Discussion:
[mb-users] Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone. Who is the "artist"?
(too old to reply)
Gioele Barabucci
2007-07-21 02:10:15 UTC
Permalink
"<yllona> this is an ongoing battle in MB..." Please, no flames, I'm just
trying to solve a little issue.

Hello,

While working on Morricone (collaboration of the mount... *hint*) I found
this album credited to Morricone: "Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone"
http://musicbrainz.org/release/1e89147e-a776-48c2-a8a8-3ea3adc727ef.html

It seems quite strange to me that Morricone is credited as "author" of this
release. This album contains tracks from various movies' soundtrack
rearranged and played by the cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Yo-Yo Ma plays; Yo-Yo Ma is the author. But this is simple syllogism clashes
with the current protocol for classical releases: the composer get credited
as the "artist". I don't understand why Mozart should be credit for
something that "Orchestra sinfonica della Rai" played. Can't it get a
simple composed-by AR? We are not in a music shop where things can be
categorized only under one thing. In a music shop I'm not interested in
things made my the Orchestra della Rai, I just care about finding Mozart's
music. But on MB, reign of the ARs, we can respect the authors and the give
a good service to the public at the same time.

Back to Yo-Yo Ma Plays Morricone. People like Morricone or Gershwin are on
the border of "current music", waiting to become "classical music". And
people is starting to treat them as "classical" authors, leading to
confusion and (fatal for the OCPD people) non uniformity in the MB DB.

Some examples to illustrate why I think we should move that album to Yo-Yo
Ma:

1) Oscar Peterson' The Gershwin Songbooks
http://musicbrainz.org/release/99fe28dd-4067-4818-9925-d2c1915bcd2d.html
Peterson rearranged and played these tracks. Should we move this release to
Gershwin?

2) Alice's Alice canta Battiato
http://musicbrainz.org/release/58c23fcc-0c4c-42d9-a8c4-a7bf18447f8b.html
Alice (Italian singer) sung songs composed and made famous by her friend
Franco Battiato. Battiato composed all the songs, played and sung them.
Should we move this release to Battiato?

2a) Various Artists Battiato non Battiato
http://musicbrainz.org/release/bd6e0859-2675-4377-8ae1-c92017b97d76.html
Same points raised for 2, just with many more people involved.

Two final questions: do you think that I should move "Yo-Yo Ma Plays
Morricone" to Yo-Yo Ma? Don't you think that a better system is needed for
opera and classical releases?

Bye bye,

--
Gioele
snarly j. dwarf
2007-07-21 02:23:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gioele Barabucci
It seems quite strange to me that Morricone is credited as "author" of this
release. This album contains tracks from various movies' soundtrack
rearranged and played by the cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Since Yo-Yo Ma plays on all the tracks, I would file this under Yo-Yo Ma, but
in the -format- of a Various Artists release (ie, Yo-Yo Ma is "Release Artist"
and Morricone would show up as Artist on the track listing).

This is semi-addressed in the non-official CSG:
http://wiki.musicbrainz.org/ClassicalReleaseArtistStyle

