What is the Book of Song?
In late 2008 I was getting tired of lugging around the thick three ring binder that held all the songs my little troupe of folk musicians had learned up to that point. Over time the lyrics to the songs we did, complete with chords and sometimes with some of the history behind the tunes had been stuck into a binder. The separate sheets had ended up in plastic sheet protectors, and I’d gone so far as to create a table of contents page just so I could actually find a specific song in what had become a huge tome of tunes. This meant I had to pencil in page numbers on each page and keep the pages in order in the binder. The book had grown to several hundreds of pages thick and was ornamented here and there with artwork I (and others) had drawn, it included some sheet music for melody lines to the less well known songs or instrumental pieces which were included in haphazard fashion but the thing was growing too darn heavy, and keeping up with the Table of Contents was a pain. We each had our own books that had grown in similar fashion so we wouldn’t have to look on with each other when we got together. The different books might have notes specific to the part we played, sometimes things were crossed out or alternate keys were scribbled in. It was hard to mark up the sheets since they were in sheet protectors – if something changed you had to take them out first which was a pain. I decided that I’d compile and lay out a complete “Book of Song” with all our notes which we could print using an online print service (I’m a fan of lulu.com) so we could each have a nice professional looking bound copy. This would also serve as a sort of “yearbook” marking all the tunes we knew to that point. Its now many years later and the time has come to make a new Book with tunes learned since the last volume was created and this time I wanted to do it all with free software if I could. This is the story of how I created these two song books. Warning: this is a LONG post.