On Monday, February 9, LifeWay Worship will unveil the latest innovation in digital music: SongMap, a web-based application that allows users to create custom arrangements of songs and produce corresponding audio files and sheet music. SongMap™ was developed through the largest known recording project in Nashville history. Nearly 1,000 songs and 8,000 mixes were recorded in just 10 months for SongMap by over 150 professional musicians, vocalists and engineers.
The technology was unveiled today at an inaugural ceremony at LifeWay’s corporate headquarters in Nashville, which was attended by Christian and mainstream music industry executives; worship and music ministers; and government and civic leaders.
SongMapSongMap is the first web-based technology that allows users to choose specific sections of songs: verses, choruses, transitions, and more—in the keys they prefer—and then download sheet music and audio files that correspond to the custom arrangement. The SongMap technology was developed specifically to meet the needs of worship leaders who want more flexibility arranging songs for church services. At the same time, SongMap has broader implications throughout the mainstream music world.
“SongMap is the first technology that gives users the ability to change songs on the Internet to meet their own tastes,” 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 none other has done before.”
Three years in development, SongMap™ was created by a team of software engineers and music industry professionals. It is the signature product of the LifeWay Worship Project, a ground-breaking set of new products that includes hymnals, PowerPoint® presentations, video and audio files, and sheet music.
As part of the project, the LifeWay Worship team gathered a lineup of over 150 professional musicians, vocalists and sound engineers to produce recordings of up to 8 recorded formats of more than 900 of the most loved church songs in just 10 short months. The selection ranges from traditional hymns to contemporary worship songs, as well as standards such as “America the Beautiful.” The production team then divided the arrangements into more than 500,000 individual segments. From these segments, the SongMap™ technology allows users to “map” custom mixes of individual songs.
Though sophisticated on the back end, SongMap™ was designed for use by anyone with an Internet browser; users simply register free of charge at LifeWayWorship.com. The cost to map a song ranges from $ 1.49 to $1.99 per part. 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.
Following the unveiling, LifeWay Worship will have over 100 songs available for mapping, and will continue to add “mappability” to its products on an ongoing basis, including new release titles. Registered SongMap users will receive regular updates as this occurs.
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