I would argue that even for "major" performers, even if the piece is
not substantially altered it would go under the performer. I doubt
anyone would really have an issue with that either.
Frederic Da Vitoria
2007-07-21 13:54:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by snarly j. dwarf
Post by Gioele Barabucci
It seems quite strange to me that Morricone is credited as "author" of
this
Post by Gioele Barabucci
release. This album contains tracks from various movies' soundtrack
rearranged and played by the cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Since Yo-Yo Ma plays on all the tracks, I would file this under Yo-Yo Ma, but
in the -format- of a Various Artists release (ie, Yo-Yo Ma is "Release Artist"
and Morricone would show up as Artist on the track listing).
http://wiki.musicbrainz.org/ClassicalReleaseArtistStyle
I would argue that even for "major" performers, even if the piece is
not substantially altered it would go under the performer. I doubt
anyone would really have an issue with that either.
I agree. This is how it is urually done in shops too.
--
Frederic Da Vitoria
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Lukáš Lalinský
2007-07-21 02:25:40 UTC
Permalink
On Pi, 2007-07-20 at 22:57 +0200, Gioele Barabucci wrote:
[...]
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Two final questions: do you think that I should move "Yo-Yo Ma Plays
Morricone" to Yo-Yo Ma?
No, it's a classical release and according to MB classical style
guidelines it should be credited to the composer. The tracks don't sound
very differently from the originals, except they are played on cello. I
don't think that makes Yo-Yo the composer/arranger.
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Don't you think that a better system is needed for
opera and classical releases?
Any ideas? For classical you always need multiple artists, which means -
use ARs, ignore the "artist". But on the other hand it's nice to have
releases sorted under somebody "primarily" and in MB this is the
composer.
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snarly j. dwarf
2007-07-21 02:33:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
No, it's a classical release and according to MB classical style
guidelines it should be credited to the composer. The tracks don't sound
very differently from the originals, except they are played on cello. I
don't think that makes Yo-Yo the composer/arranger.
In releases where classical works are arranged, remixed, or
otherwise substantially modified by the primary performer, that
performer should be designated as ReleaseArtist.

I would say transcription to cello is a pretty major
rearrangement.
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
Any ideas? For classical you always need multiple artists, which means -
use ARs, ignore the "artist". But on the other hand it's nice to have
releases sorted under somebody "primarily" and in MB this is the
composer.
Defining "composer" is tricky when it comes to transcriptions.

(And I would differ about the composer on the example Liszt
transcription of Beethoven... that contradicts the "arranged,
remixed or substantially modified" clause above. Tossing out
a Symphony for a piano is a huge modification.)
Lukáš Lalinský
2007-07-21 02:55:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by snarly j. dwarf
In releases where classical works are arranged, remixed, or
otherwise substantially modified by the primary performer, that
performer should be designated as ReleaseArtist.
I would say transcription to cello is a pretty major
rearrangement.
They are all still orchestral (performed by Roma Sinfonietta), with
cello solos.

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Gioele Barabucci
2007-07-21 03:15:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Two final questions: do you think that I should move "Yo-Yo Ma Plays
Morricone" to Yo-Yo Ma?
No, it's a classical release and according to MB classical style
guidelines it should be credited to the composer.
Why is Morricone songs considered "classical"? I'm about to add
http://www.amazon.com/Montreal-Diary-Plays-Miles-Davis/dp/B000063XPG .
Enrico Rava plays Miles Davis. Should I use Davis as the artist for this
release? If not, how is Davis different from Morricone?
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Don't you think that a better system is needed for
opera and classical releases?
Any ideas?
Few, but I'm not a mb coder, so the choice is not up to me. Anyway I can
dream up something like what I describe at the end of this email.
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
For classical you always need multiple artists
Why? Aren't classical releases played by "bands"? We call them orchestras
but they are "groups" in our terminology. Just like The Who. With a few
more people.

Operas are different, way different: they are made of impromptu "bands", an
orchestra and some singers. Opera releases need something more than the
normal treatment.
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
But on the other hand it's nice to have
releases sorted under somebody "primarily" and in MB this is the
composer.
"primarily" is the key. Let's have a switch somewhere that says "the
composer is more relevant than the player". So we can see and use Artist as
a played-by AR: the most relevant AR by default. We use Artist to record
who played the stuff on the album, and the ARs to specify additional
things. At the end we flip the switch and the release appears under both
artist: the Artist (filed under Albums) and the composer (filed under
Composed).

IMO, the little box under the artist should shrink a lot. Many ARs deserves
to be treated more like we treat Artist right now. Why shouldn't
Pavarotti's page have a long list of "Performed tenor on" instead of the
actual "58 relations not shown"?

I think that treating "Artist" more like a simple played-by AR and a better
display of ARs in general with a selection of what is important to a
particular artist (Bono performing as tenor once in its life is not that
important, Pavarotti releasing a solo album is not that important) is the
solution to this kind of problem and maybe others. And to multiple artists
as well.

