Frequently asked Questions and Comments

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now playing: "Ave Maria" by Renato Zero


1. Which songs are included in this listing?
2. Is this listing complete?
3. How to find a specific Ave Maria song? How is this website organized?
4. This song has "Ave Maria" as title, but not the text of the "Ave Maria" prayer?
5. a. Bach never wrote an "Ave Maria! ...
   b. ... He was a protestant, and protestants don't pray to Maria
6. a. Where can I find the score of this song? Can I download it? Will you give it to me?
    b. And what about the music files?
7. Why do you do this?
8. a. I hear two songs at the same time ...
    b. Is there supposed to be music playing? I don't hear anything.
9. This is wrong!
10. This link doesn't work (anymore)

1. Which songs are included in this listing?

To be included in this listing:
  • Both the words "Ave" AND "Maria," - or a different-language equivalent - need to be in the song title or text,
  • OR the song has a recognizable line of the standard Ave Maria in the text,
  • OR the subject of the song is about Gabriel's message to Maria.
This means that
  • Some songs in this listing have titles other than "Ave Maria," but still are about Gabriel's message to Maria.
  •  Some songs have a text that is different from the standard text of the Ave Maria prayer.  
  • There are songs in this listing that are not about the annunciation message.
    • Most of these songs are nevertheless prayers of devotion or supplication to Maria of Nazareth, e.g.
  • However, a few songs in this listing are very much non-religious songs:  
    e.g. the Spanish-language Ave Maria made popular by David Bisbal.  
smiley face I do try to limit myself as stated above, but undoubtedly over the years a few other songs have slipped in. smiley face

2. Is this listing complete?

No, it is not. This listing is not, and never will be complete.
  • Throughout times, many composers have set the Ave Maria to music.
  • The Ave Maria may well be the most used text by composers through history.
  • Over centuries past, probably more compositions have been lost forever than have survived.
  • New compositions are being written all the time.

3. How to find an Ave Maria in this website? How is this website organized?

1. Go to THIS PAGE and read 'How does this work'  before clicking on a link to the listing page for the corresponding category.

4. This song has "Ave Maria" as title,
but it does not have the text of the "Ave Maria" prayer?

Comment by Karen Mercedes:
There are a number of songs and arias entitled "Ave Maria" that are not, in fact, settings of the traditional "Ave Maria" [prayer] text. While some of these are lovely songs they are not true Ave Marias. The most famous of these is Schubert's "Ellens Gesang III", Op. 52 No. 4 D.839. [set to a German translation of "Lady of the Lake"] 

Other composers who have written songs entitled "Ave Maria" but using other texts include:
Franz (poem by von Geibel), Rheinberger (poem by Oser), Marschner (Op. 115 No. 4 poem by Anonymous), Rossini (a poem by Torre), Raff (poem by Ernst), Tosti (poem by Errico).   Verdi  (in Desdemona's aria)

Additional comments:
  • There are many  songs in our listing that have different lyrics than the contemporary Ave Maria prayer.
    • It is very common practice to repeat or omit some or several lines of the prayer in order to match the pattern of the melody line.
    • Songs in our listing that are confirmed to have a text that is substantially different from the Ave Maria  prayer text may be marked 'NS" (Non-Standard) in the last column of the listing.  
  • Many Ave Maria songs also have a second alternative lyrics line that is completely unrelated to the Ave Maria prayer.
    • See substitution texts on the "Hail Mary" page.
    • Watch this video "Heavenly Father" = a text substitution of the Ave Maria substitution of Schubert's 'Ellens dritter Gesang.'  
  • A few songs on this website are instrumental only, with No Vocal line.
    • These may be marked NV in the voicing column and/or in the last column of the listing.

5. a. Bach never wrote an "Ave Maria! ...

Bach, or whomever else this may apply to.
There are quite a few Ave Maria songs that didn't start out that way. It is a very common practice to "graft" the Ave Maria text onto a popular melody or song that may never have been intended to be a religious song.
  • The best known example in this category is probably Charles F. Gounod's Meditation on the 1st Prelude in C by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach may not have written an Ave Maria, but he did write the original prelude music. It is customary and appropriate to attribute an arrangement of a musical composition to the original composer.

  • From my research of medieval and Renaissance settings, it would seem that the vast majority of anonymous (and sometimes named) religious songs of those times -  including the Ave Maria settings - had 'appropriated' the melody of a popular secular song for 'the good cause.' Sometimes many dozens of different texts were used for the same melody.  
  • Arcadelt's "Nous voyons que les hommes" is originally written for 3 female voices.
    Arcadelt's so famous "Ave Maria" is really a later-period SATB adaptation of that song by Pierre Louis Dietsch (1808 - 1865) published in 1842.  
  • Pietro Mascagni did not compose an Ave Maria. Someone arranged the Intermezzo from his opera CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA as a vocal solo and set the Ave Maria text to it.  
  • Some very recent examples are included in this website:
  • The reverse process (text substitution) also happens frequently. see THIS PAGE Many Ave Maria sheet music publications include an alternate text for 'protestant' use.

 5. b. ... He was a protestant, and protestants don't pray to Maria!

  • You are misinformed.
  • This comment came from a so-called "Bible-only" protestant.
    • It seems strange to me that otherwise well-educated people would claim that they can study and interpret the 'only'  source of their faith - the Bible - without placing it in its historic context, i.e. next to other sources of relevant information including but not limited to other writings of the same period.  
  • FYI, non-Roman-Catholic and even people outside the Christian faith have composed Ave Marias.

6. a. Where can I find the score? Can I download it? Will you give it to me?

Yes, maybe, no.  Meaning, it depends.

