Author Topic: Improvements for Classical Music Support  (Read 1766 times)

Steven

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I would appreciate a better handling of classical.

This means MB should be aware of the concept of a composition.
Basically this is the same as an album, a couple of tracks having the same value in a “composition” tag.
A "simple" solution would be that one can swap Album Name for “Composition” in Preference > Sorting/Grouping > Grouping

Smart sorting would be appreciated as well
Sonate No.1
Sonate No.10
Sonate No.2
Is  very inconvenient but inherent to an alphabetical sort

Sonate No.1
Sonate No.2
…..
Sonate No.9
Sonate No.10
Is what we need when sorting classical
please add any further suggestions you might have before i start looking at this

hiccup

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I would appreciate a better handling of classical.

This means MB should be aware of the concept of a composition.
Basically this is the same as an album, a couple of tracks having the same value in a “composition” tag.
A "simple" solution would be that one can swap Album Name for “Composition” in Preference > Sorting/Grouping > Grouping

Switching album against composition might work in a few cases, but in practice would present other problems. (e.g. classical albums with an album title that has a certain added relevance)

I choose the following approach, which works nicely in a mixed classical/popular library:
I decided to use the similarity between classical composer in the past who created a 'work', with modern artists/bands who create 'albums'.
So I created a custom tag named 'Work', which I fill for obvious classical 'works'. (e.g. "Das Wohltemperierte Clavier", "Dido and Aeneas", etc.)
Then I have a virtual tag called 'Album/Work', which by default displays the album name, unless the custom tag 'Work' is populated, then it will show that.

A bigger challenge lies in the fact that of course a work will usually consist of more pieces. (movement, composition, part, etc.)
That will need some serious tweaking and advanced and consistent use of tagging and displaying options. (There are surely a few existing threads on that matter to be found on the forum)

If improvements to MusicBee were to be made concerning classical music, they would probably have to be in the area of levels of, and the displaying of groupings, or perhaps some smart algorithm for content dependent displaying/grouping of tracks/albums? (perhaps such as: IF 'genre category' = classical, then..., IF 'work' contains parts, then...)

One cause for this still being a challenge, is that there never seemed to be some practical consensus between bodies who might improve this a bit by setting some standard for this. But perhaps the likes of Apple, Musicbrainz, Discogs etc. have been making some progress here? (I haven't investigated this for a while)

psychoadept

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One thing that has come up for me (not just with classical, but it's particularly relevant there) is that for FLAC, file taggers like Picard write the performers and their roles into a PERFORMER tag which is automatically imported into MusicBee's multiple artists splitter.  But for ID3 tags they go into the TMCL and/or IPLS frames, which have to be configured as custom tags.  I think Performer should use TMCL for ID3.


Another thought I had was to have a "classical" flag in the settings page of the tag editor which would have effects like:

*including "composer" in the split Artists lists (like in column browser)

*different multiple artist splitter fields: orchestra, ensemble, soloist (including the ability to specify voice/instrument, which would dovetail with TMCL tags), chorus, choirmaster, etc.  For those who like to include ALL the performers, this would cut way down on the need for custom tags.

*turning grouping (in the tag editor) into a special composition field (I've been using grouping for composition already, but there are times when that conflicts, like when a classical CD has a disc title that I want to include - it would be better to have a TXXX/Composition in my opinion)

*showing extra date fields for date of composition and/or date of performance (ID3 does have a recording dates frame)


You've already done a great job of supporting linked tracks for playback, but the ability to automatically play all pieces of a composition from the same album/artist at the same time would be even more awesome.  The ability to see WHICH tracks are linked for playback would also be super helpful (maybe showing a list of all the tracks linked in the settings pane of the tag editor)


That should keep you busy for a while, huh?  ;)
Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 07:21:24 PM by psychoadept
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vincent kars

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Thanks Steven for creating this topic.

Classical music is about composers, performers and compositions.
There are 2 issues
-   Are there tags available to store this type of information?
-   How does a media player handles this type of information?

On the internet one can fins all kind of workarounds like add composer to the performers, use Album Artist for performers and Artist for composer, etc.
As almost all tagging schema support the Composer tag and today a lot of media players do support the Composer tag including of course MusicBee
I do think this problem solved.

Composition is a problem.
There is no standard tag.
This can be solved by making a custom tag.
MusicBee allows for it.
Here we might have a problem if MusicBee has to deal with a format not supporting custom tags and/or a limited amount.
WMA by example support only 2 but who uses WMA?
Maybe there limitations in formats I don’t use and don’t know well like ALAC.
In case of streaming one is done.
As far as I know DLNA and AIRplay don’t support custom tags.

Anyway, there is a standard tag that can be used.
It is called Content
TIT1 in MP3
WM/ContentGroup in WMA
Grouping in iTunes
Etc.

It is a bit obscure but can be used to group items and that is exactly where composition is about, grouping movements together in one unit, the composition.
As it is a standard tag, this is probably best to use for composition.
As far as I know in iTunes it can be used that way.
I know one media player on Android that does the same.

What is left is how MusicBee deals with a tag containing the composition.
I do think the same as Album will do.
Album is a matter of grouping files as much as Composition is a matter of grouping files.

hiccup

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Classical music is about composers, performers and compositions.
...

Album is a matter of grouping files as much as Composition is a matter of grouping files.

You are overlooking 'movements' here, which are a subdivision of a work/composition.
For classical music that is an important factor in displaying and handling.

psychoadept

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Yes, movements and subdivisions are tricky.  For instance, I have two versions of Handel's Messiah, and several more standalone versions of the Hallelujah Chorus.

