The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #53191   Message #818159
Posted By: JohnInKansas
04-Nov-02 - 12:39 PM
Thread Name: Question for Masato (re: songbooks)
Subject: RE: Question for Masato (re: songbooks)
I started keeping an "inventory" of songs in my music books when it got to the "I know I've got that one, but which book is it in" stage. I just made a list in Word, one line per song, with title, book/CD, Key written, and a "content code" using M for melody line only, S for "score" if it has more than one line, C if it has chords noted, and L# for number of verses given (as L12 for a 12 verse).

A typical entry:

All God's Children Got Shoes    FSFB    27    G    MCL4
Which means "All God's Children Got Shoes" is on page 27 of the "Folk Song Fakebook," in the key of G, and has a melody line, chords, and four verses.

Last time I "totaled" in July, I had 38,628 Song Name Entries from 208 books and 221 CDs. (The list is up to 674 pages in 8 point type, so I quit printing out reference copies a long time ago.)

Unfortunately, since I don't have much other than "commercial - off the shelf" stuff, it's not too useful for mudcat research, although it does make it easy to "know" what I've got, and we find something of interest occasionally.

Setting up an index is a real pain, if you've got quit a bit of stuff; but keeping it up to date is not too painful if you update immediately when you add a new source. My word of caution would be that you must keep your data base down to the essential information. If you try to put "everything" in, you'll never keep it up to date.

Use the index to find the piece, and get the details from the original.

I used Word for my list simply because it was handy, although I didn't realize how much the index would "balloon" with time. I still find that it is a lot easier (and faster) to search than most databases. Word97, on my machine, can sort about 380 pages at a single pass to keep things in alphabetical order - so I have to do multiple (about 3) overlapping sorts now when I add stuff, but for now it does the job.

Choose a program you like, and are somewhat familiar with. And carefully choose what information to enter - remembering that you'll have to (want to) enter it all for each song.