Bye,

--
Gioele
Lukáš Lalinský
2007-07-21 03:34:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Two final questions: do you think that I should move "Yo-Yo Ma Plays
Morricone" to Yo-Yo Ma?
No, it's a classical release and according to MB classical style
guidelines it should be credited to the composer.
Why is Morricone songs considered "classical"?
The sound?
Post by Gioele Barabucci
I'm about to add
http://www.amazon.com/Montreal-Diary-Plays-Miles-Davis/dp/B000063XPG .
Enrico Rava plays Miles Davis. Should I use Davis as the artist for this
release?
I know nothing about Miles Davis, but... listen to it. Does it sound
like Miles Davis or like Enrico Rava?
Post by Gioele Barabucci
If not, how is Davis different from Morricone?
I don't know, jazz is something I usually try to avoid. :)
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
For classical you always need multiple artists
Why? Aren't classical releases played by "bands"? We call them orchestras
but they are "groups" in our terminology. Just like The Who. With a few
more people.
No, in most cases it's at least orchestra and conductor. This itself is
a problem, because you can't add all permutations of orchestras and
conductors as artists. And if you include the composer(s), you have
something which definitely isn't representable by a single field.
Post by Gioele Barabucci
IMO, the little box under the artist should shrink a lot. Many ARs deserves
to be treated more like we treat Artist right now. Why shouldn't
Pavarotti's page have a long list of "Performed tenor on" instead of the
actual "58 relations not shown"?
This is an UI issue, not a data issue. It's easily fixable.
Post by Gioele Barabucci
I think that treating "Artist" more like a simple played-by AR and a better
display of ARs in general with a selection of what is important to a
particular artist (Bono performing as tenor once in its life is not that
important, Pavarotti releasing a solo album is not that important) is the
solution to this kind of problem and maybe others. And to multiple artists
as well.
I personally think "artist" should have no meaning at all. This is also
the result of the last MB meeting about NGS. For meaningful relations we
have ARs. I think if we add more structure to the artist fields, we end
up with a copy of ARs.

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Frederic Da Vitoria
2007-07-21 14:37:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
For classical you always need multiple artists
Why? Aren't classical releases played by "bands"? We call them
orchestras
Post by Gioele Barabucci
but they are "groups" in our terminology. Just like The Who. With a few
more people.
No, in most cases it's at least orchestra and conductor. This itself is
a problem, because you can't add all permutations of orchestras and
conductors as artists. And if you include the composer(s), you have
something which definitely isn't representable by a single field.
Right, I forgot about the conductor!
--
Frederic Da Vitoria
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Frederic Da Vitoria
2007-07-21 14:35:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Two final questions: do you think that I should move "Yo-Yo Ma Plays
Morricone" to Yo-Yo Ma?
No, it's a classical release and according to MB classical style
guidelines it should be credited to the composer.
Why is Morricone songs considered "classical"? I'm about to add
http://www.amazon.com/Montreal-Diary-Plays-Miles-Davis/dp/B000063XPG .
Enrico Rava plays Miles Davis. Should I use Davis as the artist for this
release? If not, how is Davis different from Morricone?
Miles Davis is a jazz musician. I'd say Jazz style applies. Ans since there
is no JazzStyle, the general style should be used.
Post by Gioele Barabucci
For classical you always need multiple artists
Why? Aren't classical releases played by "bands"? We call them orchestras
but they are "groups" in our terminology. Just like The Who. With a few
more people.
Operas are different, way different: they are made of impromptu "bands", an
orchestra and some singers. Opera releases need something more than the
normal treatment.
I agree for symphonies and single instrument sonatas, and many quartets. You
saw that Opera don't fit. We would have a problem with concertos, two or
three instrument sonatas, many trios, some quartets, all lieder...
Post by Gioele Barabucci
But on the other hand it's nice to have
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
releases sorted under somebody "primarily" and in MB this is the
composer.
"primarily" is the key. Let's have a switch somewhere that says "the
composer is more relevant than the player". So we can see and use Artist as
a played-by AR: the most relevant AR by default. We use Artist to record
who played the stuff on the album, and the ARs to specify additional
things. At the end we flip the switch and the release appears under both
artist: the Artist (filed under Albums) and the composer (filed under
Composed).
When I first arrived in MB, I thought like you. Now, I believe the correct
answer would be to let the end-user manipulate the switch. As I said before,
I don't think anybody is more entitled to be called artist. So let's call
the composer composer, the performer performer and so on (ARs are perfect
for this) and let the end-user decide which he will use as the ARTIST.
Personally, I am not sure I would use ARTIST at all. I believe I'd rather
ask for all works performed by Miles Davis, or all works composed by Miles
Davis, or all works where Miles Davis was either performer or composer,
or... Let's use the computers as computers, not as card files. I don't need
a computer to hold a copy of my CD collection. I managed it long before I
even thought I would one day own a computer of my own. But a music database
could help me do things with my music which would be difficult without the
machine.


