select – such as verses, choruses and transitions.

"SongMap is the first technology that gives users the ability to change songs on the Internet to create the perfect moment in their worship service," announced Mike Harland, director of LifeWay Worship, in a press release.

"[W]e created a new music technology that does what no other technology has done before," added Harland, whose project was launched on the Web last October by LifeWay Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

According to LifeWay Worship, SongMap is the culmination of three years of work involving hundreds of specialists ranging from theologians to software engineers, 150 studio musicians, and the recording of more than 900 of the most loved church songs in just 10 months – the largest known recording project in the history Nashville, where LifeWay is based.

"Some churches need sheet music for a full rock band each week, while others rely solely on accompaniment tracks. We set out to find a way to help these churches create music that suits their congregations," Harland explained.

To use the program, users register for free at www.lifewayworship.com and then go in to customize music and download the sheet music and audio files for as little as $1.49. The selection of songs ranges from traditional hymns to contemporary worship songs, as well as such standards as "America the Beautiful."

Aside from SongMap, LifeWay Worship has released on its website products including the Baptist Hymnal and The Worship Hymnal, along with PowerPoint presentations, video and audio files, and sheet music.

Like SongMap, the resources were developed and made available to meet the needs of worship leaders who want more ease and flexibility arranging songs for church services.

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