Discussion:
[mb-style] RFC-337: Add 'solo' performer relationship attribute
(too old to reply)
Alex Mauer
2011-10-18 17:39:20 UTC
Permalink
This is RFC-337[1]. It will expire on 2011-10-25.

This proposal adds a 'solo' attribute to the performer relationship
type. I have encountered several credits which, where there are several
performers of one instrument, will specify which of them performed a
solo on a given recording.

I would like to add this attribute in order to make it possible to store
this information.

Previous discussion was on IRC[2].

1. http://wiki.musicbrainz.org/User:Hawke/Proposal/Performer_solo
2.
http://chatlogs.musicbrainz.org/musicbrainz/2011/2011-10/2011-10-17.html#T21-46-46-952896
symphonick
2011-10-23 11:49:43 UTC
Permalink
Maybe make it clear that "solo" has to be explicitly printed in the
track/whatever credits, so we don?t get solos in chamber music or when
an editor just feels like it.

/symphonick
Post by Alex Mauer
This is RFC-337[1]. It will expire on 2011-10-25.
This proposal adds a 'solo' attribute to the performer relationship
type. I have encountered several credits which, where there are several
performers of one instrument, will specify which of them performed a
solo on a given recording.
I would like to add this attribute in order to make it possible to store
this information.
Previous discussion was on IRC[2].
1. http://wiki.musicbrainz.org/User:Hawke/Proposal/Performer_solo
2.
http://chatlogs.musicbrainz.org/musicbrainz/2011/2011-10/2011-10-17.html#T21-46-46-952896
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/symphonick
Nikki
2011-10-26 01:13:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by symphonick
Maybe make it clear that "solo" has to be explicitly printed in the
track/whatever credits, so we don?t get solos in chamber music or when
an editor just feels like it.
The description of the attribute does say "and the credits clarify which
one of those performed a solo". Do you think the description isn't clear
enough? Or are you just asking for something to be included in the
guidelines section too?

Nikki
Frederic Da Vitoria
2011-10-26 11:04:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nikki
Post by symphonick
Maybe make it clear that "solo" has to be explicitly printed in the
track/whatever credits, so we don?t get solos in chamber music or when
an editor just feels like it.
The description of the attribute does say "and the credits clarify which
one of those performed a solo". Do you think the description isn't clear
enough? Or are you just asking for something to be included in the
guidelines section too?
I think I see what symphonick means: chamber music can have solo
parts, but the players are not described as soloists. These are solos
(those parts are described as such in texts describing the music), and
they are performed by their proper performers, but we would not want
users to tag them as solos. So symphonick suggests that the word
"solo" (or it's translation in the release language, I guess) should
be actually printed in relation to the name of the performer in the
track list or on the cover. The liner would not qualify IMO.
--
Frederic Da Vitoria
(davitof)

Membre de l'April - ? promouvoir et d?fendre le logiciel libre ? -
http://www.april.org
Alex Mauer
2011-11-01 21:15:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
Post by Nikki
Post by symphonick
Maybe make it clear that "solo" has to be explicitly printed in the
track/whatever credits, so we don?t get solos in chamber music or when
an editor just feels like it.
The description of the attribute does say "and the credits clarify which
one of those performed a solo". Do you think the description isn't clear
enough? Or are you just asking for something to be included in the
guidelines section too?
I think I see what symphonick means: chamber music can have solo
parts, but the players are not described as soloists. These are solos
(those parts are described as such in texts describing the music), and
they are performed by their proper performers, but we would not want
users to tag them as solos. So symphonick suggests that the word
"solo" (or it's translation in the release language, I guess) should
be actually printed in relation to the name of the performer in the
track list or on the cover. The liner would not qualify IMO.
I agree that this is basically covered by the ?the credits clarify??,
isn?t it? I think I see the point that if there is only one of a given
instrument it?s going to be a solo, and will play any solo of that
instrument. Anyone have any ideas for how to word this to be more clear,
without excluding the only case where it?s likely to show up (i.e. liner
notes and reproductions thereof)

The sort of thing I?m seeing has stuff like:
Artist A, Artist B - guitars
Artist C - guitar solo
Artist D - clarinet

(etc.)

