Hymn to Wikipedia

On the wonderful wiki-based storehouse of public-domain sheet music IMSPL, I discovered a gem today. It is a work with the title “Hymn to Wikipedia” attributed to John-Luke Mark Matthews (a clever pseudonym). I am including the Conductor’s Score here:

Hymn to Wikipedia
by John-Luke Mark Matthews

If you are an experienced conductor with years of experience conducting large orchestras and choirs, you’re not wanted here. Give the job over to someone who has never conducted before.

Your job is to conduct by consensus. However, you also have ultimate authority, which you may feel free to enforce arbitrarily.

If anyone challenges your authority, you may ban them and have them ejected from the orchestra or choir.

The performance can go ahead with whatever players and singers are left after the banning process.

Don’t worry about looking at any of the parts, the librarian will take care of those. All you have to do is wave a stick. Or use your hands, if you think that’ll look more impressive. Have fun.

Click through to see more details, such as instrumentation.

On a more serious note, I was amazed and delighted to see that a copy of one of my all-time favorite pieces of music, Kurt Atterberg’s Symphony No.2, is available there, as is his violin concerto!

  • Gary

    I might be a grumpy cat, and combine this with the previous post on Hebrews, and entitle it Hymn to the creation of the bible, wiki style. Everyone gets to write a wiki input on Jesus and his meanings, from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, author of Hebrews, author of Revelation, Gospel of Thomas, Mary, Peter, Truth, a few secret Gospels, etc, and they are all input into Wiki. The posted version is the bible, after adept selection and editing. They (got to be church fathers) followed the guidance:
    “Your job is to *author,select, edit by consensus. However, you also have ultimate authority, which you may feel free to enforce arbitrarily.
    If anyone challenges your authority, you may ban them and have them ejected from the *church.
    The *bible-performance can go ahead with whatever players and Authors are left after the banning process”.
    After the writing, editing, and selection process, all wiki inputs are accepted on interpretation of what’s left. Each interpretion creates a new church denomination, much like the creation of new bubble universes from the soup. Then each denomination starts their own wiki process to create new bubble universe-denominations on their own spurious interpretation. Then, amazingly enough, the denominations actually create their own version of the bible. A never ending, repeating cycle.

  • Pseudonym

    The music itself is a hoot. Every part is played at a different speed. The vocal soloists sings such lyrics as “All kinds of slanderous content!” and “premature death announcements”.

    The instrumentation (at least in this edition by Picardy Third, another amusing pseudonym) includes 16 typewriters (you type the prescribed text, observing line breaks), 8 cellphones (instructions include “use your camera’s phone to take pictures of the musicians”), 8 cash registers (“swipe debit card”), 8 tap dancers, 2 kitchen sinks, 8 vuvuzeli (I assume that’s the correct plural), and 8 cannon (“you have two options: play Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture from memory, or fire at will”).

    Finally, the “alternate part”:

    This part may be used by any instrument I may have left out (such as tenor Wagner tuba in E-flat, electric bass guitar, kazoo, etc.), or by a kind of singer I did not anticipate (such as a castrato), or by someone who doesn’t know how to read music.

    All you have to do is play the “Ode to Joy” melody from memory in whatever key you like at whatever tempo you want. Add whatever ornaments or embellishments you want. Feel free to ignore the conductor. He doesn’t know what he’s doing anyway. There was a more competent conductor available, but he wouldn’t touch this piece with a 10-foot pole.


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