Last updated: 15.08.17

Ditty Box Enterprise Pages

Ditty Box Enterprises opened its doors as a going concern on 14.09.1999 with a small circle of business and private friends. On the same day, as part of the opening proceedings, webpages for Sönke Hohn's CD GAWD along with that of Walter Wiehert's Pinökel Grooves were launched into the World Wide Web.
Ditty Box Enterprises was set up as a new venture principally to provide Internet services for musicians. It was seen to be an ideal way of combining very active private music-making together with professional qualifications as an engineer with expertise in the various arcane arts (going back to the late 1950s with analog-computers) of computer hard- and software.
The enterprise was started resulting from dissatisfaction with the local music trade and being unable to promote my first CD, Ditty Box, in a manner fitting to the third millennium.
In 2002 activities were expanded to include the publication and sale of ragtime sheet music for recorders as well as the sale of self-produced "homemade" CDs.

Geoff Grainger, Sheffield, July 2017.

Oops! Sorry still under construction...

Folk Music Pages

The Folk Music pages were launched in April 1997 at Geocities (Nashville/1242) as little more than a song list, a couple of anecdotes and a few *.wav files. The song list was derived from a Paradox 3.5 table which I then maintained to administrate my collection of songbooks and to produce programmes for the "Idle Fellows". I had just set up my business site, Technical Publications and Industrial Training Services and viewed these Folk Music pages as a vehicle to get to grips with HTML. I had no idea at that time, and certainly no intention, that these pages, Frankenstein-like, would take on a life of their own and that they would reshape and dominate both my business and private lives. Just like Topsy, they grew and grew.
As more and more anecdotes were written, then new webpages began to sprout. The first seedlings were the Irish and Plattdeutsch pages soon to be followed English and Australian pages. At this point the site was still manual, i.e. all pages were written using MS Wordpad which became ever more arduous as the site, number of tables, links etc. continued to grow. To put it bluntly the website had become unmanageable.. I had just completed a major software project and was in the luxurious position of being able to take time off and to find a software solution. Thus in January 1999, I wrote a Delphi 4 application to handle the problem. All data (anecdotes, links, etc. etc.) was put into a data base and my application converted the data into webpages. All HTML considerations are handled by the program which increased my productivity by at least one order of magnitude. In February of 1999, there was a veritable explosion of off-shoots: Sea Songs, Song Index as well as various recorder pages.
Due to my program it was fairly easy to absorb all the extra work necessary when entering the Amazon affiliate programmes in March 1999, this in turn lead to the Song Book, American, Gospel, German, Pub and Beatles webpages, all the while traffic increasing. The Folk-Music webpage were moved from Geocities in October 1999 to the present domain, run and maintained by my new undertaking, Ditty Box Enterprises. The last page to come on-line was the Scottish page. As of autumn 2000 the Chinese, Childrens, French, New Zealand and Welsh, tables have taken up independent existences as webpages.
Since writing the above in December 2000 my personal repertoire has expanded to some 1000 songs - the number having been greatly boosted when joining the Tyneside Maritime Chorus in 2011. Accordingly more and more webpages have come on line.

Geoff Grainger, Sheffield, July 2017.

Oops! Sorry still under construction...
Oops! Sorry still under construction...

Recorder Music Pages

The Recorder Music pages were launched in April 1998 at Geocities (Nashville/1242) as little more than tables of solos, duos, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, septets and other pieces, which were to be found in my personal library. There was just one anecdote on Albeniz-Tango with a mention of Ross Winters as a sort of trail-blazer. The tables were derived from Paradox 3.5 tables which I then maintained to administrate my collection of recorder music. In the following months I was bemused by the fact that these tables were attracting up to 30 surfers, occasionally more, per week and even more flattering, Nicholas Lander included me in his lists of "Recorder Players on the Web". This was during a period when my folk music pages were drawing thousands. This shamed and jolted me into action so much that with very little ado, I threw my complete data base of composers, publishers and a little later an index of recorder music into this wonderful World Wide Web of ours.
The next spike of activity came with the start of the Recorder Music Webring" in April 1999. At long last a few anecdotes (of low quality I must unfortunately hastily add) started to grace these lack-lustre pages and have since then slowly increased in momentum and entertainability. With the advent of becoming an affiliate with Amazon, the composer pages in particular started to blossom and my main musical references The New Penguin Dictionary of Music and The Oxford Companion to Music were heavily quoted and came to the fore.
The composers' pages have actually become the most complete on the whole website. They link recorder sheet music with CDs, websites and reocorder artists as well as not forgetting the publishers. They are even starting to make some impact on the folk music pages.
In response to many emails from people wishing to start recorder playing a modest list of Recorder Music Books was soon started and will continue to grow as more publications become available online.
A concert by Michala Petri in Bremen, North Germany, in December 1999, was the inspiration to finally start a recorder artists and ensembles webpage as a sort of homage to all those luminaries who got me, a young naval lad in the early 1960s, to blowing bits of wood with holes in them. The most daunting task of all (certainly never to be completed) was started with an E-commerce page on the complete discography (CDs) of recorder music.

Since writing the above in December 2000 the number of webpages have steadily increased. A major addition were the recorder orchestra webages resulting from my membership of The North East Recorder Orchestra in 2011.

Geoff Grainger, Sheffield, July 2017.

Mirror Sites

Due to occasional initial difficulties with the domain in Germany (www.grainger.de), I was obliged to find alternative solutions and a number of mirror sites were set-up. Due to increased stability they were reduced to just one.

  • www.grainger.de
    This domain is as of 11.10.2000 online and is fully operational. The site is updated weekly
  • www.graingerworld.co.uk
    This domain came online on 08.09.2000 and was fully operational until 2008 and was updated every six weeks.
    It is now retained as a back-up.

Geoff Grainger, Sheffield, July 2017.