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This database is intended to include records of all hymns published officially by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as any hymns whose lyrics have been written by a Mormon author, or whose lyrics have Mormon content regardless of the lyricist's religious affiliation. Certain hymns are included in this database that are more properly and originally protestant hymns, but have become part of Mormon traditions by being published in official LDS hymnals and by being sung and learned by the Mormon people. The database does not include records for instrumental or choral pieces, and is not intended to be an exhaustive resource about Mormon music or musicians. This database does include records of criticism of Mormon hymns and hymnals (as well as of other musical publications or productions), since that criticism introduces aesthetic and historical issues that are pertinent to Mormon literary and cultural studies.
While the most obvious aspect about hymns is their music, the lyrics to hymns have established themselves as an enduring part of Mormon literary heritage, and constitute well known contributions to Mormon poetry. The first Mormon hymnal had no printed music and consisted entirely of words to be sung to familiar tunes. The hymns have been the chief means for popularizing poetry among Latter-day Saints.
The most comprehensive introductions to Mormon hymns include the following:
Karen Lynn Davidson, Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and the Messages (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1988)
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