Working on songs in the MCMS
Transcribing a song
- Choose a song from the collection page that's labeled "Ready to Transcribe." Clicking on the song will take you to the song page.
- Use the links on the right (or at the top, depending on the width of your screen) to find the lyrics or sheet music for the song. You will want to resize the browser windows so you can see the MCMS and the sheet music side-by-side. If you're not able to find sheet music, skip to another song or contact an admin. If you're entering a song in another language, you may also want to bring up the equivalent English song to compare.
- Click the "Start Transcribing" button to claim the song and switch into Edit mode.
- Fill in every field with information from the hymnbook, using the detailed instructions below. Information that isn't specified (for example, subtitles, or translators) should be left blank.
- When you are finished, click "Save" to leave the Edit mode.
- Scroll down, checking your work, and click "Ready to QA."
Don't correct typos that appear in the published book. Transcribe as-is, then record the error on the Typos in Sheet Music tab of the Languages spreadsheet. To avoid sending a song through the QA process several times, make sure you transcribe completely according to the instructions on this page before you mark it as Ready for QA.
Quality-checking a song
- Choose a song from the collection page that's labeled "Ready to QA." Clicking on the song will take you to the song page.
- Open to the song source using the "♫ Sheet Music" button or one of the other links.
- Click the "Start QA" button to claim the song.
- Review each field. Make sure everything is filled in completely and exactly, following the detailed instructions below.
- If you see a mistake in the transcription, click the "Edit" button and make changes. Then click "Save."
- Scroll down, checking your work, and click "Ready for QA" or "QA Complete" (depending on whether or not you made changes).
Some resources that will help you do a detailed quality check are:
- Refer often to the instructions on the wiki.
- Finding specific "exceptions" using the Administrative QA Items list.
- Comparing with the English version of the song ("Resources > See English version of this song").
- Making a list of common errors you see, so you can make sure to check for them in every song.
- Title – The title of the song, as it appears on the sheet music. Titles can only be edited by administrators, so if you see an incorrect title you can send an email to Samuel.
- Subtitle – Secondary title that appears below the title of the song (does not include cross-reference information or the title in another language).
- Examples: Men’s Choir / Round / Crusader’s Hymn
- First line – The first line/phrase of the song, as it would appear in a First Lines and Titles index. Often this is the same as the title, though sometimes capitalization or punctuation is different. Do not include periods or commas at the end of a first line (though you may include exclamation points or question marks).
- Title and first line are the same – Choose No if the first line is different enough from the title that it should be listed separately in the index (ignoring capitalization and punctuation differences).
- Mood – Word or phrase that says in what mood the song should be sung. This often appears next to the tempo at the top of the sheet music. Do not include tempo numbers or other text by the mood like "Conduct two beats to a measure."
- Examples: Reverently / With conviction / Energetically
- Full credits – The full credits as they appear on the sheet music. This could include composers, arrangers, years, copyright notices, or background information about the song. Instructions for performing the song are not included – these go under "Verses and Choruses." Scripture references from the sheet music are also not included. Include any italics, special formatting, or symbols that appear on the sheet music.
- In most languages, the character that is used between a range of years in the full credits is the en-dash ("–"), not the hyphen or em-dash. If you have a Mac, you can type this symbol using [Option]+[-]. The copyright symbol on a Mac is [Option]+[g]. Both of these characters can also be accessed using the special characters panel (click the Ω symbol above the full credits text area).
- Books and other works in the full credits that appear in italics should be formatted using the "Cite (for books/works in italics)" style (instead of the regular italic style). Tune names in the full credits that appear in all caps should be typed in all caps, then formatted using the "Small (for tune names in caps)" style. Scripture references in the full credits should be formatted as a hyperlink.
- Text: James Montgomery, 1771–1854
Music: George Coles, 1792–1858, alt.
Hymn sung prior to the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith. See History of the Church, 6:614–15.
- Words: Mary R. Jack, 1896–1985. © 1965 IRI
Music: Darwin Wolford, b. 1936; based on a melody by Norman Carl Ahern Jr., b. 1925. © 1965 IRI
- Words and Music by Sharlee G. Mullins
Copyright © Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All rights reserved. Making copies of this music for use within the Church is permitted.
- Authors (text) – The name of the person/people who wrote the words, or the source (such as the title of a book).
- This field references a list of people and sources entered into the database already. Start typing the person or source name. If you see the name on the list, you can click it. If it doesn't come up, use the "Add New Person/Source" button at the bottom of the page.
- Complete instructions for adding a new person or source are found under "Editing the People/Sources index" on the Transcribing LDS music content page.
- Composers (music) – The name of the person/people who wrote the music, or the source (such as a traditional tune or melody).
- Adapters, Translators, Arrangers – The name of the person/people who adapted, translated, or arranged the song. Only fill in these fields if the person is mentioned in the credits by name. People who wrote an obbligato or ostinato for the song are considered arrangers.
- Artists – The name of the person/people who sang the recorded audio. Usually this information is only available for contemporary albums (like Youth Theme Music), or music from live events (like general conference).
- Published date – This field is only visible if the song is from a church magazine or other periodical. You can use this date as a reference if you need to look up the song online. Many of the songs from church magazines already have typed lyrics and just need to be copied and pasted into the database.
- Scriptures – this field is only editable by an admin. If you see incorrect scriptures, contact Samuel.
- Verses and Choruses – Each verse or chorus, or instructions from the sheet music.
- Type: Verse (regular) – A regular verse of the song.
- Type: Verse below the music – An extra verse of the song that appears below the sheet music.
