Daniel Carter

Composer Publisher Author

Announcement Regarding Submissions for the New LDS Hymnbook

Dear Friends,

I receive several emails a week for requests for me to review songs and hymns for the upcoming new LDS hymnbook and new children's songbook. I have declined all of these requests and invitations because I now have a 45% hearing loss, and working on music projects has become much more difficult than in the past. As much as I love being contacted by any and all of you, I want you to know that I cannot review your beautiful submissions. And I think you should know that I have worked through the depression of my circumstances, and that I'm happier than I've ever been in my life, and I understand that this discomfort and inconvenience is simply a hidden blessing for me to reconfigure my thinking and approach to music. That means I need to take a break from music projects, not push, and let my spiritual guide and connection work without my interference or demands. It's quite a remarkable process, and I'm intrigued by the possibilities.

Additionally, this is what I can tell you about the new hymnbook and children's songbook. There will be THOUSANDS of submissions of new songs and hymns for these books. But you must also realize that these books are being reduced in size to match the international versions, which means the new hymnbook will be reduced from 341 hymns to 200, and the children's songbook will be reduced from about 375 songs to about 110. So the odds of your submission being accepted into one of these books becomes extraordinarily slim at best. There will be a few new pieces added to each book, but not many. This is the harsh truth. All the favorites will still be included in each book not leaving a lot of room for brand new pieces. But here is the best news: what you have composed does not need to be published by the Church in order for it to be of blessing and benefit to countless people. If your compositions are not accepted by the Church, then by all means keep all your rejection letters and wallpaper a room with them so you can keep track of where and to whom you've sent your pieces, and then be persistent in finding publishers and sources for you to release your gifts to the world.

If you're not aware, holysheetmusic.com and sheetmusicplus.com accept new submissions as do other online sites. Do your research because you have options that will help you get your publishing career going.

If you'll read a couple of blog posts down from this one, you'll see a post called "Inspiration>Failure (Repeat) = Success". Please read this post and use it as your go-to in times of doubt and feelings of failure. I can tell you that I have personally received enough rejection letters from publishers all over the world that I could wallpaper at least one room completely!

I hope this post gives you hope rather discouragement. Being armed with accurate information and a few suggestions always help us make better and more informed decisions. Don't be afraid to submit your compositions for the new hymnbook and children's songbook, but don't be attached to an outcome. Look at the broader view and realize the Church is just one great opportunity for you. Keep the vision of getting your music out through several possible sources, and you will eventually find the success you hope for.

And finally, please keep composing. And again, I reiterate, don't hesitate to submit your beautiful works to the church. It's not in our control to know what will and will not be accepted, and the good news is that something far greater than ourselves has every detail and every person in mind with a beautiful plan. As we know all too well, the world needs the hope that you create through your music.

Kindest and best to all.

Your friend,
Daniel Carter

Update: Dr. Douglas Pew is a brilliant composer and very much understands the construction of great music, and has created several tools for composers intending to submit their materials to the new hymnbook and children's songbook. You can find these resources at www.douglaspew.com/341hymns. You can also contact him directly to request that he personally review your music at doug@douglaspew.com.

The Reluctant Hero

The reluctant hero’s journey always begins with the discovery of flawed man made conventions. She/He has no desire to leave comforts to take up an inconvenient cause, however, the nagging injustice of these wrongs becomes intolerable, so reluctantly she/he embarks on a journey of truth. But threat and rejection cause great self doubt of ability and importance.  A mourning period halts the journey until mentors appear who strengthen the hero against powerful enemies. (In real world experience, this is where most of us get stuck—in grief and anger, believing we are powerless to do anything more than accept what we cannot control. But as headlines prove, anger and depression build until some commit suicide, and others become insane with hate resulting in lashing out at the world with murderous vengeance. But most become compliant, miserable, complaining sheep.)

But as mentors teach the hero of her/his primordial origin—which is that all human beings are created whole (which completely opposes man made conventions which teach that humans are innately flawed), the hero’s intuition and moral compass are reaffirmed revealing that the conflict as the hero perceived it is spot on, which reignites action to take up the cause of truth again.

The hero is bolstered to leave the conventional world, crossing a threshold into very dangerous realms with unknown rules. The rules change because those who protect man made convention will do anything to perpetuate the lie (because they receive enormous rewards for protecting it). Enemies surround until the hero confronts death and greatest fears. The treasure is won, but threat of loss is constant as the road home is equally dangerous.

Near the end of the hero’s journey is the climax—a final, terrible test that brings a spiritual and/or physical death, which serves as a rebirth, transformation, or resurrection to a higher level, thus resolving the conflicts of the beginning. The hero may continue on, or may mentor other heroes.

The secret of the reluctant hero’s journey is this: The fear of pain and loss is greater than the sum of both. The only way out is through. Through fear, through grief and loss we are able to draw strength to rise.

But whether or not you or I are ever heroes, this may be the most important question: If you could believe you are created whole—not flawed as human convention teaches—what would your life be like?

