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Re: Thinking about putting together a grant to support development on Li

From: Graham Percival
Subject: Re: Thinking about putting together a grant to support development on LilyPond
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 18:01:08 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Wed, Feb 08, 2012 at 02:29:00PM +0000, Carl Sorensen wrote:
> So I looked into the National Endowment for the Arts and the
> National Endowment for the Humanities.

I could see this funding Americans to work on lilypond programming
while living in America.

I could see this potentially funding Americans to work on lilypond
programming while living outside of America (i.e. Mike Solomon).

I could see this potentially funding non-Americans to work on
lilypond programming while living in America (i.e. hiring a
foreign post-doc, which requires a work visa and all that fun
stuff; it's probably a manageable inconvenience if you're talking
about somebody with a PhD working at a university being funded
from a research grant, but not manageable in other situations).

I can not see this funding non-Americans working outside of

> This is cool information, but it can't be readily studied musically.

There was a lot of work on MIR (music information retrieval) for
symbolic music (i.e. sheet music) in the 90s.  Most of that used
MIDI, but for better or worse, these days almost all of that kind
of work has been done with musicxml.

I can imagine such a grant going through if we sell it as "a
backend rendering program for musicxml", relying on musicxml2ly.
It would be much harder to sell it if we talked about lilypond
input directly.

> 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?

I've said that grants are the best way to have "commercial"
funding for lilypond.  However, they tend to be country-specific.
For David, an EU grant would be best; I am pessimistic that he
could be funded with a US grant unless he was willing to move

The other question is whether to aim the grant directly at
lilypond, or instead include a bit of lilypond development as part
of a different grant.  Just like most (US) universities skim
10%-50% off of any grant for "operating expenses", a grant could
direct 10-20% of its money towards program development, ideally
focused on its area.  For example, I could imagine a grant to
preserve the history of Spanish guitar music spending maybe 10% on
general lilypond development, 10% on tablature-specific lilypond
development, and the rest on students to typeset guitar music,
make scores available online, write a book, etc etc.

I know that some people have some amount of contact with IRCAM; I
can definitely imagine a EU grant to support modern composition
styles (or specifically graphical notation and the like).  The EU
tends to like grants being split over multiple countries, so I
could totally see a grant being shared by Mike, David, and 2 or 3
other people (ideally in "new member states", because a grant
application to be spent all in France and Germany isn't likely to
go far!).

- Graham

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