Country Blues > Weeniepedia

Mother of all tables

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arlotone:
I'm a PHP/MySQL developer and this would be pretty easy for me to build. In fact, I built a similar tool for the Old Town School of Folk Music -- an online index to their songbook, searchable by chords/keys/tempos/time signatures as well as user comments. So if you need a song in C that doesn't have an F chord and has something to do with the labor movement, you can find it (if it exists).

If there's a consensus this would be useful, and someone else can enter the existing data from the wiki format, and it can live on the weeniecampbell.com host, I'll volunteer to build it.

Johnm:
Hi Rivers,
Since my previous post was erased, I'll do a quick and dirty recap:
   *  I think the proposed table sounds like a "make work" item, and since the information targeted for inclusion on it is already on site, the time spent putting it together would be better spent conducting new research, doing new transcriptions, and engaging in new discussions.
   * One effect of mass categorizations of the type proposed is that they have the effect of flattening out the differences in the categories.  This is true even within the smaller categories with threads already running, like 8-bar blues.  John Hurt's "Sliding Delta", Ishmon Bracey's "Woman, Woman", Furry Lewis' "Dryland Blues" and Henry Johnson's "Crow Jane" could all be categorized as "8-Bar blues with Instrumental extensions at the end of the form".  If you are familiar with these pieces, though, you realize the extent to which the fact that they all share that category is little reflection of how very different they sound from each other.  With other categories, meaningful conclusions based upon a shared categorical status are even harder to come by:  What generalization can be made about Mississipi blues on the basis of the fact that Big Joe Williams, Hacksaw Harney, Bo Carter and Roosevelt Graves all came from that state?
   * To the extent that there are long-standing categorical threads like "Adventures in Spanish", it makes sense to keep adding new entries as appropriate.  I'm not sure what is to be gained by lumping together a great mass of categories from which correlations will be difficult to ascertain.
If you want to make the table, by all means make it, but I think more Leadbelly transcriptions or Willie McTell transcriptions would make more sense.
all best,
Johnm       

dj:
As someone who's always been a list maker, I can see the benefit to a sortable table of the type proposed.  It would be interesting to sort on waltzes by region to see if any one area was more pron to producing artists who recorded waltzes.  Same with 8 bar, 16 bar, or unusual form blues - did they predominantly come from one region?  There are genuinely interesting possibilities for research there.   

Rivers:
Yeah, sorry about erasing your post John, it was 5 AM, I meant to hit 'Quote' and hit 'Modify'. I've almost done that before in the past but always caught it before hitting save. Anyway sincere apologies, thanks for reposting, and I promise to never do it again.

I see it as a natural progression, like the wiki was a natural progression. I mean, probably when Dixon, Godrich & Rye proposed the first ed. of B&GR [cue the inspirational music] I daresay a lot of folks thought they were crazy. When JFK talked about going to the moon...  :P

Re. your point about correlations being difficult to ascertain, certainly. But much easier if you can play around with different groupings or views, which we cannot do at present. All your caveats are totally valid though, and could easily be stated in some form of preamble.

Arlotone, thanks for your kind offer of asistance, I'd certainly like to talk to you about leveraging database, but integrated within a mediawiki framework. Sure, we can do a PHP/mySql driven custom page, see the forum Tags index, for example, which is a PHP/mySQL script we integrated into the forum infrastructure using an extension to the SMF software. Key word is 'integrated', I think. Have you played around with PHP/mySQL in a mediawiki context? Me either. This could be our chance!

It would make a lot of sense to have a powerhouse central repository. Trick would be to make it really easy to query and present result sets on (a framework) page without having to have pro-level IT skills. Might be asking a bit much though, given today's technology. Or maybe not, if we think through the requirements up front and code it to meet them.

Rivers:

--- Quote from: dj on March 09, 2009, 04:37:00 AM ---As someone who's always been a list maker, I can see the benefit to a sortable table of the type proposed.  It would be interesting to sort on waltzes by region to see if any one area was more pron to producing artists who recorded waltzes.  Same with 8 bar, 16 bar, or unusual form blues - did they predominantly come from one region?  There are genuinely interesting possibilities for research there.   

--- End quote ---

Pinging off that idea, likewise 12 string players not from GA, lap style players from Kathmandu, and so on. The database could be very functional with just a single initial table, at the song level.

Then you'd want to add an artist parent table, song session recording date/location children, and so on, like a real application. I've always wanted to do a country blues timeline database also, you could key into that.

Nobody else is gonna write it, so how about we do it? We can take our time here, it's not like it has to meet a commercial deadline or anything. Ain't no more country blues being recorded from the era we're talking about capturing. The information is out there, just nobody's brought it all together, and certainly no group with such active musical backgrounds, combined knowledge base and tech skills.

Of course the danger is we'd have nothing left to talk about on the forum. Personally I doubt that very much.  :)

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