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Basic considerations

Communicating classical music has three distinct challenges:

  1. The name of the composer is often an essential piece of information needed to uniquely identify a classical work or recording. For example, “Violin Concerto in D Major” is the title of multiple works including one by Beethoven, one by Brahms and one by Tchaikovsky. Therefore, the name of the composer needs to be prominently displayed;
  2. Related to the above, classical works have opus numbers that assist consumers in differentiating one work from another. The above three violin concertos have the following opus numbers: 61 (Beethoven), 77 (Brahms) and 35 (Tchaikovsky). Opus numbers are often preceded by the abbreviation “Op.”. A number of composers have an additional “composer catalogue number”. For example, Johann Sebastian Bach’s two works entitled “Toccata und Fuge in d-moll” are usually referred to as “BWV 565” and “BWV 538”. BWV is the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, literally, Bach works catalogue; it is the commonly used catalogue numbering system for Bach’s works; and
  3. Many classical works are comprised of multiple parts (usually called “movements” in English). These parts may then be grouped. Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” is an example for this (Wikipedia [LINK] contains a summary of the Four Seasons). It is a collection of four concertos and each of these comprises three numbered movements. The titles of these movements on their own (e.g. “1. Allegro” or “3. Presto”) are not helpful for identification purposes and they need to be combined with the title of the work in which they are contained.

These considerations apply to most Western classical music (whether they are hierarchical such as the Four Seasons or stand-alone pieces such as Beethoven’s Bagatelle Nr. 25 in a-Moll “Für Elise”, as well as for some experimental music.

Displaying recordings of classical works to consumers

Taking the first two movements of the first concerto of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as an example, displaying “Concerto No 1 in Mi maggiore: 1. Allegro” and “Concerto No 2 in Sol minore: 3. Presto” is much more helpful, especially when augmented with the composer name, composer catalogue numbers and, if the work has one, its name or nickname.

A movement can be shown in a more user-friendly way by, for example, adding the composer’s family name to the title (“Vivaldi: Concerto No 1 in Mi maggiore, op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera: 1. Allegro”) or by otherwise prominently displaying the composer name. RV is the Ryom-Verzeichnis and is the commonly used catalogue numbering system for Vivaldi’s works.

So, the full display information of this classical movement contains the following individual data points (regardless on how the data is shown to consumers):

  • The composer’s name: Antonio Vivaldi (or just Vivaldi);
  • The formal name of the parent work: Concerto No 1 in Mi maggiore;
  • The name of the parent work: “La Primavera”;
  • The opus number of the parent work: 8;
  • The composer catalogue number: 296;
  • The composer catalogue used: RV;
  • The name of the child work (i.e. the movement): “Allegro”; and
  • The sequence of the child work within the parent: 1.

Note that the use of “Mi maggiore” in the above list would only be appropriate for an Italian-speaking audience. For an English-speaking audience this should be “E Major” and for a German-speaking audience, this should be “E-Dur”. The use of “Mi maggiore” is not related to the fact that Vivaldi was Italian (actually: Venetian).

Also note that the rules and recommendations only apply to recordings but not to releases. As a consequence, there are a number of additional data points that ought to be displayed to consumers, including, for a recording of the above movement (e.g. for a recording made by the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Herbert von Karajan and with Anne Sophie Anne-Sophie Mutter being the soloist):

  • The orchestra playing the piece, e.g. the Berliner Philharmoniker;
  • The conductor, e.g. Herbert von Karajan; and
  • The soloists, e.g. Anne-Sophie Mutter.

Display considerations are important primarily for the relationship between a record company and a DSP, but the consequences of this may also impact other communications, such as message exchanges with and amongst music licensing companies.

Communicating classical recordings in DDEX

To enable a DSP to prominently display the information to consumers about a classical recording:

  1. The record company should always provide a display title to the DSP. In that case the record company has full control over how the data is presented.
    Using a movement from the first concerto from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” as an example this might be communicated as a string “Vivaldi: Concerto No 1 in Mi maggiore, op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera: 1. Allegro” as shown above.
    While adding the composers name and/or family name is being recommended, some record companies may wish to define the display title according to their internal metadata guide or as per bilateral agreements with the DSP which may exclude the addition of the composer’s name in the DisplayTitle tag.
  2. The record company also must, if it has access to such data, always provide the formal and grouping titles of the work as pre-compiled strings (“1. Allegro” and “Concerto No 1 in Mi maggiore, op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera”) alongside composer information, ideally in the form of a full name (“Antonio Vivaldi”) and a key name (“Vivaldi”).

Communication of titles for recordings of classical works in ERN-4

The following, using the first movement of the Vivaldi’s first Four Seasons concertos as the example, shows how the above information should be communicated for a sound recording of the work in ERN 4.

To see how to communicate the same information using ERN-3 and RDR-N please see further below.

