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How to handle different versions of the same song?
Hi there,

this is my first post in this forum. I was using the search, but could not find a related thread, which is about my question. So I thought I simply ask.

I play different instruments (piano, guitar, sax, singing) and therefore I have different versions of the same songs. Sometimes I need a chord chart (PDF or ChordPro), lead sheet or choir sets. Additionally, I have songs in different keys as PDFs.

How do you handle that? Currently, I need to import each key and version as its own song. This clutters my library. Is there a better way?
Do what you are doing already

Or try using ChordPro format. This is a simple text file that includes the lyrics, chord names and .chopro directives ie. it can't do sheet music
This information allows MS to transpose the key on the fly.
Unlike a pdf file, you don't have much control over the layout of the song.

There has been a request to support ABC - but probably some time off. This is another text based system which I believe can create sheet music to the required key.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A6
I believe I was the first to request ABC support. ABC certainly would enable you to transpose sheet music on the fly or even switch between a leadsheet, a chord grid or other views using the same source file. I'm quite enthusiastic about the ABC language and the lot of free utilities to use it.

The disadvantage is that you have to learn the syntax (it's not that difficult though) and you would have to prepare your sheets yourself. There are myriads of ABC files for Irish traditional music but sadly very few for Jazz, Pop and contemporary stuff (though it is possible to convert to ABC through MusicXML.

And since there are not too many MSP users requesting ABC support we/I will have to wait til the year after the next at least I guess.

But Mike also has a versioning feature next on his list. With that you can maintain different versions of a sheet under one song entry. You will still need to import you different versions, but the library won't be so cluttered any more and will be better to organize.
I have not heard about ABC, yet. But I guess it would not really solve my use case. Converting from lead to chord sheets sounds nice, but playing piano with leadsheets, saxofon with Notes and guitar with chords (yes I'm using ChordPro already) require different notations and notes. So different files are somehow useful, but I would like to group the songs. So my list is not cluttered but only one entry of each song is listed. I imagine something like a folder. So the song is there, but icons/text indicate whether a chrod sheet, leadsheed or something else is present.
Versioning in a future upgrade would handle your folder requirement.

In the meantime, put each song type into a collection for that type (a song can be in multiple collections). You can then use filters to restrict the number of songs you need to look at.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A6
This might not suit everyone, but - like Geoff above  - I tend to have a collection per song and the collection containing, eg, lead Sheet, transposed arrangements etc with appropriate names. When I'm looking for a piece, I look in collections, then find the version.

Although, if it's simple, I just include everything in one song and, maybe, use
 Links to navigate.
For our church music library, I import separate songs for each version, named according to the instrumentation and key (ChordPro files don't get a key assigned, since they're adjustable). For example:

Amazing Grace.cho
Amazing Grace - piano (Ab).pdf
Amazing Grace - SATB (Ab).pdf
Amazing Grace - violin (Ab).pdf
Amazing Grace - piano (G).pdf
Amazing Grace - SATB (G).pdf
Amazing Grace - violin (G).pdf

For songs with different arrangements, I add an indicator of the arrangement, or the name of the arranger, to the filename.

Amazing Grace - Chains.cho
Amazing Grace - Chains - piano (D).pdf
Amazing Grace - Chains - lead (D).pdf

For songs in our hymnal, I purchased a companion set of "hymnal page" PDFs as well as various arrangements of most of the songs, and then created ChordPro files for each of them. I use the same type of naming conventions as above, but prepend the filename with the hymnal number. If the arrangements are available in multiple keys, I add those to the filenames as above.

023 Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee.cho    (matches SATB hymnal page)
023 Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee - cont.cho   (matches "contemporary" arrangement)
023 Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee - trad.cho    (matches "traditional" arrangement)
023 Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee - SATB.pdf   (hymnal page)
023 Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee - cont - Piano.pdf
023 Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee - trad - Piano.pdf

This approach does create "clutter" in the library, but it's by far the easiest way for our musicians to quickly find a specific version of particular song, and know at a glance what various resources are available for that version.

Since we also use presentation software, I create entries in the slide deck database that match the song names in MobileSheets.

I routinely police our master PDF/ChordPro library, which is in a shared Google Drive folder, to clean up the messes others tend to leave -- usually just simple filename issues, but a couple of our folks have a propensity to pull in terrible chord sheets (wrong chords, wrong lyrics, etc.). As a musician who is also an engineer, I'm just the guy to go all OCD in there and straighten things out. Big Grin

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