Submitting Tunes to the Session.org

Submitting Tunes to the Session.org

This site provides one of the best Irish trad tune data bases on the web. But it’s at risk of being diluted.

We’ve had a recent rash of tune submissions that duplicate tunes already in the archives here. Some come with made up names, and some contributors clearly aren’t searching the archives before clicking "post" because the transcriptions are nearly identical.

And lately, Jeremy’s been letting these tunes stand instead of his old practice of deleting them (if they were purely redundant) or moving them into the existing tune file (if they add some variation, alternate setting, or useful information).

In the long run—maybe sooner—I see this trend as less than helpful. It will leave the tune database disorganized, with duplicate postings and no way short of sifting through all the posts to determine which ones are helpful and which are red herrings. And it only adds confusion to a trad repertoire of tunes already beseiged by confusion over tune names.

So I’m hoping Jeremy will respond here and clarify his policy on all this. And I’m hoping people will read this and think twice before submitting a tune without first doing some research to make sure it’s not already in the data base. It’s easy enough to post a redundant tune even when you search the archives first, and even when you have a decent handle on the repertoire (I know because I’ve don’t it twice recently myself). But I’d like to see such tune submissions kept to a minimum, and corrected (moved or deleted, as appropriate), to maintain the integrity of the data base.

My intent isn’t to discourage anyone from posting tunes here, but to encourage them to do so with some respect and appreciation for the great collection of tunes we’ve all built so they can add to it. Please let’s not gum it up.

If you’re new to abcs, test the transcription on abc software or the Tune-O-Tron’s tune converter at Concertina.net first. If you don’t know how to use the abc search function here, ask and someone will explain it for you. If your knowledge of the Irish trad repertoire is slim, ask another member here to review your tune before you post it.

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I agree will, Ive noticed alot of duplicates lately, while searching, the only difference being the title. It makes searching more dificult than It has to be.

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I know, yeah. I get especially irritated when someone submits some really common tune like the Sligo Maid and names it after something because they don’t know its name, or they call it "Gan Ainm", and you’re left wondering if they’ve ever even been to a session before in their lives. Like some nitwit posted the Pigeon On The Gate the other day - can’t remember who it was, but honestly, whoever it was should be banished from thesession.org forever ๐Ÿ˜‰

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…names it after someONE, some person.

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I am in total agreement with you ,Will,as I would not like to see standards dropping on this excellent resource.I have also noticed that there are a number of inferior settings of tunes which have been submitted over the years,and although they got there first its a pity they can`t be dislodged in favour of better settings.I know its a matter of opinion what an authentic version of a tune is so what do other people think?

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I think Pigeon on the Gate should be called the Will Harmon reel.

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cooooo, coooooo, cooooooo…..

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I told you he was coo coo.

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I fell prey to this mistake earlier today. I transcribed a tune I learned from a workshop given by a very well known and respected irish musician. They had little or no information about the tune. It was one of those "learned it from a friend and taught it to a few friends" things.

I searched the database both for the name and used the advanced search lookong for the ABC’s. All searches turned up nothing.

Within an hour of posting the tune, it was pointed that the tune was indeed in the database, just in a different key, with a different name and a slightly different key.

The setting I transcribed is in the comments section of the original posting but it appears the advanced search didn’t look in the comments section for variations, just the submitted ABC’s themselves.

So, any suggestions on how I could have avoided this faux pas’?

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But seriously folks… I think Will makes a good point. I remember posting a couple of tunes that were already in the database and having Jeremy email me and scold me. Then he made the proper adjustments to the database. It made me try everything I could after that to research the database before I posted a new tune. I’ve noticed a lapse in this activity and I wonder if the whole thing might be wearing the old boy out. Perhaps some responsibility can be delegated to one or two tune scholars amongst us to relieve Jeremy from this duty and lighten his load a bit.

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Sometimes it’s not an easy judgment call on whether a tune deserves its own place, but it helps all of us if there is a more or less consistent rule of thumb.

Case in point: My submission of Pigeon on the Gate could easily go into the comments section of the already existing tune. The reason I submitted it as a "new" posting is I think it varies enough from the other two settings to deserve its own sheet music and sound file. Plus there’s the hope that the proper link can be established between recordings of that specific version versus the others.

But if others feel it’s close enough to the setting Brad Maloney posted earlier, I have no problem seeing it moved to the comment section there.

I don’t rely on the sound files or sheet music to scan tunes here—I just read the abcs. So I don’t mind having alternate settings plopped into the comment section of an earlier submission. But I suspect some people don’t like that—they want the sound file and/or sheet music for the alternate settings. For them, it is a shortcoming of the site that only the first submission gets translated into dots and sounds.

But letting redundant submissions or well-known tunes with arbitrary names stand only invites more confusion, and requires more work to find a decent setting of a given tune.

The "advanced" abc search function helps reduce double postings, although it takes some time and savvy to use. I quite often spend an hour or more scanning abcs that "hit" from a search just to make sure I’m not duplicating a previous entry. It’s important to choose a good search chain—some phrase from the tune that’s fairly distinctive and also not likely to morph too much in other settingsd to double check by searching for other phrases in the tune. Of course, the shorter your searched-for phrase, the more hits you’ll pull up, and the more time you’ll spend sifting through tunes.