IMO, the little box under the artist should shrink a lot. Many ARs deserves
Post by Gioele Barabucci
to be treated more like we treat Artist right now. Why shouldn't
Pavarotti's page have a long list of "Performed tenor on" instead of the
actual "58 relations not shown"?
You are probably right.


I think that treating "Artist" more like a simple played-by AR and a better
Post by Gioele Barabucci
display of ARs in general with a selection of what is important to a
particular artist (Bono performing as tenor once in its life is not that
important, Pavarotti releasing a solo album is not that important) is the
solution to this kind of problem and maybe others. And to multiple artists
as well.
Interesting idea. I don't see how this could be done (technically), but if
we can manage it, I guess it would be useful.
--
Frederic Da Vitoria
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Frederic Da Vitoria
2007-07-21 14:18:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
[...]
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Two final questions: do you think that I should move "Yo-Yo Ma Plays
Morricone" to Yo-Yo Ma?
No, it's a classical release and according to MB classical style
guidelines it should be credited to the composer. The tracks don't sound
very differently from the originals, except they are played on cello. I
don't think that makes Yo-Yo the composer/arranger.
As snarlydwarf wrote, there is a (not official yet) style which would use
Yo-Yo Ma as the artist.
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
Don't you think that a better system is needed for
Post by Gioele Barabucci
opera and classical releases?
Any ideas? For classical you always need multiple artists, which means -
use ARs, ignore the "artist". But on the other hand it's nice to have
releases sorted under somebody "primarily" and in MB this is the
composer.
Yep. In MB and in many stores too!
--
Frederic Da Vitoria
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Aaron Cooper
2007-07-21 02:38:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gioele Barabucci
"<yllona> this is an ongoing battle in MB..." Please, no flames, I'm just
trying to solve a little issue.
Hello,
While working on Morricone (collaboration of the mount... *hint*) I found
this album credited to Morricone: "Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone"
http://musicbrainz.org/release/1e89147e-a776-48c2-a8a8-3ea3adc727ef.html
It seems quite strange to me that Morricone is credited as "author" of this
release. This album contains tracks from various movies' soundtrack
rearranged and played by the cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Yo-Yo Ma plays; Yo-Yo Ma is the author. But this is simple syllogism clashes
with the current protocol for classical releases: the composer get credited
as the "artist". I don't understand why Mozart should be credit for
something that "Orchestra sinfonica della Rai" played. Can't it get a
simple composed-by AR? We are not in a music shop where things can be
categorized only under one thing. In a music shop I'm not interested in
things made my the Orchestra della Rai, I just care about finding Mozart's
music. But on MB, reign of the ARs, we can respect the authors and the give
a good service to the public at the same time.
Back to Yo-Yo Ma Plays Morricone. People like Morricone or Gershwin are on
the border of "current music", waiting to become "classical music". And
people is starting to treat them as "classical" authors, leading to
confusion and (fatal for the OCPD people) non uniformity in the MB DB.
Some examples to illustrate why I think we should move that album to Yo-Yo
1) Oscar Peterson' The Gershwin Songbooks
http://musicbrainz.org/release/99fe28dd-4067-4818-9925-d2c1915bcd2d.html
Peterson rearranged and played these tracks. Should we move this release to
Gershwin?
2) Alice's Alice canta Battiato
http://musicbrainz.org/release/58c23fcc-0c4c-42d9-a8c4-a7bf18447f8b.html
Alice (Italian singer) sung songs composed and made famous by her friend
Franco Battiato. Battiato composed all the songs, played and sung them.
Should we move this release to Battiato?
2a) Various Artists Battiato non Battiato
http://musicbrainz.org/release/bd6e0859-2675-4377-8ae1-c92017b97d76.html
Same points raised for 2, just with many more people involved.
Two final questions: do you think that I should move "Yo-Yo Ma Plays
Morricone" to Yo-Yo Ma? Don't you think that a better system is needed for
opera and classical releases?
Bye bye,
--
Gioele
I'd say Yo-Yo Ma. These aren't the original recordings or soundtracks
(which I would say belong to Ennio).

