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LifeWay unveils digital music innovation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–LifeWay Worship unveiled the next generation in digital music Feb. 5 in Nashville, introducing “SongMap” to Christian and mainstream music industry executives, worship and music ministers, and government and civic leaders. It will be available for public use Feb. 9.

SongMap is the first Web-based technology that enables users to choose specific sections of songs -– such as verses, choruses and transitions — in the keys they prefer and then download sheet music and audio files of the custom arrangements. The technology was developed to meet the needs of worship leaders who want more ease and flexibility arranging songs for church services.

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 Nashville history.

Using the Web-based application, anyone can 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.”

“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,” said Mike Harland, director of LifeWay Worship. “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. In doing so, we created a new music technology that does what no other technology has done before.”

SongMap joins other resources of the LifeWay Worship Project, a groundbreaking set of new products that includes the Baptist Hymnal and The Worship Hymnal, released in 2008, along with PowerPoint presentations, video and audio files, and sheet music.

SongMap was designed for use by anyone with an Internet browser, Harland said. Users simply register free of charge at www.lifewayworship.com. The cost to “map” a song — choose segments to create customized print music and accompaniment tracks — ranges from $1.49 to $1.99 per track (keyboard, guitar, etc.). Once a song is purchased, the user has immediate access to the corresponding MP3 file and sheet music, and the custom file is stored in the user’s online media library for future use.

LifeWay Worship is a unit of LifeWay Christian Resources, the Nashville-based publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Reported by the communications office of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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