History talk:Classical Style Guide

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This page is for discussing issues related to the ClassicalStyleGuide. If we seem to reach an agreement here then the entry can possibly be incorporated into the ClassicalMusicFAQ and moved to ClassicalStyleGuideDiscussionHistory.

If you spot a bunch of entries in MusicBrainz in dire need to editing then add to the ClassicalEntriesThatNeedEditing list.

Per StyleIssue, there is a list of open style issues in the MusicBrainz BugTracker. Amongst other things, it tracks the status of proposals to change the ClassicalStyleGuide, and AdvancedRelationships as they apply to ClassicalMusic, and related changes to the MusicBrainzWiki.

Consider listing performer as artist

  • Tracked as ticket 3557 "Setting Classical Release Artists to Performers".

Artur Rubinstein and Rudolf Serkin play Beethoven's "Emperor Concerto" drastically differently, just as Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley sing drastically different versions of "Hallelujah." The ClassicalStyleGuide suggests listing the performer in the "Release Title" tag. But I would prefer to see the performer's name in the "artist" tag, and to see the composer's name as part of the "title" tag. My reasoning is that since classical recordings differ immensely depending on the performers, when looking for a classical recording, I consider a performer's name to be just as important as the names of the composer and piece.

In fact, I consider the performer's name to be more important than the composer's. This is because classical recordings tend to feature a canonical set of compositions, which are performed repeatedly and thus are widely known. Most listeners are more interested in knowing whether they're listening to the Temptations' or Otis Redding's cover of "My Girl" than they are in knowing who originally wrote the song (Smokey Robinson and Ronald White). For classical music, I expect that many listeners will be more interested in distinguishing between Serkin's or Rubinstein's recording of the only "Emperor Concerto" for piano, well known to be by Beethoven.

I'd prefer to see:

title='Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op.73 "Emperor": III. Rondo: Allegro'

artist='Rudolf Serkin, Seiji Ozawa, and Boston Symphony Orchestra"

[This unsigned comment was added by anonymous editor dhcp130132249195 on 2007-03-27 22:57:56. —JimDeLaHunt 2008-02-03]

  • This has been discussed many times. I agree that performers are very different. But * performances are often very different too (listen to Glenn Gould's 2 versions of Bach's Goldberg Variations) * the composer is clearly more important than the performer: Rubinstein's interpretation of Beethoven's first piano concerto is more different from his interpretation of Brahms's first piano concerto than it is different from Serkin's interpretation of Beethoven's first piano concerto, at least to my ears :-) * so many releases are entered with the composer as the artist that changing back now seems to say the least difficult. -- davitof 2007-03-28 I agree with davitof here ~mo 2007-03-29 I think that performers and composers are equally important, and that we should have a separate category for each. ITunes has a space for entering the artist (performer) AND the composer, so why shouldn't we enter both as separate things? ~mocuepamochi 2007-10-16
    • This would be a step in the right direction IMO (I often said that the ARTIST concept was a mistake, since there are many artists involved), but it wouldn't be enough. One could discuss the importance of the instruments (often cited for pianos), of places... Music is not easily classified :-) -- davitof 2007-10-16
      • All of the playback devices I use (iTunes, amarok, iPod -- hardly out of the mainstream options) support the composer tag. My classical music is tagged in this way, and there's zero chance that I'm going to change. I therefore consider MB useless for classical music. This is a dealbreaker, so IMO this "step in the right direction" needs to be taken soon. I personally think it would be useful to enter the Composer tag for all music, not just classical. (For example I do sometimes want to find jazz by a certain composer, and even with rock you might want to find all your Dylan covers or something.) DouglasBeach 2007-12-25
        • I agree with Beach here. Also consider the scenario in which you have music by, say, Brahms, played by Brahms himself. This I would expect to find by searching for Brahms as the artist. anderlin

The whole discussion seems to hang on the fact that current tagging support in most programs is inadequate to say the least.

  • Tagging is only a small part of the problem. MB tries to be much more than only tagging. -- davitof 2007-10-23
    • well, sure.. but in an ideal world (like the one i live in with my foobar+monkey's audio collection) i can just add separate tag fields for performer, ensemble, conductor, instrument, recording_date, date, venue and opusnumber that are all supported and displayable without any problem whatsoever, thus solving pretty much all of the above problems :-).. you could even make a compilation (The 9 Symphonies) tag that was different from the opus name (symphony no.4) one :) -- [foppedehaan]
      • Be patient and work with us, and we will get there and even further :-) -- davitof 2007-10-23
        • tbh, it's not entirely clear to me what 'more' MB can offer that isn't identification (and thus, indirectly, tag-)related.. yes, the relationships add quite a lot to the database that can't be loaded into file tags yet, but could be in the future, but i don't see people really warming up to adding all this extra information (and editing all current entries that lack said info) until they can actually see the results in their own collections (it's a reward thing), and editing anything in the current MB database, using the current interface (i hate to say it, but it seems to be very true) takes nearly forever. -- [foppedehaan]
          • What about the "work" concept? You seem interested in classical music: what if MB recorded the movement list of each work and the next time a user entered the same work by another performer, MB recovered the list of movements automatically? What if MB knew the translations of the common names, so that it could send to the user the common name in the composer's language or the user's language? What if MB could list reliably the releases of a specific work (currently, can you find ALL performances of Tchaikovsky's Pathetic Symphony? Pathetic, Pathétique...) There are many possible improvements, and many of them actually mean making editor's life easier, not more complicated. BTW, I removed the square brackets you had added around some signatures. They should only added (with double quotes) for users like me who had the bad idea of not using a WikiName ;-) This allows me to link my signature to my page. users like ClutchEr2 don't need it, and you did not create your page yet, so you don't need it either -- davitof 2007-10-26

In a compilation album with various "artists" the various may be composers or performers or more commonly both. It makes no sense in this context to list performers in the "Release Title" tag. Performers should be listed either in the "artist" tag of the track or the "title" tag of the track, but they should not by any means be forgotten. The ClassicalStyleGuide is wrong. --bcebul 2007-07-21

There's a related discussion on the mb-style list: "Setting Classical Release Artists to Performers" by Aaron Cooper-3 starting 2008-02-02 08:23. --JimDeLaHunt 2008-02-03

To add to this, I would like to point out that the ID3 specification is for the artist field to contain the 'Lead artist/Lead performer/Soloist/Performing group'. See http://www.id3.org/id3v2.4.0-frames under 4.2.2 Involved persons frames. Composer should stay in the composer field in my opinion. Having this kind of conflict with ID3 is rather infuriating!

Small point, but it fits in with the last topic (since it's about the Emperor cto)

what to do with [attacca]? imo it's a relevant part of the descriptive part of the movement, and as such i'd like to see it added, and the square brackets aren't in use as such, but be the brackets square or parentheses, does anyone think the indication should be added? —FoppedeHaan 2007-10-27 05:25:47 (unsigned comment signed by JimDeLaHunt 2008-02-24)

  • In Jan-Feb 2008 there has been a long mb-style thread "{Clean up CSG} Capitalization (and placement) of types and tempos". In all that, no-one suggested recording "attacca" in movement tempo markings. Also no-one has responded on this page in four months. I suggest that this topic is closed, needn't be considered in the Feb 2008 clean-up of the CSG, and that this section can be moved to the history page when convenient. —JimDeLaHunt 2008-02-24
    • There was a discussion on this somewhere (thought it was here, but maybe not) about using a trailing hyphen to indicate attacca, just like we do for multiple parts of a movement, e.g. this release (track 7 into track 8). I've been doing this and I think others have too, so if that means the discussion isn't dead, let's discuss. :) --Andrewski, 2008-2-25
      • I'd agree - likewise Codas have been almost undiscussed. But Jim I think you'd find I did start bring the general area up when I began the discussion on Da capos and Dal segnos. Just because parts of the various classical discussions haven't yet been discussed, though, let's not close them out as issues to be discussed before we're done; let's only close them out if they have been, and have been decided on. Otherwise we'll still have the uncovered issues in classical. But if we tried to discuss all of it all at once, the flood would truely be overwhelming. :) Right now, I think we simply have larger issues being debated re: CSG, and this whole subcategory simply hasn't yet been much brought out for discussion and decision. The history page is only for issues here (and on the other discussion areas of CSG) which have been resolved. -- BrianSchweitzer 16:12, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Consistent uses of slashes, dashes, colons, the use of quotes, and The Underscore

Titles use " / " as separator for a sequence (of works). Tracks use " - " as separator for a sequence (of movements). Why the difference?

Regarding use of colons, how do we denote hierarchies? For example how do we denote the Lacrimosa in the Sequenz in the Requiem? I'd like to use "Requiem in D minor, KV 626: III. Sequenz: f. Lacrimosa" but that's not allowed (nonwithstanding the roman numerals vs. letter question which is a different discussion; I am thinking of roman numerals for "official" (movement) numbers and letters or no numbering for "other subdivisions").

I think a simple, consistent use of punctuation helps a lot. To that end I'd propose to use " / " consistently as sequence separator and ": " as hierarchy separator (not restricted to two levels). I believe that using these simple principles, a number of other open questions fall in place (how to denote named movements, for example). --joseba 2007-02-05

  • See MultiTrackMovementStyle for the way we've been editing movements broken up over tracks. So with that in mind, it'd end up looking like Requiem in D minor, KV 626: IIIf. Sequenz: Lacrimosa", which is very close to what you had, at least as far as colons go. (I brought that up recently on the mailing list, and it seemed that colons had the slight majority.) The problem with "/" (slashes) v. "-" (hyphens) is that slashes are used to separate "complete pieces" (be they e.g. pop songs or classical movements) whereas hyphens are used to separate "sections", which would qualify for an "Adagio - Allegro" type within one movement. (For what it's worth, I'd say this should qualify for sections of one non-classical song, but that's a story for another time.) Anyway, suffice it to say that, at least as I see it, there's not an issue with the existing notation as much as there is a lack of explanation for it. --andrewski 2007-02-05
    • That was a quick reply! Of course I realise that the first would be far too much a change for too little gain, it's just one more initial hurdle to understand the system which could be explained better. If the more general use of ":" has a majority, has that been documented somewhere (and what it means for some of the other open/contentious issues)?
      • That's what you get for sending while I'm at work and checking my email. :) It was just a discussion about ":" on the mailing list, but it should really go for an RFC. I'll work one up. --andrewski 2007-02-05
        • My interpretation of this discussion is that there is a consensus for keeping the current use. i.e. slashes are used to separate "complete pieces", whereas hyphens are used to separate "sections". Thus this issue is closed and needn't be discussed as part of the CSG revision in 2008/Feb. The revised ClassicalTrackTitleStyle and ClassicalReleaseTitleStyle articles will be clear about the accepted punctuation. Ticket 3560 "Use of good punctuation in titles" includes a proposal to permit emdash in addition to hyphen as a section separator. —JimDeLaHunt 2008/02/24.

