Take a peek back in time....

2000 2002 2004 2007

The DoveSong.com Story - By Don Robertson

In March, 1997, Mary Ellen Bickford and I, with the help of our friend Mike Martin, gave birth to a dream: a website that would make available anywhere in the world, my teachings about music. Since the 1960s, when I first made the important discovery that our culture was becoming focused on negative music, I had been researching, studying, and collecting positive and uplifting music. Until the creation of DoveSong.com, my outreach was rather limited. This is the DoveSong story.

Don Robertson    


"The Birth of Dovesong.com"

DoveSong.com was founded in March, 1997 by Mary Ellen Bickford and myself. We were living in Richmond, Virginia at that time, where I was under contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia to help build a new computer system for the Department of Motor Vehicles. As a composer and musician, since 1967 I had been working on a project to help steer contemporary classical music away from its focus on a negative-based harmonic system back toward a basis of natural harmony. The internet was the answer. Mary Ellen and I commissioned Mike Martin, whom I was working with at the DMV, to create a website for us. Mary Ellen and I came up with the name DoveSong: the dove is both a symbol for peace, and a symbol for spirit. This photo above shows the very first screen that Mike created as the home page for DoveSong.com.

“Writing Articles”

Next, I began to write articles and publish them on the DoveSong website. My main focus was to present information about the state of affairs in contemporary classical music, which had become corrupted with the use of discordant harmony. I was able to republish the articles that I had originally written for my book "Kosmon" back in 1970, alongside some new articles about subjects such as the experiments that had been conducted with music and plants. Meanwhile, I was involved in documenting and collecting American Gospel Music before it became only another genre swallowed up by the giant corporate music industry.

After a year or so, I began creating a section on the site called the "Positive Music Archives." In this section, I was able to document classical music from the centuries before the 20th century, music that I had been researching since 1971.

“You Have Mail!”

Mary Ellen and I moved to the Atlanta area in November, 1999 and I took a job as the Chief Technical Officer at Mind Share Systems. I continued to enhance DoveSong.com on the weekends, and one of the main features that I created was a section called "We Get Letters," where I could publish correspondence from readers of the website. To get things going, I published an article on the absurdity of "Heavy metal Christian music." Heavy metal rock music is a very negative form of music due to the discordant harmonics produced by purposefully distorted guitars. It's a music about hatred and anger - negative emotions. What did this have to do with Christianity? Well, the floodgates opened and by the next year, The "letters" section was filled with mail from incensed "Christians." After someone launched a website directed against DoveSong.com (and me) and the "I'm gonna kill you" email, I realized that I was not fulfilling my purpose. Instead of giving people positive music, I was stirring up all this negativity. So I pulled the "We Get Letters" section from the website, and the pandemonium died down over the next six months.

“The Text Library”

During 2002, Mary Ellen and I redesigned DoveSong.com completely and introduced two new concepts. The MP3 format had come into its own by this time, and I realized that I could really make things happen by putting actual recordings onto the site for anyone, anywhere in the world, to download. I could make my collection of important positive music available! By this time, most people in my country were buying their music from places like Walmart: showcases for the music regurgitated by the corporate music industry. I also realized that not only could I make actual, rare recordings available free for anyone, but also the printed music (the scores)... music that I had been collecting and transcribing since 1971. Mary Ellen and I then began by creating three new main sections on DoveSong.com: Section 1 - A Text Library for writings about music, Section 2 - An MP3 Library for recordings, and Section 3 - A Sheetmusic Library for printed music.

“The MP3 Library"

My friend Al masulo, who was the CEO of Mind Share Systems, gave me permission to install the MP3 Library on a server in Mind Share's beautiful new data center. The show was now on! On the weekends, I began coding pages for the MP3 Library, to give back to the world its great music! I started with rare gospel music, North Indian classical music, and impossible-to-find great music from the European classical tradition. The DoveSong MP3 Library immediately became a huge success. The server in the Mind Share data center was running at high speed 24/7 and I was getting email and phone calls from many unexpected sources: from India where their own great masterworks were at that time unavailable, and from pastors in small Southern churches who had been searching for rare gospel music and before were unable to find it.

