Master Music finder Database

Note: the database described below has been updated in March, 2011 to include 50 fake books. See the Fake Book list in the Music|Fake Books|Song Index section.

This particular "project" took me many weeks, but eventually I was able to construct a "Master" Music Finder database for PSR-2000 owners. My goal was to not only add more records to the database provided with the PSR-2000, but to also modify the keyword field to reflect the fake book(s) in which each song could be found. Of course, this is not of much use to those of you who play by ear, but for the music readers, this could be a useful tool. With 2-letter book abbreviations in the keyword field, I would be able to use the Search option to create a subset of the "master" database that included only records for songs in any particular fake book. Using the Search results, I could then easily step through the MF database and every song I encountered in the database would be right there before me in the book that I was playing. In fact, since the songs can be sorted alphabetically, and the books are often arranged with song titles alphabetically, going to the next Music Finder record would mean simply playing the next song (or, perhaps turning a few pages to get to the next song).

The initial version of this "master" MFD file was released on 21 September 2002 and included over 1,883 records. The total record count included multiple records for some songs, that is, there are alternative styles and tempos suggested for the same song. The latest version (10/11/02) of this Master MFD file is provided below. It now has 2,100 records with 1,712 unique songs. You will also find that 174 of the 181 styles in the PSR-2000 are used in this collection. I have used MusicFinderView to read in this PSR-2000 version and then save it in a format that can be used on the PSR-1000, PSR-2100, PSR-1100, and Tyros. The Music Finder database files are keyboard specific, so download the version for your particular keyboard.

In 2016, I again used MusicFinderView and created versions of this Master MFD for subsequent Yamaha keyboards shown in the 2nd and 3rd rows in the table below.

Master Music finder Database
PSR-3000 PSR-S900 PSR-S910 PSR-S950  
Tyros2 Tyros3 Tyros4 Tyros5  

Database Sources

Before explaining the database sources, let me point out that a Big MFD file can be a Good Thing, but it can also be a Bad Thing. That 2,100-record Master mfd file won't fit in a PSR-1000, which is limited to only 1,000 records. If your keyboard can not load such a large database, you can use MusicFinderView to identify subsets of the database and save those to an MFD for your use.

When you try out some of the suggestions, you may find that you don't agree at all. You can edit the record and put your own preference in. You may find three or four suggestions for a particular song. If there is one you prefer, you may want to delete the others. You may find songs you'll never play and you may want to delete those records as well. The bottom line is that this "Master" MFD is just a starting point with suggestions that you can accept or reject.

Now, let's take a look at the various "sources" used to put together these 2100 records.

Yamaha - Almost 890 records come directly from Yamaha. By combining the original PSR-2000 records with records from the CVP209 that used styles available in the PSR-2000, I was able to build a database of well over 900 records. However, I deleted many of the European songs Yamaha had included in their databases. None of these songs were available in ANY of the fake books common found in the United States. So, 890 records came from Yamaha and they are marked with "Yamaha" in the "Genre" field. The remaining 1,210 came from individual contributions as detailed below.

PSR Performers - When I originally conceived of expanding the Music Finder database, I thought the songs provided by our very own PSR Performers would be a good source of additional records. In fact, many of the performers included songs that used preset styles in the PSR-2000. I've also added some suggestions from the Music Forum. I was able to add over 300 records from these sources. (The source of the record, performer first name and last initial, is stored the Genre field.)

Note: since I prepared these records, the PSR Performers have added many hundreds of songs to the PSR Performer archives. On each Performer's page, you can check out the song/style listing and you'll find an alphabetical list of all that Performer's songs with, in many cases, the style used and the tempo. You can use this info to expand the MFD as you like.

Scott Yee - Scott Yee has tuned his Music Finder database for his own performances. He was kind enough to contribute his songs. I compared those to what I had obtained from Yamaha and, after eliminating duplicate records, I was able to add an additional 285 records to the total. Scott's records are marked with "ScottyY" in the Genre field. (Scott is now performing with a Tyros.)

