Worklists and information

Any posts related to the categorization and standardization of IMSLP

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Worklists and information

Postby vinteuil » Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:33 am

Following a lengthy discussion at, it has been decided to open up the issue of worklists, specifically, and the scope of IMSLP, broadly, to discussion.

What are the guidelines for how much information belongs on a worklist, or anywhere on IMSLP for that matter? What is the purpose of information on IMSLP? How do we structure this information? Who is interested in maintaining it?
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Re: Worklists and information

Postby pml » Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:54 am

I note that the main objection is from a Handel aficionado who is parochially upset at the standard of the Handel worklists (and fair enough too). I think it helps for worklists to have as a sponsor an editor with a good working knowledge of the composer’s œuvre (from which I would absent myself from that qualification, in terms of Handel), but at the end of the day there are over three hundred composition lists of varying quality, accuracy, and completeness, and not every such worklist is going to necessarily have an expert overseeing the list with the free time to keep it up to date. Like WP itself these lists are works in progress, and anyone taking the time to edit one of them should be looking at other sources to see what information is currently omitted, but might be of use to consider adding to the page. The mantra of "Only add information to articles that reasonably assists IMSLP readers to locate scores" is only useful as far as one can define the word "reasonably", which relies on knowing how IMSLP users use the site to find works, and what pieces of information they are searching for, or utilising to assist that search. The choice of what information to include and what to exclude is the sixty-four thousand dollar question, and even the best organised of the worklists isn’t going to please everyone.

One small example: in attempting to track down a curiosity earlier today, I wanted to look through several large worklists for specific key signatures to help narrow the search, but none of the category of works had that type of information recorded in the worklist itself (whereas another composer’s worklist has some of that sort of information listed, but being a work in progress, doesn't yet cover all of that composer’s œuvre); one would have had to look at each individual work page to check key signatures.

Obviously the unnecessary duplication of work is an undesirable time sink (and many of us are busy with other time commitments), but if the alternative is to leave the compilation of worklists solely to pay-for-access websites such as Grove, then by all means let us have worklists, even if they are not always as accurate or up-to-date with the latest work additions.
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Re: Worklists and information

Postby Davydov » Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:57 am

If "GFHandel" is upset that the Handel worklist was copied from Wikipedia years ago, but hasn't been managed correctly in his opinion, then that is a specific issue that needs addressing.

However, it is simply wrong to assume that all or most of the worklists on this site are pale imitations of Wikipedia, and IMSLP should defer to it's 'big brother', and confine itself to information only needed to locate scores. Many people (including me) have worked long and hard to bring IMSLP's composer worklists up to a standard far beyond those found on Wikipedia, apart from the instances where our lists have been copied there (e.g. Liszt).

It might be helpful to standardize (sorry to use the "S" word again) the formats of our composer work lists at some point, but that will need careful thought...

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Re: Worklists and information

Postby Generoso » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:25 pm

I was probably one of the first people here on IMSLP to make a list of works by the composer as a way to keep track for myself of the works for a composer, the opus numbers and perhaps any other information (Keys, Year of composition, Year of first publication) that could be handy in either finding these pieces. Actually it started with the List of works for Cello that I began way back in Jun of 2007. These lists were made in order to keep track of what is already on IMSLP and what is still to be found. I have "borrowed" at times from WIkipedia and other sites with lists. Most lists (not all) on most sites including IMSLP are incomplete and as I found more information I would add it. (Like you said - "A work in progress"). Some information was taken from sites in other languages and translated into english as time permits. Some information came from books laying around in my home. I also found many of the list information on old copies of sheet music that I had uploaded. Those extra pages at the beginning and at the end of some editions are extremely helpful at finding sheet music that I did not know even was out in a printed edition. As it turns out these lists are extremely helpful. I am ever so grateful when someone else adds to the lists I have been working on. And I try to add information that I find useful for me and I think will be useful for others.

I think it is incredible how we have been finding so many of these great pieces of music that we all have been uploading and at such a remarkable rate!

I can not wait to play as many of these works as I can. These lists also allow me to see what I still have to look forward to.

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