Add Instrumentation to Focus

It would be really functional to have Instrumentation as a Focus criteria for classical albums and compositions


Albums don’t have instrumentation data - only Compositions do have it (maybe).

Instrumental Focus would be very useful. Others have it. @BlackJack not sure this remark is true. If you look for Pianists, you could of course tag them properly. Same with violinists, Tenors, Lutenists, Guitar Players.

Have a look at Primephonic. They have a section where you can search albums by instrument. If you have an Album containing a pianist and a violinist, that Album would simply show up on both of this Intrumental search pattern.

Sorry but this is the Roon forum. I don’t look at Primephonic, I look at Roon. If you look at albums in Roon, you can see that there is no Instrumentation.

That’s their niche/core feature/reason to exist. They probably put as many resources in their service as Roon Labs has put in Roon. I doubt that Roon Labs is able to copy that much work easily. If you hope for the two to work together, see here:

Oh sure. It sometimes just helps looking outside the ivory tower.


I’m not unaware of other companies products and services.

That’s true. However, I feel that the Roon Genre is in a way traying to “mirror” some of it. When I have an album with piano concertos and symphonies, I already get a mix of “Form” and “Instrumentation” semantics on album level (Genre Concerto and Keyboard - one is a form the other is an instrumentation).
Maybe that adds to the confusion of users. I believe attributes like “Form” and “Instrumentation” should be only on composition level. Roon has those attributes in its data model already, albeit not all of them can be focused on. Never understood why. I use only Classical as Genre in my file tags and try to put the rest in Form and Period. I have too many boxsets who would have a “genre” list too long…

“Duplicating” this info as Genre is in my viewpoint a mistake. When I look at classical genres it is a mix of real Genres, Instrumentations and Periods

It is all doable inside Roon, but just takes a massive effort and is not at all suitable for someone wanting to get introduced to the Genre in some structured way or form. You can really only do it if you know all about it… Which sort of perverts the purpose.

Just an example of a little more meaningful structuring of the “Keyboard” Genre/Instrumentation

Roon relies on the metadata provided by others. They (the metadata providers) made up the mess in the first place, so to say.

But there is also a semantic difference. Genres should belong to Performances (what can I expect to hear), only Artists and Albums have them currently but how useful that is is a completely other discussion, while Instrumentation (as currently implemented in Roon) belongs to Compositions (what was that composition originally written for). Example:

Tocata and Fugue, for Organ in D Minor, BWV 565 (BC J37); Period: Baroque, Form: Toccata, Instrumentation: Solo Keyboard; Performed by Vanessa Mae and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on “The Violin Player”; Genre: Classical Crossover and not Keyboard as implied by the compositions instrumentation.

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Another perfect example for not using “keyboard” genre for my Albums :upside_down_face:. Would I use it, she would show up as Top-Performer of that organ work alongside someone whistling it on a comb.

A lot but not all can be blamed on “bad metadata”. And as Roon has been knowing about this for years, what are they doing to mitigate the problem?

Now I get a perfectly clean list with only organ related Albums and Organists:

What problem? The Composition was written for “Solo Keyboard” and the Album has the Genre Classical Crossover". It was an example to show that Genres are not the same as Instrumentation, even if sometimes equally named. One is about the Composition as such, the other about a specific performance.

I am relating to this in a more general way. There is much more at odds than just that one work

Ever looked at Arkivmusic? One of the cleanest metatata structure DB of classical related albums / works / composers etc. I’ve come across:

Its not as if there are no choices / alternatives.

“Choices / Alternatives” sadly translates to: Leave Roon, go there - or feature requests if you’re not willing to give up the hope for change.

^ Not much love for this one so far. ^

Suggested the same 3 years ago…

Another question is, as @bbrip wrote whether Valence will use Genre or Composition information to offer „Top performers“…

Now we’re heading way off-topic.

sorry, Sir :wink:

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@BlackJack it is really all about matching expectations. Roon being on an endless-bragg about how great and glorious their Classical Music Abilities are just do not match with reality.

If they would realistically describe their skillset in this area, saying, ok our software will work great for pop, rock jazz etc. and we are supporting quite a few features to help classical music lovers, but you’ll have to learn some circus pony tricks to make it all reasonably work and get something meaningful out of it. We are not planning to put any great resources into that niche. Well, then I am quite ok with that and can re-balance my expectation set.