An idea: Sharing Our Music Programs for Year B/Compositions/How-to-docs, etc.
  • tomboysuzetomboysuze
    Posts: 289

    I discussed an idea - via email - with Richard and Jeffrey - who encouraged me to post this concept for your review.
    (They thought it was worth goes...)

    Create a sharepoint or google docs online depository where we can upload documents that we are willing to share freely with each other, such as: music programs for year A, B or C; compositions or settings; or even "how-to documents" for a variety of choir related issues.

    So, the first question is, would you find this helpful and/or be willing to share your programs, etc.?
    I've discussed it with other liturgical musician types, and most would love the ability to peruse the creativity and expertise of others and are more than willing to share their own. However, one friend, was rather quick to say no and thought it was a bit of an issue - to share something he had crafted for a certain time, place and level of vocal competence.

    So this is not meant to be an act of plagiarism - instead, collaboration.

    Second question is, if it's possible to do this without too much tending or $$$$.

    I've done a little (very little) research and understand that the difficulty would be in finding some way to do this that would be able to handle documents created in different programs. Does anyone know if this is possible? I've briefly looked at dropbox, share point, and a few others. They all seem to work, but not consistently. Anyone know if google docs is better.
    This is not my area of expertise by a long shot.

    One real benefit of this might be the opportunity to mentor other church musicians in a non-intrusive, constructive way - that works with CanticaNova/Watershed/Frog Music Press /GIA/NPM etc. & others.

    Just trotting this idea out for feedback. You're thoughts? Thanks.

  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Google docs is great for Microsoft-type docs, but this group tends to create things which are far more esoteric. But even if the repository can handle it, WE are using a lot of different tools.

    If you just want to view others' work, PDF is probably the way to go.

    The harder part is how to organize it - we all have different systems. If you can create a structure that works well for 500 entries, that will be excellent. The last thing you need is 500 files thrown into a directory with all kinds of random names.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • BenBen
    Posts: 3,114
    I haven't looked much at it, but the new successor of google docs, Google drive, might be just the thing. It might be worth looking into.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • tomboysuzetomboysuze
    Posts: 289
    So - I take it that you guys like the idea of sharing work this way?
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    A whole lot of sharing is already going on here in various ways, so it seems the interest is there. But organizing it will take some careful thought.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • tomboysuzetomboysuze
    Posts: 289
    Yes. Agreed. Absolutely the point, Carl. And that's what I think we all love about the forum. This is where I get the best advice and points of view. I have come to depend on it. But there are SO MANY directors, organists and church musicians in my geographical area that know nothing about this incredible resource (i.e. the forum, articles, books, etc. etc. etc.). I look around and talk to other Directors and its the same thing over and over - one person ( or two people at the most) doing an enormous amount of work, isolated, weary and always struggling with the amount of work to be done with few resources. My sense is that unless we can find ways to create deeper and broader networks of advice, support, discussion and networking, all of our work and hopes will only scratch the surface of reforming the liturgy. So, I agree, the sharing that is going on is so vital - I'd like to extend these resources, and hence, the influence and guidance that is available here.
    I have to say that, for me, Musica Sacra has been a true shelter from the storm. I didn't know that I wasn't fighting the good fight alone. Deo Gratias.

    So, Carl, you are exactly right - careful thought is necessary....and that's why I'm asking these questions here, right? ;)

    Thanked by 2Claire H francis
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,137
    A properly organized and managed wiki might offer the best structure, simply because there are built-in ways of organizing and categorizing information in that format, and the structure is ongoing, dynamic, making it adaptable to changing needs. This is indeed the great strength of CPDL's ChoralWiki, whose liturgical and sacred music organization has been undergoing continued improvement - for instance with Richard Mix's organization of the Propers there.

    Posting works and documents at a wiki is a bit different than it is here at the forum, so it might take a bit of getting used to. It's a two-step process: upload and then posting links to the uploads in the appropriate place(s). I've been heavily involved with the ChoralWiki from its outset, so I know the ropes pretty well.

    One thing to remember, though, is that any such repository must not infringe upon copyright (something we are very careful about at CPDL).

  • tomboysuzetomboysuze
    Posts: 289
    I had a feeling you might be able to offer a structural solution, Chuck! Many thanks.
    I was thinking that it could be modeled after CPDL - which I depend on very heavily.
    How many people does it take to manage that site? If there were simple categories to post to - could a document be uploaded by anyone or would (should?) it go through an administrator-type web manager?
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    I like the Wiki approach, because it's very evolutionary based on the collective wisdom over time. And it's great for the textual annotation that's needed beyond just the documents.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • tomboysuzetomboysuze
    Posts: 289
    I agree, Carl. Now I'm wondering if we could persuade them to host something like this.
    Chuck? Oh Chuck?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,137
    Just a bit about CPDL and its ChoralWiki organization and structure.

    The CPDL ChoralWiki has over 14,000 "score pages" (over 750 new this year) - ie. different works - by over 2,000 composers. There are a little less than 10,000 score pages classified as "sacred" and about 4,500 classified as "secular" music. The number of actual scores ("editions") is well in excess of 20,000, almost all of these are in the form of PDF files. Most editions are supplied with MIDI or MP3 sound files, and many are provided with source files (e.g. Finale, Sibelius, LilyPond, NoteWorthy, ABC, Capella, etc.). Translations have been supplied for a majority of the works. CPDL only hosts works that are freely available for download - public domain works and free editions thereof as well as non-public domain works for which the contributor/editor/composer/arranger has agreed to the CPDL license allowing free downloads.

    Because of the traffic, CPDL uses several internet hosts, and ChoralWiki ( exists in at least five (yes, 5) wikis available to the public - one "Contributor" (the main site where all posting and editing takes place) and four "Visitor" wikis which are essentially read-only mirrors of the Contributor wiki that are updated once each day. Back-ups are also performed daily. There is also a "test" wiki used for testing purposes (for instance, testing of upgrades to the MediaWiki software before implementation on the regular wikis).

    Since it was initiated in mid-August of 2005 (ported from a non-wiki format that was founded in late 1998), the ChoralWiki has had 17 "admins" (a.k.a. sysops) who collectively manage various aspects of the site. Ten of these admins have been active sometime within the past 8 months, not all with equal intensity, of course. Four of the active admins have been active at the ChoralWiki from within a year of its inception. Two other active admins and CPDL's founder, Rafael Ornes, constitute the Board of Directors of CPDL, which is incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization in the state of California. When Raf stepped back from managing and overseeing CPDL operations in the summer of 2008, I helped put together a transition committee to take care of the site and establish a new organizational framework for the next two years until CPDL's incorporation became official. During that time and to the present, I served as Manager of ChoralWiki. Upon incorporation, Rob Nottingham (of the U.K.) became Chair of the Board of Directors and I became President of CPDL.

    CPDL is an organization of international scope, as reflected in its Board of Directors (1 Brazil, 1 Italy, 1 France, 1 U.K. 3 U.S.A.).

    One of our regulars here at MusicaSacra, Richard Mix, is also an admin at ChoralWiki and has been doing a remarkable job of organizing liturgical music resources. Other forum regulars, such as Aristotle Esguerra, Noel Jones, Francis Koerber, Jeffrey Quick and Edward Tambling, have published choral compositions at CPDL.

    I am aware of some other wikis which have tried to focus more on religious/sacred music and/or hymns and even tried to make some editing contributions to a few. Most of these are sketchy, at best, representing an absence (either intended or not) of a contributing user base and/or group of sysops to manage their sites. At least one of these (a hymn site), to which I had made quite a few editing contributions, could have been a good site for Catholics. But it folded from a combination of little development and support from its parent organization, which resulted in a not unexpected lack of interest in a site that seemed to be going nowhere (I had offered my own rather extensive wiki experience as a sysop, more than once, but the offers went essentially unheeded and ended with an email that the originator was taking the site down).

    Much of what is wrong with the wiki sites that haven't "succeeded" has to do with managerial support (such as for the site I just mentioned) and/or a well thought-out organizational structure for the wiki. Far too many sites seem to have been put up with reasoning of the sort: "See how popular and useful Wikipedia is? Let's start up a wiki for ourselves. Although not as big, we should be able to create something along the lines of the CPDL ChoralWiki or IMSLP."

    In so many instances, lack of planning and support are all too evident, especially when these wikis fail. CPDL was very fortunate that Raf Ornes understood from the outset what a wiki could (and should) be, had the help of a group of us very committed and savvy contributors as sysops from very early on who did their best to make ChoralWiki as user/contributor friendly as possible and successfully widened its scope to become something more than just a score repository.

    These represent what I know (firsthand) about CPDL and wikis. I've done a huge amount of wiki "coding" at ChoralWiki and had major input in planning and setting up the organizational structure of the wiki. A great deal of this has been behind the scenes stuff that makes it run smoothly and adds features that one wouldn't normally see - such as the online composer and score catalogs, the "Most recent scores" and "Seasonal music" sections of the Main Page, as well as various "list" and categorization features for the CPDL collection - more than 50,000 edits to more than 20,000 pages, in six and a half years (much of this is from those early days of extensive editing required to put in place some 8,000 scores that were ported to ChoralWiki initially, and a rather large effort since 2008 when we made a push in several areas such as management, maintenance, user interaction, and improvements).

    Although CPDL is a library for all kinds of choral and vocal music, my main interest from the standpoint of its collection is - quite naturally - sacred music (which at ChoralWiki includes "religious" music as well as liturgical and other sacred music as bandied about here at MusicaSacra). I've given a lot of thought as to how one might organize (and implement) one or more structures for Catholic (and perhaps other) sacred music, especially that music that would be relevant for the liturgical offices of the church. There would be differences from the CPDL ChoralWiki structure - some arising from being able to adopt a different start-up organizational structure (given hindsight from previous experience, where time was of the essence, with thousands of scores to be posted as quickly as possible).

    If you've read this far, thanks for bearing with me on this description from my own experience.