Why the MB preference for the doublequote for (un)official names?

  • If you've all noticed that it's hard to fit all the important information into 2-3 tagfields, why is it you want to use the double- rather than the singlequote, given that most filesystems do not accept this as part of a file name, and will replace it with an underscore? The naming scheme i use (Mind you, I'm in no way endorsing this here, it's just what i apply consistently) being "Violin Concerto N°3 RV 293:1 'Autumn' - Allegro (F Major)" gives me exactly one (IMO ugly) underscore where the colon is replaced, whereas "Violin Concerto N°3 RV 293:1 "Autumn" - Allegro (F Major)" yields "RV 293_1 _autumn_" as the relevant part of the file name, given that you use the tags to rename the files with.

I realise that when you have to stick to the 3 tag fields that WinAmp (and similar) display only any notions of elegance have long been forced to flee out the bathroom window, but minimizing the use of underscore was almost my first order of business while developing the naming scheme i'm using now. --[[[Foppede Haan|FoppedeHaan]]]

  • The underscore problem is a specific filesystem issue. Since MB aims to be about music (and not about naming mp3 files ;-) ), we build our rules so that they are readable as text (well, we try to), and if Windows or Linux is unable to understand this or that character, too bad. But try not to take the filesystem limitations into account. Can you imagine how many characters we would have to remove if we had to take both Linux and Windows into account? BTW, I am a Windows user ;-) -- davitof 2007-07-21
    • i suppose, but technically the doublequote also isn't supported by the (admittedly crappy) cuesheet format. My point however was mostly that you do seem to (have to) limit yourselves to the limit imposed by WA and similar players WRT the lack of available tag fields, so the jump to limitations imposed by the file system (since most people will be reading file names before tag field values) didn't seem so large.. BTW, i'm a lossless fan ;-) --[[[Foppede Haan|FoppedeHaan]]]
      • Some (many?) of us think that MB is not only a recordings database, it should be a music database. Handling recordings data was the historical origin of MB and is still a way to attract collaborators, but IMO we must never forget that MB's aim is much larger than tagging. The rule we followed is that styles should be clear when reading them (which means often that they are close to the printed customs). For example, we try to record accented characters without thinking first of the problems this decision will trigger, and this is deliberate. Conforming to the technical limitations of a filesystem (or of a tagging system or...) should be handled by the application (the tagger, the browser...). Picard could for example replace automatically all double quotes by single quotes. Maybe there is a script which does this already -- davitof 2007-07-21
        • My interpretation of this discussion is that there is a consensus for keeping the current use. i.e. punctuation is chosen on what best stores data in the encyclopedia, without being constrained by limitations of filesystems and cue sheet formats. The tagger accepts scripts which can flexibly change punctuation in file names to fit those limitations if needed. Thus this issue is closed and needn't be discussed as part of the CSG revision in 2008/Feb. The revised ClassicalTrackTitleStyle and ClassicalReleaseTitleStyle articles will be clear about the accepted punctuation. Ticket 3560 "Use of good punctuation in titles" includes a proposal to say explicitly that file system limitations aren't a factor. —JimDeLaHunt 2008/02/24.

Colons and slashes are not recognised by some device file systems e.g iriver thus necessitating manual tag reediting and making ripping awkward. --bcebul 2007-07-21

  • My interpretation of this discussion is that there is a consensus for keeping the current use. Ticket 3560 "Use of good punctuation in titles" includes a proposal to say explicitly that file system limitations aren't a factor. —JimDeLaHunt 2008/02/24.

Release Title

(I entered the following by error in the CSG page itself. Thanks to whoever corrected my mistake) At least some classical editors favour normalizing the release title. I don't see how the CSG could currently be read this way. The official position (keep original / normalize / let the editor decide) should be clearly stated. My current position (but I don't feel quite firm about it) is that normalizing helps avoid useless duplicates. If a same classical release is released in different countries, it will probably have different titles, thus rendering useless the current date+country table MB uses. I'd rather have only one physical release in MB and use pseudo-releases for different countries if necessary. --davitof 2007-01-06

"Feat." and instrumentation

It's unclear what to do in cases of single performers on a classical album with the instrumentation. For example, there's "The Chopin Collection (Artur Rubinstein)". Everyone knows (right? :P) that Rubinstein plays piano, and most editors seem to favour this description. I, on the other hand, would prefer to put the instrument in the release title unless it's already in the title (e.g. "Impromptus (feat. piano: Murray Perahia)" and "Piano Concerto (Murray Perahia)").

My reasoning is two-fold: I. Having the instrument in the title creates something searchable, e.g. in music players and on the MB site. II. It's just plain consistent. (Read on.)

For what it's worth, "everyone" (i.e. those I've come across in editing land) seems to be agreed that the instrument should be there in situations where the instrumentation is different (e.g. "Lute Suites (feat. guitar: John Williams)") or when the performer's instrument is ambiguous (take "The Trio Sonatas (feat. harpsichord: E. Power Biggs)" vs. "The Toccatas and Fugues (feat. organ: E. Power Biggs)"). My general goal is to have the instrumentation be explicitly mentioned in the release title in one form or another, but not specified more than once. --AndrewConkling, 2006-11-2

  • I agree. And remember, not only classical fans use the Music Players of said fans. Case in point (feat. unenlightened: my wife): No, not everyone knows what instruments Perahia and Rubinstein play. I think the general guideline should be that if the instrument used cannot be inferred from the title, it should be mentioned. When the instrument used is different from what can be inferred from the title, it really needs mentioning. -- leivhe 2006-11-04
    • Sorry, I totally understand; I didn't seriously think that everyone knew who Artur Rubinstein was. :) --AndrewConkling, 2006-11-04
      • I don't really like the idea. I feel too much info in a track title will make it unusable, especially in those tiny mp3 player screens. Classical titles already have a tendency to be long (catalog, key, movement), I don't think putting more would be a very good idea. We must not confuse what should remain in a database (or in tags) and what must be immediately accessible. But I wouldn't refuse any edit because someone added too much info for my taste. Just that I feel this is too personal and should be kept optional (future tagger which would let us format our track titles like we want). --davitof 2006-11-20
        • You don't think the instrumentation of a particular release should be "immediately accessible"? --AndrewConkling, 2006-11-20
          • I would prefer not, if I knew what instrument the performer usually uses and if this performance was not an exception. For example, I wouldn't want it for Rubinstein above. I wouldn't want it for Sawallisch in http://musicbrainz.org/release/1b0256fa-70d6-4862-b66d-13f4b9cfe36b.html although Sawallisch is certainly more known as a conductor than as a pianist. But I realize that I prefer this because I know Rubinstein and Schubert's lieder enough to deduce the instruments from context. And what I would like is more terse than what states the current ClassicalStyleGuide. For me, performer info in the release title is only here for disambiguation. In other words, it is there to tell a release from another, to recognize a release. It is a part of the identification information, not an attribute. --davitof 2006-11-21
            • I just changed my mind. Consistency is more important than terseness. And terseness is only a matter of user preference and should not be raised to the level of a general rule. --davitof 2007-01-01

Performer and disc order

The current ClassicalStyleGuide states that one should have the album name, the performer, and then the disc designation in the ReleaseTitle. However, this seems to make it difficult to read, when the name may otherwise be truncated, e.g. in a music player. For example: The Symphonies (Chicago Symphony Orchestra.... (Wait, which disc was that?)

Wondering what the rationale is for having the disc last and whether it might not be a bad idea to switch it. --AndrewConkling, 2006-11-1

  • Two versions (I put the suites numbers in square brackets to show my meaning) : performer first * Cello suites (Maurice Gendron) (disc 1) [1 4 6] * Cello suites (Maurice Gendron) (disc 2) [2 3 5] * Cello suites (Mstislav Rostropovitch) (disc 1) [1 4 5] * Cello suites (Mstislav Rostropovitch) (disc 2) [2 3 6] * Cello suites (Pablo Casals) (disc 1) [1 2 3] * Cello suites (Pablo Casals) (disc 2) [4 5 6] * Cello suites (Pierre Fournier) (disc 1) [1 3 6] * Cello Suites (Pierre Fournier) (disc 2) [2 4 5] disc first * Cello suites (disc 1) (Maurice Gendron) [1 4 6] * Cello suites (disc 1) (Mstislav Rostropovitch) [1 4 5] * Cello suites (disc 1) (Pablo Casals) [1 2 3] * Cello suites (disc 1) (Pierre Fournier) [1 3 6] * Cello suites (disc 2) (Maurice Gendron) [2 3 5] * Cello suites (disc 2) (Mstislav Rostropovitch) [2 3 6] * Cello suites (disc 2) (Pablo Casals) [4 5 6] * Cello Suites (disc 2) (Pierre Fournier) [2 4 5] I perfer performer first --davitof 2006-11-21
    • Hmm... shouldn't those be "Cello Suites No. 1, No. 4, No. 6..." etc.? That bracketed notation, to my knowledge, has no precedent in any style guide... or does it? --AndrewConkling 2006-11-21
      • Of course. The parts in brackets are not actually in the titles, and I don't suggest to add them. The actual titles should be "Cello suites (disc 1) (Maurice Gendron)", "Cello suites (disc 1) (Mstislav Rostropovitch)"... They are the numbers of the suites which would appear under each. Think of them only as comments I put there to show my point. My point being that disc 1 in one release has a completely different meaning (in terms of which suites are in the cd) from disc 1 in another. For example, disc 1 in Gendron's release has only one work in common with disc 1 in Casals' release. So I see no reason to put them together I will probably never listen in sequence to the releases (admitting I had all the above which I don't) in your order, but I might imagine doing it in my order. In other words, I'd rather have releases ordered in the same way my cds are on my shelf, and I don't mix together cds from different boxes! The only time your suggestion would be good is when the performers change from cd to cd in a given box set. We might admit the exception in this case.--davitof 2006-11-21
        • Ahh... I see what you mean. Yes, this makes sense. Guess we just need bigger screens and shorter titles. :P --AndrewConkling 2006-11-21
          • If all those releases are added proper release events, the order will be different anyways. Personally, I think the disc number is more a "part of the release title" than the performer information (since performer information is something we at MB add for various reasons). This makes me want to put the disc number right after the actual title and before the performer info. --cooperaa 2007-01-03
            • Not necessarily. Sometimes a series of recordings is completed over the span of several years. Ok, I think this boils down to user preference. Shall we try for a vote? Or should we let this to user preference (but if so, it must be written as such in the CSG)? --davitof 2007-01-03

Classical and Album-based organization

The Musicbrainz style in general is very album-based. However, I rarely listen to my classical by album. For example, finding Mahler's Symphony no. 6 on "The Symphonies [Discs 1 through 10]" is rather difficult. However, I also don't listen to my classical by track, so browsing through the 40-odd tracks is equally tedious.