Inspiration>Failure (Repeat) = Success

To me, the two most critical elements of success are inspiration and failure. Not drive, not ambition, not an insane list of unachievable goals. Just inspiration and failure. We are not efficient machines. We are humans. We have good days and bad days, productive ones, and unproductive ones. Pushing too hard, making unachievable goals, and constant drive without built in rest will kill success quicker than anything else I know. And when you hit burnout, it's relaxation and play that will make things right again, and inspiration has a chance to return. When we "work" we refer the adult drudgery of duty and obligation for money. But it's play that will help us discover, experiment, learn, and progress.

It’s actually failure that we need most (despite that we think we need success the most). We fear, and despise failure. We think it makes us look bad. (Which is a whole other subject about our deep insecurities.) In every failure is a lesson, a furthering of our education, a course correction pointing us back to inspiration with a modified outlook and slight change in direction. That’s the only path I know of that leads to success. If you achieve success without these things, you skipped steps and will have to make up that homework eventually (trust me). So dream often, fail even more often, and dream some more and keep inspiration as a daily ritual.

Where Do Broken Dreams Go?

The trouble with broken dreams is that they don't go away even after we discard them and give up. They just sit in your gut like an infection—an unfulfilled lump of failure. If they'd just die and go away we could move on. But they don't because we still believe in them. We still have the passion, but are at a standstill. We still have that love to create and make them come true. So what do you do with broken dreams?

I finally gave up on some of my dreams and after I did, I woke up one morning and had a clear idea how to proceed. At first I was ticked off. I already decided I was done! Then I realized by walking away from the dream because of stress and disappointment, I hit a reset button that cleared everything and allowed a new thought process to develop. What I learned was that our broken dreams usually just need a little space, a break, a change, and then creativity can thrive again. It's extremely rare that a dream is so broken that it can't be realized in some way.

I have a few unfulfilled dreams that I've been working on for 40 years. I still work on them. I don't know how they will develop but I’ve learned it’s important to not predetermine the outcome. Being unattached to the outcome will help you accept and embrace all kinds of new possibilities. Hold steady to the vision and be ready to adapt to new possibilities to bring it to reality.

—Daniel Carter

An Open Letter to Fellow Musicians, Fans, and Friends

Dear Friends,
THANK YOU ALL for your interest, support, recommendations, ideas, encouragement, friendship, and so much more. Thank you for your messages about how music has touched you and others (and in some cases, how one of my pieces has made a difference for good.) As you know, I no longer am in the music sheet music business, but before all the alarms go off, please know that you can still find most of the long-time favorites online. Because of many inquiries, here is the short list:  holysheetmusic.com, jackmanmusic.com, sheetmusicplus.com, jwpepper.com, and the three pieces published through Neil A. Kjos are available through any music retailer by ordering them. Here are the youtube links to the Kjos pieces: “May the Lord Bless You and Keep You”, “For the Beauty of the Earth”, and “The Songs They Sang that Night”.

I’ve also received a LOT of inquiries wondering why I’m really pulling the plug on 450 pieces of music. But first, please understand I’m stating simple fact. No accusations, no anger, no finger pointing. I’m pulling the plug on 13 books of music and nearly 450 pieces of music because of illegal photocopying and music piracy. I can’t compete. It’s just too easy for people to buy a copy and make additional illegal photocopies. And while this problem has gotten somewhat better through the past few years, it’s still problematic in the sheet music business. So I’m headed in a different direction. The remaining few thousand of my books of music are mostly damaged from storage, and will go to the shredder. No regrets. It’s been a valuable and wonderful journey.

I went through 15 years of incredible difficulty, including a suicide attempt, homelessness (while working 60-70 hours at a full-time and part-time jobs), mental illness, loss of family and friends, divorce, and much more. I have no regrets for a minute of it because I learned how to become a better person, how find happiness, and how to pay it forward. So I am. I have started a nonprofit production company, Under the Sun Productions, Inc., that produces musical and theatrical works and then donates a portion of ticket sales back to homeless charities. "Artaban, the Other Wise Man, the Musical" was our first project, and we are preparing for the 2018 holiday season with improvements and upgrades.

Last of all, thank you again, for your ongoing interest, encouragement, messages, and contact. Please keep in touch.

Daniel Carter

Welcome to My New Website!


I hope you find this place easy to navigate, to find information, sheet music, and other resources.

On the Shop page you’ll find several book collections of sheet music. When you click on the book cover you’ll see the contents of each book and then you can click on titles to hear the music, and in many cases, see the sheet music. You’ll also find my little Christmas story, “Another Christmas Carol”, about how I sold my piano to pay college tuition, and the turn of events of how I got it back. You’ll also read about how I cut off my right index finger, and how I adapted.

If you can’t find a specific piece of music, you can probably find it at holysheetmusic.com and jackmanmusic.com. If you still can’t find it, contact me through the Contact page and leave me a message.

To listen to most of my published music, you can go to my youtube channel, danieltuness55, or my soundcloud page, danieltunes.

Here is a link for information and to see and hear the entire Artaban, the Other Wise Man. This work is performed at Christmas time to raise money for charities that help the homeless.

If you’d like to contact me to ask questions, commission music, or anything else, please go to the Contact page and I’ll respond as quickly as I can. Usually within 24 hours.

Thank you!
Daniel Carter