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Become a Songtrellis composer

Posted by David Luebbert, 4/20/00 at 2:37:24 PM.

If you compose music and wish to make it available to listeners via the Web, you should use the Songtrellis site to present your work. If you don't compose, check back occasionally because over the next few months we'll make tools available through the site that will make composing easy, even for neophytes.

This site started out as a showcase for my own musical work. I can testify from personal experience that creating and maintaining a website to showcase your musical compositions is hard work. This work detracts from the time you can devote to your creative pursuits.

As I became familiar with Userland Software's Manila webserver, which serves this site, I was able to write scripts which automated the process of making a musical composition available on the site. It was pretty easy to design the site so that it extended capabilities provided by Manila so that it could support my own work but also be able to handle the activity of and present the work of thousands of other composers.

Here's what I'd like to offer fellow composers.

1)A free subsite within SongTrellis always ready to present your work
Once you sign on as a member of SongTrellis, you need only click on the Submit a new sound link at the bottom of the Song Discussion discussion group and fill out the form that is presnted there, to submit a composition to your part of the site. In the form you identify yourself, give the title of the piece, browse to locate where the file that contains the piece is located, type a description of the piece if you wish, and fill in the copyright notice. When you press the Submit button, your composition is transmitted to the SongTrellis database. If it's your first submission, your name is added to the lists of SongTrellis composers and contributors. Your composition will be automatically added to two tune lists, one which only alphabetically displays the title of your compositions, and a second which annotates the tune title with your tune. Take a look at Our Composers.

2) An easy to maintain site that requires no knowledge of HTML
You use your browser to submit a composition. The process of submitting a composition is fast, usually a minute or two depending on the amount of descriptive text you type. The scripts running on the SongTrellis site handle the creation of the HTML text for your listing on the site.

3) You can easily handcraft a web of pages to present your work once you are ready to do so
Once you've submitted a composition to SongTrellis, the site creates a Shortcut that points to that composition. If you include the name of a Shortcut surrounded by double quotes in any story that you create in "Song Discussions", the shortcut is replaced with a link to your composition. After you've created a series of one or more linked pages to describe your work, you can point to the master page that points to all of the others and include this in your Composer listing. Look, for example, at Dave Luebbert's Tunes Classified in Our Composers.

4) Free space on the Songtrellis server to store your compositions.
The server the Songtrellis site runs on has 6Gb free. I'm willing to devote the entirety of this space for composers who wish to present their work here. I promise perpetual carriage to works recorded in MIDI format since that format encodes compositions in a very compact form. Assuming that the average size of such files is around 50K, we would be able to present 120,000 such compositions on the site. I'm also willing to present compositions in wav, mp3, and other larger formats until the server fills. After it fills, I will decide on a case by case basis whether to retain or purge a composition. If it's popular with visitors, I'll automatically keep it.

5) Your compositions are automatically stored in the head message of a discussion thread on SongDiscussion, the discussion group for the SongTrellis site
This makes it easy for your audience to give you feedback on your work. It will also allow the composers on the site to talk shop and discuss each others work.

6) There's strength in numbers. This can be our online music festival.
When there are lots of SongTrellis composers, folks who are fans of a neighboring composer on the site will find it easy to check out your work. If someone likes one of us, they may end up liking others by the end of their visit.

7) I'll do my best to pull members and visitors sleeves when you submit great work.
As your webmaster I'll be listening to your work. I love jazz but there's no form of music I'm uninterested in. When something good comes in, I'll let people know on the SongTrellis home page. I'll also use the site's bulletin facility to send mail to the members to let them know.

8) The SongTrellis site has a jukebox. The best work on the site is available there.
As we accumulate great work on the site, I'll change the Jukebox playlist every few days to bring attention to different work on the site. It will be a great way to find out what's available on the site. With a little bit of scripting work, I can set up a jukebox that wanders through your compositions alone which can be made available in the Our Composers list.

Please mail me any questions at or, even better, post a response to this message in the message group, using the form on the bottom of this message.


David Luebbert
Your SongTrellis webmaster

Last update: Monday, May 22, 2000 at 12:27 AM.