User:RobertKaye/Work Types

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Pete Marsh from the BBC has compiled this table of proposed work types from the Orpheus database of classical music. These types represent the most common types of works that are associated with classical music. Pop music should use the type None since these types do not really apply.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive; it attempts to capture the most common work types as seen on the BBC's Orpheus classical music catalog. We are likely going to use this list of Work Types to launch NGS and add new types as the community needs them.

Form Description Release/track example Release/track example 2 Citation 1
None Used for popular music that does not have a defined type
Sonata General term used to describe small scale instrumental works, initially in baroque music. [1] [2]
Concerto Instrumental work usually in three or more movements for instrumental soloist plus orchestra [3] [4]
Suite Set of instrumental/orchestral pieces which may be extracted from another work or be entirely original. [5] [6]
Motet Choral works - popular in renaissance and baroque periods. usually unaccompanied. [7]
Symphony Extended composition, usually for orchestra [8] [9]
Opera Dramatised work for singers and orchestra [10]
Quartet Chamber music for four players (usually strings) [11] [12] [13]
Cantata Choral work with more than one movement - usually orchestral accompaniment. [14]
Madrigal Secular vocal composition from renaissance/baroque period [15] [16] [17]
Overture Instrumental piece that precedes an opera or symphonic poem [18]
Song-cycle Form popularised by Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann to mean a series of related songs (usually with lyrics by the same poet). [19] [20] [21]
Mass Choral piece (with or without accompaniment) using the text of the liturgy. [22] [23]
Ballet [24] [25]
Aria Generally associated with opera, though some concert (ie stand-alone) arias have been written by geezers like Beethoven [26] [27]
Oratorio Dramatic musical piece with choir, soloists and orchestra - usually with religious subject matter. [28] [29] [30]
Partita Instrumental piece composed of a series of variations. essentially a synonym for a suite. [31] [32] [33]