Fred Smith - I searched the CVP Users Forum for files and found a number of records based on the Readers' Digest Country and Western song book that were added by Fred Smith. After eliminating styles that were not available in the PSR-2000, I was left with 50 additional records that could be added. These records have an "rc" added to the Keywords field. I sent a note to Fred thanking him for his work on the Country and Western song book. He replied and sent me two more mfd files with songs from the Readers' Digest Remembering the 50s and Treasury of Best Loved Songs and a fourth mfd of Christmas songs. These records have "r5", "rt", and "rc" added to the keywords field. Fred's songs have "FredS" in the Genre field. All told, I was able to add 236 records from Fred's work. (There were additional records, but they used styles not available in the PSR-2000.)

Joe Waters (yours truly) - I also took a shot at creating records for many of the songs I have played. I also wanted to be sure some of the more popular songs, as measured by the number of fake books the song appeared in, were included. I added 289 records to the total. My records are marked "JoeW" in the Genre field.

Richard Peck - If you have read the beginner lessons on registration, you know that Richard Peck has provided nine PSR-2000 registration banks filled with setups for songs. I reviewed those songs and the styles and tempos used and was able to add another 65 records to the master database. Files from Richard are marked with "RichardP" in the Genre field. For these songs, you can compare the OTS instruments with the registration that Richard used to play the song.

Gary Diamond - Since I released the first version of a Master MFD, Gary Diamond sent me the mfd file he uses. After eliminating records for songs/styles we already had, I was able to add another100 records from Gary's file to this version. His records are marked "GaryD" in the Genre field.

Warren Peters - Warren also sent in 67 additional records that I was able to add in this version of the Master MFD file.

Scott Langholff - Even more records were provided by Scott. "These are most of the songs I play by ear. Thought you might like to have them. Yes, I finally broke down and did this. I hope I can get used to using this thing! Following the song title I sometimes use a code that is as follows: small letters indicate which intro/ending to use, large letters that indicate which rhythm variations to use, a single letter in parentheses means to use all variations except that one. Enjoy!" -- Scott Langholff (Note: the Fake Book abbreviations are not included in this mfd file. -- JW)

Standardizing Song Names

I needed to match the song titles in this database with song titles in another master database of song titles I have created that matched a song with all the fake books it appeared in. Since there were many dozens of fake books involved, each with their own song indexes, I had to make some decisions to standardize song titles so that it would be possible to identify the same song appearing in many different books. I then needed to modify the titles in the Music Finder database so they, too, matched the standard song title. Here are the rules I used.

  • All of the song titles are listed with the first letter of each word capitalized.
  • Parenthetical expressions have been removed from the song title, thus "Desafinado (Slightly out of Tune)" in a book index, would be recorded simply as "Desafinado" in the master index.
  • Songs beginning with "The ..." (or "A ...") would be listed with "The" at the beginning. For example, if the song index listed a song as "Marvelous Toy, The", it would appear in the master index as "The Marvelous Toy".
  • For the Music Finder database Music field, song titles are limited to a maximum of 32 characters. If the song title was longer than that, the title is truncated in the MF database.

Filling the Keywords Field

A primary purpose of this project was to relate song titles to the books they appeared in. I have done that using the Keyword field. Consider the screen shot below of the first few records as shown by the Music Finder Editor in Excel.

Music Finder Editor screen shot
The first song, "A Bicycle Built For Two," appears in only one book, WF (see the table below for a translation of all the book abbreviations.) The fourth song, "A Day In The Life Of A Fool," appears in six different books. "A Fine Romance," appears in 7 books. "A Horse With No Name," however, does not appear in ANY of the fake books and the keyword would be "NA". You would use these keywords, along with the Search options, to create subsets of the database for a particular book. If you searched, for example, on "UJ" as a keyword, your resulting records would all include UJ somewhere in the keyword field and would represent a list of songs in the database that can be found in "The Ultimate Jazz Fake Book."

