Category Archives: DrDosido.net

A Guided Tour of DrDosido.net 2.0

Want to hear the music I’ve recorded in musicians’ homes and at community events over the last bunch of years (starting in 1976)?  This post will show you how to get there quickly.  Want to know a little more about these traditional musicians and the events they participate in?  This post will also show you the paths to take to learn more.  Start here.

gatewaysThese five links live directly below the banner photo on drdosido.net. They will always be there.  The first four are gateways that lead to DrDosido’s collections of recordings.  The last leads to written reflections about the people I’ve met, music collected and friends made. These gateways open on to the multiple paths I’ve followed in my life as a folklorist and fiddler.  I’ll describe each pathway in just a bit. First, it might help you to know how the site is put together.

When you click a link to pass through any of the collections gateways, you’ll come to anlanding page explanatory landing page.  On the right is a sidebar with links that lead you down one of three separate paths.  The top three links lead to rosters of artists and events arrayed as tables of pertinent data.
menu
browsing pageThe rosters contain more links that lead you directly to recordings of a particular artist or event. On the top of each roster is a link that gives you the option to browse the whole page of recordings covered by that roster.

The bottom three links in the sidebar let you bypass the roster and go straight to a browsing page. In a few of cases, additional links lead to more browsing pages. All browsing pages have links that lead back to their related roster.

Brief descriptions of the four collections gateways and their pathways follow.

hoedown sidebarIndiana Hoedown was the name of a show I did on public radio in Fort Wayne for a few years.  In 1979 I received two grants to 1) make field recordings of traditional musicians in the state of Indiana, and 2) present highlights from these recordings in a special series of 26 radio shows.  In the mid-1980s I received two more grants to 3) record ethnic dance bands in Northern Indiana.  The field recordings roster links to two browsing pages.  When uploaded, the radio programs will be linked directly to the radio roster with no separate browsing page.

adler sidebarAdler House, aka the David Adler Cultural Center, was an arts and music center in Libertyville, Illinois, where  I was variously engaged for the span of twelve years.  The three pathways linked here are a 1) fieldwork project for which I was the contracted folklorist in 1987.  The 2) concerts link presents some relevant performances from before and during my time at Adler House.  3) In the Tradition was a special series of concerts for which I began as project folklorist and ended as producer in the later formats.  It gets its own subsidiary landing page.  The In the Tradition roster is presented complete, and is also broken into three smaller segments, each with its own browsing page.

oldtown sidebarOld Town School highlights my quarter century (and counting) at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.  In 2008 I established the 1) Fiddle Club of the World for alumni and friends of the fiddle program. [After six years, the Fiddle Club is now independent, but still on friendly terms with the School.] In 2003, I began an annual 2) Midwest Fiddle Championship held in conjunction with the School’s annual summer festival. The last link presents recordings from 3) selected visitors to the School – concert and workshop artists – that I had the good fortune to work with.

catcher sidebarTune Catcher covers smaller contract and research projects I have done, as well as the informal collecting that goes along with being a part of a national and international community devoted to traditional music.  Two of the three pathways that begin here split into separate forks.

greatlakes sidebarThe 1) Great Lakes pathway is devoted to traditional music in the Midwest.  I’ve divided it according to my graduate school years in Bloomington, Indiana from 1978-86 (including some prior activity from my time living in Detroit), and my Chicago years, since 1986.  I’ve devoted a whole separate pathway to Lotus Dickey of Paoli, Indiana.  He was my mentor and friend. 2) Here & There highlights musicians from states outside the Midwest, including a handful that hail elsewhere in the world.  I also give separate space to my contract fieldwork for the Wyoming Arts Foundation.  The last pathway leads to 3) recordings that were shared with me by my friends.

Reflections sidebarThe Reflections pathway is similarly constructed, though the rosters and browsing pages are merged. Published Articles and Short Pieces are rosters presented as a graphic bibliographies. As you browse these pages, some of the links you find will lead directly to an piece written by DrDosido. Others may lead you to your local library. I’ve just begun construction on a photo gallery.  DrDosido.net also hosts two blogs: the Fiddle Club of the World blog and this one (DrDosido’s blog).

 


Finally, I should mention the menu buttons that appear above the banner photo.  The Road Map provides two different  views (1 or 2) to help you figure out what is where and how to get there.  Additions contains notices of recordings recently uploaded to Drdosido.net.  This is, after all, a work in progress.  Related Links and About DrDosido are standard fare.

