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Sacred Music and Hymnology

A guide to reference material, books, articles, and performance materials for sacred music.


This page collects online and print hymn tune indexes that can help you identify and track down hymns!

Hymn tune indexes serve a variety of purposes and the online ones offer several different ways to search. You can use these indexes to help you identify which tunes have been used with a particular text, track down composers for tunes you are interested in, or learn more about a particular tune to inform your research or performance. 

Online Hymn Indexes

UIUC's own Hymn Tune Index is a database that "contains all hymn tunes printed anywhere in the world with English-language texts up to 1820, and their publication history up to that date." To learn more about the HTI's selection criteria and contents, refer to their page on the HTI's scope.


The HTI is entering its fourth decade as a preeminent resource for hymnological research. It began in the 1970s as the work of Professor Nicholas Temperley, who was conducting research on a book concerning English parish church music. By the early 1980s, HTI's database management structure was already in place, and subsequent decades saw several major updates and expansions, the last occurring in 2006. In 1998, Oxford University Press published the Print Index in four volumes.

Search Options

HTI offers options to search by Tune, Text, Source, or Composer. Searching by Tune allows you to find music by the HTI Index number, the tune name, or the incipit. To find tunes associated with a particular text, use Text Search and words or phrases that start, are contained in, or exactly match portions of text. You can use Source Search to find items by HTI Source Code; Compiler; or Title; and Composer Search using either the composer's last name or his or her attribution in a source.

The Cyber Hymnal contains the text to different hymn tunes searchable by various musical criteria. Some of the works also contain links to audio files as well as musical scores. Finally, the Cyber Hymnal also has links to brief biographies of the composers. is a comprehensive index of hymns and hymnals. With options for account creation to save your research and citations, printing of music and lyrics, and even a linked web-store of hymn-related products, this website is a full-service resource for all the things hymnological.

Search Options allows you to search by tune name; text name; names of people; hymnal title or ID number; topic such as liturgical use of text lectionary week; the scripture referenced by the tune text; incipit; meter; denomination; and many more. You can also browse by "instance," that is, by the particular combination of a text and tune as published in a particular hymnal (Presbyterian Hymnal #139, for example, is an instance made up of the text "Come, Thou Almighty King" and the tune ITALIAN HYMN).

Another outstanding feature of the site is that, since 2009, it has been the host of the Dictionary of North American Hymnology,a project begun in the 1950s by the Hymn Society in United States and Canada, aiming to index all hymnals printed in North America to 1978. The DNAH indexes almost 5,000 hymnals and over 1 million hymn instances, making it something like the 'Julian' (i.e. John Julian's seminal A Dictionary of Hymnology: Setting forth the Origin and History of Christian Hymns of all Ages and Nations; Vol. 1 and 2) resource for North America.

Print Hymn Indexes