-Aaron
Frederic Da Vitoria
2007-07-21 14:14:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Yo-Yo Ma plays; Yo-Yo Ma is the author. But this is simple syllogism clashes
with the current protocol for classical releases: the composer get credited
as the "artist". I don't understand why Mozart should be credit for
something that "Orchestra sinfonica della Rai" played. Can't it get a
simple composed-by AR? We are not in a music shop where things can be
categorized only under one thing. In a music shop I'm not interested in
things made my the Orchestra della Rai, I just care about finding Mozart's
music. But on MB, reign of the ARs, we can respect the authors and the give
a good service to the public at the same time.
As I have often said, we should always remember that the word ARTIST is the
artificial and undesirable result of the history of MP3 file format
evolution. In the good old days, there was a single ARTIST tag of limited
size. Actually, this is still true. But this is only the consequence of the
lack of imagination of the original authors of the ID3 tag format. I don't
blame them. Maybe I would have done the same mistake if I had been in their
place.

There is no such thing as a single artist (except for rare cases like a
composer singer, a painter or a sculptor). A film is a work of art, but who
is the artist? The actors, the director, someone else? Why say that the
performer or the composer is more an artist than the other? MB is still
fighting with the single ARTIST restriction, but use any high level music
interface and you''ll see that the single artist concept disappears. We have
hugely powerful computers and we are still using them as a card file system.

As to why Mozart is credited for his works, go to any serious shop and try
to explain them they should sort classical CDs by performer rather than
composer. If you manage to make them do it then I will think of doing the
same :-) There are good reasons for this and the fact you can't hear the
reasons doesn't make them worthless. I understand that a lot of users don't
understand it and I don't blame anybody for it. I'll try to give you a quick
explanation:
1 - many classical works are so long that only one fits on a cd.
2 - lots of classical works have more than one performer. Actually many
well-known works have been recorded dozens of times.
3 - for most classical lovers, there is more similitude between two
different performances of the same work than between two different works
performed by the same performer.
--
Frederic Da Vitoria
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Gioele Barabucci
2007-07-21 23:43:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
As to why Mozart is credited for his works, go to any serious shop and try
to explain them they should sort classical CDs by performer rather than
composer. If you manage to make them do it then I will think of doing the
same :-)
I know why shops do it. They are *forced* to do it, there are physical
constraints. A release is filed under Mozart XOR is filed under Orchestra
sinfonica della RAI. A physical album cannot be in two places at the same
time; compromises must be made.

The situation is different for MB and other digital (can we say virtual?)
collections. Releases can be filed under Mozart AND under Orchestra
sinfonica della RAI AND under Carlo Romano (conductor). Just with different
relations. Carlo Romano's page will have the release under "Directed", the
Orchestra sinfonica della RAI will have it under "Performed" and Mozart
will have it under "Originally composed". The famous switch will "suggest"
picard what to put in the Artist tag: the conductor, the ensemble or the
composer. The users are free to tell picard to follow the suggestion or use
personal settings.

