A wonderful rewarding experience. Join us!

Musica international workshop
October 20-24, 2014
Faculty of Music at the University of Montreal.

Musica workshops for conductors, librarians and publishers, composers.

A project to include into a single multilingual database the whole choral repertoire of the world.

Registrations are open!


Are you looking for 17th century German motets for 6 to 8 voices? Or a work for mixed chorus with string orchestra in English under 10 minutes in length, preferably from the 18th century? Musica The International Choral Repertoire Database (http://www.musicanet.org) is a tool that can assist you in your search. An extensive database of choral music from around the world (and an official project of the International Federation for Choral Music), Musica is being built by member organizations in France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Great Britain, Canada, Switzerland, Venezuela, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Australia, Argentina and the United States.

Including about 170,000 titles, and growing, the database is currently searchable in four languages: English, French, German, and Spanish. In addition to standard bibliographic fields (composer, title, author of text, publisher, etc.), there are fields which identify the key, the level of difficulty for conductors to teach and for choirs to learn a piece, voicing, instrumentation, country of the composer, century of composition, keywords, and many other variables, all of which can be used to limit a search.


The aim of Musica - the creation of a comprehensive choral resource that is international in scope and available world-wide - can be reached by being a cooperative collaboration of choral conductors, music librarians, and publishers. The idea of the Musica working-sessions is to bring conductors, librarians, publishers and composers together for one week to share collegial time together and to enter new choral repertoire into the database. A Musica team is present to have a network of computers working smoothly and to teach people how to input new data as well as how to use the power of the database for their own explorations of choral repertoire. Seminars are organized to try to find together solutions for unsolved documentation questions about the database (such as optimization of descriptions of instrumentation, categorized keyword descriptions, etc.).

The success of these sessions is due to several factors:

· Working in a focused, concentrated week is an efficient way to enter a large amount of new data in a short amount of time.
· Working together brings the advantage of learning from each other.
· Working together brings the pleasure of learning new choral repertoire in impromptu sight-reading sessions, sharing jokes with each other, of sharing stories and developing new friendships over meals.
· Working in the master database with the Musica team immediately available for consultation on search techniques gives you an exceptional opportunity to increase your skills in database searching and expand your opportunities to find ideas for building future programs.


A Musica workshop aims at entering a significant number of scores in a short amount of time. This is done with score in hand, entering standard bibliographic data but also entering musical information: key, musical incipit, level of difficulty for choir to learn and conductor to teach, recording the correct pronunciation of the text (sound file), linking good videos,...

During the first morning of the session, there will be a demonstration of the database and instruction on data entry. For the remainder of the week, you'll be entering new records, as well as having a chance to do your own research in the database; there may be some other special projects such as augmenting existing records for composers, or, for someone who has strong German, French, or Spanish language skills, providing translations for Musica's multilingual thesauruses.

View a video-clip by the french television France 3 Alsace,
reporting on a Musica workshop in France, february 2001

Real time streaming 80 kb/s          View after download

Generally, the schedule is defined collegially at the beginning of the session. Thus a typical time schedule, fitting for the Montreal session, is:

- in the morning, work from 9:00 am to 12:15 (coffee break around 11:00)
- lunch at 12:30
- work between 2:00pm and 6:00pm (coffee break around 4:00 pm)
- dinner at 6:45pm

But you're a volunteer, and you're free to choose to spend time exploring the town or doing research in the library or anything else.

What music will be entered? Participants can bring their favorite pieces to enter, or they can simply grab a stack of music from the local library.

If this sounds like work, well, it is, a sort of ... but also very satisfying. Previous participants at sessions have enjoyed themselves so much ... that they come back regularly: Paul, Dominique, Raymond, Doris, Jane, Kathryn...! Jean Sturm, Executive Director of Musica International : office(at)musicanet.org, will be running this session; he has a very special sense of hospitality and a unique commitment to this project. He quickly helps to create an environment of friends working toward a common goal, so even the work is fun.


There is no tuition fee. You have only to pay for your travel expenses and your food and lodging.

Accommodation, in University residence (if a hotel room is preferred, contact us):
Cost:  60 Canadian $ per day, including breakfast and lunch but not dinner.
There are some possibilities to lower this price according to your personal situation. Please contact us.

The residences are about 5 minutes walk from of the place where will be held the workshop, on the boulevard ?Edouard-Montpetit?, at the foot of the ?Mont Royal?

The participants are invited to attend the session. If you are only able to attend only a few days, you should prioritize the first few days in order to receive the basic information, which will be provided in the beginning of the session.

What to take with you:
  • Bring your FAVORITE SCORES that are not in Musica yet.
    If you are a publisher, bring your publications.
  • take with you your favorite choral music CDs. They will be used to build "sound files" for the multimedia part of Musica.
  • If weight allows it, bring with you any document that might be helpful for the input of information in Musica: dictionaries (linguistic and musical), a watch (or better a stopwatch), ...
  • And... bring with you whatever is always MUCH appreciated from your country for socializing (for instance: wine from your country to taste, chocolate, sweets, etc...)!

There is no formal application process to attend a Musica session. If you think you'd like to join us, please contact the Musica Coordination (office(at)musicanet.org), and send a brief summary of your choral experience.

Back to the sessions page