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  1. #1
    Hello,

    This is my first post to this forum.

    Over the last few years, I've made many lead sheets for songs that I like to play, so as not to have to turn pages, especially when recording myself.

    Awhile ago, I decided to make the lead sheets for all of the public domain songs available on the internet (links below). For songs first published in the US, public domain means published before 1926 (in Jan. 2022 it will be before 1927, and so on). So there are some jazz standards that have gone into the public domain, but most of them haven't. For example, for Rodgers and Hart, Manhattan, yes, Bewitched, no.

    They are part of a project of mine that I've uploaded to GitHub: It's a database application called "Songlist" for keeping track of songs. It is especially for my own needs, but I thought it might be useful to others, so I've made it available at GitHub. It contains SQL code for MySQL, a program in C++ and some other things. (I am a programmer by profession.)

    The individual lead sheets in the form of PDF files (A4 format) are located here: Songlist/lead_sheets at main * lfinston/Songlist * GitHub

    I've also put them together into "book form" with tables of contents, indexes and an explanation of the chord symbols used, which should mostly be familiar to users of this forum. I had to divide them into multiple files because the full version is too large to store at GitHub unless I pay for it. However, if you download the package, it's easy to generate the PDF file with all of the lead sheets. I'll put an explanation in the README file in that directory soon and if anyone wants to know, I'll explain it here.

    These are the "divided-up" files:

    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...c_domain_1.pdf
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...c_domain_2.pdf
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...c_domain_3.pdf
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...c_domain_4.pdf
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...c_domain_5.pdf

    Another document that might be of interest is here:
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...all_no_sep.pdf
    It shows what the "songlist" program does with the data in the database.

    The code for setting up the database is included in the package, and of course the source code for the program itself.
    If anyone is interested, the way to get it is like this:

    git clone git@github.com:lfinston/Songlist.git

    Of course, the data entries are for songs that are of interest to me, but the package could easily be adapted to other peoples' needs.

    To save anyone the trouble of looking, a list of the p.d. songs for which I've made lead sheets so far are at the end of this posting. Most but not all of them are jazz standards, or if not standards, then popular songs from between approx. 1890 and 1925.

    I hope someone here finds this useful. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

    Laurence Finston

    April Showers
    Barcarole
    By The Light Of The Silvery Moon
    Carolina in the Morning
    Chicago
    Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich and You, A
    Da geh ich zu Maxim
    Durch die Wälder, durch die Auen
    Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue
    Hello! Ma Baby
    How ’Ya Gonna Keep ’Em Down on the Farm?
    I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now
    I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
    I’m Just Wild About Harry
    It Had to be You
    Là ci darem la mano
    Lied vom dummen Reiter, Das
    Lippen schweigen
    Lob des hohen Verstandes
    Manhattan
    Moonlight Bay
    My Melancholy Baby
    Oiseaux dans les charmille, Les
    Polowetzer Tänze ("Stranger in Paradise")
    Pretty A Girl is Like a Melody, A
    Rheinlegendchen
    Rock-a-Bye Your Baby
    Shine On Harvest Moon
    Somebody Loves Me
    Tico Tico no Fuba
    Toot Toot Tootsie, Goo’bye
    Wer hat das Liedlein erdacht?
    You Made Me Love You
    Last edited by Laurence Finston; 08-23-2021 at 04:05 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    This is a cool project, thanks for sharing your work.

    I think in by 2040 or 2050, enough of the Great American Songbook part of the jazz cannon will be public domain (unless copyright gets extended yet again) that we might see some pretty professional and well-edited free G.A.S. fakebooks.

    Some of the folks in the Musescore community have taken a stab at getting this going using the open source music notation program to produce decent-looking leadsheets that can be transposed to any key as needed (which is a big win for anyone working with vocalists, obviously, and makes life easier in other situations).

    Some Musescore charts for standards that were put up on the public site from 2015-2020 jumped the gun on copyright and have been removed, but you can get an idea of what's possible from this example below, which is public domain--"I'll See You in My Dreams", a favorite of Django-heads and other swing players:

    I'll See You In My Dreams Sheet music for Piano (Solo) | Musescore.com

    There are also a few full piano scores for public domain standards up on the site, such as this sheet music transcription for "I Cried for You". I imagine lots more of these will exist in 20-30 years:

    I Cried for You [piano / vocal sheet music score] Sheet music for Piano, Vocals (Solo) | Musescore.com

  4. #3
    > This is a cool project, thanks for sharing your work.

    Thanks. My pleasure.