Another way to look at the problem as it’s emerging is that it’s not the submissions causing the trouble, but *letting redundant ones stand.* We’ve all posted redundant tunes, and collectively we’ve all helped spot them and flag them for removal. In the past, Jeremy did a terrific job keeping up with this. Lately, he seems to be letting them stay. Which is his perogative—I’m just saying I don’t like it.

I’ve gone so far as to wonder if Jeremy’d like some help culling tunes—perhaps a team of us to shovel through tunes as they’re submitted to determine whether each one stands, is deleted, or gets moved to the appropriate comment thread. I’d even volunteer (or see if someone with more knowledge and experience is willing) to help do the actual deleting or moving, if Jeremy is willing to let someone else muddle in his wonderful web site (which he’d have no shortage of good reasons *not* to do).

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If I could just get a bit of a break here, that would be nice ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been travelling for the past week so I haven’t had as much time as usual to keep things ticking over in the tunes section.

If you do find a duplicate submission, perhaps the best thing to do would be to simply write to me (I’m not omnipresent, unfortunately). Let me know where the problem is. It doesn’t take long and it would be a constructive way of dealing with the issue.

Thanks.

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This discussion is full of cross posts and duplications. Maybe we should edit it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Will mentioned something that bothered me. How are tunes linked between the database and the Recordings section? I tried to find it for an example, but there was one recording that I was browsing, and was excited to see a tune linked. I must have needed some notes from it.

But when I followed the link, it was a different tune altogether.

I expect Jeremy will be yelling at me to just tell him, but I was a newbie at the time and did not know he was so friendly…

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I’ll volunteer to go over to Jeremy’s place with a whip and some leg shackles to make sure he doesn’t eat or sleep before making sure only the REAL version of each tune with its REAL name lives on.

I don’t mind sifting through 10 versions of a tune before I find the one I’m looking for. Look on the bright side - it’s a long way from becoming JC’s ABC tune finder.

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I thought about dropping you an email, Jeremy, but thought a heads-up here might also get the message across to the general population—maybe get at the root of the problem instead of just pruning the branches.

As long as you don’t mind the avalanche of emails, I’ll let you know whenever I think a tune posting needs your attention. Thanks for clearing this up.

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Kerri, you mean JC’s abyss of abcs, aka tune limbo? ๐Ÿ™‚

I’d hate to see the archive here turn into that….

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I’ve mentioned before the thing about the links between the recordings and the tunes as Jode mentioned above. I wonder if when you click on a tune in the recording section if it could go to a search result rather than just one tune. That way you could go through and see if any are the right one.

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No trouble to bodhran players. hee-hee.

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Careful, BB… you realize your last statement illustrates the punch line for: What do you call people who hang around with musicians? Answer: Drummers

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I previously suggested that Gan ainm tunes might have a number attached in order to link them to a specific recording track so that you could click on the tune in the Track listing to go straight to that tune.
The same could apply to Pigeons or suchlike. If Pigeon 3 setting was recorded by Noel Hill then the track listing on his album would link to that pigeon. Not sure if this could be done because it would require that the tune be submitted with a number attached and at the same time the track listing would have to be modified to give it the same number attached.
Can the person who submitted a track listing for an album modify the wording. If so it could be left to the tune submitter to add the number and then email the recording submitter to ask them to add that number to that tune in the track listing. So no extra work for Jeremyโ˜บ.
WHat this would mean is that it would make sense giving different settings a different home on the tune database. But we still need someone to spot the duplicates and let Jeremy know. He will ultimately have to decide if the setting is different enough to warrant another entry.
Cheers

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It might also be a good to have a trawl of the "tune Request" section. Many of the tunes requested there are already on the site but with similar names-often a mistype or bad spelling! Other requests don’t exist as tunes as they are really songs!
So, it’s probably time to put some of these people out of their misery. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Go ahead, John. I do that myself from time to time. Email the sloppy speller who made the request with a link to the tune and remind them to cancel their request.

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I felt like I contributed to the mess; I has responding to a request and got messed up and put the tune in the search and…. anyway-sorry about the spills-gotta be more careful when typing

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I have been guilty of posting a duplicate tune a couple times. Once was my careless mistake (misspelling when I searched, I believe). Just recently I posted a tune which the CD notes (Noel Hill and Tony MacMahon’s live CD, by the way) titled Limerick Lassies. I did a search for the name and in the advanced search section. My advanced search was D2 FA D2 FA because that’s how I learned it off the CD but it was posted as D2 FA DAFA and under the name Noel Hill’s. I got a polite email from Jeremy saying he had deleted it and I felt guilty. What I do if I find a link to the wrong tune in the recording section, I’ll post how to get to the specific tune. I don’t email Jeremy asking him to change the link because I’m sure he has enough on his plate.

