IMSLP talk:Categorization/Project Members/archive12


nursery rhymes

Peter Dyson has set London Bridge is Broken Down for children's choir. A nursery rhyme is a known type, but will it be frequent enough to warrant a tag? The only other options are folksong (but a nursery rhyme is a bit more specific) and secular chorus (though the song itself could be set for other instrumentations as well). (Steltz)

I'd say that "folksong" is appropriate, as the text comes with its own familiar tune. It's more familiar as "London Bridge is Falling Down", but just as with any folksong there are likely to be variants — P.davydov 17:50, 3 December 2010 (UTC)


Just encountered my first book that needs this tag, Forsyth's Choral Orchestration. This is a standard type of text book, so I think we need a tag for it. I have tagged it "orchestration" in the meantime, but I can change it if there are other ideas. (Steltz)

Will have to read it; his textbook (fwiw I think highly of it, though I have little practical orchestral experience in using it) on Orchestration (1914/rev.1935) I would describe as at least in part a combination of music history and music theory (unless I misunderstand the last term) - never really sure what organology -is-, and really should have asked by now long since. (As -reading- by the way it is imho quite compelling and characterful, but that is beside the point...) Eric 09:36, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
After due consideration I've changed this to "music theory ; orch", unless anyone can think of something better... — P.davydov 12:32, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, for a book on choral orchestration, probably ch orch  :) Eric 15:55, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
One slight niggling thing -- it now says "scores" which it isn't, and then "for voices, orchestra" which it isn't. Any way to tweak this? As far as I know (will check tomorrow), it is voices only. I think Eric's comments were on another book by Forsyth, since the publication date of the one he mentions is different from the Choral Orchestration book. P.S. Organology is the science of musical instruments, but it can overlap with history, acoustics and ethnomusicology.  :-))
I'm finding downloads much slower over the last few days so I relied on Eric's comments rather than the original document. If it does only concern voices the "vv" tag would be the most appropriate; that will place it in the "Scores featuring the voice" category, but we can argue that's applicable to any extracts from scores used in the text as musical examples. — P.davydov 21:41, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I was comparing two of several books by Cecil Forsyth, one of which (Orchestration) I have, and have had about 20 years to read; and the other of which (Choral Orchestration) I downloaded from IMSLP but since I have been somewhat busy had only begun reading... now I'm confused. And since the works in Choral Orchestration, in particular the demonstration work followed throughout the book according to a synopsis I've seen, is not an a small-ensemble non-chorus (i.e. vv) a cappella work but a sizable solo-chorus-orchestral Te Deum or something on that order, it seems to me that vv ch orch is more analogous, if one would use orch for a book on standard non-vocal orchestration... Eric 09:01, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
(to emphasize my point a little -- p.32 of the PDF: "in the first place the choral parts - practically the long held B-are reduplicated by the heavy brass in two octaves only,"...- I am guessing and think I may find on reading further that much of the book is not just about how to balance solo singers against each other, but moreso about how to balance voices against an orchestra so as to make both "sound" properly and create desired effects (well, no doubt, other things too!)- hence choral orchestration, the title. That's another big reason why I'd still argue for vv ch orch Eric 15:36, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
OK, point taken. (Steltz)

basque language tag?

Is there such a thing? It's for Canteloubes Chants du Pays Basque. (Steltz)

Yes, it's a very ancient language that's distinct from Spanish. The official ISO code is "eu" (based on its native name "Euskara") — P.davydov 06:35, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Chants populaire

Is this by definition a folksong? Moullé wrote 50 of them, and Canteloube's are under folksongs because Grove classifies them that way. (Steltz)

I would say that it's usually a folksong, and should be tagged as such unless there's any indication to the contrary — P.davydov 06:36, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

3,000 barrier

Just broken for the first time! Well done everybody, we're on the home straight... — P.davydov 23:19, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

