Are tune books obsolete in the digital age?
In a current discussion about tune collections someone stated
> tune books are obsolete now in the Digital age
I’ve not named the author of that as this very much isn’t intended as any form of a personal attack, but it’s a potentially interesting debate.
I’m a huge proponent of online music in general and abc in particular. However I’d argue against the idea that tune books per se are obsolete.
Although there are huge online resources of tune available in abc on thesession, other websites, etc., and obviously in lots of other formats as well; there is still very much a place for a paper collection of tunes.
- require a device to display them on; just about everyone has a phone, but playing off of a phone display is less than optimum, so you really need a tablet-sized screen
- aren’t as immediately easy to flick through,
- are harder to open at random for serendipitous discovery
- textural context for tunes can of course be embedded in the headers or in %% comments, but aren’t as immediately accessible as text on a typeset page
If you know the title of a tune, it’s dead easy to find on the Internet. But what if you don’t know the title, or just want to go through a curated collection sequentially? What about the physical presence of a published collection, compared to the PDF equivalent?
Or am I just an old Luddite clinging to my paper collections as the tide of digital rises to sweep me away?