[vorbis-dev] Re: [vorbis] Request for Standardization: classical music TAGS

Jonathan Walther krooger at debian.org
Wed Oct 3 17:11:41 PDT 2001


In much music, the "ARTIST" tag has no meaning anyway.  There are very
few artists producing music today, whether performer or composer.
I say we should abolish the ARTIST tag altogether.  Its meaningless.
Is there any less "art" in the producing of an album than in playing
the guitar solo at the beginning?

On Wed, 3 Oct 2001, Craig Dickson wrote:
> No, I don't agree. I think it's silly to reverse the meaning of "artist"
> and "composer" for classical music. Beethoven was a composer, not a
> recording artist, so "artist=Beethoven" is patently ridiculous.

Unlike POP, there are many many recordings of the popular works.  Its
not enough to know the name of the work (Symphony no. 1).  Or the
composer (Beethoven).  You need to know *who played it*.  And sometimes
conductors and performers rerecord works after they have new insight,
or go to a new record label.  So the date and record label are necessary
too.  Only THEN can you know *what the heck you're listening to*.  See,
all those things MAY apply to pop music... but rarely.  In classical
music, these things apply *almost all the time*.

Why complexify things by using XML metadata when we only need a few
simple tags?  Why should we add the bloat of a complete XML parsing
library when its so easy to get information from the appropriate tag?

I think the GENRE tag is entirely appropriate for guessing how to
display the tag info about the music the Ogg file contains.
You can't get around the fact, classical and pop music are just plain
treated differently by people.  You can't escape the modality without
some ugly kludges.  So give up on the obsession of getting rid of a
little bit of modality.

> It would be silly for you to have to do that directly. The tag-editing
> software would have to take care of XML formatting for you.

Some of us like being able to do things easily from shell scripts.  You
going to provide a shell-scriptish XML utility?


> It is true that people often think of classical pieces in terms of who
> wrote them, but that doesn't change the meanings of the words "artist"
> and "composer". Nor does it necessarily imply that people want to see
> "Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata" in their WinAmp/xmms/etc. playlist
> window. If, let's say, I had several different performances of the
> Moonlight Sonata in a playlist, each by a different performer, it would
> be pretty useless for all of them to be identified as "Beethoven -
> Moonlight Sonata". I'd definitely want to see the performer's name.
> I think the issue you're grappling with is that in classical music, the
> composers are often more famous than the performers, while in pop music,
> the general public often has no idea who wrote a song, even though it's
> credited in the CD booklet (sometimes in rather small print on the last
> page).
> There are counter-examples, though, even in classical music. If you have
> a Glenn Gould performance of a Bach fugue, you probably want to see
> "Glenn Gould" in the playlist, because he's an immensely important
> performer. A Gould performance isn't just a Bach piece, it's Gould's
> Bach piece, much more so than is typically the case with classical
> performers. And since he was a Bach specialist, it's almost beside the
> point to say that Bach wrote a piece that Gould played.
> I think what this really boils down to is that it is not adequate for
> the player software to have a single format style that it always uses
> for all music, even if that format is user-configurable. There are a
> few ways this situation could be improved:
> (1) Embed formatting information in a tag in each audio file. This is
>     a way to take Ogg where MP3 cannot go without a new ID3 revision.
>     The trick, of course, is to get the players to support it.
> (2) Embed formatting information in the playlist file. Again, the players
>     would need to support it, and it would not give Ogg an advantage over
>     MP3 or WMA.
> (3) Have the player support a separate format style for each genre of
>     music, based on the Genre tag in the file. Obviously there would
>     be a default format, so you wouldn't have to define every possible
>     genre's format in advance. This, again, would not give Ogg an
>     advantage, but the end user wouldn't have to set the format style
>     for every file. This is the least flexible but probably most
>     convenient for the end user of these three options.

Version: 2.6.3ia
Charset: noconv


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