What is the use of a work type that means everything?

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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

"Frederik “Freso” S. Olesen"
Ugh. I really dislike discussions based on top posting. :(

Den 01-10-2013 00:13, Tom Crocker skrev:
> Tune does
> seem usually appropriate, but explicitly can include vocal forms so
> isn't. I'd been wondering about instrumental tune but it sounds like
> others would object to this too.

Why is it a problem that whatever is decided on can include vocal forms?
There are plenty of lilting tunes/"mouth music" that cannot be properly
categorised as "songs", and likewise most Irish and Danish traditional
tunes have at one point or another been performed using lilting or other
"mouth music" styles (ie., by vocalisation).

A song has a tune, like a tune can have a song, but a song is not a tune
- and a tune is not a song. I think those two would make a good pair.
I'm a trad. head/folkie and I don't see what "more specific use" this
term should be kept for, per SwissChris' comment.

-------------

Some additional background to the thread in general:
The Danish word "sang" shares much of the same context of the English
"song": it is primarily used for vocalisations of a set of lyrics, but
can also be used to denote instrumental pieces in everyday speech.

However, I also agree with jesus that "song" should not be used for
instrumental pieces/tunes (possibly just outside the pop/rock realm), as
the correct term would not in any way ever be "song". It could be a
"lilt", a "waltz", a "jitter-bug", a "slängpolska", ... but not a song.
The question I ask myself is: if I was studying music (science) at a
high level, would I call this as a song?
I think we should hold the MusicBrainz "ontology" to such a high level
and standards that it is actually useful also at university level
projects. Alastair or some of the other university people we have around
might be good to consult on this.
Either way, calling everything "Song" because that is what John Doe who
never had even half an hour of music schooling in his life would call
it, is not an approach I find commendable.

--
Frederik "Freso" S. Olesen <http://freso.dk/>

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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

Per Starbäck
> However, I also agree with jesus that "song" should not be used for
> instrumental pieces/tunes (possibly just outside the pop/rock realm), as
> the correct term would not in any way ever be "song". It could be a
> "lilt", a "waltz", a "jitter-bug", a "slängpolska", ... but not a song.
> The question I ask myself is: if I was studying music (science) at a
> high level, would I call this as a song?

I think part of this discussion is turned upside-down when it's
focusing on the word "song".

I think we first need to determine what ontology we want. What kind of
distinctions do we want to make for work type? Then we'll find
terminology to go with the distinctions we want to make. We shouldn't
decide beorehand whether lyrics is important in this ontology because
of what meanings a particular word has!

On this question I think that lyrics isn't important. DRY (Don't
repeat yourself) is a good principle, and we have that information
elsewhere, since we have a special attribute for what language the
lyrics of a work is in which could have a special value "no lyrics".

Many older records put a designation like "waltz" or "tango" or
"foxtrot" after the title. Maybe we want to make that kind of
differentiation with our work types. I think that is an open question
for the moment, but if we do, that is orthogonal to the presence of
lyrics, so having the presence of lyrics appear in our work type tree
would complicate and make it less tree-like. We don't want to make a
tree out of types like "song-(with-lyrics)",
"instrumental-without-lyrics", "tango", "tango-with-lyrics" and
"tango-without-lyrics". Instead it should be just "tango" as a subtype
of the more general type, and the presence of lyrics or not stored
outside the type.

(It's not always orthogonal, though. We have somewhat similar
distinctions for classical music already where some (like Sonata) are
instrumental, and some (like Aria) always have lyrics.)

Lots of old records with jazz standards have "foxtrot" on the label
like that, and so has for instance Rock Around the Clock, but for
later pop/rock we seldom get such labels. Most of these works are just
"songs" or "tracks". Just as a waltz is a waltz regardless of whether
it has lyrics these are whatever they are regardless of whether they
have lyrics or not -- the two tracks on Pink Floyd's single
http://musicbrainz.org/release/45f8291d-31d0-4628-8013-876444c852e3
are really of the same type, even though one has lyrics and the other one not.

So what do I want? I want a work type tree in which one type is a
"single" music work (SMW), as distinct to compound works like
symphonies and song-cycles. Many work types we now have, like Cantata
and Madrigal would be subtypes of this, and so would Tango and Waltz
if we should add them. Unfortunately I don't know what would be a good
name for this SMW.