I'm not suggesting the entire Musicbrainz style be changed, but can anyone recommend ways of using the style to organize music by piece, the most logical way? --AndrewConkling

  • I suggest you ask your question on MB-users. I think you will more answers there. --davitof 2006-10-03
    • I agree that being able to search by piece is highly desirable. Seems like a search for "Mahler" AND "No. 6" would be the best solution for now. MB has actually inspired me to develop a personal database of pieces that I will link to discographical data and other things. A wikialized piece database (a "ClassicBrainz" if you will) would be very popular with music academics who would fill it up very fast, but is obviously beyond the current scope of the Foundation. - bklynd 2006-10-03 Here is my thread on the mailing list. --AndrewConkling 2006-10-24
      • It seems my suggestion did not work. Will I dare suggest the forum? :-/ --davitof 2006-10-03
        • My interpretation is that this discussion has died out without any proposed action that the Feb 2008 clean-up of ClassicalStyleGuide could address. Thus I think this section should get swept into a History page when convenient. —JimDeLaHunt 2008-02-24.

Use of I, II etc. should be restricted to works with movements

We should not use Roman numerals on Choral works, eg.

Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45: Selig sind, die da Leid tragen


Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45: I. Selig sind, die da Leid tragen

or albums, eg.

Miroirs, No. 4: Alborada del gracioso


Miroirs: IV. Alborada del gracioso

  • Could you explain why? Style is already complicated enough without adding unnecessary exceptions, so why? --davitof 2006-06-22
    • So you prefer the use of Roman numerals on suites and choral works?
      • I'd rather have Arabic everywhere, but since this would obviously be a too big style change, and because I think one of MB's main problem is the complexity of it's style rules, I am expecting a good reason for increasing this complexity! --davitof 2006-06-28
        • It is customary to number the movements in Roman numerals. After some thoughts on the issues, I would suggest to use the No. # notation only if it was used by the composer (ie. Op. 45 No. 2; Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor). Roman numerals should be used to number everything other than Opera and Ballet (which use the act/scene organization)
          • As I already mentioned above, I would have prefered if MB had chosen arabic numerals, roman numerals being obviously unfit to order tracks. But this was decided before I came to MB and this is the current style. Given the absence of reactions from our elders on this thread here, I suggest that you start a thread in MB-users mailing list. Maybe it is time to change or open the current style. --davitof 2006-07-02
            • On re-reading this discussion, I come to realize your original comment was not about ROMAN numerals but about roman NUMERALS. Although I agree composers frequently did not put numerals, I strongly believe we should put numerals (roman or arabic or whatever) in order to disambiguate movements or parts which would have otherwise the same name. --davitof 2006-09-27
              • However I would also say that this should only be used where the numbering can be clearly derived from the original piece, as opposed to just numbering tracks. For example where a movement is split across two tracks, the same number should be users. --joseba 2007-02-05

Movements with proper titles

  • I think there is a relation (to say the least) between this section and the section "Movement naming" below. --davitof

In works such as Symphonie fantastique, each individual movements has proper titles in addition to tempo markings. Should we even include the tempo markings? If we do, then should we separate these two pieces of info with a period or with brackets?

eg. Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14: I. Rêveries - Passions (Largo - Allegro agitato e appassionato assai) (Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française)


Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14: I. Rêveries - Passions. Largo - Allegro agitato e appassionato assai (Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française)

  • I think when such names were put there by the composer, we should include them as well. I suggest that we follow the same rule as for work titles: double quotes and proper titles put last. -- davitof
    • Would that then mean: Symfonie Nr. 6 in F majeur, Op. 68 "Pastoral": I. Allegro ma non troppo "Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande" Is the right form in your opinion, correct me if I'm wrong. I also removed the section movement naming, seeing that it's the same thing. -- cputter
      • Yes. At the same time, reading it, I see that it is probably not the most frequent way of putting it. And if the title was added by the composer, often the title is important, and the movement indications are just well... an indication! So my first idea (using the same rule as for the works) is very debatable. On the other hand, putting the works names after the catalog number does not always conform to the composer's will. After all, catalog numbers were seldom attributed by the composers, so putting them before the proper name is just a style comodity (because it is mush easier to have a uniform rule). So since we didn't use Artist intent to order catalog number and proper name for the work, why should we use it for the movements? I don't know what is best :-/
        • In this particular case (Symphonie fantastique), I think the movement names from the composer is more important than the tempo indications due to the programatic nature of the work. I believe the names are meant to be used to refer to the movements (instead of using the tempo indications). Thus, I think we should de-emphasize the tempo indications by putting them in brackets.

It seems to me that careful users are entering movement names with the tempo in parentheses at the end, like this:

  • Symphonie No. 6 F-dur, Op. 68 "Pastorale": I. Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande (Allegro ma non troppo)

I took this example from Symphonien Nos. 5, 6 "Pastorale" (Berliner Philharmoniker feat. conductor: Herbert von Karajan), and I followed the same format in entering a different release (Symphonies No. 6 "Pastoral" & No. 8 (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor Herbert von Karajan).

I think it makes sense, and I think it may be developing into a de facto standard (I found other albums, besides the one I've linked to, that use this approach). -- Editor:bhagerty 2009-03-13

Whole work on a single track

Should we include the tempo markings as well?


Ebony Concerto: Allegro moderato - Andante - Moderato - Con moto - Moderato - Vivo (feat. clarinet: Michel Arrignon)

or simply

Ebony Concerto

Proper use of feat. in classical

Do I do (feat. Orchestra, Choir, conductor: Conductor, baritone: Baritone & piano: Piano) as per FeaturingArtistStyle, or (Orchestra feat. Choir, ...) as this would seem to suggest? -- MartinRudat 15:29, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

  • IMHO classical could get rid of "feat." which is really not proper in its case. It was left because there was an automatic script that builds AR on "feat." string, but it ran only one time. So I believe FeaturingArtistStyle could be completely overridden, mantainig simply only name of performers on Album title for the necessary disambiguation of releases and eventually crediting them with their instruments/role with AR. -- ClutchEr2

Another question is, can I point at ClassicalStyleGuide, and say "I've put in performer ARs, I don't need to put performers in the titles too."? And if not, am I going to be able to say it in the future? -- MartinRudat 11:26, 05 May 2006 (UTC)

  • IMO, what the CSG currently says is that you can omit performers DETAILS if you enter ARs. Actually, I think (and I agree) this is the preferred method (better than entering all performers i titles only) because this uses the power of the database structure in general and of ARs in particular. But the CSG says "The ReleaseTitle should include the title of the release followed by the major performer (i.e. the name of orchestra or quartet) inside parenthesis", which means to me that you can NOT remove ALL performer info. You must put enough info to recognize a release from another just by looking at the release titles. This may be the orchestra, the quartet, the director, and it could include the year of performance (if a same performer has performed this work more than once). --davitof 2006-06-18

Avoiding use of "from" (expecially) in classical

  • Since we have a standard qualifyer for entity contained in a work (":"), I think we should always avoid using confusing and cluttering form like "Largo from Xerxes" or "Allegro from 5th symphony", often spotted on VA compilations. It should be simply
    • Xerxes: Largo Symphony No. 5: Allegro
    Of course the same applies to german "aus" and to italian "da". In the same way I think "Adagio (excerpt from Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique")" should be
    • Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique": Adagio [excerpt] --ClutchEr2

When should I use 'compilation, official' rather than 'album, official' in the album type?