I would think the any source of reasonably accurate credit information
would qualify, including liner notes. Note that I?m working with, and
more familiar with, pop music rather than chamber music or classical in
general.

?Alex Mauer ?hawke?
Frederic Da Vitoria
2011-11-01 21:24:05 UTC
Permalink
2011/11/1 Alex Mauer <hawke at hawkesnest.net>
Post by Alex Mauer
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
Post by Nikki
Post by symphonick
Maybe make it clear that "solo" has to be explicitly printed in the
track/whatever credits, so we don?t get solos in chamber music or when
an editor just feels like it.
The description of the attribute does say "and the credits clarify which
one of those performed a solo". Do you think the description isn't clear
enough? Or are you just asking for something to be included in the
guidelines section too?
I think I see what symphonick means: chamber music can have solo
parts, but the players are not described as soloists. These are solos
(those parts are described as such in texts describing the music), and
they are performed by their proper performers, but we would not want
users to tag them as solos. So symphonick suggests that the word
"solo" (or it's translation in the release language, I guess) should
be actually printed in relation to the name of the performer in the
track list or on the cover. The liner would not qualify IMO.
I agree that this is basically covered by the ?the credits clarify??,
isn?t it? I think I see the point that if there is only one of a given
instrument it?s going to be a solo, and will play any solo of that
instrument. Anyone have any ideas for how to word this to be more clear,
without excluding the only case where it?s likely to show up (i.e. liner
notes and reproductions thereof)
I think it is a little more complicated than this: in a string quartet,
there are 2 violins, but I wouldn't call any of them "solo".
Post by Alex Mauer
Artist A, Artist B - guitars
Artist C - guitar solo
Artist D - clarinet
(etc.)
I would think the any source of reasonably accurate credit information
would qualify, including liner notes. Note that I?m working with, and
more familiar with, pop music rather than chamber music or classical in
general.
I think symphonick's formulation is the best until now: the word "solo"
should be clearly associated to the performer in the track list or the
credits. Simple, efficient and I can see no interpretation issues.

Once again, I believe that the appearance of the word "solo" in the liner
alone should not qualify, as in classical music the liners could easily
mention for example a "violin solo" for an excerpt of a movement without
meaning that the instrument is globally a solo instrument. Hmm, I'm not
sure I am quite clear here.
--
Frederic Da Vitoria
(davitof)

Membre de l'April - ? promouvoir et d?fendre le logiciel libre ? -
http://www.april.org
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Jim DeLaHunt
2011-11-01 23:16:11 UTC
Permalink
This is RFC-337[1]...
This proposal adds a 'solo' attribute to the performer relationship
type. I have encountered several credits which, where there are several
performers of one instrument, will specify which of them performed a
solo on a given recording....
1. http://wiki.musicbrainz.org/User:Hawke/Proposal/Performer_solo
The first question I always ask myself with an RFC is, "why?" What is your
goal? What benefit do you want to bring to MusicBrainz with this change? I
don't see that rationale in your proposed page, but I do see it in your
introduction above.

It sounds like you want to be able to say in MusicBrainz that a "credit...
specif[ies] which [performer] performed a solo on a given recording". Thus,
you aren't trying to say what a performer did, you are trying to say what
the credits say. That's a different thing.

Your proposed attribute definition is is, 'Solo': "This indicates that an
artist performed a solo". This talks about what the performer did. Only
later to you back into what the credits say: "(usually this happens when
there are multiple performers of a single instrument or vocal part, and the
credits clarify which one of those performed a solo)". You only half-answer
the implicit question, "so what is a 'solo' anyhow?" As the discussion
shows, different people have different understandings about what constitues
a 'solo'.

How about focussing on the credits. Something like:

'Solo': "This indicates that the credits single out this artists'
performance on this recording as a 'solo', in whatever wording is
conventional for that kind of Release."

Does that help?

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Alex Mauer
2011-11-02 15:15:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim DeLaHunt
'Solo': "This indicates that the credits single out this artists'
performance on this recording as a 'solo', in whatever wording is
conventional for that kind of Release."
Does that help?
It does, but I?d rather not exclude the situation where the credits
themselves don?t specify but other research does determine the correct
artist who performed a solo.