#@#)$%^_#$ vuvuzela

Didn't thnk I'd have to ask for a tag for that blasted thing, I heard enough of them during the World Cup!! And now we have a vuvuzela concerto . . . . For those of you who didn't get a chance to hear it (meaning you were outside its 50 km zone), it only plays one note - B flat - it get's played like a trumpet, with buzzing lips, and they are *(& annoying when you have to listen to them for 2 or 3 hours straight. As they said in July, "Cape Town in B flat". It definitely would have to be in the folk instrument category, but the closest I can see to it in the table is "toy", which might be a bit unfair since it's roots are in the type of folk horn used to summon people from other villages. Just in case other countries have these sorts of things, we could maybe make a "folk horn" tag for all brass types of folk instruments? (Steltz)

Surely the soothing lilt of the vuvuzuela is truly unique, and must merit its own tag?  :-) Seriously, though, we might as well allocate "vuv", as it isn't covered by anything else — P.davydov 00:04, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
OK, tagged, with reservations that come with extreme prejudice! :-)) (though we may want to consider a generic folk brass tag for later?) (Steltz)


As we're now coming across concertos for chalumeaux, there's an increasingly strong argument for giving this instrument its own tag, and not lumping it in with the clarinets. So I've added "cm" to the table (as the more obvious "ch" and "cl" are already in use). I'll take care of any works that need re-tagging — P.davydov 23:00, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks!!! - I may need to write an article now for the journal on the history of the clarinet! (Steltz)

Flute d'amore

Similarly, "fda" is now allocated for "Flute d'amore" (or "Flute damore" as our apostrophobic categorization system dictates) — P.davydov 23:09, 15 December 2010 (UTC)


re: Rognoni Diminutions on Ancor che col partire, this is a type of variation. Is it distinct enough from the Classical and Romantic variations to warrant a separate tag? As far as I know, "variations" would be fine, though my instrument wasn't around in those days, so I'm not sure I know the subject well enough to say. (Steltz)

It's definitely a distinct and often-used type of pre-classical-era variation, and at least fairly well-defined as they go. My opinion would be yes. Eric 21:36, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
It's not one of the work types recognised by the MLA, and if it's just an isolated example then I'd hesitate to create a new category, if "varistions" will serve the same purpose — P.davydov 06:35, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Does MLA list divisions or division variations (divisions on a ground- title of a famous work by Christopher Simpson, for example- being a mix of divisions and passacaglia, sometimes possibly), which is (iirc) I believe a near-synonym more commonly used in English-speaking countries? Eric 06:49, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, "divisions" is in the MLA list, and in oursP.davydov 18:14, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Also, not quite isolated - this has come up here before, see 13 Divisions (Variations) (Simpson, Christopher) Eric 06:50, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

whoops, have been sleepy and sick and should have checked. (excuses excuses.) Eric 20:04, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Is division synonymous with diminution? (Steltz)
Hrm. From the Harvard Concise- Diminutions. Also *divisions, *coloratura, *passages... (definition beg. on page 187 of edition available in excerpts in ) so I think so at least more or less Eric 05:42, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

those contraltos

... what shall we do with them again so that they don't simply throw a lot of unknown tag errors- I forget, sorry... Eric 23:03, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Sorry Eric, I didn't see your posting until just now. Contraltos should be tagged as "alt" (alto) — P.davydov 22:39, 27 December 2010 (UTC)


I think this has been covered before, but I don't remember how it was resolved and I can't find it in the archives - how would one tag a section of violins (not a whole string section, just one instrument - in indeterminate numbers)? The work I'm looking at is Nun freut euch lieben Christen gemein, GWV 1107/50 (Graupner, Christoph). Thanks and apologies, KGill talk email 01:29, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Anyone? The page has now been tagged with 'str' - is that what should generally be used in these cases? KGill talk email 22:17, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