Before you email me, please so check the listing page:
  • If there is no link in the composer's last name (= no work page), I do not have a score available.
    If I don't have it, I can't give it to you. Don't ask.  
  • If I have a score, the song will have its own work page.
    Click on the link in the composer name to go to that work page. 
    The work page will show a sample picture of the score and the available information about the publisher.
    That can be an original publication, or a typeset or manuscript copy. 

    You will probably find one of these icons on the work page:

    This music is assumed to be under copyright protection in the USAIf a score is under copyright protection (aka copyrighted), I'm not allowed to give you a copy.
    You will not be able to download it from this website.
    I may be able to tell you where you can purchase a score.
    If I found it on the internet, I'll gladly tell you what I found and where I found it.
    • Exception:
      A few contemporary composers have given me permission to make their score available.  
      Those scores are downloadable from the work page.  

    This music is assumed to be public domain in the USA. BEWARE: the modern-day recordings of that music are not!If the song is public domain (not under copyright), I'll gladly share with you what I have.
    Check the sample picture of the score.
    For many public domain songs, this is the complete score.
    • The picture itself is downloadable by right-clicking on it and "save as" .
    • The picture may be linked to a larger copy or to a source page or file. (colored border + your cursor will change over the picture.) Click the picture to follow the link.  

  • I found many of the presented scores on other websites.
    As a courtesy to the people who made the effort of making those websites, I refer back to their source website where you can download the score.

  • There are several "link pages" that have many links to other websites.
    Please check THIS PAGE and THIS PAGE
  • If all that fails, please send me an email infoavemariasongsorg
    If I can help you find what you are looking for, I'll be happy to do so.

6. b. And what about the music files?

  • MP3s: NO.
    The copyright of a voice recording belongs to the performer or the publisher, not the composer.
    Most recordings are recent enough to be copyrighted.
    • It is for that reason that I only post samples instead of the complete track, because such samples are considered "fair use" and do not constitute a violation of copyright.
      • Samples are usually somewhere from 30 seconds to slightly over a minute, depending on the length of the track and the musical flow.
    • MP3s can be legally purchased, usually for less than $1 each, on various websites like amazon, iTunes, napster, etc.
    • Some of the MP3s that are considered to have been brought into public domain or are posted on other websites may be available as complete tracks. Wherever possible, I have provided the link where you can download them.
  • NWC + MIDI:
    Send me an email if it's public domain. I'll get it to you if I have it.

7. Why do you do this? What's the purpose of this WebSite?

This answer to this question has moved. See our mission statement and more on the About us page.

8. a. I hear two songs at the same time ...

That would be annoying.
  • Check if there isn't another browser window open that is also playing music.
  • If there is more than 1 player on a page, you need to manually stop the active player before you start another.
  • If more than one songs starts playing automatically when you open a page, there is a programming error.
    If you come upon such a page, please let me know,  and I'll get it fixed.

8. b. Is there supposed to be music playing? I don't hear anything.

Not all pages have associated sound files, even when a music player is visible.
  • I work from a template page that includes several music players.
  • Sometimes I forget to delete the players when I do not have a sound file, or
  • sometimes I leave the player(s) on purpose, in anticipation of acquiring the sound file later.
If you don't get any sound at all with anything on your computer, the problem is likely with your system set up.
  • Open the volume control (that little speaker in the task bar) and make sure that MIDI, WAV/MP3 and general volume are not muted or that the volume isn't turned down all the way.
  • If that doesn't fix the problem, check to see if the sound system is switched on, and all the cables are still plugged in correctly.
If you do get sound on some pages, and not on others, first make sure that the page you're on is indeed supposed to have a sound file.
  • I do have quite a few Ave Maria pages in this website without music.
    • Even if you see a score sample on the work page, I may not have a MIDI or recording for that song.
      These are usually songs that I have a score of that I have not processed yet.
    • A CD cover on the page does not automatically mean that that there is a sound file.

  • When there is a valid MIDI or MP3 sample, you will see the music player bar with the statement "play/stop MP3."
    When there is no mp3-file and the player still shows, the header should say "MIDI (MP3) not available"

  • If you use more than one program to playback different sound file types, it may be that the sound card is still being used by one program and will not allow the other program to use it at the same time.
  • Most pages in this website have mediaplayers, and they are set to start playing when you open the page!
    Do not open a second work page with a MIDI player, when you already have one open. 
    Apparently Windows mediaplayer holds on to the sound card as long as the page is open.
    When you open a second window, you'll see the player control move, but you won't hear the music until the other window with a MIDI player has been closed.
If you have tried all the above, and there still is no sound when you think there should be, please let me know.
That may be a programming error. I'll check it out and see if it is something that needs to be fixed on my side.

9. This is wrong!

And you may well be right.
With a project of this size, there are bound to be some errors.  
If you see something that you think is wrong, don't get all upset about it.  

Send me an email at infoatavemariasongsdotorg  
Do by all means include the URL of the page, and tell me what you think is wrong and why you think it is wrong.  
It will be very helpful if you would provide some source to document your correction.

From the introduction of "Ancient Mysteries Described" by William Hone (1823):
"Lastly, I am bound to confess the existence of a few errors, not affecting the sense, that were discovered too late for correction, though in sufficient time to enable me to affirm, as a warning to others, that the worst editor of an author's writings is himself."

10. This link doesn't work!

  • Old websites disappear. New websites appear. Existing websites are being changed all the time.
    The Internet is ever-changing.
  • On 2009-12-06 there were more than 7,000 external links in this website. It is impossible for me to keep those updated on a day-to-day basis.  
  • There have been many structural changes in my website over the years.
    Sometimes this has resulted in links that go nowhere (broken), or go somewhere other than intended (faulty).
If you find a link that doesn't work correctly, please send me an email, and I'll try to update it, or I'll remove it.

Page last modified: August 10, 2013