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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

symphonick
Note that some works can be both "single" and compound (cantatas usually contains choruses & arias etc), but maybe that is not a problem anyway; you would only select the compound version for works that have parts.

I agree that it's probably best that lyrics are left out from the work type. As you say, that information is available elsewhere.
(OT: what to do when compound work X have versions A, B and C with different music, the same lyrics, and you translate the lyrics? Now you can make a performance using your translated lyrics with the music from either version, or even mixing music from A, B and C.)



2013/10/2 Per Starbäck <[hidden email]>
> However, I also agree with jesus that "song" should not be used for
> instrumental pieces/tunes (possibly just outside the pop/rock realm), as
> the correct term would not in any way ever be "song". It could be a
> "lilt", a "waltz", a "jitter-bug", a "slängpolska", ... but not a song.
> The question I ask myself is: if I was studying music (science) at a
> high level, would I call this as a song?

I think part of this discussion is turned upside-down when it's
focusing on the word "song".

I think we first need to determine what ontology we want. What kind of
distinctions do we want to make for work type? Then we'll find
terminology to go with the distinctions we want to make. We shouldn't
decide beorehand whether lyrics is important in this ontology because
of what meanings a particular word has!

On this question I think that lyrics isn't important. DRY (Don't
repeat yourself) is a good principle, and we have that information
elsewhere, since we have a special attribute for what language the
lyrics of a work is in which could have a special value "no lyrics".

Many older records put a designation like "waltz" or "tango" or
"foxtrot" after the title. Maybe we want to make that kind of
differentiation with our work types. I think that is an open question
for the moment, but if we do, that is orthogonal to the presence of
lyrics, so having the presence of lyrics appear in our work type tree
would complicate and make it less tree-like. We don't want to make a
tree out of types like "song-(with-lyrics)",
"instrumental-without-lyrics", "tango", "tango-with-lyrics" and
"tango-without-lyrics". Instead it should be just "tango" as a subtype
of the more general type, and the presence of lyrics or not stored
outside the type.

(It's not always orthogonal, though. We have somewhat similar
distinctions for classical music already where some (like Sonata) are
instrumental, and some (like Aria) always have lyrics.)

Lots of old records with jazz standards have "foxtrot" on the label
like that, and so has for instance Rock Around the Clock, but for
later pop/rock we seldom get such labels. Most of these works are just
"songs" or "tracks". Just as a waltz is a waltz regardless of whether
it has lyrics these are whatever they are regardless of whether they
have lyrics or not -- the two tracks on Pink Floyd's single
http://musicbrainz.org/release/45f8291d-31d0-4628-8013-876444c852e3
are really of the same type, even though one has lyrics and the other one not.

So what do I want? I want a work type tree in which one type is a
"single" music work (SMW), as distinct to compound works like
symphonies and song-cycles. Many work types we now have, like Cantata
and Madrigal would be subtypes of this, and so would Tango and Waltz
if we should add them. Unfortunately I don't know what would be a good
name for this SMW.

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/symphonick

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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

jesus2099
In my test definitions i didn’t mention lyrics.
I’m just distinguishing vocal and non vocal works…
I think it’s the most sought after and sufficient bipolarity requested in (non classical) works as we only have one half only atm.

(symphonick’s OT : ≠ lyrics and/or ≠ melody → new work — with live performance / improvisations exceptions of course)
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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

LordSputnik

When we start taking about foxtrot and tango, the line between work types and genres seems a little blurred to me...

Could we perhaps move work types to the new genres system (hopefully coming soon)? Then we (probably) wouldn't have this problem of choosing what work types should be in the tree/list.

If not, then what is the distinction between work types and genres that prevents us merging them?


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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

Frederic Da Vitoria
2013/10/3 Ben Ockmore <[hidden email]>

When we start taking about foxtrot and tango, the line between work types and genres seems a little blurred to me...

Could we perhaps move work types to the new genres system (hopefully coming soon)? Then we (probably) wouldn't have this problem of choosing what work types should be in the tree/list.

If not, then what is the distinction between work types and genres that prevents us merging them?


I believe work type is more about the global structure of the work than about the genre. For example you could use a tango in a sonata and many songs are based on tango.

