[vorbis] Request for Standardization: classical music TAGS

Beni Cherniavksy cben at techunix.technion.ac.il
Wed Oct 10 07:08:42 PDT 2001

On Wed, 3 Oct 2001, rillian wrote:

> On Wednesday, October 3, 2001, at 05:19 , 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.
> These are database fields, not words. Don't invest so much in the
> literal meaning of the name. :-)
> It does seem like something like SONGWRITER is appropriate in some cases.
Which cases?  I've read the whole thread but it didn't come to a
concensus.  What should I use then (I'm about to tag lots of files)?

While I'm more on the pop side of things I do find many of the suggested
for classical music tags useful.  Maybe it's diffferent in american pop,
but in the sector of israeli pop that I listen to, the composer and author
of lyrics are not regarded any less important than the performer.
(BTW, the three are usaully distinct persons).  The next important thing
is considered arrangement.

Cover versions are very frequent.  People tend to sing these songs to
themselves (and in company).  Lyrics have high poetic quality on their own
and many were written as poems and later put on music.  The resulting
feeling is that a piece has two different aspects - {title, lyrics autor,
composer} that identify the song itself and {performer(s), arrangement}
that define a single "rendering" of the song.  A song has quite an
independent existence in people's mind separete from specific renderings.

This makes the idea to use ARTIST=Bach seem complete nonsense to me.  Any
arguments of the sort "the user can use $artist - $title" to see the most
interesting info are attacking the wrong problem (and Peter's winamp
plugin has better tags-->displayed title capabilities than I've seen in
any unix player ;).

I will surely use COMPOSER and ARRANGEMENT.  Does SONGWRITER mean the
lyrics author?  If not what should I use for him?  Since "artist" has
become the de-facto name for the main performer/group, I would always use
ARTIST for it and leave no place for PERFORMER.  For a singer with an
orchestra I could get along with:
  ARTIST=Joe Random
  ARTIST=Foobar Orchestra
but for more complex cases (e.g. a conductor is interesting too) other
tags than ARTIST have to be used anyway so what should I use?  ENSEMBLE?
ORCHESTRA?  Do both have a right for existance or should one tag be

Beni Cherniavsky <cben at tx.technion.ac.il>
                 (also scben at t2 in Technion)

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