Beltane asked me last night what the accepted format for node titles regarding classical music is, and if there is one, well, no one’s told me yet.

Assuming there isn’t, then I really think we should come up with one now. Think about all the shit we had to go through to get people to stop namespacing their song lyrics, and how the gods are still doing title edits on namespaced lyrics. If we don’t do something about it now, then we’ll still be fixing nodes in two years.

The current system for noding lyrics works great for rock songs. But consider this before you suggest the same for classical music. Take Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Without a consistently enforced standard, imagine all the possible combinations.

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Beethoven’s Symphony # 9
Beethoven’s Symphony number 9
Beethoven’s Symphony 9
Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9
Symphony no. 9 by Beethoven
Symphony no. 9 – Beethoven
Beethoven: Symphony no. 9
Beethoven – Symphony # 9
Ninth Symphony – Beethoven
Symphony no. 9 by Beethoven

….and so on and so on. Imagine if people noded without checking existing writeups and all of those combinations were the titles of separate nodes.

And also, think about this. If we just use "Ninth Symphony" or whatever, then what about Schubert’s Ninth, another famous classical work. Or Bruckner’s? Or Haydn’s, or Mozart’s or….

My suggestion is –gasp- namespacing, like so: Beethoven: Symphony 9. What does everyone else think?
Beltane also asked me my opinion on this matter.

I went through much the same reasoning as Gamaliel did, my first thought being not to namespace.

But my second thought went more to the perspective of those users who want to search the database and how they would enter it. Without knowing exactly what is already here, how could they look up what is here? Roundabout, I know, but, I think practical.

A general user would, I think, start at a composer, and then proceed to a specific piece. I guess I am advocating namespacing, but the thought I had was to start from some kind of metanode, an index, sort of, of, say Beethoven, and then proceed to a specific work.

I suppose this implies some sort of custodian, but then we have those who already do that sort of work with the metanodes they maintain on topics of interest to them. In the same way that a general user would go to a composer node to start, why couldn't a prospective noder?

If there is to be a consistently enforced standard, why not look to this slightly different perspective?

Anyway, that's what occurs to me. Hope it helps.

As a composer, I think the best way to do this is to include the composer's name in the title of the node. If we do away with the idea of adding publisher's catalog numbers to the node titles, it would make it so that if a young music student came here looking for Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K 550, in the search reults he would get Mozart: Symphony No. 40.

Thinking forward, I think it would be wise to include the standardized "No." before the pieces actual chronological assignment, as this is so commonly used.

Including the composer's name in the title will make the actual nodes far less confusing and more efficient, I think. If I were to search for Symphony No. 5 and got a node featuring every fifth symphony by every major composer in history when I was really looking for, say, David Maslanka's, it would be very bewildering and perhaps even overwhelming.

Also, there are many kinds of pieces that most major composers wrote that don't have convenient number titles, like a Mass. Most major composers in the first three classified periods of music wrote at least one, and the returned search results for this would again be gargantuan.

In conclusion, I believe the best system would be a slight permutation of Gamaliel's suggestion:

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

A further suggestion would be to ask if everything's code can be altered to interpret "#" as "No. " within a search string as the pound sign is sometimes used in place of "No. ", although far less frequently.

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