Music library catalogue
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,260
    A dear woman in my choir catalogued all of the music in our library on an excel spreadsheet. It is in a simple state: composer and title. So now I would like to make this information useful. Any suggestions on what I should do and how I can do it? She is willing to help me with this as well.

    Any suggestions are very welcome.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,787
    You know you can sort and recombine that info about any way you want. Excel is powerful and has many applications. There is online help for using it.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • Add more columns. You want voicing, how many copies you own, feast/season for which it's appropriate, a field for the last time (or all times) you did it. Add an accession number (easiest is to alphabetize the drawers on composer or title, then number the folders... but then additions will be out of numberic order; you can live with that.)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,787
    That's what I do. Composer, title, parts (ssa) or whatever, publisher, season, when last sung - you would be surprised how often that has been helpful.
  • To keep newly numbered anthems from being 'out of order' it may be useful to use a numbering system which refers to season, such as -

    100- Advent (over 199 might be 101A, etc.)
    200- Christmas
    300 - Epiphany
    etc.
    900 - Non-Seasonal Solemnities

    or
    A-(number whatever) - Advent
    B-(number whatever) - Christmas
    etc.
    X - Non-Seasonal Solemnities

    Plus all the good suggestions given above.
  • I'm a librarian by profession, but have not studied the techniques of music librarianship. I will think on it and see what might be the norm.

    I would include somewhere publisher and publisher number, as well as series if that's part of it, as well.
  • While the seasons from Advent through Eastertide are clear enough, it would make little sense to follow them up with Ordinarytide. Throughout Ordinarytide it would be far more useful to categorise anthems by theme, such as prayerfulness, meditation, spiritual life, praise, love, works, thankfulness, and so forth. One also needs a category titled Rituals with the sub-categories of Weddings, Funerals, Ordinations, etc. Then, one needs a special spot for one's Patronal Feast (which really belongs amongst 'Non-Seasonal Solemnities' - one's patronal feast IS a solemnity).

    Though we observe the Roman lectionary, the Ordinariate has the season of Epiphany following Christmas, and Trinitytide following Eastertide. (Anglican custom numbers Sundays after Trinity rather than after Pentecost.)

    Am I alone in wondering who ever came up with that absolutely stupid tag, 'Ordinary Time'.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • >>> Add more columns. You want voicing, how many copies you own, feast/season for which it's appropriate, a field for the last time (or all times) you did it.

    In my xls I have a column for accompanied, as well.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • Ordinal Time has such a nicer ring, doesn't it?

    I've gotten tired of refiling collated single page xeroxes and am keeping everything in multiple ring binders: Advent/Xmas, Baptism-OT8, Lent/Holywk, Eastertide, 'preAssumptiontide', 'Kingdomtide'. File cabinets are alphabetized.
    Thanked by 2canadash francis
  • Purple isn't necessary -
    it sounds better than 'Ordinary....'
    But not as better as 'Epiphany' or 'Pentecost' (or 'Trinity')
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • Nah, I'm afraid I'm too used to oaty already.
  • MJO-
    Since everything we sing is PD (or by me) and photocopied, we keep it all in 3-ring binders, with an organization such as you mention. 100s = Eucharistic, 200s = Marian, 300s = Ordinaries 400s= Misc. motets, 500s = solos (just me and the organist)

    RedPop-
    I AM a music cataloger (paraprofessional, so Not A Librarian), and I've never seen ensemble cataloging up to professional standards (it doesn't help that AFAIK there's no consumer product that will ingest and work with MARC records). It would be nice if we used authorized access points, but that would require access to authority files. And for the size of your typical ensemble library, I don't think it much matters. What matters is that the director can personally access the data they need.
    Thanked by 2canadash JL
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,787
    As a retired librarian, I can say that if there was such a consumer product available for church music libraries, it would probably be too expensive. Maybe if you were at a huge church, but I doubt it. Music libraries don't anywhere near approach school and public libraries in size of collections. In my early days, I used MS Access, then decided it was more trouble that it was worth. Excel works fine for me. Then there is that "other" category of illegal copies left by my predecessor that I haven't found time to deal with. The recycle bin is looking good. ;-)
    Thanked by 1canadash

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