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Use of MUSICA as the database:
Managing a choral music library



Recently, a discussion on Choralist was dealing with finding out how to file the scores of a music library. In the summary of this survey, a documentary structure grouping the suggestions of all the answers was presented. As the structure of Musica database is the result of such an analysis over 15 years with various needs and wants to be the most comprehensive for everybody, we present here a document expliciting publicly how Musica is structured in order to share this work with you.

Many members of Musica International are sharing the database as a cooperative project, thus reducing considerably the time needed to constitute their needed local tool and having in addition a comprehensive description of the scores handy; at the end of this posting, we thus propose to any interested library to ask for more information on how to join the Musica network.

Information about Musica International Database:

Software used: Infomusic (determining features : relational, multilingual, able to rebuild the database even with partners working around the world at the same time without being linked to each other, use of local specific fields to each location where Musica is used as a library database, existence of a specific type of field, the "music" , where the musical theme(s) can be input for search, display,... ie finding the tune going through your mind...,


General

1) Choice (offered by the software) to separate into a maximum number of fields, but possibility to group several fields into a pseudo-field called "grouped-field".

This enables on one hand a very precise description, but on the other hand a broad and easy search. Example: composer, author of melody, arranger, ... are separate fields, but for search, one prefers generally to search on the grouped fields of the three fields in one single index...

2) The documentary structure of MUSICA : Specific fields/categories Fields can be left blank if not applicable.

FIELDS FOR PERSONS INVOLVED IN THE MUSIC
- Composer
- Author of the melody
- Author of the music (pop music)
- Vocal arranger
- Instrumental arranger (if different from vocal arranger)
- Performer (if better known than the composer) (the 5 first accessible together in a grouped-field)

For each of them (in a relational file, so it has only to be input 1 time for the whole database)
- Last name, First name
- Synonyms
- Other spellings (approximate))
- Specific Spelling in each language, if different
- Country
- Sex
- Date of birth (M/D/Y)
- Date of death (M/D/Y)
- Year of birth
- Year of death
- Flag of uncertainty ("?") of year of birth
- Flag of uncertainty ("?") of year of death
- Town of birth
- Town of death
- Flag of uncertainty ("?") of town of birth
- Flag of uncertainty ("?") of town of death
- Comments, keywords
- Address, phone, fax, email, Web URL (if living) (fields 1,2,3 and 4 accessible together in a grouped-field)

FIELDS DESCRIBING THE TITLE
- GENERAL TITLE
- TITLE OF PIECE
- SUBTITLE(s)
- UNIFORM TITLE
- MODERN SPELLING of TITLE
- TITLE IN ENGLISH (french, german...)

(1 field for each language in a language oriented satellite file; used only in cases such as "Coronation mass <=> Krönungsmesse <=> Messe du couronnement)

- TEXT INCIPIT
- OPUS and/or CATALOG NUMBER
- YEAR OF COMPOSITION
- YEAR OF COMPOSITION OF THE MELODY
- NUMBER OF VERSES
- DEDICATION or OTHER TITLE PAGE COMMENTARY (fields 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 are accessible together in a grouped-field)

FIELDS CONCERNING THE TEXT
- Author of the text
- Person who adapted of translated the text
- ORIGIN of TEXT
- YEAR OF COMPOSITION OF THE TEXT (fields 1 and 2 accessible together in a grouped-field)

For each of them (in a relational file, so it has only to be input 1 time for the whole database)
- Last name, First name
- Synonyms
- Other spellings (approximate))
- Specific Spelling in each language, if different
- Country
- Sex
- Date of birth (M/D/Y)
- Date of death (M/D/Y)
- Year of birth
- Year of death
- Flag of uncertainty ("?") of year of birth
- Flag of uncertainty ("?") of year of death
- Town of birth
- Town of death
- Flag of uncertainty ("?") of town of birth
- Flag of uncertainty ("?") of town of death
- Comments, keywords
- Address, phone, fax, email, Web URL (if living) (fields 1,2,3 and 4 accessible together in a grouped-field)

FIELDS DESCRIBING THE PERFORMING GROUP
- Type of Choir
- VOICINGS (ex: SATB, SSA)
- NUMBER OF VOICES
- VOICE RANGES (ex: S: 3D-4G)
- TYPE OF INSTRUMENTATION or OF ORCHESTRA
- INSTRUMENTS + number for each
(the 2 precedent fields accessible together through a grouped-field)
- NUMBER OF INSTRUMENTAL PARTS
- ORCHESTRAL CODIFICATION
- SOLOIST(s)
- NUMBER OF SOLOISTS Many of these fields are relational fields using a multilingual thesaurus => Automatic translation into french, English, german and spanish

