The Small Church Music website was founded in the year 2006 by Clyde McLennan (1941-2022) an ordained Baptist Pastor. For 35 years, he served in smaller churches across New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. On some occasions he was also the church musician.
As a church organist, Clyde recognized it was often hard to find suitable musicians to accompany congregational singing, particularly in small churches, home groups, aged care facilities. etc. So he used his talents as a computer programmer and musician to create the Small Church Music website.
During retirement, Clyde recorded almost 15,000 hymns and songs that could be downloaded free to accompany congregational singing. He received requests to record hymns from across the globe and emails of support for this ministry from tiny churches to soldiers in war zones, and people isolating during COVID lockdowns.
TMJ Software worked with Clyde and hosted this website for him for several years prior to his passing. Clyde asked me to continue it in his absence. Clyde’s focus was to provide these recordings at no cost and that will continue as it always has. However, there will be two changes over the near to midterm.
To better manage access to the site, a requirement to create an account on the site will be implemented. Once this is done, you’ll be able to log-in on the site and download freely as you always have.
The second change will be a redesign and restructure of the site. Since the site has many pages this won’t happen all at once but will be implement over time.
All files on this site are available at no cost and can be downloaded freely. The only requirement to use this site is that you create an account. Once logged into your account, you’ll then be able to download as you always have.
There are several ways you can locate songs. The first is by using this search function.
Enter selection criteria (tune, part of first line, composer, author):
Small Church Music has approximately 14,891 public domain, mp3 music files that can be downloaded freely.
There are an additional 3775 copyrighted records that have been moved to this website and our now available here.
Here is the approximate breakdown:
With the wide variety of music in our churches, this site seeks to provide a number of recording styles:
Pipe Organ hymns suitable for traditional churches.
Piano. There are the un-emblished 'simple piano' and the embellished 'mainly piano' recordings which are suitable for playing in those churches which prefer a piano to the organ, or in small groups or home church environment.
Piano & Organ. These are the Organ recordings with a basic piano recording added. Very suitable for learning new hymns as the melody is clearer, and also in those churches that like the Organ sound as well.
Band. There are 'small band', 'swing band' and 'mainly piano' recordings. You can select the style that best suits your church needs. (Note: these band recordings are computer generated.)
Piano & Instrumental. Starting with the computer generated Band files, a midi file is generated, that is then played into the Garritan Virtual Instrument Libraries. The melody is usually a solo instrument (violin, trumpet, horn etc) with a bass and piano accompaniment