Translation by committee

CPDL topics that don't fit in the other categories
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DaveF
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Translation by committee

Post by DaveF » 28 Nov 2008 14:05

All,

Am I the only one (probably am - getting more & more crotchety ["quarter-notey" in US English] & intolerant as 50 approaches) to be very slightly annoyed by those links that appear on lots of works pages under the translations, saying "Translation supplied by The St. Ann Choir, directed by William Mahrt."? The link is to the choir's home page, who admittedly seem like a worthy and devout organisation, except that there's a small mention that they're available for weddings etc., presumable for a fee, although this isn't mentioned. Is this a bit of covert advertising? It perhaps seems a bit cheeky because I can't see that this choir or their director have actually contributed any editions to CPDL.

I'm also puzzled to know how a translation can really be by a choir - do they sit around over their cups of tea in rehearsal intervals contributing a couple of words each? In choirs such as, well, the Unicorn Singers of Llangattock (also available for weddings, BTW), we sit around telling rude jokes.

DF

vaarky
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Re: Translation by committee

Post by vaarky » 28 Nov 2008 17:06

In the editions done by the director of my former choir, he would say the translation is by "his name and the ensemble name". This was his way of crediting the fact that in his group, he wrote the translation but there were people who speak Latin and contributed changes to the translation; but it was different people at different times so this way he didn't have to keep track. I believe that the St. Ann's group also has choir members who know Latin (I think I know three of its current or past members). So that's a plausible rationale. I personally feel that if we're going to be giving credit at all, it's no skin off our whatevers to do so in the phrasing the translators prefer if it's not unreasonable.

I'm less thrilled about attributions that include links. I am still okay enough with it if it points to a real page that just happens to have some for-profit blurb, as opposed to a landing page that's essentially just a blatant ad. Still, I think I'd rather live with this than be heavy-handed.

If there is popular support for changing policy to prohibit links or attribution for translations, I feel strongly that we should grandfather in existing entries and make clear any new policy applies for translations supplied after a certain date .

DaveF
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Re: Translation by committee

Post by DaveF » 28 Nov 2008 22:13

And, as I forgot to mention, none of the translations is of a remotely obscure original; they're either Biblical or from the Roman Missal or Breviary.

bobnotts
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Re: Translation by committee

Post by bobnotts » 29 Nov 2008 11:44

I'm inclined to agree with you, Dave. I'm of the opinion that any external link on CPDL should either point to an edition of the work, a site containing an edition of the work, or a site with information about the work/composer (exceptions include user pages where one may post links to a personal home page, another choir's website, etc). In this case, the St Ann Choir have not got any useful information about any of the works which they have kindly provided translations for. Therefore, I propose that all these links be removed (though the attribution be retained). If you can identify some specific cases where the translation supposedly written by the St Ann Choir is in fact "Biblical or from the Roman Missal or Breviary", then I suggest we correct the attribution. What does everyone else think?
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DaveF
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Re: Translation by committee

Post by DaveF » 29 Nov 2008 21:49

There are not as many of these links as I'd thought - about 13, some on individual works pages, some on separate text/translation pages to which many individual pages link. Of these, 5 are biblical - mostly psalms but, in one case (Factus est repente), from the New Testament. The rest, I think, are all non-Biblical liturgical. I seem to see a lot of them because they turn up on "my" pages (works pages on which the sole edition is one of mine, usually with a translation appended to the score). Morales's Emendemus in melius page is especially cheeky - visit and see what I mean.

DF

nolinesbarred
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Re: Translation by committee

Post by nolinesbarred » 29 Nov 2008 22:42

Sorry to go slightly off-topic here, but this thread has raised a question in my mind. How narrow is the focus (foci?) of CPDL's Forums (fora?)? As a newcomer I had hoped that becoming a CPDL member and posting here would broaden my musical outlook and knowledge; I had expected links to choirs' sites, articles, anything music-related (but not to commercial sites). I was also hoping for conversations about music generally.

Perhaps I am in the wrong place! I hope not, as in my very short time here I have already acquired considerable knowledge relating to the "dangling 8" and to the more obscure (to me) clefs.

I probably should have read all the things about posting that I was supposed to read before posting!

DaveF
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Re: Translation by committee

Post by DaveF » 30 Nov 2008 21:25

Oh dear, you were looking for elevated cultural discussion, rather than people banging on about their latest annoyances. Yes, point perhaps taken in this case. To answer your question, I'm not sure there is anything that would be considered off-subject for these forums, so long as it were broadly on the subject of public-domain vocal music. But you never know what's going to get the readership interested; I couldn't believe, for example, the number of posts that the "Tenor octave clef" thread would accumulate. I believe there have been discussions in the past along the lines of "my favourite composer/piece is...", although I'm not sure if these ultimately lead very far. ("My least favourite..." would probably get them going.) As far as finding links goes, most of these are on the individual Composer pages, although I'm not sure how many there are - I've tried to put a few on the Byrd page, but need to update and add to these. Links to choirs' pages I think you generally won't find, not unless they've contributed a recording of a particular piece and there's a link on the individual works page. I suppose that if there's a discussion you think should be happening in the forums, then go ahead and start it - you're almost bound to attract numerous replies.

DF

nolinesbarred
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Re: Translation by committee

Post by nolinesbarred » 01 Dec 2008 00:21

Thanks DaveF... At least you didn't tell me to go elsewhere. I usually find "people banging on about their latest annoyances" pretty amusing actually. As for "elevated cultural discussion" - my own input would be ground-floor I'm afraid (I think I recognise irony when I see it though).

By the way, I notice a new work on the home page entitled (the work, not the home page) "Blow up the Trumpet" by Purcell. All sorts of merry images evoked there!

vaarky
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Re: Translation by committee

Post by vaarky » 07 Dec 2008 08:36

I'd like to see more discussion in the forums about favorite composers, or the nifty choral piece someone just discovered (even if under copyright). to my knowledge, there isn't a place on the net for choir geeks to rave about things they love. I'm familiar with Choralist, but I'm hoping for something less formal. (On that note, la, I think I'll create a topic.)

I agree that the score pages and composer pages should stay pretty focused.

nolinesbarred
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Re: Translation by committee

Post by nolinesbarred » 07 Dec 2008 21:20

vaarky... a general "music talk" topic would be much appreciated. Good idea!

Oh!..... I see you've started one already. http://choralwiki.net/phpBB3/posting.ph ... f=6&p=9369# I tried to put a smiling face here (haven't a clue how to do it)

bobnotts
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The original point of this discussion

Post by bobnotts » 10 Dec 2008 12:44

Dave, I've just removed most if not all of the links to the St Ann's Choir website. If you find specific translations that have clearly not been written by an individual(s) from the choir then it seems reasonable to remove the reference altogether and replace it with the actual source of the translation.
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raf
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Re: Translation by committee

Post by raf » 01 Nov 2009 17:18

I saw this thread, and thought that I should clear up the issue (even though it is a year old). William Mahrt was my professor and a well established Early Music authority. All of the translations were done by him for the St. Ann's Choir, which he directs. I never really thought of the Choir as a commercial enterprise. I thought that it would be good to have the translations on CPDL, but still have a link to the original location as an acknowledgment of the donation, and on the off-chance that the translations were updated there. My wording was VERY inaccurate, sorry ;).

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