  • I can't decide on this one. The most obvious approach would be 'multiple major performer on the same disc'. Any one got any thoughts?
    • The Style Guide says that it's a compilation if the material has been previously released. So if an orchestra releases a compilation of previously released performances taken from their catalog (say "Best of Leonard Bernstein" or something like that) it would be a compilation. But this is uncommon in the classical music world, and I would say that it would rarely apply; most albums would either be Album or Live, regardless of the number of major performers. What about albums which contains only part of a piece (for exemple, one scene of an opera and not the whole opera)? It makes sense to call them compilation; I can't think of anything else that could get this attribute in the classical field --lindestinel
      • Full agree with lindestinel. IMO it's the only way: if a release cointains only full works, even if more than one and not sequenced, is an Album; if there are excerpt, highlights or only some movemnts it has to be a compilation -- ClutchEr2
        • Thirded. always had, but I like that ClutchEr2 brings up 'highlights' because IMHO this is always compilation, even in the musicals scene. wanted to bring up that 'live': is it when it says "recorded live" or explicitly when we can hear crowd noises? ~mo
      Summary: Always use 'Album, Official' unless the album contains several extracts from larger works in which case it is 'Compilation, Official'. If in doubt, use 'Album, Official'... andybak
      • I'm going disagree here. I think it's more consistent to say a compilation is used only for recordings with various sources instead of single sources. Otherwise you may have a full recording and a highlights of the exact same recording classified as two different things. Otherwise we should apply the same rule to soundtracks. These recordings are also directly related to each other so it might be best to create a release relationship like "has selections from/selections appear on". --WolfSong
        • 1) IMO having the same work in full or highlights in two different places it's not a drawback but a feature: it's very helpful to separate those releases. 2) I won't say that an highlight is related to a full work, they are related very seldom, in very special cases when they release a full works and also it's highlights (because we can proper relate only works with same performers). --ClutchEr2

Movement and arias splitting

We have to decide in which way movements with more than a "tempo" are to split. I once thought that they should follow MultipleTitleStyle ("Multiple albums on one disc and multiple songs on one track are separated by / ") but then I have to agree that is not proper a multiple song (as in this mod) since we probably will never find it splitted in two tracks. So I would not use slash to avoid confusion. I'll use instead "." (ot " - " but it has a blank more)

  • Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major Op. 55 "Eroica": IV. Finale: Allegro molto. Poco andante. Presto

Note that here we also have the "type" or "form" of the movement that can be qualyfied with ":" only because I can't think nothing better. From what I'v seen there are only a few of those form that are: Rondo, Scherzo, Finale and Romance. --ClutchEr2

  • This is a somewhat compliated example [the unfortunate example was "Konzert No. 4 in Es dur KV 495: III. Rondo - Allegro vivace" and I changed it --ClutchEr2] because it condenses two situations. The first is where there is a tempo change in the middle of the movement (Grave - Allegro con brio). For that I agree that the hyphen is the preferred approach. The second is where the movement has both a type or form and a tempo. (Rondo: Allegro vivace or Finale: Allegro). For those I much prefer the colon. The primary examples of this situation are Rondo, Scherzo, Finale, but there are others. --Steinbdj
    • I disapprove the usage of the colon since it's already used to separate title and tempo/form. Even the period seems better to me. I know it's already an usage, but it always look weird when you use it. --lindestinel

Instead, we do can find operatic arias splitted or not in two tracks depending on the release so I think the use of slash in those case is proper, even if there's no transition between them, just as an MultipleTitleStyle interpretation.

  • Follie! Delirio vano è questo! / Sempre libera

This even if a lot of releases commonly uses "..." but I wouldn't 'cos it could be confusing on tracks that really ends with "..." because they are really suspension dots or just because there are two characters singing as this that is a single aria intro:

  • Parla... Siam soli... Tutte le feste al tempio

or this --ClutchEr2

  • Noteing that I agree with all this and you have opened my eyes on the operatic aria thing, of course you are right, it would be confusing when songs actually end with ... (and I've even seen quite a few) in closing, I stand behind this review totally. ClutchEr2, you sould take this up on the Mailinglist as well. ~mo
    • I'm in agreement with the above too. Think we should propose this for the main page. --mebourne

Use of I., II. etc.

  • For symphonic movements etc. this I quite acceptable (apart from the issue that files systems don't order roman numerals very well). What I am not sure about is whether to use this for works that don't usually have numbered movements. Example: http://www.musicbrainz.org/showalbum.html?albumid=204718 The tracks that make up the Firebird don't usually get numbered as part of their title. I was tempted to name them:
    • The Firebird: I. Introduction The Firebird: II. The Firebird And Its Dance etc.
    This keeps info about their numbering in about the only place it can currently go. But you will never see the movements described this way on album sleeves. Would 01, 02, 03 be better or leave it out altogether?
    • IMO movement have to be noted only in works where are relevant such as symphonies, sonatas, etc. in which there were rules to do so. For a non classical lover could be difficult to distinguish but I would not ban a moderation ie of Firebird without numerals --ClutchEr2
    The Firebird is a ballet and should use Operatic style IMO. As a side note, shouldn't it be - Ballet "The Firebird": ... - ( transition with the following paragraph :p ) --lindestinel

Works with (un)official or/yet commonly used names

  • Is everyone happy with entries like:
    • Symphony No. 9, Op. 125 "Choral"
    And track titles like:
    • Symphony No. 9, Op. 125 "Choral": I. Allegro, ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
    Do we need any punctuation between the opus number and the "name"?
    • I am happy with track and album titles like that, although having "name": seems a bit, "over-punctualized" --mebourne
    And what to do with title which can become very long? Exemple:
    • Violon Concerto, Op. 8 "Il Cimento dell' Armonia e dell' Inventione" No. 1 in E major, RV 269 "The Four Seasons: Spring": I. Allegro
    I tried to be consistent to write it but do we really need it all?.--lindestinel A suggestion - seeing the recent guideline for common album names, would it be better to place the unofficial name in parentheses? As in:
    • Symphony No. 9, Op. 125 ("Choral"): I. Allegro, ma non troppo, un poco maestoso --MichelleW As you surely know, these are often "official" names, given by composers and IMHO would be quite hard to put in brackets only the surely unofficial ones. --ClutchEr2
      • ugh ("Choral") seems messy no matter how you look at it IMHO ~mo
      The problem is with common names. Do you name it "Moonlight Sonata" or "Mondscheinsonate" or "Quasi una fantasia"? Very few people will know that this is the same as 'Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27'. The dilemma is, you can use the "nameless" proposal, but confuse people who are unable to find the track, or you add the "name" and increase the possibility of duplicates in different languages. --Fuchs
      • But this is becoming an internationnal issue. Name should be in the same language as the album (the cd release?) or in the original language. There is no increase of duplicates: "Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27" is english, "Mondscheinsonate" would imply the nameless name in german as well and so on. --lindestinel

to be honest, this conversation only made me more confused.. that said, what is the 'original' language in which something like 'from the new world' was named? was it 'aus der neue Welt', 'From the new World' (since dvorak was in the US at the time he 'conceived' of it), or was it in czech? (sorry, don't know that one :-)) --FoppedeHaan

  • Of course it made you more confused, it is a discussion. If we had reached an agreement, it would be in ClassicalStyleGuide, not here :-D -- davitof 2007-10-23


What about cantatas: is the title as in 'Cantata BWV 7: "Merkt Und Hört, Ihr Menschenkinder"' enough or should the movement type be included 'Cantata BWV 7: Aria "Merkt Und Hört, Ihr Menschenkinder"' or 'Cantata BWV 7: Aria, "Merkt Und Hört, Ihr Menschenkinder"' ? --davitof

Works catalog

It seems it was never discussed the style of "work catalog" such as

Since they are not properly abbreviation (at least no more) I would not dot them and I would separate it by a space for better search chances. But I'm really open to any suggestion. -- ClutchEr2

  • Toccata & Fugue BWV 565
  • Concerto for Horn & Orchestra No. 1 in D KV 412: II. Allegro
  • Rondo in B minor Op. 70, D 895
  • Trio for violin, lute and basso continuo in G minor RV 85
  • Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B flat Op. 34, J 182
  • Cello Concerto in C major Hob VIIb:1
  • K 450 in G minor: Allegrissimo
  • Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo No. 13 in D major Op.1, HWV 371
  • I agree since it's usually what I do, but I would add a comma before, like we do for Op. --lindestinel
    • I agree with the comma also. but I though Mozart was KV? (atleast that's the way its been mentioned in a rather informal booklet I got from my liberary ;) ~mo
      • Yes, mo, it should be KV. --ClutchEr2 I'm not so sure KV is definitively better than K. Köchel numbers are often referred to as "K numbers," and I've seen both used on various releases. --chickenmcnoodle
        • From what I've found, KV is the direct German abbreviation (from "Köchel-Verzeichnis", English "Köchel listing" or "Köchel catalogue") and is more common in continental Europe, while K or K. is used primarily in English speaking countries (from "Köchel number", e.g. "K number"). Personally, I prefer KV, as it's could be thought of as the "original" abbreviation. --chickenmcnoodle
          • I think we should stick to one catalog code for each applicable artist. E.g. if some people use 'K' for Mozart and this one is used for Domenico Scarlatti as well it might cause confusion again. If we stick to just 'KV' everyone will know what we are talking about even though some other variation exist as well. I also agree with including a comma before the catalog code to separate it from the rest of the title. --Prodoc
            • I had a little fun with Lucene and I found more occurrences of KV than of K. Since data consistency is an issue, this favors "KV" --davitof 2006-05-08
              • To me, it's not a question of "more often used" or any some such. There are six (well, seven, but the seventh was simply a reprinting of the sixth edition) Köchel catalogues. "Köchel-Verzeichnis" was specifically part of the title of the original catalogue. For most Mozart works, this suffices - most of the more obscure Mozart works are basically unknown and almost never recorded. These works are typically referenced as KV. ##. Hence that Lucene finds more KV than K. is not surprising. For the other revisions, especially 2, 3, and 6, large subsections and renumbering occurred. It is typical that these be listed as K# for catalogues two through five, and K. for the sixth catalog. Typically, such listings are listed in one of two ways: if the sixth edition was the earliest catalog to list a work, it lists simply as "K. 33B". If the work was listed in K2 through K5, but not in K1, it is most common to list it as "K. 15x/(K2) Anh. 109b No. 6" - in other words, K. (6th catalog number)/PAREN first catalog to list the work PAREN original catalog number (normally an Anhuang (annotation) listing). This can rarely get rather ugly (such as "K. Anh A61 No. 62/(K2) 154a" or "K. Anh A30/(K3) Anh 109x"), but is the most common musicology way of listing, and those really ugly dual Anh. examples are very rare. (Note, though, that on the few releases which do have these works, they tend to be either low budget compilations, or mega-sets, and none I've seen seem to have spent much time on such details - often such sets even mislist the keys, tempos, and/or work titles on the obscure works). The hardest ones, it seems to me, to list are the KV deent works (those very rare few which appear on no catalog, not even in the Anhuang from Köchel 6/Köchel 7. -- BrianSchweitzer 01:30, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

A different issue: catalog revisions, how should these be handled? I've seen a few different methods (and suggestions) so far:

  • 'KV 381/123a'
  • 'KV 381/KV 123a'
  • 'KV 381-123a'

Personally I think the first one is the one we should go for, this is being used in the real world as well and we already use '/' for separation anyway. The second one is just overkill. --Prodoc

