Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Music to my ears

Wikipedia's song articles need help. Twice this week I've seen seasoned site volunteers react in ways that look like they don't suppose the situation could be so bad as it is. So if you think Wikipedia has too many articles already, read on.

The gentleman whose portrait appears on today's blog is James Scott, one of the three top composers of classic ragtime. Out of the dozens of compositions he wrote, how many do you suppose have their own Wikipedia article?

None of them.

Fortunately that's about to change. I've been creating a set of Wikisource pages for his work. So far that's got complete musical scores for 22 of his compositions. It's a fortunate accident for wiki purposes that he basically stopped publishing in 1922--just within the window for United States public domain.

Another challenge is to locate recordings of his work. Searches of public domain archives have come up dry, but a couple of Wikipedians may help out. We'll probably (crossing my fingers) have MIDIs soon. Looking for pianists! Yes that means you, nimblefingers. This is a wiki. Want a featured sound credit? Here's your chance.

Now here's the part I'm really looking forward to. Normally by now I'd have started creating articles for these songs. I'm holding off a few days because Not the Wikipedia Weekly is going to be doing something new this Friday: real time editing. We're going to write an article for Wikipedia's main page at Did you know and I've proposed doing a James Scott song as our project. Newcomers are welcome.

No comments: