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The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There is also a negative side. Hunter S. Thompson
Thanks to a few dedicated individuals, we, in the R/D community, have kept up with the times and organized ourselves pretty well: we can find almost any cue-sheet that we need on the web (http://www.mixed-up.com/round/all-over/ ), ROUNDALAB members have access to the (always up-to-date) RAL manual on the web (http://www.roundalab.org/#), same with the ICBDA manual ( http://icbda.com/), our membership fees and subscriptions to newsletters can be paid in a jiffy using PayPal or credit cards. We are doing well including for music. Most choreographers nowadays choose music that can be downloaded as mp3 for around US $1.00 - this is far better than the cost of a 45 rpm vinyl. Because of the great progress in this field, the music treasure chest that we have put at the disposal of R/D actors is slowly becoming redundant and that's a good thing. Non-US citizens are a little less well-off but they seem to get by, somehow. Before the situation became as comfortable as it is now, there was a serious problem getting good quality music at a reasonable price, which is how the Shared Folders came into being. We simply allowed our friends to visit our computer and help themselves to the music, cue-sheets and educational material that they needed.
THE FOLDERS THAT WE SHARE
The folders that we are offering to share with round dance leaders (as a priority) or round dancers (on a space-available basis) are organized as follows:
1) The first folder responds to the need, that quite a few dancers had expressed, to train at home. Several dont have the luck to live close to a R/D club and can dance only sporadically to live cuers. The demand seemed to concern more specifically rounds above the easy level. So, concentrating on the IV to VI levels (but there are also a few IIs and IIIs), we opened a folder containing cued rounds, each file identified as Asperule followed by the title of the round. There are over 1700 cued rounds in the folder (see our Asperule List) and more can be added on request. Asperule, by the way, is the French name for Sweet Woodruff, the little white flower featured on our home page.
2) Then, through discussions in the Weavers forum, it appeared that quite a few young cuers could not use the golden classics because the music was not available any longer. So our second folder contains the music for the current 165 Golden Classics . The files are identified with Golden Classic followed by the title. This is just music, no cues (see the Classic Rounds list).
3) 4) 5) 6) And then there are the NARDEM folders, the acronym standing for Non Available Round Dance Music. The "non available" is an obsolete term but one got so used to 'NARDEM" that the name is there to stay. Most of the music (90%) in the NARDEM folders has been found somewhere else on the net and was therefore already available but finding it required a certain amount of research. I also own the originals of 90% of all the music that I share, duly purchased whenever possible. There are over 7000 files in the NARDEM folders at the present time (see our NARDEM Lists divided in A-F, G-L, M-R, S-Z and Xmas).
7) Another music folder has been added recently, titled Line Dancing, in recognition of the fact that we can do better nowadays than play Amos Moses or the Bingo Waltz when the need arises to entertain non-round-dancing club visitors. The folder contains some 50 line dances (music and step-sheets) that have been chosen to be quick-to-teach, easy-level dances appropriate to many occasions and attractive both to the young and less young. See our Line Dancing Page for details.
8) 9) In addition to the music folders, there are also two folders dedicated to cue-sheets. One, simply named Cue-Sheets contains currently popular cue-sheets, including brand new dances that are not posted anywhere else. At the moment, we have about 10,500 full cue-sheets in that folder. The other one is named Old Cue-Sheets and contains exactly that: over 5000 vintage cue-sheets dating from the cavern times of round dancing until more or less 1993. There is also a small folder titled Cue Cards for the occasional popular dances for which no full cue-sheet has been written.
Three other interesting folders reside in the FTP. (10) The Videos folder contains over 1300 demonstrations of popular dances (see Video List) . (11) The Documents folder contains miscellaneous write-ups on subjects of interest, many related to round dancing but others less serious. The sub-folders have pretty self-explanatory names, like FTP, "Smart Corners" (educational articles), Jokes, Beautiful Picture Shows etc.. (12) The third, labeled Incoming, is an empty folder at the disposal of those of you who wish to contribute to the database. This is the folder into which you may upload music or cue-sheets, a simple drag-and-drop operation. We particularly appreciate, for example, the music and cue-sheets used at the latest week-end event that you attended.
Creating the folders was one thing - giving access to them to our friends was another, and this is where our FTP comes into action. FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol, a client/server application that allows the transfer of files between computers. On request and according to available space* we will give you the magic formula that authorizes you to accede to our shared folders. You will need to download a FTP Client Program that will act as an interface between your computer and ours. If you have a web site, you already have such a program. If not, you'll find quite a choice of downloadable ones by googling "FTP client programs". Examples of free ones: http://www.rbrowser.com/ (for Mac users) or http://www.coreFTP.com (for Windows). These programs are small and unobtrusive and are well worth the trouble to learn how they work. Remember, the pot of gold awaits you at the end of the yellow brick road or maybe at the bottom end the rainbow, whichever comes first.
It is always better to connect to the FTP with an idea of what you want. So have a look, here on this site, at the lists of contents of the various folders (updated as necessary) and make a note of the goodies you wish to have. Then go to the FTP with your magic formula. Open the folder that you are interested in, browse until you find the file that you want and download by double clicking or dragging and dropping. Depending on your system and on the type of connection to the internet that you are using, downloading a song can take between a few seconds (ADSL or cable) and 10 minutes (modem).
The last requirement to fully adhere to the system is to join our communication tool. Ever since anti-spam programs have become another (necessary) obstacle to free communication (after our indispensable anti-virus programs and our increasingly vigilant firewalls), it has been very difficult to send emails to multi-addressees. So we have established a Google group called RoundMusic that we use for regular announcements concerning the FTP and the ever-changing contents of the shared folders. This results in a newsletter, called "Update #.." which we publish once a week. At the same time, the list doubles up as a discussion forum and your questions or contributions of any kind on round dancing subjects are very welcome. We encourage free talk with no taboos as long as courtesy is maintained. Please note that subscription to RoundMusic is mandatory to be granted FTP access. On the other hand you are very welcome to join the Google RoundMusic Group even if you have no intention of using the FTP. Submit your request to join at http://groups.google.com/group/RoundMusic. Well contact you promptly to get your particulars so we can evaluate your need in view of the available space. Be aware that there are more requests than space so you may be put on a waiting list. Once you are registered, youll receive the RoundMusic mail in your own mailbox, like all your other messages and, if you have a Google account (https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount), youll also have the opportunity to read, on line, the messages that were exchanged in the past. There are no anonymous members in the RoundMusic list and an up-to-date membership list is available to the members in the shared folders under "Documents".