  • I (slightly) prefer the second format, for searching reasons (if you search for "KV 123a", you won't find it in the first or third format). Actually, 'KV 381-KV 123a' would work too. --davitof 2006-05-08
    • The most "correct" way I normally heard for it at the conservatory was "K. K6/(K3)/(K2)/KV". (BTW davitof, KV != K6, so you'd probably want "KV 381-K. 123a"...) Normally you can just use "K. K6", since the common works are the same number all the way through. Then the next most common would be works which had one number in KV, then were renumbered in K6, so "K. K6/KV" (K. 123a/381). You also have the works which weren't listed until K6, so "K. 1a/deent". Then there's the ones which weren't in KV, but were in K2 or K3, pretty much all of which were again renumbered in K6, so "K. 5a/(K2) 9a". (Why "K2" and "K3" are always parenthesized I have no clue.) Then the worst case would be the ones which had one number in KV, another number in K2 or K3, then yet a different number in K6. (These are SO obscure, even were we to have every single Mozart release ever, we maybe would have only 2 or 3 listings for any given one of these works) These are where the full thing comes in (and pretty much they're all Anh works too, so even uglier): "K. Anh C 17.01/(K3) 196e/Anh 226 (spurious)". To the best of my knowledge, there is now work which would have the real worst case of 4 different cat #'s. The only time I vary from this a slight bit is when the indication would otherwise be too confusing with all the /'s (ie, sub-Kochel movement numbers), such as "K. 439b/1/KV Anh 229/1". By the way, I'm working up a full list of every single Mozart work ever with the hopes noone else ever has to deal with figuring it all out for any given work, to make it just an easy copy/paste to add any W.A. Mozart. (I would love to see something similar for J.S. Bach!). -- BrianSchweitzer 11:24, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

BTW, should it be catalog or catalogue? --davitof 2007-10-26

  • Either one's correct. I myself have a tendancy to randomly switch between one or the other spelling - "catalog" is the American English spelling, and "catalogue" is the British English spelling. (See color vs colour...) -- BrianSchweitzer 21:05, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Commas and order of attributes

  • Where should commas go and what is the order of Op., No. and BWV? "Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in D major HWV 371 Op. 1 No. 13" or "Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in D major, Op. 1, No. 13, HWV 371"? --Zout
    • (IMHO there's no need for commas at all but without is eventually a bit confusing, so) I would put commas in any section to divide them. And about the order I prefere first of all the number because is often an attribute composer directly gave, then keys, then opus and finally catalogation that is the last born. So it is
    "Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo No. 13 in D major Op. 1, HWV 371" --ClutchEr2
    • So, no comma before Op. unlike what we always did ? Do we put a comma if we have only the opus or a catalog number? --lindestinel
      • Imo we should include commas between each section to separate the information for the sake of overview: "Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo No. 13 in D major, Op. 1, HWV 371". This would also be the way you would pronounce the track title when you read it, wouldn't it? --Prodoc
        • I agree. What about the "common name" (BTW, is there a correct way to say this in english?): should it be separated with a comma too? I'd say yes for two reasons: 1- if the work has more than one catalog numbering, not putting a comma would suggest the common name is related to the last catalog number (which is of course not true), 2- IMO the common name is a section in itself. --davitof I agree with this as well. I always put a comma before the opus number. --harpsichord

Just to mention it too, there's also a difference in where the No. goes. "Divertimento No. 8 for 2 Oboes, 2 Horns & 2 Bassoons in F major, K. 213: I. Allegro spiritoso" vs "Trio for Piano No. 4 in E major, K. 542: I. Allegro" - the 8th Divertimento for anything, but the 4th Trio for Piano. Currently I think the guidelines force the No. in back of the instrument, but it also can be in front of the instrument, depending on which way the various types of works were numbered. (It switches back and forth throughout any of the Kochel Mozart catalogues, for example). -- BrianSchweitzer 11:32, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

About opus with multiple work

  • Until now I used the following style "Nocturne No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 9 No. 1". It's something I proposed a while ago. Now, I'm wondering if "Nocturne No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 9/1" is not better to avoid confusion between the two "No. 1". --lindestinel
    • I Fully agree --ClutchEr2
      • I don't - or we must find something else for catalog revisions above. But I feel that "/" often means "or", so that using "/" for catalog revisions is intuitive. Couldn't we use another separator? Maybe ".": Op. 9.1 --davitof 2006-07-21

What of cases such as "A clockwork orange" soundtrack, where the composers are both Beethoven and Walter/Wendy Carlos?

  • Probably a various artists release. Some of the tracks would by Beethoven and some by Walter/Wendy Carlos. In cases where there is a piece by Beethoven which has been re-orchestrated/re-arranged dramatically then add something like (arrangement: Walter Carlos) after the track title. This follows the style for remixes and the like.

Does everyting with some classical tracks come under Classical style guidelines?

When is a Classical work not a classical work? Say for example the group Emerson, Lake, & Palmer. They incorporated a number of Classical pieces in thier albums, and at least one Theme song (Peter Gunn Theme) Do we move thier stuff under Various Artists and credit the composers? or do we leave them alone because the are a Rock Group first. This has come up because of a discussion i'm having with another moderater over where a work by the neoclasical group Mannheim Steamroller should go. I maintain that the artist should be Mannheim Steamroller and it should be with the rest of thier albums which also contain many classical pieces and They maintain it should be under Various Artists with the classical composers credited even though several selections are composed by a modern composer, not a Classical one. This whole issue is a can of worms just because the database builders weren't farsighted enough to provide a separate field for Composer. --Trongersoll

  • ( Discussion started here ) I full agree that cases like the one mentioned ( Mannheim ) that is an artist with a own discography that in a release uses some classical works often hardly rearranged should be left under executor; but composer should be credited on tracks as it sure is on liner notes. -- ClutchEr2
    • I think that part of the problem is that different people see MusicBrainz in different ways. AudioScrobbler is encouaging thier 20,000 + users to tag all thier music files using MusicBrainz. This is so that they will be able to pass just the tag and get the artist and track info from musicbrainz. The problem arises when people labeled thier music originally themselves per the CD or got the info from another music database that made the artist the performer. Then when they try and tag thier files it comes up "not found", so they get the info from freedb who also doesn't label the info the same as MusicBrainz. Then when they do the add, the database says its there but with different names or artists because of musicbrainz conventions. so they assume that musicbrainz is wrong and moderate. and then get the "rules' thrown at them. On the other hand some people see musicbrainz as a research resource and feel its important in the case of classical music to credit the composer instead of the artist. Each argument has it's merits. The thing is, as more and more people use this there is going to be more and more debate and worthless mods. I'm not sure what the answer is, until musicbrainz adds fields to the database for composer as well as artist. When someone can't tag thier CD files easily there is something wrong. Stupid world refusing to conform. --Trongersoll

"Covers" on classical music

A new style guide has been approved for "Classical Covers." See ClassicalReleaseArtistStyle.

This seems to be a discussion left open. Could be accepted the "cover" concept of classical works? If we stick on what MB says about non-classical works they all have to be "covers" and so credited to performer, as some moderators think. As we know it isn't so but perhaps there's a need for point out some exceptions. Let's make some examples ordered by "coverness", we have to chose where to put the split:

IMO a work of an Artist that plays classical works in a quite different way (and expecially when the Artist has an own discography) should not be moved to the composer and left in his own Album list, crediting original work as possibile; this way go (1), (2) and probably (3).

Otherwise, "classical" classical works, where performers stick to what composer did, should be moved to composer (expecially and without doubt when the artist is only a perfomer, without a single original work); this way go (7), (6) and (5) (even if Pavarotti seems to have somehow a discography: he has not, there's nothing original; for this reason Pavarotti as Artist should disappear [nothing against him, he was the best])

(4) is tricky because she did own original works, she did rearrange more or less works from other composers and she did works just as they are.

Another (perhaps simpler) way of choosing could be to preserve unity, avoiding Various Artist as possibile, as they do on physical musical store, expecially for those worldwide famous performer. So Pavarotti singing only Puccini goes under Puccini, Pavarotti singing a compilations of VA goes under Pavarotti. --ClutchEr2

  • Globally I concur. I myself sorted this out by the fuzzy concept of "original work" (the reverse of your "coverness"). I'd like to add the case of * (10) Jacques Loussier and Jacques Loussier Trio (Extracts downloadable on his site). wich IMO definitely fall in the case of sheer originality (discussion started by this mod). Loussier started with jazzy Bach interpretations, with mostly piano, double-bass and percussion. He later turned to other baroque composers, Satie, Chopin... To add to the case, see [[[Image:jacquesloussiergoldbergback8be.jpg]] these] [[[Image:jaquesloussiertriosatieback6lf.jpg]] cd covers] that respectively state "Arranged by Jacques Loussier" and "Compositions of Jacques Loussier on themes of Erik Satie". Does anybody familiar with his works disagree ? --mll

Seems to me, there's a much more basic question that hasn't been addressed here... Say, oh, the Foo Fighters cover a work by Mozart. They record a 2 guitar & bass arrangement of "Trio for Piano No. 4 in E major, K. 542" on their next album. Ok, so we want to set a "is a cover of" AR, and the above arguments would seem to indicate this is allowable. Umm... except, what is the target track? We don't have "generic instances" for classical composers, and randomly selecting one release or another seems a rather bad idea, as we'll end up with "is covered by" ARs randomly scattered throughout any classical composer's release listing. -- BrianSchweitzer 11:40, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Brian, "cover" here does not mean the Cover AR. Cover should be read in the common meaning. -- davitof 2007-10-23

Quotes on operatic arias

Using "Aria" for Opera arias track titles seems proper because they are part of the lyrics and not real track title. But in fact they are *always* named by the first phrase of the lyrics and I can't remember a single aria named in another way; so across years those had become the real title of the track. Thus I don't see a need for adding quotes nor it seems me wrong to remove it: both version are accetable and I'm neutral to this. -- ClutchEr2

Splitting multiple works in Album Title

There is another ongoing discussion about the way of splitting multiple works in album title as in this an other moderations. Proposed version by now are:

