[Editor’s note: This site is very much a work in progress. At the beginning there will be very few hymns listed. I will be adding them as time permits. I am sure many features will change, be added, or taken away as this project evolves. For instance, as I have found the biographies to be quite a bit more time consuming than the actual hymns, the biographies are lagging far behind the hymns. Thank you for your patience.]
Welcome to The Tanglewood Hymnal
The Tanglewood Hymnal is a virtual hymnal that represents hymns that are not in the Baptist Hymnal (1991, and now the 2008 edition), but should be. My aim in this site is to make these hymns more visible, accessible, singable, and hopefully to help integrate these theologically-rich hymns into a wider evangelical use, especially, since I am a Southern Baptist—for good or ill—involved in Southern Baptist life and worship.
In addition to hymns, this site contains brief biographies of the lyricists, composers, translators, arrangers, and sources of the hymns featured here. The navigation buttons in the sidebar link these biographies to the hymns. The “hymns” buttons at the top are your links to individual hymn pages, where you will be able to view the lyrics, listen to the tune, and download the sheet music to the selected hymn. The “meter” buttons index the hymns by meter.
A Word About the Sheet Music
The sheet music of these hymns were created with either Sibelius First or Finale PrintMusic and then saved as pdf files. In some cases the tunes have been transposed into a lower key to make the hymns more singable by men. Most men sing the melody (soprano) line, which is often set too high for the male voice. In this process tunes found to be set in a key full of sharps have been transposed to flats, as at least one pianist I know prefers to play flats to sharps.
I have made every attempt to use only material that is in the public domain. Most of the images herein are graciously provided by the Cyber Hymnal who freely offers the use of any and all of their public-domain material. If I have inadvertently included anything on this site which is not in the public domain, I will remove the material as soon as I have been made aware of the situation.
By the same token, any thing hosted here at The Tanglewood Hymnal is free to use by anyone to the glory of God. Feel free to download the sheet music to use in your worship services, personal and family devotions, or where ever you like. Include the images and biographies in your church bulletins. I would only ask that you not reproduce this site or use the name of this site to promote a similar (or different) site.
About the Name
“Tanglewood” is synonymous with music, but not in a way that most of you would think. For nearly three decades a small, rural Baptist church on the north banks of the Arkansas river in north-eastern Oklahoma existed outside of the Southern Baptist Convention, and then quietly returned under the SBC umbrella. My wife and I were privileged to raise a family for two and a half of those decades in the fellowship of that body of believers known as First Baptist Church, Tanglewood Community. Never managing a hundred souls, and typically half that amount, we could out-sing congregations twice our size. It was at Tanglewood that we learned a whole new set of hymns from those found in the Baptist Hymnal, hymns rich in theology, hymns that sang the faith into all our hearts. I learned much at Tanglewood, but the greatest thing I learned was that words have meaning, and that words can either be put together in a hymn to convey truth about God, or they can be used just to convey sentimental feelings apart from the truth of Scripture. The former is far better than the latter, especially when some days you don’t feel that you have been bought with the blood of Jesus, even though you have been, these kinds of hymns will remind you of the fact of the matter. This hymn site is named in honor of that “Tanglewood.”
Do you have questions, suggestions, or criticisms? Feel free to contact me. If you find a link on this site that is broken, please contact me.
I pray that this site is useful to you in your walk in the Christian faith.