Enjoy DrDosido.net
Paul Tyler, PhD (aka DrDosido)

The Remaking of DrDosido

Welcome to 2.0

So here’s how it all started.  As summer 2010 ended,  I was approaching my 60th birthday. I visited a bookstore and bought a couple of beginner’s books on how to build a website.  I had only read a couple of chapters when I decided to build my own site from scratch.  Rather than using the simple “Try It Yourself” exercises contained in the book, I settled on working with my own material.  And after just a couple of weeks of html coding, DrDosido.net was born. It worked. It did what I wanted it to do. It had a certain character of its own: part naivete, part passion. But it was also clunky, with a chronic irrationality to boot. DrDosido.net 1.0 showed why good design requires a complete and consistent plan as the first step.

1.0 was launched on October 4, 2010 with 30 recordings for users to browse.  Through the first fifteen months I frequently uploaded new additions, and by 2012, there were nearly 350 recordings scattered throughout half of the sites 45 pages.  Then life served up several screwballs and I left the site (and this blog) alone for a long stretch while attending to other matters.

As 2013 raced through its final week, I impulsively decided that it was time to upgrade to version 2.0. My coding chops long dormant, I downloaded several website templates from the ‘Net, and settled on a common design on the grounds that it must be tried and true.  But it didn’t do what I wanted it to do, so I began taking it apart piece by piece. I had to learn CSS (cascading style sheets) in the process, which allowed me to simplify and  rationalize the infrastructure of my website. CSS is a bit tricky for the uninitiated. And most of the advice found through google searches is either too opaque (assuming too much on the part of the seeker) or too obvious.  The rest of it is downright contradictory.

But I soldiered on, and after several complete rebuilds, DrDosido.net 2.0 was launched on January 20, 2014.

What’s new about 2.0?  It looks a little sharper. The navigational menus and links are laid out consistently. The pathways through the site unfold with greater clarity. I have presented more basic data along each pathway and have built at least one browsing page at the end of each path, on which recordings will be shared. All but one of the twelve paths now contains sound files for you to listen to. And the framework is in place for me to upload many more of the recordings I intend to share.

The Accomplishments of DrDosido.net 1.0 are the starting point for version 2.0.  Here are some numbers to tell part of the story:

DrDosido.net 1.0 (as of January 2012)

Path Tunes Total Pages
Indiana Hoedown 46 8
Adler House 60 11
Old Town School 35 4
Tune Catcher 186 14
Reflections 0 4
Site  327* 45

The new remake starts out with the same number* of recordings.  Each pathway now has its own explanatory landing pages, artist and project rosters, browsing pages, and pages for additional notes.  More numbers:

DrDosido.net 2.0 (as of January 2014)

Path Rosters Browsing Total Pages
Indiana Hoedown 3 3 9
Adler House 3 5 14
Old Town School 3 3 8
Tune Catcher 6 12 22
Reflections 0 5 7
Site 15 26 66

That brings us to a grand total of 66 pages in the new version of DrDosido.net.  Plus there are now two blogs hosted on the site.  In the next post, I’ll provide a guided tour.

* 327 is the correct number, counting links to YouTube. The number 348 reported elsewhere is wrong.

 

Back to backlog

You all figured out, of course, that Do-si-do is French for ‘back to back.’  I will set a few more square dance puns into this post intended to forward my plans for DrDosido.net. I really hope to corner the market now that all the exams are graded and final grades are turned in. As owner of this grand website, it is my right to do things at my own speed, but I don’t want anyone left waiting too long for new tunes to be posted.  So, as a courtesy, this gent will turn to the subject at hand and circle in on how I’ve partnered my field recordings to my twelve subject tracks. *

In recent weeks, I populated all twelve paths through my collections with links to music. The most recent addition is devoted to the “Fiddle Club of the World (under Old Town Fiddle).  Now in it’s fourth year, the Club has featured 25 guest artists from five countries and a dozen States.  All but four have recorded tunes especially for Fiddle Club sessions.  All of these recordings can still be downloaded from the Fiddle Club’s blog, formerly on the Old Town School’s website. The page on DrDosido.net is a roster of Fiddle Club guests with quick links to their tunes, so you don’t have to scroll through years worth of posts on Fiddle Club blog.