    Thank you for the reference to MuseScore. The examples you posted look nice. I checked and MuseScore is not only open source but also Free Software using the GNU General Public License, version 2.

    I've used MusixTeX for an arrangement of "Laura" but unfortunately I can't post it because the song is still under copyright. The results look good but it is substantially more work than writing out music by hand. I also like the look of hand-written music, although, of course, printed music is easier to read.

    I'm sure you're right that we will be seeing printed fake books of jazz standards and popular songs as they go into the public domain.

    Personally, I'm not really a fan of fake books. For one thing, they usually don't contain the lyrics. Of course, I hardly ever include the lyrics in the lead sheets I write, but they are mostly available on the internet. (I will put this on my "to do" list.) More importantly, fake books mostly don't include the verses. I always include the verses if they are available, unless I really dislike them, which has happened in 2 cases, if I remember correctly. Another problem with fake books is that the musical text is often not reliable. None of my lead sheets are copied from fake books.

    Since my original posting, I've added lead sheets for the following songs:

    Alice Blue Gown
    One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else, The

    In addition, I've written in the chords on the music for the Walter Donaldson song "My Little Bimbo (Down on the Bamboo Isle)" (Sorry about the offensive title) and included it in the appropriate PDF files. The sheet music is from IMSLP and includes diagrams for ukelele chords but no chord symbols.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    All of your points about the shortcomings of fakebooks are opinions I agree with.

    The "I'll See You In My Dreams" chart actually addresses all of them...lyrics are there, verse is there, even an alternate set chord changes is included in case you want to play it as Django's band did.

    (And for folks looking for fakebooks with lyrics and verses, the Hal Leonard "Jazz Standards Fake Book" and the Chuck Sher "The Standards Real Book" both included verses and lyrics in most cases when they exist.)

    As this material transitions to public domain, a fakebook chart can be created that is much "richer" than commercial charts. We can put in everything, then players can take what they want, and with a few mouse clicks, throw away the rest, if it gets in the way. Even the "bad" verses could come along for the ride.

    The downside is quality may vary from chart to chart--not everyone will want to take the time to add in the extras, some folks may introduce errors into a chart.

    But the Wikipedia model encourages me...things can get improved by others, and if there's a central repository with some kind of versioning (a la Wikipedia), players in the future might have a great set of charts to work from. And there probably will be multiple charts of most songs floating around, so some kind of community rating would be helpful. (Musescore.com has this, though who knows how long that particular site will be around.) Different editors might get reputations for high-quality "editions" of any given song.

    Musescore definitely has a learning curve, but there are some users who are incredibly fast with it. This user linked below, "Œnanthic", publishes several multi-page public domain piano scores a month (lots of ragtime, early pop, and turn-of-the-century "parlor piano" pieces)--a lot more work per score than the average lead sheet, and the quality of his work seems pretty high. He gives me hope that a few younger, jazz-obsessed versions of him will emerge for leadsheets.

    Œnanthic | Free sheet music | Download PDF or print on Musescore.com
    Last edited by 44lombard; 09-02-2021 at 04:45 PM.

  6. #5
    The lead sheets at Musescore definitely look nice and the idea with the add-ons is good, too. I'm not trying to do anything comparable to the Musescore project. Basically, I'm just making my personal stuff (software and public domain lead sheets) available, if anyone cares to use them.

    > Even the "bad" verses could come along for the ride.

    I didn't skip the verse on any of the p.d. songs. I did skip the verse of "Two Sleepy People", which I dislike so much I didn't even want to write it down. I thought I'd skipped the verse of "This Can't Be Love" but I didn't; I just don't play it very often.

    On the other hand, I like the verse of "The Man I Love" better than the refrain.

    As far as transposition is concerned, I'm a little old-fashioned. I think it's worthwhile learning to transpose at sight. I also don't find it hard to transpose when playing by ear; one just has to find the right place to start. However, I do see the use of being able to transpose music with software.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I've used MuseScore enough to get to where it is faster than working by hand, much faster actually.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    The original sheets are interesting - WC Handy has St Louis is on IMSLP.org, which is largely a classical public domain site

    Category:Handy, W. C - IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download.

    Also some old samba
    Categoryonga - IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurence Finston
    Hello,

    This is my first post to this forum.

    Over the last few years, I've made many lead sheets for songs that I like to play, so as not to have to turn pages, especially when recording myself.

