Introduction to the Catalog

The Catalog contains pieces that C4 Network groups have performed, as well as choral pieces that C4 Network composers have written (don’t enter non-choral pieces; this isn’t the forum for that). The Catalog can also contain entries about the composers themselves.

The Catalog is usually accessed through a main page which has a search bar and, below that, categories of pieces that the user can click on to see all matching pieces. For instance, if the user clicks on “Rock trio,” all choral pieces written for chorus and rock trio will be shown. The user can then click on an individual piece to see all relevant information. That includes not only a free-form description but also the structured data about the length, difficulty, and so on. Not all pieces have all the structured data. But of course, the user is more likely to find pieces that do have that data, so it behooves the composer to enter as much as information as possible about the piece. 🙂

When looking at an individual piece (or composer), the user can click on the Categories and Tags at the bottom of the listing to find other similar pieces: pieces by the same composer, pieces with the same instrumentation, and so on. After using some other, rather more free-form databases of modern music, we think that imposing some structure is worth it, as it allows the user to find what they’re looking for.

In order to make this work, we are using the WordPress Business Directory Plugin, which was designed to listings of businesses, products, etc. With some customization, it does more or less what we need. To contribute to the Catalog, you add entries for pieces and composers, and edit existing ones. Each entry will be owned by the user responsible for it, which hopefully means that people can’t clobber each other’s listings. But we’ll find out!

To take the first step in managing your Catalog entries, see here.