--
Frederic Da Vitoria
(davitof)

Membre de l'April - « promouvoir et défendre le logiciel libre » - http://www.april.org

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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

jesus2099
oh my, why does each time i ask for simple non vocal type (in complement of our simple vocal type), the discussion deviates towards complex and irresolvable stuff? :/
i don’t see why this simple thing should wait for such high heights stuff… ;)
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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

jesus2099
ok i know, i will propose a simple RFC and let’s see…
high level discuss will still be possible outside of that RFC…
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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

"Frederik “Freso” S. Olesen"
In reply to this post by jesus2099
Den 03-10-2013 23:43, jesus2099 skrev:
> oh my, why does each time i ask for simple non vocal type (in complement of
> our simple vocal type), the discussion deviates towards complex and
> irresolvable stuff? :/

Because there are vocal Works that are not songs, which a "non vocal"
Work type would not match. (See my previous mail in the thread
(Message-ID: <[hidden email]>).)

> i don’t see why this simple thing should wait for such high heights stuff…
> ;)

Or maybe you just haven't realised that it isn't simple? Go for the RFC
and see what happens.

--
Frederik "Freso" S. Olesen <http://freso.dk/>

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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

symphonick
& IMO classifying works as "classical" / "non-classical" should be avoided at all costs. You'd have to spend a LOT of time defining "classical" first.


2013/10/4 Frederik "Freso" S. Olesen <[hidden email]>
Den 03-10-2013 23:43, jesus2099 skrev:
> oh my, why does each time i ask for simple non vocal type (in complement of
> our simple vocal type), the discussion deviates towards complex and
> irresolvable stuff? :/

Because there are vocal Works that are not songs, which a "non vocal"
Work type would not match. (See my previous mail in the thread
(Message-ID: <[hidden email]>).)

> i don’t see why this simple thing should wait for such high heights stuff…
> ;)

Or maybe you just haven't realised that it isn't simple? Go for the RFC
and see what happens.

--
Frederik "Freso" S. Olesen <http://freso.dk/>

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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

monxton
On 05/10/2013 10:43, symphonick wrote:
> & IMO classifying works as "classical" / "non-classical" should be
> avoided at all costs. You'd have to spend a LOT of time defining
> "classical" first.

You're right, but then we do this every time we make the decision "does
CSG apply to this release?" or sometimes even we decide on a
track-by-track basis within a release. It's amusing how
"http://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Classical/#When_does_the_CSG_apply.3F"
is currently blank.

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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

symphonick
Yeah, but that's doable for releases; not for works IMO.

BTW my CSG works proposal got stuck again. I'm toying with the idea of writing a MB works guideline first, and add the classical stuff later.

But don't blame me for "When_does_the_CSG_apply" ;-)



2013/10/21 monxton <[hidden email]>
On 05/10/2013 10:43, symphonick wrote:
> & IMO classifying works as "classical" / "non-classical" should be
> avoided at all costs. You'd have to spend a LOT of time defining
> "classical" first.

You're right, but then we do this every time we make the decision "does
CSG apply to this release?" or sometimes even we decide on a
track-by-track basis within a release. It's amusing how
"http://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Classical/#When_does_the_CSG_apply.3F"
is currently blank.

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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

CallerNo6
On 10/21/2013 12:40 PM, symphonick wrote:

> But don't blame me for "When_does_the_CSG_apply" ;-)
>

Blame me!

I should probably try get that one unstuck.

Input welcome @
http://musicbrainz.1054305.n4.nabble.com/pre-RFC-When-does-the-CSG-apply-td4439312.html

Alex / caller#6

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Re: What is the use of a work type that means everything?

symphonick
On second thoughts, maybe you should blame me. I mean, it's hard to say anything about when the CSG should apply when there is no CSG...

Anyway, it would be great if we could move forward with this, in one way or the other.


2013/10/21 caller#6 <[hidden email]>
On 10/21/2013 12:40 PM, symphonick wrote:

> But don't blame me for "When_does_the_CSG_apply" ;-)
>

Blame me!

I should probably try get that one unstuck.

Input welcome @
http://musicbrainz.1054305.n4.nabble.com/pre-RFC-When-does-the-CSG-apply-td4439312.html

Alex / caller#6

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