History:CSGv2/Recording/Artist Proposal

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Status: This page describes an active style guideline proposal and is not official.

Proposal number: RFC-82
Champion: BrianFreud
Current status: Awaiting NGS implementation for final revision and passage.


Trac ticket # 4426

The Classical Style Guidelines:

CSG for Tracks and Recordings:

Track/Recording Artist

Official Documentation > Style Guidelines > The Classical Style Guidelines
Title: Work and Opus | Movement | Ornamentation | Special Cases

The artist should be the composer(s) of the performed work, with one exception, when a "classical" track is performed by an artist which would not be considered to be "classical":

While some cases are clear – the New York Philharmonic would be considered a "classical" performer, while Metallica would be considered "non-classical" – it is understood that many cases will be able to be interpreted either way. Such cases should be decided by the voters, or if need be, the style council.

The principal consideration is whether the track is played in a manner which would be considered to be "classical": Classical music, when performed "classically", is performed in a manner which may involve interpretations of tempo and intensity, but which generally does not invite improvisation.

If the artist is essentially performing the work as written, then the performance (and thus, the artist) is likely "classical"; the track/recording artist would be the composer. However, if the artist is performing the work only in a 'broad' sense (e.g. Nirvana playing a live jam including parts of the melody from La Boheme) then the artist is not performing the work "classically", and thus the track/recording artist would be the performer.

The secondary consideration is consistency within the listing for a performer. The same performer may sometimes stick to the music as written (a "classical" artist), while at other times not do so (a "non-classical" artist). it is strongly preferred that the entirety of performances by the same artist be listed either one way or the other, rather than have that performer's tracks and recordings found sometimes under the composer, other times under the performer.

When using the composer as the artist, the correct composer(s) to use may not be obvious:

  • A work was left unfinished by the original composer, then completed by another composer.
    Use both composers.
  • A work by one composer consists of variations on a work by a different composer.
    Use the composer of the variations.
  • A work was composed by one composer, then arranged, orchestrated, and/or instrumentated by a different artist.
    Use the composer, not the arranger, orchestrator, or instrumentator.

If it is unclear as to whether a work should be considered an arrangement or a variation, or if the composer is unclear for other reasons, then the style list should be consulted for guidance.