?Alex Mauer ?hawke?
Frederic Da Vitoria
2011-11-02 15:48:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Mauer
Post by Jim DeLaHunt
'Solo': "This indicates that the credits single out this artists'
performance on this recording as a 'solo', in whatever wording is
conventional for that kind of Release."
Does that help?
It does, but I?d rather not exclude the situation where the credits
themselves don?t specify but other research does determine the correct
artist who performed a solo.
Not excluding this would allow users to enter the "wrong" solos which
symphonick showed, wouldn't it?
--
Frederic Da Vitoria
(davitof)

Membre de l'April - ? promouvoir et d?fendre le logiciel libre ? -
http://www.april.org
Alex Mauer
2011-11-09 21:12:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
Post by Alex Mauer
It does, but I?d rather not exclude the situation where the credits
themselves don?t specify but other research does determine the correct
artist who performed a solo.
Not excluding this would allow users to enter the "wrong" solos which
symphonick showed, wouldn't it?
Nothing prevents people from entering wrong credits, except the voters.
They will have to do their jobs, as they do for every other edit made.

?Alex Mauer ?hawke?
Jim DeLaHunt
2011-11-12 09:34:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Mauer
...
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
Not excluding this would allow users to enter the "wrong" solos which
symphonick showed, wouldn't it?
Nothing prevents people from entering wrong credits, except the voters.
They will have to do their jobs, as they do for every other edit made.
It's not just the voters that prevent people from entering wrong credits.
Well-written Style guidelines probably have an even bigger influence than
votes, because they improve the edits which get made but never get
auto-accepted after no-one gets to them in the voting queue.

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Jim DeLaHunt
2011-11-02 17:38:23 UTC
Permalink
... I?d rather not exclude the situation where the credits themselves
don?t specify but other research does determine the correct artist who
performed a solo.
When and how would you expect this sort of situation to come up?

One scenario I can imagine is: a 1950 LP release of a smokin' hot 1949 Duke
Ellington Live concert. Exquisitely edited, detailed cover notes say
"Saxophone - Jim DeLaHunt (solo)". Fast forward to 2011: budget label
issues a digital remaster of this LP, but with cheap and shabby CD label
that just says, "Saxophone - DeLaHunt".

In that case, someone who entered a Relationship based on the cheap and
shabby CD label wouldn't include "solo", but someone who later found the
1950 LP release would have grounds to add the attribute "solo".

I think this is a great opportunity for the editor to appeal to the Style
Principles (http://wiki.musicbrainz.org/Style/Principle). Artist Intent and
Most Common Version override Style Guidelines.

If no Release ever give a performance a "solo" credit, then how can you be
sure that the "solo" attribute is "Artist Intent" and not "editor trying to
rewrite history"?

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Alex Mauer
2011-11-09 21:35:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim DeLaHunt
... I?d rather not exclude the situation where the credits themselves
don?t specify but other research does determine the correct artist who
performed a solo.
When and how would you expect this sort of situation to come up?
If no Release ever give a performance a "solo" credit, then how can you be
sure that the "solo" attribute is "Artist Intent" and not "editor trying to
rewrite history"?
Well, any editor should provide evidence of course, and voters who are
doubtful should be requesting it.

It?s not a question of artist intent, but one of fact. If someone
performed a guitar solo in a musical piece, they did, period. The fact
may be in question (i.e. who exactly did in fact perform the solo) and
maybe some cases may need to credit [unknown] with the performance. But
it?s still simple fact.

for example:
http://books.google.com/books?id=MyfObhq6b-oC&lpg=PA1&ots=QFi-M1hHk9&dq=django%20reinhardt%20contextual%20bio-discography&pg=PR10#v=onepage&q=solo&f=false

The song in question does clearly have a solo part, and it appears to be
known which of the three guitarists performed it.

You can see the original release here:
Loading Image...

It includes no performance information at all. But if the information is
known, it doesn?t matter.