Fake Book Abbreviations

To effectively use those keywords, you have to know what all those "codes" mean. The table shown gives you the abbreviation and the book that it represents. For each book, I also show the number of songs in the book. I initially tried longer abbreviations, but when I discovered that there was a limit to how many characters would fit in the keywords field, I had to switch to very short abbreviations. But, they couldn't be too short. I tried "U" for Ultimate Fake Book, and then discovered that a search on "U" would produce all the "U"'s but also select any keyword that had a "U" in it. So I got "UJ", "UC", etc. Therefore, the abbreviations had to be short, but also be a unique combination of letters that did not appear in any other abbreviation. Most of the other abbreviations, more or less, reflect the book title.

There are 60 books included in this table. One of the abbreviations, "CS" for "Real Chord Changes and Substitutions" actually represents five different books (A-F), (G-K), (L-Q), (R-Z) and Christmas Favorites. Since the titles in each book were different, I combined this series into a single abbreviation.

All told, this collection of fake books includes over 18,000 song titles. Of course, some songs appear in many books. Eliminating all the duplicate entries, the final song list was still well over 10,000 songs.

Some songs, of course, appeared in several books. But I was surprised at how many songs appeared in one, and only one, book. The table below shows the number of songs that appeared in multiple books. As you can see, one song appeared in 12 different fake books. This, most popular of songs was "September Song." Three songs appeared in 11 different books (Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans, Memories Of You, and My Romance). In adding songs to the Music Finder Database, I made sure that the 29 songs that appeared in 9 or more books were all included. This next month, I'll focus on making sure all of the 70+ songs that appear in 7 or 8 books are also included.

Ab

Fake Book

Songs

H2

All the Right Changes

100

H1

Dick Hyman's Professional Chord Changes

100

ER

Early Rock 'N' Roll Era Fake Book

357

EX

Easy Christmas Fake Book

99

WF

Fake Book of the World's Favorite Songs

735

GG

Gospel's Greatest

448

HP

How To Play From a Fakebook

52

J5

Jazz of the 50s

200

RB

R&B Fake Book

304

EJ

Ragtime & Early Jazz 1900-1935

200

CS

Real Chord Changes & Substitutions Books *

258

54

Real Chord Changes for 54 Standards

54

BT

The Beatles Fake Book

200

BK

The Best Chord Changes for the Best Known Songs

100

BS

The Best Chord Changes for the Best Standards Ever

100

MP

The Best Chord Changes for the Most Popular Songs

100

MR

The Best Chord Changes for the Most Requested Standards

100

WG

The Best Chord Changes for the Worlds Greatest Standards

100

BE

The Best Fake Book Ever

1071

BL

The Blues Fake Book

400

CH

The Chicago Fake Book

187

CR

The Classic Rock Fake Book

254

DS

The Disney Fake Book

241

EB

The Easy Broadway Fake Book

102

EF

The Easy Fake Book

101

EG

The Easy Gospel Fake Book

104

EL

The Elvis Fake Book

200

FS

The Folksong Fake Book

1001

RJ

The Hal Leonard Real Jazz Fake Book

528

JS

The Hal Leonard Real Jazz Standards Fake Book

246

HY

The Hymn Fakebook

910

IB

The Irving Berlin Fake Book

169

WB

The Most Fantastic Fakebook In The World

1299

MV

The Movie Fake Book

492

R1

The New Real Book, V1

225

R2

The New Real Book, V2

210

R3

The New Real Book, V3

196

PC

The Performer's Complete Fake Book

612

PX

The Professional Pianist's Christmas Fake Book

118

PP

The Professional Pianist's Fake Book

120

SC

The Professional Singer's Country Fake Book

150

SP

The Professional Singer's Pop / Rock Fake Book - Men

101

SF

The Simplified Fake Book

100

R0

The Standards Real Book

262

SE

The Swing ERA 1936-1947

200

TV

The TV Fake Book

170

UB

The Ultimate Broadway Fake Book

725

UX

The Ultimate Christmas Fake Book

205

UC

The Ultimate Country Fake Book

731

UF

The Ultimate Fake Book

1204

UJ

The Ultimate Jazz Fake Book

635

UP

The Ultimate Pop / Rock Fake Book

500

WL

Wedding & Love Fake Book

434

SG

World's Greatest Fake Book

209

YF

Your First Fake Book

101

# of Books 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
# of Songs 1 3 8 17 32 39 88 130 298 635 1468 7665

Notice the last column in the table above. Out of the 10,384 unique song titles, 7,665 appeared in only one book. I found that result a bit surprising. 74% of the total songs in those 60 fake books appeared in only one fake book.

