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Keeping track of your music.... (Read 1738 times)

Offline j_menz

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Keeping track of your music....
« on: December 13, 2012, 05:50:43 AM »
OK.  My collection is both paper and pdf. The books are on a shelf, alphabetical by composer with "collections" at the end. The pdfs are (mostly) sorted into seperate directories by composer.

MOSTLY, I can find things.  Sometimes though, I see something and think "do I have that?". 

My system works OK for some things. If it's a Beethoven Sonata or a Chopin Nocturne etc, I know I have it.  Nice big book, easy to find, too.

If it's a single piece or a piece where I don't have a complete set, if I do have it it's in a collection type book somewhere, or a single sheet amongst a pile of them., and I can never find it.  :(

How do people keep track of what they have (and where)?
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline ajspiano

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Re: Keeping track of your music....
«Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 06:00:43 AM »
everything I have in print I have in pdf (assuming public domain) so can always do a digital search.

everything I print, I bind into collections.

printed single pieces get bundled together as a random collection with an index/contents. These types of collections get dismantled and rebuilt as more pieces get printed and the sorting becomes more logical..

I started building a digital database too. - where each piece has fields for isHardCopy and isPdf - with direct links to pdf files. I also have records for complete volumes which are related to the individual piece records.. so my database tells me where something is on the shelf (location and the label name on the collection)..  ofcourse I just have to remember to keep all the hardcopy stuff in the right locations.. :P

EDIT:
It helps that the large majority of my stuff is public domain and I rarely buy anything so much as download and print myself.

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: Keeping track of your music....
«Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 01:01:15 PM »
all my stuff is stuffed into several large boxes mixed with LP albums, no system of organization whatsoever, takes me forever to find anything everytime I need to look for something.

PDF files of scores are just mixed into a big folder that honestly were it not for window's search function and that I can sort by date/alphabet/file type (lots of randomn non pdf non music stuff in there too), i'd probably never track anything down, works sort of as long as i remember how i normally label things and try to remain consistent.

i need to/but dread the time when I will finally have to go in and begin taking stock and organizing/catalogue things.... :'(

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Keeping track of your music....
«Reply #3 on: December 13, 2012, 01:43:10 PM »
If all your stuff is in electronic format, like ajspiano, then it's easy enough.  But... mine is much more like 49410enrique's.  Except that the LPs are on shelves all their own, and the music is scattered all over the house.  Stuff I'm currently working with -- about four feet of it -- is on shelves right by my piano and being current, I can remember where it is.  The rest of the stuff -- old piano music (dating back to 1895), organ music, choral music... is either organised by whose collection it was (the piano stuff) or alphabetical by composer (organ, with collections on one end and secular choral) or season (sacred choral).

What I need to do is to create a data base (in the old days it would have been a card catalogue) with all the music on it (composer, title, op/no, catalogue number, whatever -- performer(s) for recordings, date(s) used/performed and for whom or what), and an indication of format available (e.g. sheet music/single copy, collection, LP, CD, tape etc.).  And where it is supposed to be.  That's the correct way to do it, in my view.  Need to do that for my books, too.

Right... I'd rather practice!
Ian

Offline ajspiano

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Re: Keeping track of your music....
«Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 10:03:57 PM »
Right... I'd rather practice!
Luckily for me I enjoy the odd bit of database programming.

Offline quantum

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Re: Keeping track of your music....
«Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 10:59:59 PM »
For books.   Organized by instrument, composer, edition, volume.  Anthologies are grouped in the instrument category.  

For PDF's.  Many directories, sub directories, sub sub directories....  Generally follows the pattern for print music above.  I'll rename any ambiguous file names.  

Recent music piles up beside the piano.

A database would be a good idea for my recorded music collection.  I have stuff in many different formats, LP, cassette, CD, VHS, DVD....  I've found a lot of old recordings at rummage sales, like DG LP's for $1.  

Recordings where I was the audio tech are stored on hard drives.  Generally organized by date.

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Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Keeping track of your music....
«Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 01:27:45 AM »
I keep my Scriabin and Rachmaninoff in a safe with a 7 digit combination, and I change it every day.

Except for that one Sciabin book I have.  As J Menz guessed a while ago, I slept with it under my matress, and it's freaking destroyed!  But now it's safe in my safe!

The other stuff I have is sitting around somewhere in my parents room.

Except for Bach.  He's usually in the trash.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline ajspiano

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Re: Keeping track of your music....
«Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 01:36:14 AM »
Except for Bach.  He's usually in the trash.

thats the recordings of you trying to play it right? where as the scores have a safe with an 8 digit combination...

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Keeping track of your music....
«Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 01:37:56 AM »
thats the recordings of you trying to play it right? where as the scores have a safe with an 8 digit combination...

Nope, both.

Incidentally, I'm not posting my Rachmaninoff in the audition room because I'm keeping him and Scriabin to myself.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline the89thkey

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Re: Keeping track of your music....
«Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 05:49:18 AM »
I have 11 shelves full of scores...sometimes 2 or even 3 editions of one piece.
I'd estimate it to be 500 or so altogether.

Offline richard black

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Re: Keeping track of your music....
«Reply #10 on: December 17, 2012, 08:02:53 PM »
I have a truly ridiculous amount of sheet music: solo piano, songs, opera vocal scores, opera full scores, chamber music. Each of those is sorted alphabetically, except for thin volumes (up to 40 pages or so) which are roughly sorted into piles in a shelf unit a bit like a mail sorter (e.g. one pile for songs, composers beginning M to O, and so on). I also have a huge quantity of photocopies, which I keep in a filing cabinet, with one A4 envelope for each composer. That works quite well, as I can keep a list of the contents of each envelope on the outside of the envelope itself, and the envelopes are then sorted alphabetically in the cabinet. When an envelope is full I just divide the stuff into 2 or more. I can usually find anything in under a minute.
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