?Alex Mauer ?hawke?
Frederic Da Vitoria
2011-11-10 09:23:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Mauer
Post by Jim DeLaHunt
... I?d rather not exclude the situation where the credits themselves
don?t specify but other research does determine the correct artist who
performed a solo.
When and how would you expect this sort of situation to come up?
If no Release ever give a performance a "solo" credit, then how can you be
sure that the "solo" attribute is "Artist Intent" and not "editor trying to
rewrite history"?
Well, any editor should provide evidence of course, and voters who are
doubtful should be requesting it.
It?s not a question of artist intent, but one of fact. If someone
performed a guitar solo in a musical piece, they did, period. The fact
may be in question (i.e. who exactly did in fact perform the solo) and
maybe some cases may need to credit [unknown] with the performance. But
it?s still simple fact.
http://books.google.com/books?id=MyfObhq6b-oC&lpg=PA1&ots=QFi-M1hHk9&dq=django%20reinhardt%20contextual%20bio-discography&pg=PR10#v=onepage&q=solo&f=false
The song in question does clearly have a solo part, and it appears to be
known which of the three guitarists performed it.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h55z5237x0s/TYZ9WWgFsfI/AAAAAAAAGjI/ncQViBQRDjY/s320/ultraphone.jpg
It includes no performance information at all. But if the information is
known, it doesn?t matter.
In classical orchestral music, there are many factual solos most (but
not all) of which would never be credited as such by anybody I know.
Operas are full of arias where sometimes the singer sings a capella,
but I wouldn't AR the singer as solo. In jazz trios or quartets, each
instrument performs very often solos but I never saw them credited as
such. Any lied has parts where the piano plays alone, but I never saw
mentioned "piano solo". In rock I can think of quite a few drums solos
but I wouldn't AR them as such. And so on.

Now that I think of it, I believe classical music has a definition for
solo which is slightly different from other kinds of music: in other
kinds of music, a solo is a part of a piece of music where an
instrument performs alone. In classical music, the piano in a piano
concerto is considered as a solo instrument, although he could very
well never play completely alone. In classical music solo means
prominent.

I agree with you that there are factual solos, but I fear that
entering them as such would mean adding a huge quantity of ARs, so
that the AR would become almost meaningless. And when I think of it,
why only record solos. There are factual duos too, and trios and so
on. Why should we record only factual solos?
--
Frederic Da Vitoria
(davitof)

Membre de l'April - ? promouvoir et d?fendre le logiciel libre ? -
http://www.april.org
Alex Mauer
2011-11-10 17:33:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
Any lied has parts where the piano plays alone, but I never saw
mentioned "piano solo". In rock I can think of quite a few drums solos
but I wouldn't AR them as such. And so on.
Right, that?s not what this is for. This is for where ?there are
multiple performers of a single instrument? as the proposal puts it.
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
Now that I think of it, I believe classical music has a definition for
solo which is slightly different from other kinds of music: In classical music solo means
prominent.
Yep, that?s exactly the case as well in the example I linked in my
previous message as well. That?s jazz, so maybe we?re not so far apart
in our intended usage. You can perhaps hear the song in question here:

Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
I agree with you that there are factual solos, but I fear that
entering them as such would mean adding a huge quantity of ARs, so
that the AR would become almost meaningless. And when I think of it,
why only record solos. There are factual duos too, and trios and so
on. Why should we record only factual solos?
It should never mean adding any additional ARs, only adding an attribute
to an AR that would be present anyway. If you wouldn?t add a performer
AR, you shouldn?t be adding a solo performer AR either.

?Alex Mauer ?hawke?
Frederic Da Vitoria
2011-11-11 11:37:43 UTC
Permalink
2011/11/10 Alex Mauer <hawke at hawkesnest.net>
Post by Alex Mauer
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
I agree with you that there are factual solos, but I fear that
entering them as such would mean adding a huge quantity of ARs, so
that the AR would become almost meaningless. And when I think of it,
why only record solos. There are factual duos too, and trios and so
on. Why should we record only factual solos?
It should never mean adding any additional ARs, only adding an attribute
to an AR that would be present anyway. If you wouldn?t add a performer
AR, you shouldn?t be adding a solo performer AR either.
Yes, just after pressing the "Send" button, I realized I had written
something wrong here :-P Since it is only an attribute, the problem is
probably less acute, it is only the meaning of the solo attribute which is
"endangered".

