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The term “classical music” can have multiple meanings:

  • “Classical music most commonly refers to the formal musical tradition of the Western world, considered to be distinct from Western folk music or popular music traditions” (Source: Wikipedia). Classical music includes works such as Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”, Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in d-minor”, Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” and Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance”;
  • Classical is also a specific “period of Western art music from the 1750s to the early 1820s—the era of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and Ludwig van Beethoven.” (Source: Wikipedia); and
  • “Classical” can refer to a structured work comprising multiple parts (sometimes called movements). These structured works are often – but not always – classical music in the sense of the first two meanings. There are also non-classical works that are structured in a similar way.

The first meaning is covered by the term ClassicalMusic in the DDEX Data Dictionary, which is a genre and also a parent term e.g. for contemporary classical music produced nowadays (described by the term TwentyFirstCentury) and can be signalled with the various Genre and ClassifiedGenre tags in RIN, ERN, MEAD and RDR-N. The second meaning is covered by the term ClassicalPeriodMusic in the DDEX Data Dictionary and is used as an allowed value with the short name Classical in the SubGenre AVS. The third meaning has led to the introduction of the term ApplyClassicalProfileVariant in the DDEX Data Dictionary. This is used as a Flag in ERN 4.3 (and later) to signal "structurally classical" works. (There are of course also non-Western types of classical music such as HindustaniClassicalMusic and TurkishClassicalMusic. These are, again, genres.)

Structurally Classical in ERN and RDR-N

Structured works require different metadata than unstructured works as the former requires the communication of (i) the compound work and (ii) the parts of this work.

Each of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” is one of these structured works. The “Spring”, for instance is the “Concerto No. 1 in E Major, Op. 8, RV 269” with three movements, “Allegro”, “Largo e pianissimo sempre” and “Allegro pastorale”. Moreover, such music often requires the prominent display of the composer(s) in order to uniquely identify the specific work.

Therefore, the processing of a DDEX message containing a “structurally classical” recording differs from the processing of music that is not “structurally classical”. Consequently, it is important to signal to a message recipient whether a recording is “structurally classical”. For the ERN standards DDEX has therefore developed a special “classical profile variant”. 

ERN 4.3


In ERN 4.3 (and later) each sound recording or music video carries an ApplyClassicalProfileVariant flag which, if set to true, signal that the sound recording or video is of a structurally classical work. (ERN 4.3 also allows to communicate a genre.)

ERN 4.2

To signal that a SoundRecording or Video composite follows these rules, the ClassifiedGenre tag should be set to ClassicalMusic in the relevant TrackRelease composite.

While this approach has the significant drawback of making it impossible to differentiate between “structurally classical” music and music of a classical genre, it is widely used as ERN versions older than 4.3, as well as RIN, do not have a separate flag for signalling a “classical structure”.

ERN 4.1 and older, ERN-3, RIN

To signal that a SoundRecording or Video composite follows these rules, the Genre tag should be set to Classical (these tags are either the SoundRecording or Video composites or, in ERN-4, in the relevant TrackRelease composite. While this approach has the significant drawback of making it impossible to differentiate between “structurally classical” music and music of a classical genre, it is widely used as ERN versions older than 4.3, as well as RIN, do not have a separate flag for signalling a “classical structure”.

RDR-N

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

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