OPM buffs up online database

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DIEGO Mapa, left, and Cookie Chua on the website of OPM catalogue

To streamline information dissemination about the works of local artists, the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) is urging musicians to submit a catalogue of their published works, saying this will help rationalize and expand its online database of songs called Philippine Music Registry.

Although the Philippine Music Registry has currently more than 14,000 entries, it hasn’t been updated since 2008. Last January, OPM, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts  (NCCA) and the Office of the President, started modernizing the catalogue.

From www.philmusicregistry.net, the database was migrated to www.philippinemusicregistry.com.ph. Also, a team of researchers led by project head Marie Bismonte is currently scouring libraries and record companies to gather at least 10,000 additional entries.

“The main goal is to simplify information-sharing with the public and aid researchers,” Bismonte told the Inquirer in a recent interview. “The old one wasn’t as complete as we wanted it to be, and now we also want it to be more comprehensive and authoritative.”

Cataloguing is a laborious and tedious undertaking, Bismonte admitted. Thus, OPM is hoping to tap and coordinate with local musicians because, she explained, “No matter how hard we research, there will be songs that we will miss unless the musicians themselves step forward. “Those artists already in the database may want to update their bios and profiles.”

More detailed

In the old website, searching and clicking on a specific song reveals its recording history, composer, lyricist, arranger and record label. Clicking on an artist’s name will direct users to his profile which shows all the songs associated with him.

Bismonte said they wanted to make the database more detailed by adding other aspects of information, such as album titles, musical directors, sound engineers, maybe even back-up vocalists on a particular song.

Eligible artists

An artist who’s been “published,” whether independently or through a major record label, can register his work with OPM.

OPM communications officer Dinah Remolacio added that, aside from easy access to information, the online database would be a huge help to those who want to use local songs for commercial purposes.

“It would make collecting royalties a lot easier,” she said. “Anyone who wants to use a song can just go to the site so you’ll know whom to credit. Then you can call OPM or Filscap (Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) for the license.”

The revamped Philippine Music Registry will be formally launched in May. Musicians who want to submit their list of works may go directly to www.philippinemusicregistry.com.ph or email opmsingers@gmail.com.

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