So your proposition would be that
- the word "solo" appears in the track list or the cover, or
- the artist factually performed a solo and there is more than one
instrument of this type
... which would exclude for example the drums or the bass in a jazz trio

Am I correct?
--
Frederic Da Vitoria
(davitof)

Membre de l'April - ? promouvoir et d?fendre le logiciel libre ? -
http://www.april.org
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Alex Mauer
2011-11-11 17:38:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frederic Da Vitoria
Yes, just after pressing the "Send" button, I realized I had written
something wrong here :-P Since it is only an attribute, the problem is
probably less acute, it is only the meaning of the solo attribute which
is "endangered".
So your proposition would be that
- the word "solo" appears in the track list or the cover, or
- the artist factually performed a solo and there is more than one
instrument of this type
... which would exclude for example the drums or the bass in a jazz trio
Am I correct?
Yes, that sound right to me. You?ve put it better than I did in the
proposal page, certainly! I?ve updated the wording, hopefully it?s
better now. Further suggestions or changes are welcome.

?Alex Mauer ?hawke?
Jim DeLaHunt
2011-11-12 09:44:10 UTC
Permalink
...
Post by Jim DeLaHunt
If no Release ever give a performance a "solo" credit, then how can you be
sure that the "solo" attribute is "Artist Intent" and not "editor trying to
rewrite history"?
...It?s not a question of artist intent, but one of fact. If someone
performed a guitar solo in a musical piece, they did, period. ...
What is the definition of a "solo"? How can determine (without looking at
credits) whether a performance counts as a "solo" or not?

On this question, your proposal says only, "an artist performed a solo
part", and doesn't define what "solo" means.

I thought you were moving to a definition of "an artists performed a solo
part if there was a moment in the recording when they were the only one
making a sound", but from later posts I'm thinking you are closer to
Frederic Da Vitoria's definition, "solo means prominent".

I'm not ready to +1 your proposal until it's clear enough for editors to
agree whether a performance counts as a solo, in the case where there is no
"solo" credit.

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Alex Mauer
2011-11-17 16:41:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim DeLaHunt
What is the definition of a "solo"? How can determine (without looking at
credits) whether a performance counts as a "solo" or not?
On this question, your proposal says only, "an artist performed a solo
part", and doesn't define what "solo" means.
I thought you were moving to a definition of "an artists performed a solo
part if there was a moment in the recording when they were the only one
making a sound", but from later posts I'm thinking you are closer to
Frederic Da Vitoria's definition, "solo means prominent".
I'm not ready to +1 your proposal until it's clear enough for editors to
agree whether a performance counts as a solo, in the case where there is no
"solo" credit.
I?m inclined to leave this undefined, i.e. up to the judgement of the
editors/voters interested in the recordings in question, to determine
whether any possible source citation is trustworthy, whether the solo
attribute works for that genre, and whether that particular instance
qualifies as a solo itself.

If there are disagreements, they could certainly brought to the list
once we have a better idea how people tend to use this attribute.

What do you think of that idea?
Jim DeLaHunt
2011-11-19 03:16:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Mauer
Post by Jim DeLaHunt
What is the definition of a "solo"? How can determine (without looking at
credits) whether a performance counts as a "solo" or not?
...
Post by Jim DeLaHunt
I'm not ready to +1 your proposal until it's clear enough for editors to
agree whether a performance counts as a solo, in the case where there is no
"solo" credit.
I?m inclined to leave this undefined, i.e. up to the judgement of the
editors/voters interested in the recordings in question, to determine
...whether the solo attribute works for that genre, and whether that
particular instance
qualifies as a solo itself.
If there are disagreements, they could certainly brought to the list
once we have a better idea how people tend to use this attribute.
What do you think of that idea?
I'm sorry, but I think it would be a mistake to a make a proposal that adds
an attribute but fails to define how editors should use that attribute. (To
be specific: saying the "solo" attribute applies if there is a "solo"
citation is clear enough, but saying that the attribute applies if "an
artist performed a solo part", without definition, is not acceptable.)

I agree it's hard to write such a definition. If you, the proposer, finds
"solo" hard to define, then it will be much worse for everyone else using
the database. What is the chance that two editors will agree on whether a
specific performance counts as a solo? What is the chance that a database
user tomorrow will understand what a contributor today means by solo?

If a definition is hard, improve the proposal or withdraw it. Don't throw
the problem into the laps of future editors.

That, at least, is my opinion.

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