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Thinking about putting together a grant to support development on LilyPo

From: Carl Sorensen
Subject: Thinking about putting together a grant to support development on LilyPond
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 14:29:00 +0000
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I've been thinking about the problem of sustaining LilyPond development
long-term (and specifically the problem of obtaining enough money to
support David K as long as he's interested).

As I've thought about it, going after a grant seems the most logical thing
to do.  So I looked into the National Endowment for the Arts and the
National Endowment for the Humanities.  NEA has nothing that looks
interesting, unfortunately.  However, NEH has two initiatives that seem
interesting.  One is concerned with preservation; the other is concerned
with improve digital access to collected materials.

Guidelines for the preservation grant (which will probably be due in July)
are shown here:

Guidelines for the digital humanities grants are shown here:

A past NEH grant has been use to put pdf copies of sheet music on line
with indexed metadata.  You can see the results in the Sheet Music

This is cool information, but it can't be readily studied musically.  If
the scores were converted from graphical information to musical
information (e.g. In a lilypond file), then the collections could be
digitally searched by analyzing the musical information.  So, for example,
someone could do a study that compared musical trends from different
decades, in terms of chord structures, or ambitus, or key signatures, or
who knows what.

Note: a grant was just awarded for such a study -- look at ELVIS on this

There is also an DFG/NEH digital humanities program on Enriching Digital

So it seems to me we might be able to propose a grant to establish
infrastructure supporting a digital score repository to go along with the
sheet music consortium.

Some tasks that might be supportable under such a grant:

A) Development of ly2xml
B) Development of a lilypond scoring standard for the project, so that
scholars would know how to compare scores.
C) Development of score_ocr2ly, which would take a score pdf and turn it
into .ly files matching the lilypond scoring standard
D) Development of lilypond tools for supporting instruments (such as the
accordion and  harmonica) that may only be minimally supported at this time
E) Development of improved tablature support
F) Development of tools supporting musicological analysis of lilypond

Some tasks that would be required under such a grant (but that might be
less interesting to developers):

A) Converting pdf scores to lilypond scores
B) Integrating lilypond score archives with existing digital collection

So I'd like to ask the developers (and the users):  Does this seem
interesting to you?  Is this something that is worth trying to put
together?  Is anybody interested in contributing to a grant proposal?

If there seems to be enough interest, I'll visit with the music librarian
at BYU, and see if there is any institutional interest.



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