    Charles H. Giffen
    President of CPDL and
    Manager of ChoralWiki
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Fantastic to hear the story behind the scenes, CHG! I've always wondered.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MarkThompson
    Posts: 768
    Yes, fantastic to hear the story, and also to have the chance to say -- thank you, thank you, thank you!!
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen francis
  • tomboysuzetomboysuze
    Posts: 289
    I'm exhausted just reading that excellent description. Your dedication, Chuck, and that of your collaborators is overwhelming. The work needed to host such a site is obvious if one spends even the least amount of time and focus on finding something in the public domain. I know of at least one Catholic Institution of higher learning that depends heavily on CPDL for the scores handed out twice weekly to their excellent chamber choir. Because even at the graduate level, there are simply not enough funds available for their world-famous director to buy the scores his creative brilliance requires to fuel his choir. Without this work, so much beauty, scholarship and knowledge would not be available to so many...and I have to wonder, how much of this art would be simply forgotten, lost and doomed to obscurity? This is indeed, noble work. Deo Gratias.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,137
    Bumping this discussion, since similar things are being discussed in a new discussion "Musical Change In The Church" – 33 days being a long(???) time since the last posting here.
  • E_A_FulhorstE_A_Fulhorst
    Posts: 381
    Mr. Giffen: You already have on your wiki the subcategory labeled Sacred Music by Season. Couldn't that subcategory get adjusted to include Year A/B/C divisions?
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,742
    I think the proposal is to set up a new independent wiki which would be a sort of brainstorming blog where people can post their service music lists.

    CPDL mostly deals in music written for the historic one year lectionary which seemed the best way to organize categories, thought there is also room to explain the changes both on the pages and in separate articles like Ordinary Time.

    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomboysuze
  • Well, it HAS been too long since any new posts on this discussion, but I thought I should just put some closure here ...or perhaps open it back up - we'll see.

    Frogman was good enough to contact me about the idea and then did something very simple, but effective - he just opened a google doc up for us and let me at it. I posted my list of "liturgical use" on the left and took the first column. (Frogman set aside the second column for J.T. - FYI). So, I've been putting my programs into the doc when I have a little time - which is never. But at least it is now set up on a very simple, user friendly vehicle and we can see where it goes from here. I think it will be very useful and save all of us a lot of research time.

    Since Frogman is undoubtably very busy (possibly fixing his wife's mower or carting his harpsichord around in his subcompact car, playing gigs from hither to yon - or any number of new projects he's spearheaded...) I've decided to go ahead and "announce" that the document is open for business.

    The document is set up very simply - each contributor takes a column and posts their program weekly..or as often as time allows.

    I'm the only one posting anything at the moment -- and I'm very behind on my postings at that. But, if you'd like to join me in posting your weekly music program, PLEASE DO.

    Here's the link:

    Anyone with the link can edit/post.
  • Here's a messy example; as it does not copy with the grid lines on the spreadsheet. Basically what you'd expect.

    SUNDAY Christus Rex
    Prelude Brudeau Kyrie to familiarize cong. for Advent - then Organ Improv.(Terry)
    INTROIT (Rice or Nestor depending on who gets back in town to sing)
    How worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
    to receive power and divinity,
    and wisdom and strength and honor.
    To him belong glory and power for ever and ever. Rev 5:12; 1:6 [Roman Missal]

    Entrance Crown Him With Many Crowns WIII #496
    Kyrie Cum Jubilo
    Gloria Simplex - Proulx
    Psalm or Gradual The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
    Gospel Verse/Alleluia (J.H's. chant alleluia arr.) w/verse from CC Watershed
    "[Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kigdom of our father David that is to come!
    Proper for Offertory N/A
    Offertory To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King - need no.?
    Sanctus New Century Mass
    Mysterium Fidei New Century Mass
    Amen New Century Mass
    Agnus Dei Mass of the Holy Cross WIII #339
    Communio The Lord will sit on his royal throne - R.Rice
    Communion At That Lamb's High Feast We Sing WIII #460
    Post Communion Jesu Rex Admirablis - Palestrina
    Marian Antiphon
    Recessional O God Beyond All Praising - Holst
    Postlude Widor - Toccata and fugue in d minor
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • So do jump in. Let's Just be careful about keeping the document consistent.

    (On the far left is the listing for liturgical use that I use, although I can't yet use all my categories, i.e. a Marian Antiphon at the end of mass at my parish).

    If my listing doesn't suit, create your own by making a column to the left of your selections and repeating it over and over.
    Once you see the document, it's pretty clear. AND - Dr. Patricia Warren has kindly agreed to post her selections.
    Hopefully this will grow little by little.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,742
    Just be careful
    The format seems a bit over-detailed for my purposes, yet without room to account for 3 different weekend masses. I've entered choir anthems in the offertory column, thinking 'offertory propers' might mean something else, but it seems "offertory" might mean "offertory hymn" to some. Shall I add past year B cycles to the same form, seeing no date is indicated?

    What I think might be useful is seeing hymns and anthems at a glance without the distraction of seasonal ordinaries. Can the display be sorted by the reader?

    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • I think you're right, Richard. I'm going to delete those lines.
    I was just doing my usual due diligence as I do for my choir members and got lost in space. thanks.
  • Feel free to delete them if you get there before me. I just cut and pasted from my document and didn't really have time to think about it. Good call.