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Welcome to the updated Inventory of Notated Canadian Music to 1950 (INCM), a collaborative project between Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the Canadian Musical Heritage Society (CMHS) from late 1990s to early 2000s. INCM consists of musical compositions by or of interest to Canadians.
During this period the team of CMHS researchers converted card catalogues and datasheets of early Canadian sheet music compiled at the Music Division of LAC into MARC [MAchine Readable Code] in LAC's Canadian National Catalogue (Amicus). While Amicus does not include comprehensively LAC's manuscript, periodical, and book collections containing early Canadian composed music INCM was mandated to include this repertoire.
Early in the project CMHS became aware of a Checklist project, led by Dr. Patrick B. O'Neill, Mount Saint Vincent University, of copyright registrations of Canadian interest at the Department of Agriculture, Ottawa, at the Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, and at the British Library, London. This checklist was incorporated into INCM along with the catalogues of the Canadian Music Centre, Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec, the British Library, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and many other libraries and web sites around the world that contain Canadian authored music or music of Canadian interest.
Canadian authored music includes Canadian composers, arrangers, and lyrcists. Thus, so far, the Inventory includes over 70 settings of, or songs inspired by, Canadian John McCrea's poem In Flanders Fields. Various other noted Canadian poets, authors or lyricists are included even if their words were set by non-Canadians.
When the U. S. and Canadian copyright registers from various sources became available on-line by such organizations as archive.org, HathiTrust, and Google books, CMHS researchers were able to enhance the O'Neill Checklist by uncovering a large repertoire of music by or about Canadians. They also uncovered the questionable practice of U. S. and Canadian publishers or individuals to solicit from the public lyrics — or 'song poems' — that were set to music, for a fee, by their staff composers. This practice began early in the 20th century and continued well into the mid-20th century. INCM does not attempt to "judge" the merits of these compositions, however. For further information see American Song Poem Music Archive
The INCM project was initially funded in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.