    Awhile ago, I decided to make the lead sheets for all of the public domain songs available on the internet (links below). For songs first published in the US, public domain means published before 1926 (in Jan. 2022 it will be before 1927, and so on). So there are some jazz standards that have gone into the public domain, but most of them haven't. For example, for Rodgers and Hart, Manhattan, yes, Bewitched, no.

    They are part of a project of mine that I've uploaded to GitHub: It's a database application called "Songlist" for keeping track of songs. It is especially for my own needs, but I thought it might be useful to others, so I've made it available at GitHub. It contains SQL code for MySQL, a program in C++ and some other things. (I am a programmer by profession.)

    The individual lead sheets in the form of PDF files (A4 format) are located here: Songlist/lead_sheets at main * lfinston/Songlist * GitHub

    I've also put them together into "book form" with tables of contents, indexes and an explanation of the chord symbols used, which should mostly be familiar to users of this forum. I had to divide them into multiple files because the full version is too large to store at GitHub unless I pay for it. However, if you download the package, it's easy to generate the PDF file with all of the lead sheets. I'll put an explanation in the README file in that directory soon and if anyone wants to know, I'll explain it here.

    These are the "divided-up" files:

    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...c_domain_1.pdf
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...c_domain_2.pdf
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...c_domain_3.pdf
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...c_domain_4.pdf
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...c_domain_5.pdf

    Another document that might be of interest is here:
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lf...all_no_sep.pdf
    It shows what the "songlist" program does with the data in the database.

    The code for setting up the database is included in the package, and of course the source code for the program itself.
    If anyone is interested, the way to get it is like this:

    git clone git@github.com:lfinston/Songlist.git

    Of course, the data entries are for songs that are of interest to me, but the package could easily be adapted to other peoples' needs.

    To save anyone the trouble of looking, a list of the p.d. songs for which I've made lead sheets so far are at the end of this posting. Most but not all of them are jazz standards, or if not standards, then popular songs from between approx. 1890 and 1925.

    I hope someone here finds this useful. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

    Laurence Finston

    April Showers
    Barcarole
    By The Light Of The Silvery Moon
    Carolina in the Morning
    Chicago
    Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich and You, A
    Da geh ich zu Maxim
    Durch die Wälder, durch die Auen
    Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue
    Hello! Ma Baby
    How ’Ya Gonna Keep ’Em Down on the Farm?
    I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now
    I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
    I’m Just Wild About Harry
    It Had to be You
    Là ci darem la mano
    Lied vom dummen Reiter, Das
    Lippen schweigen
    Lob des hohen Verstandes
    Manhattan
    Moonlight Bay
    My Melancholy Baby
    Oiseaux dans les charmille, Les
    Polowetzer Tänze ("Stranger in Paradise")
    Pretty A Girl is Like a Melody, A
    Rheinlegendchen
    Rock-a-Bye Your Baby
    Shine On Harvest Moon
    Somebody Loves Me
    Tico Tico no Fuba
    Toot Toot Tootsie, Goo’bye
    Wer hat das Liedlein erdacht?
    You Made Me Love You

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Thanks!

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    It is nice to see them hand written. A dying art. You have good penmanship. I don't, which made MuseScore even more af an attractive option.

    Mostly I'm notating my own tunes.
    With MuseScore the ability to copy and paste and easy edits without an eraser is so beneficial. Especially true when adding measures in the middle of a tune already notated.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    It is nice to see them hand written. A dying art. You have good penmanship.
    Thank you. I use the special fountain pen for writing music from the company Star and their black ink. As with anything else, it really helps to use the right tools. My earliest lead sheets are in pencil and after I bought the pen I was using other colors of ink because I'd had bad experiences with black ink with other fountain pens; the particles of pigment are fairly large. Eventually, I tried the black ink from Star and I've had no problems with it. It's a nice, deep black.

    I use their staff paper Nr. 313, which unfortunately only comes in blocks, not loose. I go through a lot of it. The staves on it are a little bigger than on their other kinds of paper which are white and in A4 format. I like the larger papers in manila color but they're not good for copying. It's really good paper, though, and a pleasure to write on. And the staves are really sharply printed.

    I recently discovered that the copiers I was using to scan the lead sheets can scan with 600 dpi. The default is 300 dpi. So the more recent lead sheets have a better resolution.

    I hope that wasn't too much "shop talk".

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    For lead sheets, I like this site: C-jam - New Orleans jambook A-L The notation is for Bb instruments, but it's not hard to transpose. The chord charts are for C instruments, so they can be read directly. The link is for titles beginning with A through L, with a link there to the rest of the tunes.