I put str because, for things like this, it's undoubtedly true that Graupner might have liked 2, but probably on had 1. Unless we want to do the "vv" for all of these instruments (xvn?)-- Snailey (_@/) Talk to Me Email me 22:40, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Tags should normally be reserved for solo instruments, so a group of violinists playing identical parts would be treated as part of a string ensemble ("str"). In the example you gave the instrumentation is "B, violins, viola, basso continuo", which would be tagged as "bass str bc".
There are occasions where it isn't clear whether the composer meant, say, 2 violins and viola playing together as a string trio, or a larger string ensemble made up of 3 groupings. We can only do our best to judge from the context, and tag the piece accordingly — P.davydov 22:46, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Stravinsky, L'Histoire du Soldat

Grove lists as "to be read, played and danced". Not easy to categorize . . . any ideas? (Steltz)

Old Igor was determined to push the boundaries, but for our purposes I'd say that "ballets" is the most suitable tage — P.davydov 09:19, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

de Falla, La Vida Breve

Same problem, Grove lists as "lyric drama". Tag? (Steltz)

Definitely "operas" — P.davydov 09:21, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

St. George, The Bow

This is clearly organology, but because organology books get tagged for an instrument, it comes up as "Scores for . . . .". Is there any way to create a "not score" tag that would delete the "score" part so that the page would show "Writings | Organology | For strings"? (Steltz)

Unfortunately there isn't a workable way to do this because of the way in which the various bits of IMSLP fit together. I agree that it's not entirely satisfactory, but there's no simple fix for the small number of cases where this happens — P.davydov 09:31, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Weidig, Credo

On the one hand, this should be "credo" because that's the title. On the other hand, the tag definition is "part of the traditional Latin mass" and this is for string quartet, so unlikely it is meant to be played in an actual mass. "credo" or "pieces"? (Steltz)

If it’s to be played in the context of a mass, it would probably be a voluntary… but would it be as likely for “Credo” to be an arbitrary name choice of the composer? Philip Legge @ © talk 10:41, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Sometimes it might be a descriptive name, yes - Credo - "I believe", after all - some resonance with the Ordinary of the Mass unavoidable and intended almost undoubtedly (assuming the composer is not ignorant), but I might almost suggest 'symphonic poems' or 'meditations' (meditations seems best somehow on a guess but just a guess?... not sure here) ...- but 'pieces' might be best. Are any words (whether or not to be spoken) from the Mass interspersed inside the score? (I'm thinking of some Charles-Valentin Alkan scores as vague corollary here. A couple of other eccentric Romantic composers also. Erm. Anyway.) Eric 16:48, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
The principle of the tagging system is to go with the composer's description if there is one, regardless of how strange this may seem (I think we have an opera for flute somewhere!). So the correct tag in this case would be "credo ; 2vn va vc" — P.davydov 17:54, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I take it these odd exceptions might be reconsidered at some later date? The Credo is defined fairly specifically in terms of vocal religious music of a particular type and Weidig’s piece fails to meet the definition. To take another example, Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem would be tagged as "sinfonias ; requiems ; orch", but the second tag wouldn’t really be appropriate despite the connotations, content, and style of the work: it would only be rubbing shoulders with masses for the dead on the grounds of name alone, not because of the actual category of the music – for which we would have a better exemplar anyway: the generic catch-all of ‘funeral music’ of which requiems are a subset. Anyway, that’s my 2¢! Philip Legge @ © talk 23:38, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Just be careful that opera isn't an italianized plural of the latin opus (yes, that bothers me) :)-- Snailey (_@/) Talk to Me Email me 18:04, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

... er. In the most recent archive, see IMSLP talk:Categorization/Project Members/archive11#Bellairs.2C_Epic_Ode, the advice was given not to tag it as an ode. (Analogously?) I get very easily confused, I think I do. Eric 18:26, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
@Snailey — no, it wasn't 2 or more opuses (opii?)  :-)
@Eric — that was because "ode" isn't a category used by the tagging system (unlike "credo", which is). The tagging categories themselves are based on a pretty comprehensive list of musical forms defined by the Music Library Association, who are our guide as to what constitutes a "work type" — P.davydov 19:04, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
[EDIT:]] Ah... I see I was wrong about "odes", as it's been on our list from the start. Apologies!! — P.davydov 19:37, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
OK, done as a credo, though it is now coming up as a subset of masses. (Steltz)