I think all this is possible with the current schema plus some little
modification to the server and picard. Isn't it?

--
Gioele
Frederic Da Vitoria
2007-07-22 00:02:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
As to why Mozart is credited for his works, go to any serious shop and
try
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
to explain them they should sort classical CDs by performer rather than
composer. If you manage to make them do it then I will think of doing
the
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
same :-)
I know why shops do it. They are *forced* to do it, there are physical
constraints. A release is filed under Mozart XOR is filed under Orchestra
sinfonica della RAI. A physical album cannot be in two places at the same
time; compromises must be made.
The situation is different for MB and other digital (can we say virtual?)
collections. Releases can be filed under Mozart AND under Orchestra
sinfonica della RAI AND under Carlo Romano (conductor). Just with different
relations. Carlo Romano's page will have the release under "Directed", the
Orchestra sinfonica della RAI will have it under "Performed" and Mozart
will have it under "Originally composed". The famous switch will "suggest"
picard what to put in the Artist tag: the conductor, the ensemble or the
composer. The users are free to tell picard to follow the suggestion or use
personal settings.
I think all this is possible with the current schema plus some little
modification to the server and picard. Isn't it?
I misunderstood your first post. Yes, it is possible, and I agree this would
be an improvement. This is one of the possibilities offered by NGS. In the
meanwhile, many ARs are already there and this perfect future depends on our
entering even more ARs. When MB will have grown enough in fame, I suppose
mp3 library programmers will decide it would be a good idea to use MB to
include a MB interface into their products in order to offer their customers
this new way to look at their music collection. Or maybe someone has done it
already?
--
Frederic Da Vitoria
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Aaron Cooper
2007-07-22 03:16:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lukáš Lalinský
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
As to why Mozart is credited for his works, go to any serious shop and
try
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
to explain them they should sort classical CDs by performer rather than
composer. If you manage to make them do it then I will think of doing
the
Post by Gioele Barabucci
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
same :-)
I know why shops do it. They are *forced* to do it, there are physical
constraints. A release is filed under Mozart XOR is filed under Orchestra
sinfonica della RAI. A physical album cannot be in two places at the same
time; compromises must be made.
The situation is different for MB and other digital (can we say virtual?)
collections. Releases can be filed under Mozart AND under Orchestra
sinfonica della RAI AND under Carlo Romano (conductor). Just with
different
Post by Gioele Barabucci
relations. Carlo Romano's page will have the release under "Directed", the
Orchestra sinfonica della RAI will have it under "Performed" and Mozart
will have it under "Originally composed". The famous switch will "suggest"
picard what to put in the Artist tag: the conductor, the ensemble or the
composer. The users are free to tell picard to follow the suggestion or
use
Post by Gioele Barabucci
personal settings.
I think all this is possible with the current schema plus some little
modification to the server and picard. Isn't it?
I misunderstood your first post. Yes, it is possible, and I agree this would
be an improvement. This is one of the possibilities offered by NGS. In the
meanwhile, many ARs are already there and this perfect future depends on our
entering even more ARs. When MB will have grown enough in fame, I suppose
mp3 library programmers will decide it would be a good idea to use MB to
include a MB interface into their products in order to offer their customers
this new way to look at their music collection. Or maybe someone has done it
already?
Just a couple quick points:

1. I think what Gioele is looking for is similar to Discogs system
where you can see all a person's contributions to different releases.
One day, I hope we have that too and I'm sure we will
(ArtistPageRedesign anyone?)

2. I know that iTunes is able to search the composer fields even if
they are not shown. I can see this expanding in the future to take
into account individual performances so you can search for James
Hetfield and see all his compositions, performances, guest
appearances, etc.

Anyways, back to my philosophy essay!
-Aaron

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