User:Lekro/Classical music naming conventions

Note: This page is a work in progress.

After growing my collection of music over time, I have standardized the naming system that I use to sort it such that it looks cleaner, more concise, and consistent. Here is how I go about doing it.

To start, let's look at an example.

Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in E minor "From the New World", Op. 95, B. 178: IV. Allegro con fuoco

Why all the redundant information? We could simply say Symphony No. 9, but think of the people who memorize things by the nickname. They'd want the New World Symphony. And then there's those people who want opus numbers or catalogue numbers, or a key. It's all there, in one place. Unfortunately, we can't cater to those people who want to say "that classical song that sounds like fire," but that's all right for me. They'll just have to go through all the tempo markings saying "...con fuoco" ... with fire.

Of course, here, on IMSLP, the form "Symphony No. 9 (Dvorak, Antonin)" prevails, which is probably better for a page title, but when sorting rather large amounts of music, it is useful to have all the information in one place.

So let's split that monster up into several parts.

1. [Dvorak: ]

2. [Symphony]

3. [ No. 9]

4. [ in E minor]

5. [ "From the New World"]

6. [, Op. 95, B. 178]

7. [: IV. Allegro con fuoco]


Part 1: Composer name

a. In the COMPOSER field

In this case, Antonín Dvořák is the composer. We take the most commonly used name and remove all the diacritics, ending up with Antonin Dvorak.

b. In the title field

What we do here is chop off the first name(s) and take out all the diacritic markings from the last name, ending with Dvorak. This sounds completely different from Dvořák, but makes it easier to search. (if the composer is Dvořák rather than Dvorak, searching for Dvorak might not work.)

If the composer's last name alone isn't unique, add enough first / middle initials so that it is. For example, if Johann Sebastian Bach becomes Bach, that can be confused with Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, Johann Christian Bach, or any other person in the Bach family, so Johann Sebastian becomes J.S. Bach. There are no spaces between the initials if there are multiple, but one space between the initials and last name.

Part 2: Type of work

If the work is commonly known by a title different from its genre (Vocal works most often require this) then that becomes the "type." This goes into the TYPE field. For our first example, it would be Symphony.

But for a song, say, Schubert's Die Geselligkeit, D. 609, the title of the song becomes the "type" and number, key, nickname, and part are omitted.

Part 3: Number

If the work is known by its series number, then include it after a No. . If this does not apply, omit it.

Part 4: Nickname

If the work has a nickname, include that within quotes. It can also go inside the NICKNAME or SUBTITLE fields.

Part 5: Cataloguing information

If the work has opus numbers or catalogue information, add them, separated by commas and spaces. There should be a space after Op. for opus. Here is the order in which they should be presented:

Op. ##, LeastImportantNumber. ##, MostImportantNumber. ##

The opus number, if present, always goes first, and then other catalogue numbers are presented, from least important to most important. (or least preferred to most preferred. In the case of Mozart, use KV K1/K6 to show the two KV numbers. If the cataloguing system's name is an acronym (e.g. BWV for Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis) do not put a dot after the name of the catalogue.

Put the most important catalogue number in the OPUS field. This is what the computer will use to sort works by particular composers. Optionally, put all the catalogue numbers in a CATALOGUE field, each separated by a semicolon and a space.