  • (1) Klavierkonzerte No. 2 / No. 3


  • (2) Klavierkonzerte: No. 2 / No. 3


  • (3) Klavierkonzerte No. 2 / Klavierkonzerte No. 3 First of all I have to say I'm against the form that uses "&" or "and". Then there are only quite a few phisical releases using rendundant form as (3). In this example is passable but think about something like: Piano Sonata No. 1 / Piano Sonata No. 18 / Piano Sonata No. 13 (Paul Bakura-Skoda) *
  • or to have to edit and fix album like this:
    • Ludwig van Beethoven: The Late String Quartets, Opp. 127, 130, 131, 132, 133 and 135 (disc 3) / Tokyo String Quartet *
    The (2) would be IMO the perfect form but maybe it's difficult to remember. So it goes for the (1) --ClutchEr2
    • I'm happy with (1) or two, but marginally prefer (2) --mebourne
      • as you know I prefer (3) but in the cases of ": Ludwig van Beethoven: The Late String Quartets, Opp. 127, 130, 131, 132, 133 and 135 (disc 3) / Tokyo String Quartet" I would simply make this into: Ludwig van Beethoven: The Late String Quartets (Tokyo String Quartet) (disc 3) no need for that many delimeting numbers, what does the album name say? ~mo also, I don't understand the need to turn & or 'and' into / when its consistently used on the cover... ~mo I agree with mo here, the use of & is better than / (I've already said what I think about /), except is we use (3) and its redundancy.. --lindestinel
    Cooperaa and I have tentatively agreed on various edits/releases that a better style would be to separate similar types of works with commas and use slashes to separate types. For example: Symphonies No. 4, No. 7 / "King Stephen" Overture (Cleveland Orchestra feat. conductor: George Szell). I don't like (3) regardless, and any other efforts to shorten this title are ambiguous, in our opinions. ;) --Andrewski, 2006-12-29

Arrangements and other

What about a guide on how to use 'arrangement' artists and 'attributed to' artists? My suggestion: Track name (arrangement by Artist Name) and similarly Track name (attributed to Artist Name). --Zout

  • since de facto it is simmilar to featuring, I'd go with (arr. Artist Name) or similar, but I'm not set-in-stone on this at all, just commenting that classical track names are really long already with the amount of clutter they already house. consistent naming techniques that's all, but lets please avoid (feat. arrangement: Artist Name)! ~mo
  • (arr. Name) works since that's pretty common on covers, though generally new abbreviations are discouraged. Otherwise (arranged by Name) sounds better and is 3 chars shorted than the above. Personally though I just leave this stuff off to save clutter. --mebourne

Classical and AR

Since we now have relationships, wouldn't it make more sense to make Classical the same as other types of music and make the artis the performer, and use a relationship to link the composer? This would make life easier for people looking for performances by a specific orchestra, and would make the cover issue moot. --Trongersoll

  • IMHO there's no way: if an Album is all by a Composer it should be under that composer. That it's mostly because it is also difficult to choose wich performer it should be under. For example where do have to stick into a Mozart concerto by Berliner with Mutter on violin and Muti conducting...? But in case of classical compilation by Various Artist where often the performer is clearly the main reason of the release (ie a Gould performance or a Callas recital) I think it could be left under performer, also because listerners are often more interested by who's playing rather than what he's playing. So then I look for Beethoven and find his album and probably I'm not interested in all this bunch of compilations with only a movement from a symphony; I look for Carreras and find all his release. The only problem with this is that the more you build difficult and foggy rules the more you are subject to mod flames. And all this is apart from AR and anyway to the current form of AR: I can't imagine Bach with no album but filled up with a mess of AR in the way they are displayed now, just for the sake of having albums under performers -- ClutchEr2
    • noting that I agree with ClutchEr2 here, and I think he explained the reason pretty nicely, generally all 'beethoven' symphonies are stored under 'beethoven' in places like libraries and musicstores, while 'performer compilations' (ie Maria Callas) are stored under them. ~mo
    • I have to disagree with ClutchEr2. Putting the data into the title rather than into a proper database record just because you don't like how it's displayed is absurd. Once the data is in the schema in the proper place it will be easy to change the code on the web site to display the AR's in a more user friendly way. Leaving it in the title means that it's not normalized and will be harder to query and to usefully use in a programmatic way. Please, let's make sure the data is entered and stored properly. Choosing how to display it after the fact is very easy to change in the web site's code. -- MattPerry
      • You're surely very right in the theory. But since we still do not have a way to display it it's quite a PITA managining classical entries. I'm against cluttering Titles with loads of performers, I prefere them on AR (or even in Annotation) to be seen when you closely look at an Album. Feel free to add AR but until lists does not report just that little single info that helps us telling a release form another please let that little word in. -- ClutchEr2

Language indication

  • Tracked in ticket #3600 "Release Language for Classical" —JimDeLaHunt 2008-02-24

Classical music titles often have words from multiple languages, and it would be helpful to clarify the FAQ and entry prompts for selecting the language indication. It doesn't seem right to classfiy everything as Italian just because of the movement names. I would recommend that, whenever possible, the language in which key and tonal indications are expressed should determine the language indication. In other words, "Sonata in E-flat" means the language is English, "Sonate en E mineur" means French, etc. -- oxothuk

  • Agreed, this should be obvious though -- lindestinel Agreed as long as this doesn't violently contradict ReleaseLanguage which is and should stay the authority on this matter, and as long as this is done with care and reason. There has been recently a discussion in an edit where all titles of a release where written in language A, and the only (supposedly) english part was an indication in three titles "pour orchestra" (sic). This lead one of the involved (autoeditor) to state that (a) the release language should be whatever the original editor wanted to, and (b) that english would be perfectly fitting, which both is (sorry to say) blatantly wrong and misleading. Not to mention the fact I find it rather disturbing from an autoeditor to present a very personal opinion about a discussion as having more weight than an official styleguide. So, to clarify my opinion: when a release uses several different languages, ignoring the language used to write movement names indications makes sense, I agree with that. Now, for the rest, following ReleaseLanguage should be enough in most case. Doing otherwise (as suggested in that edit) would lead to massive discrepancy with the rest of the db, and a lot of confusion for newbies (and others) and more problems than solutions. That being said, I would like to stress it again: while the vivid style activity here is definitely an excellent thing and demonstrates the high level of implication of classical editors, discussions are just that, discussions, and they must not be presented to newbies as styleguides until they are made so, especially when they go the opposite way of existing styleguides... -- dmppanda 16:55, 07 January 2007 (UTC)
    • The edit dmppanda mentioned is edit #6232256. There were a few comments taken out of context, so I find it important to mention that I was told elsewhere that the release language is somewhat arbitrary, so the editor could create a translated pseudo-release in any language they choose. When doing so, you wouldn't translate any parts of the original work, be they "Allegro moderato" or "Images pour orchestre", but you would use the appropriate symbols and syntax of that language and translate any additional bits (e.g. "Symphony in C major", etc.) into the targeted language. But it all comes down to a matter of interpretation. This topic started on this discussion page because the existing ReleaseLanguage page didn't make sense in classical releases. The docs don't cover every angle and every possible case, and there are instances all over the place where edit discussions come down to the interpretation of two or three style pages and how they intersect and/or diverge. It's not always as simple as referring back to one definitive style page. (Show me one and I'll show you a consistent music database. :) --[Andrewski] 2006-1-7
      • Andrew: indeed I noticed the edit with clutcher in your history, though I haven't previously seen the bits in the ML thread. I must say that the opinion "a release language is somewhat arbitrary" is IMO a very personal stance, far from being shared among editors (please correct me if I'm wrong) - if and as long as it refers to MusicBrainz ReleaseLanguage - of course, if it refers to the fact that multiple editions of the same stuff do translate sleeves/track titles depending on the country it's released in, hence we are to "arbitrary" choose one version over another, then yes, I agree. Certainly, things aren't always 100% white/black ;) and there is always room for interpretation. And certainly, classical music specificities should be preserved, but there is also a greater goal in there: trying to keep it reasonably in sync with the rest of the db. I've noticed recently quite a few classical edits/discussions so completely clueless about MusicBrainz structure and (other!?!) styleguides that it made me wonder if we were still talking about the same database... Also, I guess there is quite a leap between the original statement here by oxothuk - "It doesn't seem right to classify everything as Italian just because of the movement names", with which I certainly agree - and something else that would go "MusicBrainz release language must reflect the language used by the functional elements of the titles, not the titles themselves", with which I can't agree (eg: with which I can't agree as *a general rule*, though I guess I may agree on some cases, on a case by case basis). Anyhow, despite our little flame at 6232256 which probably present no interest, I would suggest the following: * trying our best to (not forget and) preserve MusicBrainz general style as a common ground, if we are to keep a consistent database (of course that doesn't mean ignoring specificities, eg: CSG) * don't consider discussions as official style until they are, especially with newbies -- dmppanda 18:46, 07 January 2007 (UTC) I agree we should return to the original title. Wiki is not the correct place for fast-paced discussions IMO. And I agree with oxothuk's suggestion. I suggest we put an example with an intalian tempo indication to make our point clear. -- davitof 2006-01-07
        • Please note that Italian tempi markings are valid English. (Just try searching dictionary.reference.com.) -- leivhe

Additional 'Chord: minor and major' clarification

The 'Chord' section in the style guide states 'Always use the expanded form and lowercase'. I think this requires an additional clarification by means of text and/or examples. In a recent edit* I used just 'C' because that was displayed on the album cover, leaving out 'major'. Unless you happen to know that there are different ways to write the chords and that 'expanded form' means including e.g. 'major', people will probably tend to make the same mistake again. Something in the lines of:

  • Always use the expanded form with the 'first thingy' in upper-case and including the 'second thingy' in lower-case. Examples:
    • 'Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 47'
    • 'Sonata in C major' not 'Sonata in C'
    • 'Sonata in C minor' not 'Sonata in c' --Prodoc

ArtistIntent vs OperaTrackStyle: which wins?

When we have a Release that prints a Track title on its packaging, and the formatting of that title conflicts with the OperaTrackStyle or ClassicalTrackTitleStyle, which wins? (Let's leave out PopularMusic, wich is outside the ClassicalStyleGuide umbrella). On the one hand, the Release packaging might represent ArtistIntent. On the other hand, the ReleaseArtist (the composer) may have been dead for a century or two, and the real packaging decision was by the Label. And the CSG seems pretty concerned with standardisation, even if source Releases print wacky stuff.

