Can I use your recordings remotely?

During the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, here's how to provide recordings at home...

Temporary measures
During the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak you will probably not be holding services in church. If you intend to hold services online or have your congregation worship at home at the same time, we have a number of suggestions to enable hymn singing.
Using Spotify
Almost all of our recordings are available on Spotify and can be played by anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet at home. If you already have Spotify, run the program - alternatively, visit and either download the program or click on Open Web Player and search for John Keys plus the name of the hymn - e.g. John Keys Now Thank We All Our God - you will then be able to play the accompaniment.

If you would like to provide a hymn list to your congregation, once you have found a hymn accompaniment and clicked on it, you will see the track detail with a symbol to the right of it. Click the '…' link, select Share and then Copy Song Link. You will then be able to paste a link into your hymn list - for example which when clicked will open the song in Spotify.
Give access to MP3s
Spotify is the easiest way to share our music, but if you have our MP3 accompaniments, you can give the congregation access to this week's hymns to play them at home. Please do not copy the MP3s and email them - but it's easy to make them accessible using a sharing service such as Microsoft OneDrive.

If you have OneDrive, simply set up a folder and copy that week's hymns into it. Select the folder by clicking the little circle in the top right corner and select the Share option at the top of the page. You may wish to click where it says 'Anyone with the link can edit' to remove editing and set a date for the link to expire, then click Copy Link. You will be able to share the link with your congregation and they will be able to play the MP3s from a computer, smartphone or tablet.
Live streaming, pre-recorded videos, Skype and Zoom
Many churches are experimenting with conducting services by live stream, Zoom, Skype or other video sharing methods. You are welcome to use our recordings during such services. If you are prerecording video and making it publicly available or effectively broadcasting - for example live streaming on Facebook or YouTube - please acknowledge John Keys and in the accompanying text. For prerecorded video only available to your congregation or directly connected live mechanisms such as Skype this is not necessary.

Please note that we can only give our permission for use of recordings - if the music is in copyright there may still be licence requirements for reproducing the music (this is not usually required in a church, but is for streaming/recording). Here is the UK guidance:

If music is involved, unless all the music is in the public domain written (both words and music) by composers and authors who died over 70 years ago – up to 31st December 1949, a licence is required. (Note that many traditional hymns are out of copyright, but there are some that aren't - for example Vaughan Williams does not go out of copyright until 2028).

Those wishing to live-stream via platforms such as Facebook, Spotify or YouTube should be covered by the existing licensing agreements in place with those platforms. Please ensure you follow the terms of use and copyright requirements of each respective platform.

If a church wishes to host a live-stream on their own website then they can apply for a limited online music licence (LOML) from the PRS.

If a Church is utilising Zoom or Skype for live streaming their services, they should enquire directly with those platforms in order to determine the terms of use and relative copyright requirements.

Alternatively, CCLI now offer a streaming licence for live performances, however they explicitly exclude 'artist or record label recordings of Songs'. We have clarified this with CCLI - it appears that given our permission, their streaming licence is sufficient. They say:

In combination, the CCL Church Copyright Licence (CCL) and CCLI Streaming Licence will cover a church to stream their services including the live worship via YouTube, Facebook Live or Zoom. In combination with a PRS for Music Limited Online Music Licence (LOML) they will cover a church to upload or stream services hosted on their own website. These CCL licences also cover the church to show the words on the screen as part of the webcast.

What these licences do not cover is copyrighted music recordings which are played (and captured) as part of the stream or webcast. For a commercial music recording there is an additional performance right for which permission must be obtained separately.

As owner of that particular performance (recording) of the song, HymnCDs can grant permission for your recordings to be streamed or webcast as part of a church service. If you grant this permission for free, the church would be at liberty to include your music recordings as part of their stream.

A home choir
Singing together over something like Skype is not very effective, as the different time lags will make the result ragged and messy. However, some churches are experimenting with a home choir.

Make available to those who want to take part a copy of the sheet music of a hymn or anthem (this should be acceptable as long as you own enough copies, or if it's out of copyright) and give them access to a copy of the MP3 accompaniment (see Give Access to MP3s above). Ask each individual to record on their phone an MP3 of themselves singing along - they should listen to the accompaniment on headphones so it isn't double-recorded - and to send back the recording. Combine the recordings with the original accompaniment in a piece of software such as Garage Band or Audacity… and you have a home choir in action.

If you share your recording online, please mention that the accompaniment is by John Keys and available from

Thanks to the choir of St Nicolas, Newbury for this suggestion.
Home choir gallery
Examples below feature individual members of the choir of St Mary, Nottingham and the congregation of St Andrew, North Swindon. We'd love to share more examples! Please send us links to video or audio recordings made this way. Email a link to

Members of the choir of St Mary, Nottingham sing Jesus Christ is risen Today.


Members of the congregation of St Andrew, North Swindon sing The Lord's My Shepherd (Crimond)

Do you sell words or sheet music?

We don't - and hymns usually only come in books - but there are plenty of ways of getting music and words…

Have you recorded all our hymn book?

There are hundreds of hymn books: we have one complete and many more partly covered, with a growing collection of indexes linking to our library…

Can you record my favourite hymn?

We can't guarantee to record your favourite, but we can add it to our wish list…

How did get started?

Back in 2005, organist John Keys and producer Wendy Williams were looking for way to make their CDs available…

How do I change the number of verses in a hymn?

You may always omit some verses, or your hymn book could have a different number to our recording...

How do I set up a playlist of tracks?

If you are using MP3s or downloads a playlist allows you to set up just the tracks you need for a service...

Why is there no singing on your recordings?

There are recordings available with singing on, but we don't provide them. Here's why...

Which format is best for me (and how to play it)?

We have tracks as downloads, on CDs and memory sticks - and there are range of options for playback...

Where can I get you downloads and streams?

Downloads and streaming are available immediately, 24/7: There are a range of options available...

Can I use your recordings in more than one church?

We recognise that increasingly one vicar/priest might cover multiple buildings. By default we cover four...

Can I change the speed of a recording?

It is possible to change speeds using an editor, but it's likely to make the recording slightly fuzzy...

Can I use your recordings remotely?

During the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, here's how to provide recordings at home...

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