“Sheet Music Library”

Mary Ellen and I set up the pages for the Sheet Music Library, a concept that at this time was unknown. However, we needed to get the music scanned from paper onto disc. This work was more than we could handle at that time. In addition to work, we were writing "Songwriting For Dummies." The music that we wanted to first publish was rare and very important sacred music from the 16th century that I had been transcribing by hand from sources written in an older style of notation into a modern "two-staff-closed" style that made the music easily accessible for study. We wanted to put these scores into the hands of composers, to initiate a new direction back to music's true harmonic roots instead of the discords being taught composers in academic music arenas.



For the next few years DoveSong.com became very popular. The reports from our internet provider showed as many as 3,500 individuals coming to the site on a daily basis. We were receiving so many emails that it was impossible to answer them, even though we wished we could! We were providing a great service. But, in November 2003, Mindshare Systems succumbed to "the crash of the .coms" that was killing the computer industry in Atlanta, and a friend, Ken Parker who lived in Seattle, volunteered to host the MP3 library. Bless him! He worked tirelessly to get this running, and it worked for about a year. But by the end of 2004, it was clear that he could not continue. He was having to build huge defenses from programs that were run to bring the DoveSong MP3 Library down, and by search programs looking for any kind of MP3 downloads. It was also becoming clear that copyrights were soon going to become a concern. We reluctantly gave up the MP3 Library.


“Music Through the Centuries”

My last contribution to DoveSong.com was book called "Music Through the Centuries." During 2005, after 35 years of studying the classical music of the European classical tradition from the first millennium up through the second, I made another important discovery: Each century had its own style of music - unique to that century. As far as I could tell, no one had noticed this before. Very few people had researched the music of each century as I had done, and the important music from the 17th century had not even been recorded or published until the last decade of the 20th century. I wrote a book describing my findings. I debated on publishing it as a soft cover book, but I knew the kinds of difficulties I would encounter in getting this book into the hands of those who wanted this information. I decided the best place to publish "Music Through the Centuries" was on DoveSong.com, were anyone with a computer could read it. That I did. I incorporated my book into the website itself, using the material that I had already placed on the site.


“Musical Kaleidoscope”

In 2005, I had completed building DoveSong.com. The site itself had become difficult to maintain and new technologies were on the horizon. In 2007, Mary Ellen and I began working on our dream (since 1984) of creating a visual as well as audio experience. We purchased professional video editing software and began learning how to use it. Our new focus would now be "Musical Kaleidoscope," the name that we had chosen in 1997 for the radio program that we wanted to produce to get the music library out to the people... before we saw that we could do it with the MP3 Library. Musical Kaleidoscope would have a website, a facebook presence, and a YouTube channel. We also began working with a team of people developing a new internet software called "TunesMap" that would bring a very complete experience of music on the internet: a platform to educate the world in it's own great music.


“The iUniversity”

On February 1, 2012 Mary Ellen and I announced DoveSong's final component: the DoveSong iUniversity. The internet has now become such a powerful educational tool that it can not only supplement, but also in many cases replace, the teaching of music composition that takes place in our universities. This is why we call ours an iUniversity. There is no accreditation, no courses, no schedules... just the basics for writing great positive music. So many students in today's university music classes are told that they must write in the style of music developed during the 20th century - music based on or filled with discords: 12-tone music and atonal music - the music that 20th-century composers wrote as the soundtrack as we went about destroying our world - polluting the air, land and water, destroying the climate and poisoning our food. Only with a change back to the basics of harmony, previously followed in all great societies back into prehistory times, will we be able to find our we again. Music is THAT POWERFUL! I have created the iUniversity for the composers of the 21st century - born during the 21st century - who will change the music from negative, back to positive - from music focused on body and mind to music focused on heart and soul.

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