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Am questioning tunes which may or may not fall within copyright laws. There are a couple of Liz Carroll tunes here as well as Jerry Holland. In both cases, the CD liner notes indicate tunes penned by (Liz Carroll/Jerry Holland, probably other artists) are copyrighted. Is it safe to publish the tune here considering copyright issues?

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Liz, perhaps, wouldn’t mind her tunes being here as she already provides copies for free on her own site.
It’s quite difficult to tell which tunes are in copyright. I’d say that a very large number are already contained in publications and, even if the composer is now dead, the rights are owned by somebody else. So, obviously, it’s not a good move to copy a tune out of a book and post it here.
However, posting a setting which you play etc could be a slightly different matter. This is what I tend to do, although I’ve obviously learned many of tunes from books in the first place!
There’s also the possibility that a tune might get posted which hasn’t yet been copyrighted or published and this might happen at a later date. I’ve posted a couple like this but I *did* give the composer credit.
Whatever we do, I think that it’s very important, good manners, and common decency to give as much information as we can about a tune and its composer. We should never describe a tune as traditional, if we know the author.

Obviously, if composers of tunes objected to them being posted here, they should be removed. However, I think many musicians are probably delighted that people are playing their music and it is getting attention.

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Deb, I’ve asked composers for permission first, and no one has yet said no. John McCusker, for example, said he was very pleased that his tunes would be included here. It’s usually pretty easy to email the artist and ask permission.

I_fel and kardshark’s comments help make my point—we all make mistakes, and most of us are eager to correct them and learn from them. That’s not really the problem. As I see it, the more serious problem is when people *don’t* learn from their mistakes, or aren’t willing to take the time to research the tune they want to post.

I hope it helps to have this discussion out in the open so everyone’s more aware of the sort of care expected when submitting tunes.

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There’s been many a time when iv found a great *new* tune and thought of posting it here……only to find its already posted/under a different name. As in normal sessions- youre always going to get the careless people, who arrive late, and proceed to play the same tune as you played at the start, or the ones that come in and ask "have you played such-and-such". it just depends entirely on the mentality of the person.

As a response to david a/ other ppl mentioning the same thing, would it not be possible to subsection the variants of a tune, under a name?
for example, if you searched up Pigeon on the Gate- it would show 1 result, but when clicked on gave you the option of:

E minor version
A minor version
G mixolodyian version

which would then hyperlink to the sheetmusic/abc’s for the individual version, each with its own "recorded by"/ "featured on" / "known as" section? (problem may come in the comments section-especially when grouping older tunes)

this may simplify the tune database a bit, removing multiple/misspelled versions and allow it to be accessed easier to access for the user, though i appreciate it may be hard to put in to place in practice.

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Liz Carroll has already said that she doesn’t mind. Not sure about Jerry Holland though.

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I don’t see anything on that page of Jerry Holland’s that hints at his views on the matter. There are links to forms that allow you to request licenses to use his works in various ways. There’s also a link to a nice description of the workings of Canadian copyrights by Paul Cranford. Jerry’s site makes it easy to request permission, but it doesn’t grant it outright.

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I brought the copyright issue up as simply something else we need to keep in mind when posting transcriptions. The composers may indeed be happy their music is available on this website. On the other hand, by taking their generosity for granted, we may be stepping into copyright issues with a publisher for example. On the Cranford site as Gary indicated, there is no permission to publish the tunes else where. Cranford publishing may even own the copyright to the Holland tunes. You don’t know until you ask.

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On closing the Cranford site, I noticed that the publisher indicates notation on some tunes is availble to "look at". They are selling tunes books. Publishing here takes money out of their pocket.

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You’ll also find lots of tunes in Jerry’s volumes and others by Cranford publications which are by other composers. Many of these are traditional but they are here because they are settings or arrangements unique to certain Cape Breton musicians.
How does the copyright affect posting these settings of otherwise traditional tunes? Again, you shouldn’t be posting them straight from book but you may have learned them elsewhere, eg at a session or by listening to a recording.

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My own opinion: In the case of an otherwise trad tune with variation by Holland (insert any artist here), your best bet is to ask.

Anyone with the talent and skill to do the transcription still can, the issue is publishing, which is what the database is doing.

Copyright infringment has become a significant issue here in the States, perhaps else where it’s not. There are some pretty heavy hands here in the US.

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To be a little more clear, a guy who slaps a bunch of his tunes up on his website isn’t likely to be wringing his hands over the possibility they might percolate through the internet.

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There are things I wish this site handled differently, I much prefer the way topics are handled on the PHPBB (I always laugh when I see that, it sounds like the B.S.’s PCPPEP) style forums, where a topic will go to the top of the list when someone posts to it, keeping all the active topics visible. The redundancy and lack of multiple sheetmusic versions is also kind of a drag, what would it take to remake/remodel these aspects of this site?
Sounds like Jeremey needs a couple of extra proofreaders, are people dissing him non-stop as well? Maybe Dale Wisely could console him!
I like the multiple tabs idea - I’ve made playlists with 15 different versions of tunes, it’s fascinating how just a note can be changed and the tune is turned on its head.