- Type: Chorus (regular) – The chorus of the song.
- Type: Chorus below the music – A chorus that goes with a verse below the music (to be entered in even if it isn't written on the sheet music).
- Type: Bridge (regular) – A contrasting section of lyrics that leads up to a verse or chorus. Usually a bridge only appears once, towards the end of a song. Bridges are more common in contemporary music (like Youth Theme Music).
- Type: Bridge below the music – A bridge that appears below the sheet music.
- Type: Instructions – Instructions for performing the song, alternate words, actions that go with the song, informations about other versions of the song, etc. Texts of descants and ostinatos are also included in the instructions field (for example, the descant for “I Am a Child of God” in the Children’s Songbook).
- Text – The text of the verse, chorus, or instructions.
- Type each verse, chorus, or bridge in poetry form: Put a return after each phrase. A phrase usually ends where there is a rhyming word or where a note is held out longer. The end of a phrase is not necessarily the end of the line of music. Try to follow the patterns set in the English equivalent song, if there is one, to know how many lines the verse should be broken up into, etc.
- The chorus should be repeated each time it's sung. In most cases, the same chorus will be repeated after every verse. Occasionally the chorus will change for one of the verses, or it may come before the verse instead of after.
- Some languages (like English) capitalize the first word on a new line even when it's not the end of a sentence, but others do not. Follow whatever capitalization patterns you see in the sheet music.
- Do not type the hyphens that separate syllables in the sheet music, unless they are part of the word.
- Songs that are rounds: Use Unicode circled numbers to mark where each phrase of a round starts, if it is indicated in the sheet music. These are the numbers (you can copy and paste): ① ② ③ ④ ⑤ ⑥ ⑦ ⑧
- Don't transcribe secondary parts (for example, when the bass part sings different words from the melody). Only type the text that goes with the melody, with the exception of descants or ostinatos, which are considered “instructions” (see above). If you're not sure how verses should be transcribed, use the English version of the song as a guide, or check with an administrator.
- When transcribing Youth Theme Music, if you are working from an informal lyrics sheet instead of sheet music, some formatting may be required to make sure the lyrics are high quality and professional. Make sure capitalization and punctuation are complete and correct. Make sure repeated phrases are repeated in the text. Be aware of minor variations between choruses. Use the English version of the song in the MCMS, as well as a recording of the song if it exists in your language, as a guide. (If you are working from well-formatted sheet music, everything you need will hopefully be included in the sheet music.)
- Delete – Checking this box will cause the verse to be deleted when the song is saved.
Most common errors and questions
The errors that occur most often are: missing italics in the full credits; not using the correct dash in ranges (such as year ranges in the full credits) or in the verses; not using curly apostrophes and quotation marks; forgetting to fill in people; skipping a field completely; forgetting to repeat the chorus for every verse.
- If it is a dash, type an en-dash ("–", looks like a wide hyphen) or an em-dash ("—", looks like a really wide hyphen), not a hyphen ("-").
- Use curly/smart quotes and apostrophes instead of straight quotes and apostrophes. Make sure you use the style appropriate for your language (see below for a note about glottal stops).
- If there is a dash in the sheet music to indicate that a note is not sung in a certain verse (like in the English version of "Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful", second and third verses), include the dash in your transcription. Usually this is an em-dash.
- In Spanish and Italian (as well as some other languages), there are curved synalepha markers in the sheet music that indicate that two words are to be sung together. Include these in your transcription. Use this ̮symbol for Spanish and this ̑symbol for Italian. Note that the symbol is typed as [space][character] because the synalepha markers are combining characters – they appear on top of the preceding character (in this case, on top of the space).
- In Chinese and Japanese, use full-width punctuation and spacing as appropriate.
- In Korean and Japanese, the wave dash ("~") is used for ranges of numbers. In Chinese, the em-dash is used ("—"). In most other languages the correct character is the en-dash ("–"). Try to use whichever symbol is used in the sheet music.
Some languages have a character that looks like an apostrophe, but is actually a consonant – a plosive or glottal stop. Different languages use different apostrophe-like symbols for the glottal stop:
- Fijian uses the curly RIGHT single-quote mark: ’
- Hawaiian uses this symbol ("modifier letter turned comma"): ʻ
- Kekchi (Qʼeqchiʼ) uses this symbol ("modifier letter apostrophe"): ʼ
- Maori uses this symbol ("modifier letter turned comma"): ʻ
- Samoan uses the curly LEFT single-quote mark: ‘
- Tahitian uses the curly RIGHT single-quote mark: ’
- Tongan uses this symbol ("modifier letter turned comma"): ʻ
Japanese and Chinese
- In most cases, you should use Japanese full-width punctuation and characters:
- Spaces ( ) – except when part of an English phrase.
- Numbers (１) – except when part of a number with multiple digits, such as a year.
- Letters (Ｙ) – except when part of an English phrase or group of letters, such as "LDS".
- Interpuncts (・).
- Colons (：) – except when part of an English phrase.
- Parentheses（） – except when part of an English phrase.
- Commas (，) or Japanese touten (、) – except when part of an English phrase.
- Periods (。) – except when part of an English phrase.
- For Japanese, Include furigana/ruby annotations in parentheses in the hymn verses and song titles.
- Use the correct dash between years in year ranges (see above).
- Use full-width spaces to add spacing in the credits and the verses, as they appear in the book (only use manual spacing in Japanese and Chinese).
- Use the chouon symbol to indicate a held-out note, as it appears in the book.
- Put spaces where it makes sense in the lyrics, if it would be helpful to the singer.