Case in point: Requiem & Operatic Choruses (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus feat. conductor Robert Shaw) (disc 2) has a number of tracks named, e.g., Operatic Choruses: "Spuntato ecco" from Don Carlos. The OperaTrackStyle calls for something more like Don Carlos: Chorus. "Spuntato ecco". Which wins? In the edit history, the original editor decided in favour of representing the release, while I changed it to favour the OperaTrackStyle. Neither Verdi nor Robert Shaw stated an ArtistIntent in the edit record. Comments? --JimDeLaHunt 2007-12-06.

  • I believe one of the issues CSG and OTS try to address is that in classical music, the same score appears on many releases (sometimes hundreds). Many (most?) classical lovers want to be able to find performances of these works. This is why, of course, in classical the composer is the release Artist. The classical hierarchy looks like Composer / Work / Performer / Performance. Since MB does not have (yet) a Work object, the only way to ensure that we can find a work across many releases is to standardize the way titles are noted. This explains why CSG (and OTS) are much more rigid about track titles than about Release titles. This allows to find your release, even if for example you bought it in another country. Furthermore, imagine another label (or the same label) re-releases the same recordings without any audio alteration or transformation in a few years. Classical (and general) rules say that in this case the re-release should be added to the original as a new release event. Now if the label has modified the track titles (for example he made them more complete, more frequently, especially in budget re-releases he simplified the track titles), if you don't standardize you would be stuck. Last, some labels do mistakes. CSG and OTS ask us to correct these mistakes. In other words, if a label printed that a track was an Allegretto while the score says it is an Allegro, you are supposed to enter it as an Allegro. --davitof 2007-12-08


You say that the current ClassicalStyleGuide is an interim solution. Does that mean there's 'a proper one' on the way at some point? i.e. one that properly records the various metadata required for classical fans: performer, composer, soloist, conductor, ensemble etc. There is an order to classical information, which we could suggest a scheme for. Thoughts? (Dan Hillhttp://www.cityofsound.com/)

  • Yes we are planing for AdvancedRelationships. This would be a proper way of dealing with classical metadata.

http://reactor-core.org/ogg-tag-recommendations.html has a recommended metadata specification that would work with classical music. It is not without problems though, this page http://alanlittle.org/weblog/ClassicalID3.html discusses the problem in more detail.

Key and Tone indication

It seems to be an unwritten convention for trimming hypen on tone indication of classic works (see this mod), such as "D flat minor" instead of "D-flat minor". --ClutchEr2

  • just noting that I prefer to include the hyphen ~ mo
    • Having just ripped some 100 or so classical CDs, I don't remember the hyphen being used in the sleeve notes on any of them. My preference is without. --mebourne
      • We don't have any hypen in italian but I think we could follow what is stated on english and relative German wikipedia. -- ClutchEr2

"Moll" and "Dur" will have to be in upper case, if it is to be correct German. --DonRedman

  • "Dur" should be in upper case, but "moll" should not. I know, it's not correct German, but it IS the way keys are nearly always noted by German publishers of sheet music and CDs. Also, the key character is only capitalised in major keys. Examples: "As-Dur", "h-moll" / "As Dur", "h moll" (for the hyphen, see above). -- 2008-10-24 fredtdtje

"Cat Corner" CSG

The positive (or negative) of working on one of these massive "complete works" box sets is that you find all the funky obscure works that just fit CSG and OperaStyle rather badly. Rather than break each one into a subsection of its own (though feel free if anyone sees the need), I'm just going to skim over them here. Each gets ugly and happens almost never. I'm including one example of how I've tried to make each work with the style guidelines for possible discussion here. -- BrianSchweitzer 11:06, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Optional minor symphony for performance after a specific opera, each independantly catelogued and identified:
    • Symphony No. 51 in D major, K. 207a/121 / La finta giardiniera, K. 196: I. Allegro molto
  • Variations on a theme... A few possible types: where the specific source work & composer is known, where the specific source work is known but it's a "traditional" piece, where the body of work is known but not the specific work, and where the source work is unknown:
    • 9 Variations on Nicolas Dezède: Comedie melée d'Ariettes Julie: "Lison dormait" for Piano in C major, K. 315d/264
    • 12 Variations on French Traditional: "La belle Françoise" for Piano in E-flat major, K. 300f/353
    • Minuet for Piano in B-flat major, K. Anh 25.05/(K3) 498a/Anh 137 (spurious) [6 Variations on a Theme from an unidentified Clarinet Quintet]
    • 12 Variations on an Unknown Allegro for Piano in B-flat major, K. 500
  • "Retrospective preludes" - ie, works written by a different composer than the first, specifically drawing from and intended as optional prelude "inserts" for that original work. (Almost a variations type of case, but a bit different, and rather rare for any composer to do... Mozart only did it once.)
    • Prelude & Fugue for Violin, Viola, & Bass No. 1 in D minor, K. 404a: I. Adagio / II. Fuga (After J.S. Bach: Prelude & Fugue No. 8 in D-sharp major, BWV 853 "The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I")
  • "spurrious", "possibly spurrious", and "doubtful" works:
    • Minuet for Piano in B-flat major, K. Anh 25.05/(K3) 498a/Anh 137 (spurious) [6 Variations on a Theme from an unidentified Clarinet Quintet]
    • Tantum ergo for 4 Voices & Orchestra in D major, K. Anh C 3.05/(K3) Anh 186e/197 (possibly spurious)
    • Divertimento for Wind Ensemble in E-flat major, K. Anh C 17.01/(K3) 196e/Anh 226 (doubtful): IV. Minuetto
  • "fragment" works
    • Suite for Piano in C major, K. 385i/399 (fragment): II. Allemande
  • Anonymous works which have been attributed and catelogued, but not confirmed, to be by a composer:
    • Aria for Soprano, 2 Horns, Violin, Viola & Bass, K. deest: Cara, se le mie pene (anonymous, attrbuted to W.A. Mozart)
  • "retexted" or "de-texted" works (work for instruments silently arranged as an vocal work with unknown text; work for voice silently arranged as an instrumental)
    • Canon for 4 Clarinets (retexted on 5 Voices) in A major, K. 73i/(K2) 89aI (spurious retexted version): G'rectel's enk
    • Canon for 3 Voices (on Wind Trio) in C major, K. 508A/deent (spurrious arrangement for winds)
  • Music for opera ballet interludes (which normally wasn't composed by the opera's composer... but it rarely did happen)
    • Ballet Music for Idomeneo, rè di Creta in B-flat major, K. 367: III. Passepied
  • Last but not least, music for a play - incidental/interlude music and choruses, which were semi-opera, semi-symphony, semi-something else completely different
    • Thamos, König in Ägypten, K. 336a/345: I. Maestoso: Act I Chorus "Schon weichet dir, Sonne"
    • Thamos, König in Ägypten, K. 336a/345: V. Allegro vivace assai: Act IV Interlude

the supposed "CSG", and adherance to it

After waiting for about a week now before going through the notes added to various edits i made i have to say i'm unimpressed..

Aside from the fact that most of my edits look like they will expire before enough people vote on them (i don't even see enough no votes to imply people disagree with the edits but are still actively voting), i've already noticed that people vote 'no' for different reasons as well (including, of all things, over things not covered in the CSG) i see users commenting 'major' has to be written with a small m, I see users stating it has to be written with an M, and i see that the CSG wants me to write 'dur' in lowercase, even though that's bad german. all these users (except also vote 'no' for the minutest of style differences, even if the points aren't covered in the CSG OR the CSGD, stating 'we've agreed that [something unverifiable], and as such i reject this otherwise vast improvement over the original (generally terrible) entry. now, i'd be fine with all the 'adhere to my rules, even though they're nowhere to be found' no votes, if only they were consistent.

I fear, however, that you all have different things you'd like to see, and as such are making it nearly impossible to change anything at all add to that the general sluggishness of the system, and the fact that probably 50% of the edits i made (about 100, look at it as a test batch) will never be voted on enough to meet the 4 positive votes required to 'carry' the edit (mind you, i doubt they'll receive 4 no votes either), and i fear that your classical database is doomed to die a slow death.

Now, I raelise you probably will happily say 'oh, you've only been here for a week before you apparently knew everything that is supposedly wrong with our wonderful website, and we don't need the likes of you [arrogant/knowitall users] here anyway, so we'll be glad to see you gone', and dismiss my whole point (or perhaps even delete it, who knows), but i can't be arsed editing stuff (where the site generally takes 20s just to load the page you want to get to (first opening the album entry, then 'edit' of whatever field you wish to change), only to see edits rejected for the most remarkable (and varied) of reasons.. anyway, do with this as you like -- FoppedeHaan

