User:Durova/Sheet music loading guide

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Here's a guide for editors who upload and organize sheet music pages.

Source files[edit]

There are many good sources of free sheet music on the Internet. Right now my preferred option is the Library of Congress, when available. As in their collection of Scott Joplin.[1] To load a file from LoC, click on either the title or the cover page. Then click on the 'page turner' link at left. Within the page turner, click on the image twice to reach maximum size.

In saving images, use sequential numbering for pages. As in:

Most popular songs are 3 to 5 pages long, including cover sheet. I bypass advertisements and don't save them.


Next step is to upload files at Wikimedia Commons. Start from Commons:Upload and select "From another Wikimedia project" (it's the easiest form to copy and paste into, and it's usable even though your source file isn't another Wikimedia project).

Into the form that appears, copy/paste the appropriate modifications from the information below. The source file link comes from the 'contact sheet' at the Library of Congress source page.

Description "The Chrysanthemum" (sheet music) Page 1 of 5
Author Scott Joplin
Date 1904
Source Library of Congress[2]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).

Category:Scott Joplin Chrysanthemum

Once the first sheet is set up and loaded correctly, the rest of the song's pages are very easy to upload: the only information that needs modifying is the page number at the description. All of Scott Joplin's compositions fall within pre-1923 United States public domain. If you're doing a different composer or songwriter, check and notate the appropriate rationale.

Once all of the song's pages are loaded the final step is to bring them together within the Commons category structure. For Scott Joplin, who's already set up, that only takes one category creation. Click on the category redlink you've created at any of the sheet music pages. It brings you to an uncreated category location that displays all the pages you've uploaded for the song. Then type:

Category:Sheet music of Scott Joplin

and add "created category" or "created cat" to the edit summary.

To follow that structure a bit further, in case you're curious or are setting up a structure for a new composer, the category Category:Sheet music of Scott Joplin branches into two other categories:

This is an effective way of organizing individual composer works and sheet music generally.


Now that the sheet music you want is at a sister WMF site, the next step is to give it a home at Wikisource. Start from Author:Scott_Joplin, which has been set up with plenty of redlinks for music he's known to have composed.

First page of the sheet music.

Category:1904 works

Category:Sheet music

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).

If your song has lyrics, transcribe the lyrics.

Finally, copy and paste the source information for the song along with your username.

Information about this edition
Source: Library of Congress[3]
Contributor(s): Durova
Level of progress:

Wash, rinse, repeat[edit]

And there you have it! A whole song uploaded. Wasn't too hard, was it? Just copying and pasting information into existing formats. Head back to whatever source site you're using and do another. Thousands of songs are out there waiting to come to Wikisource.