 

Tag in SoundRecording

ERN 4.2 and 4.3

WorkId/OpusNumber

8

WorkId/Composer-CatalogueNumber

RV 296

DisplayTitleText

There are no specific rules for these tags. Their content could range from “Allegro from the Vivaldi’s Spring” to “Vivaldi: Concerto No 1 in Mi maggiore, op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera: 1. Allegro”

Note that the display titles for classical recordings typically contain the name of the composer, often in a shortened way. 

Also note that the DisplayTitleText combines the title and subtitle from the DisplayTitle composite (see also here]).

DisplayTitle

AdditionalTitle
(TitleType = FormalTitle)

1. Allegro

This may be used for display purposes for classical recordings if the DSP chooses to not use the DisplayTitleText or DisplayTitle (e.g. because of its internal metadata policies).

Note that the formal and grouping titles, contrary to the display title, must neither contain the name of the composer nor any punctuation marks to separate the formal title from the grouping title and/or the composer name.

AdditionalTitle
(TitleType = GroupingTitle)

Concerto No. 1 in Mi maggiore, Op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera

GroupingTitle is not needed for classical works that are not part of a hierarchy.

This may be used for display purposes for classical recordings if the DSP chooses to not use the DisplayTitleText or DisplayTitle (e.g. because of its internal metadata policies).

Note that the formal and grouping titles, contrary to the display title, must neither contain the name of the composer nor any punctuation marks to separate the grouping title from the formal title and/or the composer name.

DisplayArtistName

Herbert von Karajan, Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Berliner Philharmoniker

Typically, the DisplayArtistName omits the name of the composer even if the composer is listed amongst the DisplayArtists.

DisplayArtist

Berliner Philharmoniker (with an appropriate ArtisticRole code)

Anne-Sophie Mutter (with an appropriate ArtisticRole code)

Herbert von Karajan (with an appropriate ArtisticRole code)

Antonio Vivaldi with a DisplayArtistRole of DisplayComposer (see below for details on what to provide for the display composer).

If multiple DisplayComposers are to be communicated, they need to be sequenced appropriately to ensure that, for instance, Gilbert and Sullivan are not displayed as Sullivan and Gilbert.

Contributor

(with appropriate Role codes)

Anne-Sophie Mutter

Antonio Vivaldi

Berliner Philharmoniker

Herbert von Karajan

 

DSPs are encouraged to use the information from the DisplayTitle or DisplayTitleText when displaying the information to consumers. This may, however, not always be possible especially when catering for devices with limited space for long titles. In that case, the DSP may wish to combine the information from the various title tags with the composer data from the DisplayArtist composite. Such decisions may of course be subject to the bilateral agreement between record company and DSP.

If the DSP uses the information from the various title tags as well as the display artist information, they will need to concatenate them and separate them suitably, for example by adding colons between the DisplayArtist’s name and the GroupingTitle as well as between the GroupingTitle and the FormalTitle. Consequently, record companies should not include such separators into the GroupingTitle or FormalTitle.

It should be noted that there is no rule on the punctuation to separate the different elements of the title, and whether the movement number is printed using Arabic numerals (as shown above) or Roman numerals. Implementers may wish to consider the recommendations established by MusicBiz.

Essential display composer information

As indicated above composer information is essential for consumers to identify classical music. It is therefore recommended that senders of ERN-4 messages include a shortened composer name – usually the family name – into the DisplayTitle information.

In addition, to support DSPs that use the AdditionalTitle with a type of FormalTitle and DisplayArtist information for display purposes, the following information will need to be provided:

Composer Information 

ERN 4.2 and 4.3

Party/

 

   PartyReference

An anchor for use in the DisplayArtist tag, e.g. P8

   PartyId

At least one identifier for the composer 

   Party/PartyName/

 

      FullName

Antonio Vivaldi

      KeyName

Vivaldi

SoundRecording/DisplayArtist/

 

   ArtistPartyReference

P8

   DisplayArtistRole

Composer in ERN 4.3 (and later). Artist for all other versions

   ArtisticRole

ComposerLyricist or Composer orLyricist

   TitleDisplayInformation/

 

      IsDisplayedInTitle

true

To signal that a SoundRecording or Video composite follows these rules, the ApplyClassicalProfileVariant flag should be set to true (ERN 4.3 and later only). On older versions of ERN-4 this has to be flagged by the ClassifiedGenre tag be set to ClassicalMusic.

Communication of titles of recordings of classical works in ERN-3

Communicating the same recording information used above in ERN-3 will lead to these tags (some of these tags are in the SoundRecording composite, while others are in the SoundRecordingDetailsByTerritory composite).