FIELDS DESCRIBING THE MUSIC
- KEYWORDS
- Liturgical Use
- Genre, Musical Style, Musical Form
- Mood(s) of the piece
- Tonality, modality, atonality, clusters, etc...
- Main language of the score
- Other languages of the score
(the 2 precedent fields accessible together through a grouped-field)
- Country or Region of Origin of the melody
- CENTURY (music)
- PERIOD OF COMPOSITION IN 50 YEAR SEGMENTS (Ex: 1850-1899)
- MUSICOLOGICAL SOURCES
- DIFFICULTY for the SINGER (from 1 to 5)
- DIFFICULTY FOR THE CONDUCTOR (from 1 to 5)
- DURATION (in minutes, by half-minute section)

MUSICAL FIELDS - MUSICAL THEME(s)


FIELDS DESCRIBING THE PUBLICATION
- Publisher
For each of them (in a relational file, so it has only to be input 1 time for the whole database)
- name
- other names or abbreviations
- address
- country
- town
- telephone
- FAX
- e-mail
- Web URL
- director of choral department
- speciality
- selling agents
- PUBLISHER'S CATALOG NUMBER
- Type of materiel
- REPRINT NUMBER
- NUMBER OF PAGES
- VOLUME(S)
- YEAR OF PUBLICATION
- EDITOR
- COPYRIGHT
- SERIES TITLE WITH SUB-GROUPING (if needed)
- COLLECTION TITLE
- NUMBER OF PAGES OF THE ENTIRE COLLECTION
- ISBN or ISMN NUMBER
- OTHER MUSIC in the SAME SCORE (if not a collection)

ADDITIONAL EXTERNAL REFERENCES - BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES (analysis of the work,...)
- DISCOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
- KNOWN LOCATIONS of RECORDINGS


FOR EACH MEMBER OF MUSICA (satellite):
- Catalog number
- Location of the score
- Number of copies
- ...
MULTIMEDIA FEATURES (URLs)
- IMAGE OF THE 1st PAGE OF THE SCORE
- FILE OF THE ENTIRE SCORE FOR DOWNLOADING
- EXCERPT OF A RECORDING BY A GOOD CHOIR
- RECORDING OF THE ENTIRE PIECE
- VIDEO
- MIDI FILE
- TEXT OF THE PIECE
- RECORDING OF THE PRONUNCIATION of the TEXT SAID by a LANGUAGE NATIVE
- TRANSLATION of the TEXT IN FRENCH
- TRANSLATION of the TEXT IN ENGLISH
- TRANSLATION of the TEXT IN GERMAN
- TRANSLATION of the TEXT IN SPANISH
- TRANSLATION of the TEXT IN OTHER LANGUAGES
- INTERNET LINKS ABOUT THE WORK

FIELDS FOR MUSICA INTERNAL MANAGEMENT
- ENCODER OF THE RECORD
- ORIGIN OF THE RECORD
- REVISOR OF THE RECORD
- REVISION LEVEL of MUSICA RECORD
- Musica international (international interest or not)
- Date of creation of record
- Date of last modification of record

OTHER GROUPED FIELDS FOR USER-FRIENDLY OPAC USE
- WORDS OF TITLE or KEYWORDS or GENRE or STYLE or FORM or COUNTRY or ... (13 of the precedent cited fields accessible as a single index in this grouped-field) - COUNTRIES OF ALL KINDS (composer, piece, publisher,...)

For more details, you can visit the submission form for a score in the English version of Musica on the Web (submit a score to Musica database, http://www.musicanet.org) : each field has a link to an explanatory page).

Of course, we feel that it is SILLY THAT EACH LIBRARY does such a comprehensive work again. Rather we encourage all libraries to join the Musica community, thus being able to share cooperayively the work of everybody and being able at the same time to contribute to the development of Musica International Database by only inputting the works that are not in Musica Database yet!

In addition, such a system allows a library to have a local comprehensive database for an investment in time that is probably even lower than constituting a rather simple and incomplete database of its own. And there is no limitation to your needs as you are able to create additional local fields to the structure of Musica.
Principle : the library that joins receives the full Infomusic software and a full copy of Musica Database (not the DVD-Rom runtime version or the Web version).

For each of the 160,000 already input scores, cataloguing in the library is already done! One has just to add the location in the library and eventually the catalog number! One can even know the location of the scores in other libraries that are member of Musica.

If the score is not in Musica yet, it is input "comprehensively" by the library. Once a year, a general merge is operated with all the new records input at the different locations, and an update is done for all the libraries. Thus the efficiency of your work is multiplied by the number of libraries working in Musica.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at officeatmusicanet.org.