  • I haven't voted for months (shame on me) but I would never vote No on an Add edit for stylistic reasons alone. As long as the data is correct, precise enough (I would probably vote No on an Add with no performeer info), I'd rather have poorly formed data than no data at all. Classical music needs as much input as it can. Ok, you decided me, I will start voting again. At least it will ease my feeling of guilt :-D I just browsed the recent classical edits. Could you point me to an illustration of your problem? -- davitof 2007-11-01
    • FoppedeHaan, I'm not sure the edits you're referring to - your wikiname doesn't come up as an existing editor. However, though I agree to some degree, I disagree about "I'd rather have poorly formed data than no data at all". Points in case - in the past week, I've seen Mozart add edits where the wrong catalog number was attached to the works for each track, add edits with no supporting info and no performer info (ie, nothing to ID the actual release from the 5000 other similar ones for the same work), listings of works that don't even exist in any of the Mozart catalogs (or Anhuang, or even deest works...), etc. Though I agree a no vote on an add edit for something like the capitalization on the key is overkill, I think some basic standards DO need to exist. Classical is the most complex type of music, and thus, also, is the most complex to add or edit as an editor. There's good reason even most of the autoeditors want nothing to do with it. That complexity, however, is not, and should not be, imho, an arguemnent for simply ignoring the basics for CSG. I'd say, again, imho, there's 1) just plain bad classical add edits that deserve a no, 2) bad CSG classical edits that need the adding editor to show some initiative to clean up, but perhaps don't deserve a no, and 3) good CSG add edits. (Actually, even in that last case, for those who do know CSG, even we can catch each other on nitpicky details... :) ) -- BrianSchweitzer 05:24, 01 November 2007 (UTC)
      • Brian, please, read what I wrote: "poorly formed data" and try to stick to it. Catalogue numbers and work names are definitely data, not form, or is my english so bad? And I definitely wrote that I did not like classical adds without performer info. -- davitof 2007-11-01
        • davitof, rereading, I think I perhaps said badly what I meant. I agree with you. What I was trying to say, perhaps badly, was that while I agree with the "don't vote no for minor style issues" point FoppedeHaan makes, though he doesn't outright say this, I took away, and still take away from his comments an implient "CSG ought to just go away because noone agrees on just what it actually is". Calling it the "supposed CSG", and just the general tone, that's just the impression I get from the comments. And it's this I disagree with. I too have run into various "CSG says this is how it ought to be" comments, where other classical editors look at that comment and go "Huh? Where is that in CSG?". But, even if everyone "remembers" something as CSG which isn't actually in the guideline, I still think the actual guideline is something to try and aim for. I guess my question, though, for FoppedeHaan is, ok, say noone does vote no for minor style issues. But say those issues are pointed out to you. Would you be willing to cancel an edit, or a series of edits, reentering them with the correction based on the edit note, or would you just leave the edit in the system as "close enough"? My hope, when I vote abstain or yes, but leave a note about a style issue, is that the former happens. My experience, however, is that it tends to be the latter that actually happens. -- BrianSchweitzer 20:10, 01 November 2007 (UTC)
          • Ah, yes, CSG is definitely a necessary thing. The only alternative I could see is no style = freedb! I agree it is sad that so often editors don't correct their edits when they have been shown they could be made more style compliant, but this isn't a perfect woorld :-) -- davitof 2007-11-01

German minor keys

I disagree with the CSG on German keys: "Always use uppercase for English and German [...] 'Prélude No. 2 A-moll, Op. 28: Lento' (German)".

In German notation, major is uppercased, while minor lowercased, i.e.: a-Moll. See the German notation which the CSG duly references. -- UpStaked 11:05, 06 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Not only that I disagree also to what the CSG says on German keys, but I find it confusing, too. First, it says that all keys have to be uppercase and then it refers to German notation which explicitly requires lowercase for minor keys. Is there any particular reason why it has to be always uppercase? -- pradig 2007-12-31
    • Moll & Dur always uppercase, right? & a related question, should "in" still be forbidden? -- symphonick 10:52, 01 January 2008 (UTC)
      • Ok, for German I would propose we use the German notation consistently (C-Dur, Cis-Dur, c-Moll, cis-Moll, etc.) and allow "in". In German you can say both "Messe h-Moll" and "Messe in h-Moll", but the latter seems to be more natural to me (and even it is mentioned in several scores, e.g. for Bach's BWV 244 in Bärenreiter BA 5102a). I'm still not too familiar with all discussions on MB, but was there a specific reason for not allowing "in"? -- pradig 00:56, 03 January 2008 (UTC)
        • Just wanted to note, from what I gather, this same practice is also true for Italian, French, and Spanish keys (La maggiore / la minore, La majeur / la mineur, and La mayor / la menor) - in fact, I think English is the only language which doesn't normally do it (and even then, some still do it anyhow). -- BrianSchweitzer 09:20, 08 January 2008 (UTC)

Part numbering in cantatas and oratorios: arabic numerals?

See discussion under "Part numbering in cantatas and oratorios: arabic numerals?" at ClassicalTrackTitleStyle . -- JimDeLaHunt 2007-12-15

Vocalist identification placement

Currently the CSG reads:

  • Entering vocalists (tenor, soprano, bass) is not mandatory. They are entered after the track name, but before the common name if present: 'Cantata, BWV 17 "Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich": Part II, V. Aria (Tenor, Soprano) "Welch Übermaß der Güte"

Two issues here. First, "Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich" is the common name, "Welch Übermaß der Güte" is the libretto. The example, if that description were followed, should be

  • 'Cantata, BWV 17 (Tenor, Soprano) "Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich": Part II, V. Aria "Welch Übermaß der Güte"

My real point, though, is that neither makes a lot of sense. It's much more common that OperaStyle is used for vocal classical works than CSG, if only because opera tracks significantly outnumber the number of tracks for stand-alone arias/etc. OperaStyle puts the parenthetical after the libretto, not before the common name. Additionally, putting it after the libretto is cleaner. Especially considering this is an optional section, you end up with a less-clean looking "camel-style" alignment in listings, such as:

  • Kantate, BWV 106 "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus)": IIa. Coro "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit"
  • Kantate, BWV 106 "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus)": IIb. Arioso (Tenore) "Ach, Herr, lehre uns bedenken"
  • Kantate, BWV 106 "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus)": IIc. Aria (Basso) "Bestelle dein Haus"
  • Kantate, BWV 106 "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus)": IId. Coro "Es ist der alte Bund"

Note how the Tenore and Basso kick the quote so much further out to the right in movements b and c, when comparing them with a and d. Comparatively, we could use an OperaStyle form and it's cleaner to read, and more naturally ordered for classical editors (who again would be expected to deal with such tracks in opera much more frequently than in the same thing but non-opera):

  • Kantate, BWV 106 "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus)": IIa. Coro "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit"
  • Kantate, BWV 106 "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus)": IIb. Arioso "Ach, Herr, lehre uns bedenken" (Tenore)
  • Kantate, BWV 106 "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus)": IIc. Aria "Bestelle dein Haus" (Basso)
  • Kantate, BWV 106 "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus)": IId. Coro "Es ist der alte Bund"

So, I suggest we change that section in CSG to:

  • Entering vocalists (tenor, soprano, bass) is not mandatory. They are entered after the libretto: 'Cantata, BWV 17 "Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich": Part II, V. Aria "Welch Übermaß der Güte" (Tenor, Soprano)

-- BrianSchweitzer 18:20, 02 January 2008 (UTC)

Ok, not to contradict myself, but cooperaa convinced me that the placement is better as it currently is, if only because then we still can maintain clean compatability with opera style (with voice part before the libretto and role name after). So I'd then change the suggestion above to this:

  • Entering the relevant vocal parts(s) - soprano, alto, tenor, bass, etc - is not mandatory. They are entered as the last element immediately prior to the the libretto, and ought to always be in (proper case?/lowercase?). 'Cantata, BWV 17 "Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich": Part II, V. Aria (Tenor, Soprano) "Welch Übermaß der Güte"

This would then fit well with the opera style bit about roles, which could be expressed as:

  • Entering the relevant vocal roles(s) - the names of the work's characters who perform during that work - is not mandatory. They are entered as the first element immediately following to the the libretto, and ought to always be in proper case. 'Cantata, BWV 17 "Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich": Part II, V. Aria "Welch Übermaß der Güte" (Tommy the Baker, Anna) The combined case, then, wouldn't have the confusion of two optional and otherwise identically formatted bit of data both placed in the same position (and the issues with then which goes first, etc): 'Cantata, BWV 17 "Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich": Part II, V. Aria (Tenor, Soprano) "Welch Übermaß der Güte" (Tommy the Baker, Anna)

As cooperaa and symphonick raised on the Bach list's page, we also need to decide how such voice parts ought to be capitalized within the (). -- BrianSchweitzer 18:23, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Style Guideline > Classical Style Guide > Discussion

"In" in German-style keys

CSG is contradictory on this, and this has led to a lot of confusion between people who read the text and people who follow the example. The text says "Attribute "in", "en" or "em" should be inserted according to release language." and provides no exceptions. The examples for English, French, and Italian all follow this. However, the two German examples are "'Prélude No. 2 A-moll, Op. 28: Lento'" and "'Prélude No. 8 Fis-moll, Op. 28: Molto agitato'", not "'Prélude No. 2 in A-moll, Op. 28: Lento'" and "'Prélude No. 8 in Fis-moll, Op. 28: Molto agitato'". So which is it? Personally, I would prefer to keep the "in" in, no matter the language, as directed by the text. -- BrianSchweitzer 09:20, 08 January 2008 (UTC)

No use for a Record

I think the main conflict between tag systems and classical music is the fact that most of the classical music is not connected with a record because there was no way to record a song. When I search my library after classical music I am never interested in who performed the song, when is the CD released or what does the cover look like. I want to know when was the released in an historical way. "Also sprach Zarathustra" from "Richard Strauss" may be Recorded in 2005 but more interesting is the date of the premier 1896-11-27. can't we create pseudo releases for classical or historical music? --Akirom 16:17, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I have made a prototype here. what do you think about that?--Akirom 16:19, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Strange looking titles

How about that track: Georg Philipp Telemann 'Overture (Suite) in A minor: Polonaise (Moderato) - (Trio) - Polonaise Da Capo' (2:50) How should it (and similar) be named? RoclorD

Consider reducing characters in title

To the MusicBrainz community - thanks for putting so much thought and effort into dealing with the inadequate treatment of classical music in commonly used software!

Some of us need to conserve characters in music listings, i.e., for internet radio and Last.fm playlists. There are some unnecessary characters specified in the style for titles. Some classical titles have huge titles even without the performers; then, in some cases, adding an orchestra and its conductor, a chorus and its conductor, and one or two soloists creates a monster.

For example,

Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor" (Israel Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Zubin Mehta, piano: Radu Lupu)

could very easily be shorted by changing "feat." to a comma or semicolon with no loss of information:

Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor" (Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor: Zubin Mehta, piano: Radu Lupu)

Also, how about standard abbreviations? I shorten "Philharmonic Orchestra" and "Symphony Orchestra" to "PO" and "SO". This does not present a problem to anyone interested in classical music, and you could have a list of abbreviations on the website.

Track Titles for a Single Work on a Disc

If a disc includes only a single work, can we please make an exception to adding its title to every track as well? It'd be nice if we could avoid this kind of atrocity. Torc 21:44, 31 August 2010 (UTC)