Old Town Fiddle > Fiddle Club

I also recently added a page for highlights from the Midwest Fiddle Championship I began in 2003 in association with the Old Town School’s Chicago Folk & Roots Festival. Plans have just been announced for the 9th annual contest. In the coming month, I’ll be processing recordings and photographs from previous festivals in order to tell the story of this most unusual, multicultural fiddle contest. There are few sample sound files posted now, plus links to videos at DrDosido’s YouTube Channel. Lots more will be uploaded soon.

Old Town Fiddle > Fiddle Contest

* On a scale of 1 to 5–with 5 being really bad–how were the puns? Some were worse than others.  Did you catch all thirteen?

The scope of this project

I compiled some numbers.  To be honest, I am stunned.  Thus far I have built 40 web pages for DrDosido.net.  At the beginning of October I didn’t have a clue how to build even one. I keep a running tune count on the What’s New page.  A few days ago it read 212.  That number is a little off.  It should read 214, as in two hundred and fourteen sound files linked to 13 of the 40 pages. (Linking sound files is something I already knew how to do.)

Today I decided to color code the pages to help users know what’s what.  The 13 pages with sound files — I think of them as matrix pages — now have a yellowish hue.  The blue shines through on another 11 pages which are devoted to tables — artist and project rosters and lists of recording sessions.  The main pathway pages have the grayish tinge of the home page.  The color scheme is echoed faintly in the Reflections section. But no pages there are yellow, for none hold links to sound files.

Yesterday I made a  count and discovered that sound files are linked for 60 different artists. Another 70 artist names have been posted and are waiting for recordings to be uploaded.  A quick look at the table pages shows that the artist count can expand way beyond the sum of these numbers. This project is still in its first stages. I have a lot of digitizing and editing to do. I plan to keep at it until I run out of space or run out of time.

Where are the tunes?

It has been a month since drdosido.net went online.  After I announced it on several fiddle-oriented websites, the first comment I got was “Where are the tunes.  I must have missed a link.”  I understand that it can be frustrating to have to puzzle out how to get around a new site.  So I put some effort into inserting navigation links and aids that are both systematic and rational.  They are rather clunky looking, due to the my html limitations.  But they work.

That initial criticism also inspired me to think about how my website’s design fits my purpose. I am quite happy with the direction I have taken. I never intended drdosido.net to be an easy mark for tune-suckers. My goal all along was to provide music, stories, and historical background for discerning tune-suckers. The tunes are there, like a pot of gold, at the end of each path.  There are twelve paths, three for each of the four boxes at the top of my home page. Each path leads to a page on which are links to the sound files I have uploaded. Each online path, in a way, mirrors the real-life paths I followed to locate traditional musicians, learn about their lives, and share in their music.  This arrangement allows me to share more of what I learned.

I have also constructed a number of intermediate tables–rosters of artists or recording sessions–that reveal some of the activities and projects in which I was involved. The data contained therein fills in more of the stories.  And that is what I set out to do, to share the sounds and stories of the great musicians I have had the pleasure to meet.

The website mostly works.

There are now 88 tunes posted in 6 out of 11 boxes.  A few people have even listened to the tunes, and the inevitable corrections and clarifications have started to trickle in.  I have to take a pause from posting tunes and tinkering with the site.  I’m pretty sure all the links work.  I installed a bunch of navigation buttons.  Nothing about DrDosido.net is very elegant.  But omg there are some great tunes up there, and more to come.

In coming weeks, I’ll attend more to content than to form.  Enjoy

Wow. I did it.

Last summer I started to conceptually design my website, but I had zero idea about how to actually get it up and running.  I did manage to claim my domain name, and a friend and supporter helped me obtain adequate hosting.  There things sat for several months, while I puzzled over how to get my domain to lead to my host site.  In the meantime, I made a few half-hearted efforts to find beginner-friendly site building software.

A little over a week ago I went out and bought a book on building a website, the one in the Missing Manual series.  I started with a simple text editor and built the home page and five second-level pages.  Then I downloaded a free html editor (Kompozer) and spent an intense couple of weekends putting my concepts into code.  This past weekend, I linked about 15 images and a couple dozen sound recordings, and it all seemed to work.

Last night it went live. Today, I am stunned.

There’s so much more to come.  At home, we refer to it as my legacy project.

Next week, I turn sixty.