Question: is gramps suitable for musical groups genealogy?

I would like to trace the geneaology of the players who live in my territories; so I would like to know if Gramps can manage and track membership groups, or entities, other than people’s families.

Thanks.

Not by default, but Gramps is flexible enough that it does not stop you from creating a fake people/families as the group or entity top level and use that in conjunction with tags and associations. For example you could create a person called the The Beatles that would have a family of Past and present Band members and additional persons for each of the Recording Label’s (Parlophone / Apple / Capitol) and I have not given this much more though but you get the idea, but it maybe difficult without modifying Gramps sourcecode and even creating a sub-translation to reflect what you are recording and custom reports!

Am I on the right track or can you provide a better description and example of what you want?

FYI somebody on the bugtracker requested the ability to use Gramps for Botany

It’s easy…

Create the Band/group as a Place, same way as you do with a Company, give it a custom type…
It’s a “legal entity” just like a company or organization.

Then add Events linked to that Entity with description and different custom type, i.e. “joined”, “left” etc. or create Events for members based on year with a timespan of a calendar year.
Share that Event with the people, and give them custom roles…
or create personal events for any member with a custom role and the period the role was correct, create a new event if a role or status for that member changed.
Or you can do a combination of this, if there is some reports that don’t give you the information you need…

Create associations between the different members.

You can also create different place hierarchies for different types of entities, i.e. Recording Studios, Record Labels etc. and embedd the group/band to those Entities based on dates or periods, so if the was under a Record Label for a period and then got under another, you would be able to track that, same with Recording Studios they used, etc.

Create the group/band as a family object to be able to easily view the connections in a graph view…
Problem with using a family object is that you will not have a way to see who joined when and who left when…

You can export your data to an graphviz report and with a few lines extra in ie. VS Code with the graphviz extension, you can create the graph even without a family as a hub…

When/if Gramps get support for Events on Places and Main-Sub Events, you will be able to get a lot more control by setting it up this way today.

The problem with not using a family as a “hub” for the group is that Gramps don’t have any Event or Place focused graphical views…


A tips to another tool is Obsidian, where you could create Notes for any object you need, link the objects with wiki-links, use the timeline pluginto create timelines based on YAML data, and other plugins to create different type of diagrams…
You would be able to see all your connections in the graph view, and if you need more styling of the graph, you could use the Juggl plugin…

You could also use a timeline tool like The Timeline Project or Aeon Timeline to create timelines with people as entities.
It will also be relatively easy to register this in any network graph software…
One that is easy to use is Aleph datadesktop,
but you will get more feature from Segrada, Constellation, Cytoscape, Gephi or similar tools.

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I like the idea of using places, persons and families, but not sure how you can link music movements/styles between them : rock from jazz, etc…

Examples in picture:

When I was considering that approach, I thought you could have different top level branch of your place Tree. Then organize the groups hierarchically by genre.

But this lead me that you’d actually wanted 2 variants for the Group data.

One as a place … so that you could add an Occupation event of “musician” each group member; with the Place set to the Group, the the date range/span defined their membership, with a custom attribute of their instrument.

But also have a Family with one of the spouses as the Group contains the history of gigs & any ephemera.

Changing genre for a band/group is an Event, and can be recorded in Gramps as an Event, it can also be added as Attributes and/or Notes…

but as I wrote, there is better tools for this than Gramps.

Personally I would not have used Families as Group/Band, I would have only used Places as Legal entities, and found another way to generate a “tree” or graph for it…


My ships and sailor research has a similar structure of its data and links, I use Excel, Obsidian and Cytoscape instead of Gramps, since I need to list and link hundreds and soon thousands of crew members and ships with places, journeys and other event, and need a way to see the links between all of this… often there are links going between: one person of interest ->crew lists → ship → place - another ship → crew list → person of interest + another person of interest etc. etc.
And the information is found and pieced together from position lists in newspapers, crew lists in a number of archives books and articles… Near impossible to find those connections in a list view or table view, but with a network graph and some filters/queries no big problem…

Make the Bands a Person and the Parent of a Family with all the band members as Children of various families.

Songs could be shared Events of the Family and of the various members if they were the Composer/ Lyricist, Soloist, etc in the Role field. I would put the title of the song in the Place field. Maybe the genre of the song in the Description field.

Maybe use the Source/Citation as the record label? Label as Source. Producer as Citation.

Once you decide on a scheme, then you can think about a translation scheme to rename the fields. It is also easy to “hide” the unwanted/unneeded fields in the person/family “event” list.

I am doing something similar for my Book database.

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