Tag ERN-3
IndirectSoundRecordingId/ 
   OpusNumber8
   ComposerCatalogueNumberRV 296
ReferenceTitleThere are no specific rules for this tag. Its content could range from “Allegro from the Vivaldi’s Spring” to “Concerto No. 1 in Mi maggiore, Op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera. 1. Allegro”
Title
(TitleType = DisplayTitle)
Vivaldi: Concerto No 1 in Mi maggiore, op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera: 1. Allegro
Title
(TitleType = FormalTitle)
1. Allegro 
Title
(TitleType = GroupingTitle)
Concerto No 1 in Mi maggiore, op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera
DisplayArtistNameHerbert von Karajan, Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Berliner Philharmoniker Typically, the DisplayArtistName omits the name of the composer even if the composer is listed amongst the DisplayArtists.
DisplayArtistBerliner Philharmoniker
Anne-Sophie MutterAntonio Vivaldi with a relevant ArtistRole
DisplayConductorHerbert von Karajan
ResourceContributor (with appropriate Role codes)Berliner Philharmoniker 
Herbert von Karajan
Anne-Sophie Mutter
IndirectResourceContributor 
  PartyName/FullNameAntonio Vivaldi
  PartyName/KeyNameVivaldi
  IndirectResource
    ContributorRole
ComposerLyricist

 

To signal that a SoundRecording or Video composite follows these rules, the Genre tag should be set to Classical. Further information on this approach is provided here.

Communication of titles of recordings of classical works in RDR-N 1.5

Communicating the same recording information used above in RDR-N 1.5 will lead to these tags (some of these tags are in the SoundRecording composite, while others are in the SoundRecordingDetailsByTerritory composite).

Tag RDR-N 1.5
IndirectSoundRecordingId/ 
   OpusNumber8
   ComposerCatalogueNumberRV 296
MusicalWorkId/OpusNumber8
MusicalWorkId/Composer-CatalogueNumberRV 296
ReferenceTitleThere are no specific rules for this tag. Its content could range from “Allegro from the Vivaldi’s Spring” to “Concerto No. 1 in Mi maggiore, Op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera. 1. Allegro”
Title
(TitleType = DisplayTitle)
Concerto No. 1 in Mi maggiore, Op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera: 1. Allegro
Title
(TitleType = FormalTitle)
1. Allegro
Title
(TitleType = GroupingTitle)
Concerto No. 1 in Mi maggiore, Op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera
DisplayArtistNameHerbert von Karajan, Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Berliner Philharmoniker Typically, the DisplayArtistName omits the name of the composer even if the composer is listed amongst the DisplayArtists.
DisplayArtistBerliner Philharmoniker
Anne-Sophie Mutter
DisplayConductorHerbert von Karajan
DisplayComposer 
  FullNameAntonio Vivaldi
  KeyNameVivaldi
PerformingContributor (with appropriate Role codes)Berliner Philharmoniker 
Herbert von Karajan
Anne-Sophie Mutter
OtherContributor (with appropriate Role code)Antonio Vivaldi

 

To signal that a SoundRecording or Video composite follows these rules, the Genre/IsClassical flag should be set to true.

Creating Work Hierarchy in the Resource Group

In addition to providing a GroupingTitle in the SoundRecording composite, any work hierarchy needs to be shown in the ResourceGroup composite of the Release. For an album of the “Four Seasons” this would be a ResourceGroup representing the entire Release containing

  • A ResourceGroup representing the first concerto with, at least, a formal title of “Concerto No. 1 in Mi maggiore, Op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera”, containing
    • A ResourceGroupContentItem pointing to the “Allegro”;
    • A ResourceGroupContentItem pointing to the “Largo e pianissimo sempre”;
    • A ResourceGroupContentItem pointing to the “Allegro pastorale”;
  • A ResourceGroup representing the second concerto with, at least, a formal title of “Concerto No. 2 in Sol minore, Op. 8, RV 315, L’estate”, containing
    • A ResourceGroupContentItem pointing to the “Allegro non molto”;
    • A ResourceGroupContentItem pointing to the “Adagio e piano”;
    • A ResourceGroupContentItem pointing to the “Presto”;
  • Etc.

Translations

As indicated above, classical work titles contain significant amounts of information about what the music is, as well as being a means for identification and description. It is therefore important to provide translated titles if content is to be marketed in different territories. This applies to, for example,

  • The names of notes:
    • “C-D-E-F-G-A-B” in English;
    • “C-D-E-F-G-A-H” in German;
    • “do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti” in Italian; and
    • ハ-ニ-ホ-ヘ-ト-イ-ロ in Japanese;
  • The mode of a composition:
    • “major/minor” in English;
    • “dur/moll” in German;
    • “maggiore/minore” in Italian; and
    • “長調/小调” in Japanese.

Similarly, instrument names can vary widely as well as the names or nicknames of works. Some terms such as “concerto”, “allegro”, “andante”, etc. are not always translated, however.
Thus the “Allegro from the Vivaldi’s Spring” to “Concerto No. 1 in Mi maggiore, Op. 8, RV 269, La Primavera. 1. Allegro” might need to be translated into:

  • English as “Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, Spring (La Primavera): 1. Allegro”; or
  • German as “Concerto No. 1 in E Dur, Op. 8, RV 269, Der Frühling (La Primavera): 1. Allegro”.
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