Hymnary.org: A Comprehensive Index of Hymns and Hymnals

By Smith, Lindy | Notes, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Hymnary.org: A Comprehensive Index of Hymns and Hymnals


Smith, Lindy, Notes


Hymnary.org: a comprehensive index of hymns and hymnals. [Grand Rapids MI]: Calvin College, 2007-. www.hymnary.org/ (Accessed April--May 2012). [Requires a Web browser and an Internet connection. Pricing: free.]

Hymnary (1) is a free online resource that provides a searchable database of over one million hymn tunes and texts. The project is hosted by Calvin College's Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) (2) and currently has a staff of six as well as an editorial board. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and cooperation with the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada has allowed for the incorporation of the Dictionary ot North American Hymnology as well as the addition of half a million scanned hymnal pages to the database. I Hymnary was designed for use by two distinct audiences: church musicians and hymnology researchers, though there are certainly additional potential applications by other types of users. Users can set up free accounts that allow them to create libraries of hymnals to search within and participate in forum discussions, but it is not necessary for general searching.

On the homepage, there is a -basic search box that searches all database fields. Results from this search are divided by Hymnary's five categories (Text, Tune, Hymn, Person, and Hymnal), but this faceting is not always helpful, as a search for a general term like "love," for example, brings back tens of thousands of results in some of those categories. This method of searching is most useful if the user has either no idea of where to start or a very specific topic. Search results will also display in another category called Products, which is essentially an online store. Hymnary is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and this arrangement helps fund the project and keeps it free for users. There is also advertising on some pages. These commercial aspects of the site are mildly intrusive at worst.

For more advanced searching there is a set of customizable advanced search boxes in the left margin on every page of the site. The default search fields are Text Name, Tune Name, Person Name, Hymnal, Number, Topics, and Scripture, but a drop-down menu allows for the addition of more fields, like Meter, Incipit, Year Written, Publication Date, and Publication Place. To search in the Incipit field, users should input the beginning of the tune using numbers to indicate scale degrees. For example, the tune New Britain (commonly known as Amazing Grace) would be listed as follows: 5131321,65. In addition to the search fields listed above, users can choose to display their results in only one of the five database categories. If only one field is searched, the database selects the result type automatically (a search by text name will return results in the Text display, and so on) but this feature could be useful if the user is searching multiple fields simultaneously. The database creates a new sticky identifier field after a selection has been made from search results. A user can then narrow down the results by using other fields but if one wants to start an entirely new search, one needs to either clear the content from that field or return to the homepage to clear all fields. Search results for a particular text or tune direct the user to an authority page that allows fir exploration of related tunes or texts, media, as well as information about the text or tune like author, composer, meter, key, date, and language. One difficulty I have found in searching is that there does not seem to be a way to effectively search for a particular scripture passage. The database does not allow one to search by verse, only by chapter. The search omits colons, making it impossible to use the standard convention for verse identification. The advanced searching tips do not address this and my own experimentations with syntax were unsuccessful. The only option seems to be to search by chapter and then browse through pages until the desired passage is found. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Hymnary.org: A Comprehensive Index of Hymns and Hymnals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.