Where do you go to find instrumental music?
Christian music has continued to diversify over the past three decades. There are many music resources available for the modern church. There are thousand of songs to evaluate. Decades ago all you needed to know was which numbers you were singing from in the hymnal. Today a hymnal is outdated before it reaches the printing press.
Publishers have adapted to the changing world. More and more sites offer full previews of both a printed score and recording to their music. Many offer digital downloads so you don't need to wait on shipping. Self-publishers have emerged, and today there are dozens of resources for the church musician. This page will list and summarize the various resources available today.
The Major Publishers
There are several active publishers. I have listed these in no particular order and include a brief summary of each.
- They have one of the largest instrumental libraries
- Word Choral Club
- One of the mainstays of church music.
- Prism Music
- Check out their Cutting Edge Worship series for a fresh take on hymns.
- Camp Kirkland's Gloryland Band series is available here.
Distributors and Others
There are still a few music distributors.
- Excellent music distributor.
- You can view and order music from most publishers through JWPepper
- Kempke Music
- One of the few distributors that will still 3-hole punch octavos.
- They often have excellent discounts for churches.
- Hal Leonard
- Better known for their resources for music educators.
- One of the two main sources for "pops" music.
- Unfortunately, not every piece will have a sample recording or score. The site has improved over time.
- Alfred Publishing
- Has a smaller library of "pops" music than Hal Leonard, but there are many quality arrangement to be found.
- Very similar to Hal Leonard. Both websites have some challenges when navigating.
- Eighth Note Publishing
- Popular distributor for music education and college music.
- Not the easiest website to use. Disappointing lack of sample recordings or scores.
Many active arrangers also self-publish.
- Richard Kingsmore - https://richardkingsmore.com/
- One of the most active writers for church instrumental music
- The NextGen Orchestra series
- Steve Dunn - http://sdunnmusic.com/
- His pieces are always fascinating and often offer a unique perspective.
- David Winkler - https://www.davidwinkler.com/
- David intentionally writes to make music accessible to the church musician.
- Dan Goeller - http://dangoellermusic.com/
- Dan has many fantastic arrangements for both choir and orchestra. His writing is more on the "sacred" spectrum. He is a master at warm, lyrical pieces.
- Jeff Cranfil - https://www.jeffcmusic.com/
- Tim Cates - http://timcatesmusic.com/
- Jeff Anderson - http://www.anderkampmusic.com/