Another surprising factor was how many songs do not appear in any of these books. Out of the 1,417 unique song titles in the Music Finder database provided above, 400 songs aren't in any of these books. Their keyword fields are blank. Of course, that still leaves 1,017 songs that do have entries in the keyword fields and many of those are the common songs found in those books. If you were to search on the keyword "A" (The Ultimate Fake Book), the resulting search results view would present with 466 records for songs in that book. That's more records than are in the original Music Finder database delivered with your PSR and all of those songs are in that one book. If you were to search on "Z" (The Best Fake Book Ever), the search results would include 367 songs. I have already created a number of these Fake book specific Music Finder databases and they are available from the download area.

Procedure

You have, I think, all the information you need to start using the above Music Finder database. In this closing section, I thought I'd add a few words explaining exactly how the database was created.

The first task was to collect the song lists for the fake books. This task was facilitated a great deal by the fact that Hal Leonard, which publishes most of those fake books, also provides the song lists on their web site. I did not, of course, retype that information, but simply "copied" the information from the web page and then "pasted" into an Excel Spread sheet. I collected this information for all 60 books. Actually, I have collected for more books than that (The Latin Fake Book, The Latin Real Book, The Celtic Fake Book and others) but did not include these books in the total. This produced a list of some 16,000 songs.

The next task was to standardize these names so that if the same song appeared in different books, it would be represented by the same song title. By standardizing the song titles as much as possible, it was easier to find the songs that were in multiple books. But the "unique" song list was still over 10,000 songs.

The original data associated each song title with a particular book abbreviation. But trying to combine all 60 indexes into one large table revealed the limits of Microsoft Excel. The resulting table was too large to do any analysis with. So then the trick became one of figuring out how to combine the song titles with the book index for the keyword field and build up that field, book by book. Excel does provide enough functions that formulas can be devised to help with that task. When all that combining was done, I had arrived at a final master song list that has the song title in one column, and the relevant book abbreviations in the second column.

The next task was to expand the number of songs in the Music Finder database. I took the original PSR-2000 database, added records from the CVP209 database, reviewed all the songs in the PSR Performer's section to identify songs that could be added from there, got additional songs from Scotty Yee and from the CVP forum. Finally, I added many songs myself. In the process of all this combining, I had to make sure that every new source of songs for the database was reviewed so that duplicate records were not added to the main database. I also modified the Genre fields at this step so a user could see the source of the suggested song/style/tempo in the Music Finder record.

With the expanded Music Finder database, the next step was to check all the song titles and see which ones were also listed in the master fake book song index and, where there was a match, copy the fake book abbreviations to the keyword field.

Finally, this past weekend, I checked the master song and added additional records to make sure the songs that appeared most frequently in the fake books had records in the database. I think I will continue that process since it is a lot more fun finding a good style and tempo for a song than simply working with numbers in a spreadsheet! In the process I have tried out many more PSR styles and tried them at a variety of tempos. I've found a lot of combinations that are, in fact, pretty good. So that has been a useful and fun learning experience. But I figured I'd better stop now and get the lesson on utilities and this lesson written since there really would be no end to the number of songs that could be added to the master Music Finder database.

For Owners of Older PSRs

If you happen to have an older PSR, you don't have the Music Finder database feature. But, you may, nonetheless, find the information that is stored in the Master mfd database useful. Many users have styles from the PSR-2000 and there are similar styles in older machines. The tempo is also useful information. For those users, I have compiled a Microsoft Word document that has all the information included in the Master MFD database (although it does not have the Fake book keyword info). The file is zipped. It will unzip into a Word document and will give you 23 pages of song/style/tempo information.

MS Word Version of Master MFD


This page updated on March 8, 2016 .