History:Classical Track Title Discussion

From MusicBrainz Wiki
Revision as of 21:12, 19 September 2007 by BrianSchweitzer (talk | contribs) ("Madamina, il catalogo è questo" is scene II, not scene V (Imported from MoinMoin))
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigationJump to search

Style Guideline > Classical Style Guide > Classical Track Title Style

Style for Classical Track Titles

  • Alert.png This is work in progress and not official yet. The aim of this style guide is to impose some kind of order in the entries to achieve a consistent style, so as to have clean data for an eventual text sensitive tagging.

The TrackTitle should contain the overall work (name of the symphony etc.) followed by ':' and then the actual name of that movement.


  • Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125: II. Molto vivace
  • Theodora: Act II. "But why art thou disquieted"
  • Don Giovanni: Act I, scene II. "Madamina! Il catalogo è questo"
  • Cantata, BWV 138 "Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz": II. "Ich bin veracht"
  • Cantata, BWV 17 "Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich": Part II, V. "Welch Übermaß der Güte"
Attention.png I left out the The Lark Ascending (feat. violin: Tasmin Little) example. This will be added later. (It doesn't have to be me, though). (2006-12-11, leivhe)
Attention.png The formatting of the opera tracks is *not* flamebait. I'll happily change it if the current, more complex style should be used. (2006-12-11, leivhe)

Examples containing extra, optional information

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

Structure of Classical Track Titles


  • []: optional information
  • |: logical XOR (English either...or). Concerto | Cantata means "Concerto" or "Cantata"
Attention.png We should be _very_ careful with not making this too technical. Everybody understands that it cannot possibly mean "Concerto and Cantata". At the very best, the XOR belongs in a footnote, but I'd prefer to leave it out altogether. (leivhe 2006-12-12)
  • " by "OR" below? --MLL
    • " will be helpful. And coloring could help at some point. (2006-12-12 leivhe)
It might be a good idea to extract optional stuff (voice indication, common name?) and keeping only the mandatory stuff here.


A common structure lies beneath the track titles. Rather informally, this can be defined as

  • Classical_track_title
  • Work_title
  • Genre_title
  • should be: Symphony | [ Instrument ] Concerto | Cantata | Sonata | Quartet...
  • Key_and_chord
  • consists of:
(what about a good-looking table with _all_ English keys here. Chord part in second column. German and French in columns 3-6? leivhe)
  • I agree, but I'd put it in a separate page, in order to keep this one reasonably small --davitof 2006-12-13
  • Part_title
could someone provide an example of this (especially with the subsection) --davitof 2006-12-13
  • I found a recent example Here, but from what was agreed, [ Subsection COMMA ] should be in Work_title after Catalog_number like this: [Catalog_number] [COMMA Subsection] --MLL 2006-12-15
Although this is true most of the time, sometimes it is not. Operas follow a different scheme. Maybe it would be better to put them in a completely diferent place? --davitof 2006-12-13
  • - Part_title here is stillIdea.png what was in my original email on mb-style. (http://lists.musicbrainz.org/pipermail/musicbrainz-style/2006-December/thread.html#004261)
    Since then, there were the (to me) eye-opening discussion on strictness regarding formatting (http://lists.musicbrainz.org/pipermail/musicbrainz-users/2006-December/thread.html#15066)
    - I think maybe you're right, davitof:
    Although I haven't laid it out in any details, I suspect displaying info on slack and optional stuff (common name) in a formal-like way, will be hard to write, and harder to read and follow than a series of examples with some prose on extrainfo and slack. I think davitof's suggestion (different pages for operas, symphonies etc. as needed) is a good idea.
    - That being said, it would be nice to start thinking on what we could want from a "text sensitive tagger" for classical music, as the new CSG should be in accordance with it.
    (leivhe 2006-12-15)
@Leivhe: I don't understand your last formatting modifications. I am sure you are trying to express something and I would gladly comply, but for this I need to understand! I agree we need this page to structurate our ideas. I even think that we will always need both. A theoretical model such as this one is important to allow us to check everything is as coherent as possible (which is after all one of our main goals here), but the end-user explanation pages are important for the main user. This is the technical reference, the other will be the "how to". --davitof 2006-12-15
  • @davitof: I forgot to add an edit note saying: Putting discussions and comments in boxes, so as not to clutter it up with the contents. If someone prefers it like it was, it can be reverted.
    • I think it is a good idea. In your previous edit, you forgot to put my "could someone provide an example of this (especially with the subsection) --davitof 2006-12-13" in a box, so I was not sure what you were aiming at. But the box style has a problem, it prevents from using links in the comments :-( I am checking if there is another format we could use... --davitof 2006-12-13
      • (1) What about this? Smaller, but I feel comments being smaller is logical. And at least links are preserved --davitof 2006-12-13
        • (2) Or this? It seems right too. And links are preserved too --davitof 2006-12-13
          • (3)Or this ? --MLL My preference: (3), second rank is (1) ((2) can be confused with examples)
            • You are right about (3). Let's forget about it. I still prefer (1), but here is what I suggest: Let's use (3) as long as this work is in it's active phase. When our changes are more or less set and this page shifts from a work page to a reference page, then we can use (1) for the few comments we will want to keep. BTW, (3) has a small limitation: each editor who adds his comment will have to create a new box, you can't put the double pipe characters on a separate line. --davitof 2006-12-13
Re Genre_title. My feeling is that restricting the first part to be purely the genre title would not allow many natural, useful and common titles. What about the composer's work numbering? In 'Symphony No. 4', the 'No. 4' would not be allowed. A Brandenburg Concerto would be something awkward like 'Various Instrument Concerto, BWV ... "Brandenburg Concerto No. 1' - technically more correct of course but not easy to understand for users. Do we really want 'Opera, KV 527 "Don Giovanni"'? As to the suggestion to move operas elsewhere, CSG is already complex enough, we shouldn't have different styles for different genres. --joseba 2007-01-12
  • You are right that there are cases where we should admit other formulations. Leivhe's suggestion is a programmer's point of view. I think it will be a good thing if it is implemented in CSG (a "hard" hierarchical structure). This will allow us for example to find all the operas from different composers, which we can't currently do. This will also allow ordering the works from a composer by catalogue number, which for some composers is useful because the catalogue reflects the composition date. I suggest that WorkAliases would allow us to access the data in a more natural way when applicable. In the meanwhile, we must accept more natural formulations when these can't be avoided. About the Opera, I think the current rules already are very different from the rest of classical repertoire: no catalogue number, no key indication, no movement indication, we allow for differences in how the title is formulated (how many of the words are used), the track splitting varies wildly from one release to another... So I feel that rather than complicating CSG with all these exceptions, it would much more user-friendly to put them in a separate page. I am not convinced there would be other separations to implement, but opera is definitely special IMO.--davitof 2007-01-14
    • I strongly believe Making operas separate will alienate and confuse many users. I don't see convincing reasons for this either; what we need is a careful formulation of CSG rules that are flexible enough while maintaining consistency. Catalogue numbers: could be added to operas too. Key indications: easy to say "add where available". Movement indication: give alernatives for numbers ("I" vs. "Act I, Scene I" vs. No. 42 (how do you number the St. John Passion?)). Track splitting is possible anyway and there should be a generic way of dealing with this. Once you start to split out opera, the next question is cantata, and then oratorio, ... -- joseba 2007-02-09

Forbidden symbols to comply with device file system idiosyncracies

Colons and slashes and perhaps other symbols are not recognised in some mp3 ogg player filesystems e.g. iriver, OSX. This can make ripping very awkward as titles' and files' tags have to be manually edited to delete the offending symbols before being recognised by the device.