I tag the complete recordings with just the overall work/catalogue number.  Individual parts are in the track titles.  But for the standalone pieces, I need to put the specific movement in the grouping field, too.  That makes it harder to match them all together.


EDIT: By the way, Musicbrainz/Picard uses the TOAL frame for Work Title: https://picard.musicbrainz.org/docs/mappings/.  I think that's what MusicBee should use for Composition/Work field, too, rather than a TXXX field.  It's given in the ID3v2.4 specifications as "Original album/movie/show title".
Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 08:48:10 PM by psychoadept
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vincent kars

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Classical music is about composers, performers and compositions.
...

Album is a matter of grouping files as much as Composition is a matter of grouping files.

You are overlooking 'movements' here, which are a subdivision of a work/composition.
For classical music that is an important factor in displaying and handling.

I'm afraid I don't understand or have been very unclear.

An Album is a collection of tracks (songs) with the same value in the Album tag.
A Composition is a collection of tracks (movements) with the same values in the Composition tag.

As much as I like to list Albums, I like a list of compositions as well
One can expand an Album, this shows you the songs
Om can expand a Composition, this shows you the movements.
Etc.

If this was about a custom tag only, the problem was solved already.
The way a media player should handle a composition is imho exactly the same way as an Album, grouping, expanding, etc included.

As far as I could judge, suppose we populate the Album tag with compositions, we have a perfect system to handle classical
But of course we want both Album and COmpostion

More clear?




fabulario

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*different multiple artist splitter fields: orchestra, ensemble, soloist (including the ability to specify voice/instrument, which would dovetail with TMCL tags), chorus, choirmaster, etc.  For those who like to include ALL the performers, this would cut way down on the need for custom tags.

+1

I think that an option is something like the Artist Tag. It uses a multiple artist splitter, and you can specify the name and the role.
This way you could filter by roles, and not only by artist names.
I'm now using a custom tag (Musicians Credits List) with a Artist (role) pattern, and semicolons, but it is not too useful to filter by roles.
This approach is useful for other genres (for me, as a Jazz lover too, it would be an incredible improvement).

hiccup

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I'm afraid I don't understand or have been very unclear.
....
An Album is a collection of tracks (songs) with the same value in the Album tag.
A Composition is a collection of tracks (movements) with the same values in the Composition tag.
....
The way a media player should handle a composition is imho exactly the same way as an Album, grouping, expanding, etc included.
....
As far as I could judge, suppose we populate the Album tag with compositions, we have a perfect system to handle classical
But of course we want both Album and COmpostion

More clear?


This image might be a good presentation and indication of specific challenges.

Here we have a work (Dido & Aeneas)
The work contains acts
The acts contain scenes
The scenes contains tracks (what's the correct word here?)



The first challenge you can see is that it looks quite clean and organized here.
Try and get such a view in a music manager.
Then, if you would want to play one act, the player must know which tracks are contained in that act.
And, is there a terminology which could be agreed on that would be interchangeable between content providers and musical genres.
Song, track, work, composition, act, movement, etc. etc.

This thread was created to harvest specific suggestions for improving or extending handling of classical music in MusicBee, and I am aware I am only pointing out the challenges here, so I'll shut up for a while until I can think of specific and concrete suggestions. (such as Psychoadept is doing already)
Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 10:05:09 PM by hiccup

hiccup

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hiccup

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Quote
Here we have a work (Dido & Aeneas)

Nice example  :)

Yeah, but it's also indicative of the burden and abundance of this digital era:
I currently have 20 versions of Dido on my computer, and am aiming to prune to two or three.
That's one of the reasons why this topic is of interest to me.
A good handling of classical music structure is a life savor for these kinds of endeavors.

Bee-liever

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Here we have a work (Dido & Aeneas)
The work contains acts
The acts contain scenes
The scenes contains tracks (what's the correct word here?)

Is this what your trying to achieve?


I'm using the subtitle(TIT3), set-subtitle(TSST), and original filename(TOFN) tags
I also already use recording time(TDRC), but the use of release time(TDRL) requires special treatment as it's used and displayed by MB as Episode Date in podcasts
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redwing

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I'm using the subtitle(TIT3), set-subtitle(TSST), and original filename(TOFN) tags

Can you elaborate on what information you put to each of those tags?

Bee-liever

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Can you elaborate on what information you put to each of those tags?

For the set-subtitle(TSST) I use the composition/work title or the act/scene numbers according the piece:
Act 1, Scene 2
Concerto grosso in G minor, Op.6 No.8 'fatto per la notte di Natale'
Serenade No. 13 in G major K.525 "Eine kleine Nachtmusik"

For the title(TIT2), I use the the movement or scene name
And See My Queen
'Christmas Night Concerto' Mov II. Adagio - Allegro - Adagio
Mov III. Menuetto: Allegretto

Because I have split the title into pieces, I use the original filename(TOFN) tag to recombine everything for use where I want that displayed, eg; the track title in the player bar.
Solomon, HWV 67 - Act 1, Scene2: And See My Queen
Concerto grosso in G minor, Op.6 No.8 'fatto per la notte di Natale', 'Christmas Night Concerto' Mov II. Adagio - Allegro - Adagio
Serenade No.13 In G Major K.525, 'Eine Kleine Nactmusik', Mov III. Menuetto : Allegretto

subtitle(TIT3) gets used along with the recording time(TDRC) for different releases/performances
Digital Remaster
Recorded at Great Hall, Arts Centre,Christchurch, New Zealand

I also use the content grouping(TIT1) with the broader category grouping for the work so they can be used with filters or the thumbnail browser
Oratorio
Concerto; Concerto grosso
Serenade; Strings
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