ARTIST tag in classical and non-classical music

Hello Everyone,

This is not an issue… not in a technical sense. It seems rather more political.
I have read an searched, I hope I didn’t miss this one. :wink:

In the File Tag Best Practice documentation, the ARTIST tag is not referenced in the classical example.

I quote:

Album Detail Screen – Headline Metadata

The following tag values were used to achieve these results:

    ALBUM               : Mozart: The Flute Quartets
    ALBUMARTIST         : Gaede Trio
    ALBUMARTIST         : Wolfgang Schulz
    YEAR                : 2002
    IMPORTDATE          : 2009-07-21
    VERSION             : DVD Audio
    GENRE               : Classical
    GENRE               : Chamber Music
    ENSEMBLE            : Gaede Trio
    CONDUCTOR           : Some Guy In A Tag
    COMPOSER            : Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

And Roon will, of course, also import embedded artwork in your files.

Later on in the documentation there’s more:

For Classical music. we strongly recommend using the ENSEMBLE and SOLOIST , or PERSONNEL , tags instead of the ARTIST tag if at all possible. The reason for this is that ENSEMBLE and SOLOIST map to different under-the-hood performer types, whereas with ARTIST , we have to guess. ARTIST really isn’t suitable for Classical – it’s far too general.

What indeed is ARTIST? When it is not classical music, is ARTIST the “Band”? Is ALBUMARTIST not also the Band? But in classical music, ALBUMARTIST is evidently the performer (in the documentation example), and the “band” (orchestra? Quartet?) is the ENSEMBLE? Additionally, my tagging software offers me a CONDUCTOR tag, which I dutifully fill out when I can. It seems the conductor is synonymous with (one of) the values that the Roon documentation would like to see in the ALBUMARTIST field.

Further, if we leave ARTIST undefined for some types of music but not others, would this then mean that to find all Mozart music, one searches via COMPOSER, but COMPOSER is also populated for non-classical music, but there if I wanted to find music by Pink Floyd, I’d search for ARTIST? Or ALBUMARTIST? But only if that means Band.

Any ideas for a real life method that works?

Here is the file I wanted to edit, and got confused by:


We have music by Scriabin, his piano sonatas.

In my mind, the guy who is performing this is Bernd Glemser, the pianist. A straight cut case for ALBUMARTIST.

He didn’t write it, that was Scriabin, a straight cut case for COMPOSER.

And the ARTIST? Is? Delete the tag is what the Roon best practices say. Really? Probably all my non-Roon music player software would flip out.

In this case, I’d put Glemser as ARTIST too. Where it might differ is a compilation of songs with multiple sets of artists.

Hi John_V,

yeah I was leaning toward Glemser as well for a while, and then I got conflicted and sought solace in the docs, which I didn’t get. :wink:

This is how I see it.
With Popular music its usually obvious who the ALBUM ARTIIST is, you probably purchased that particular album because you like that album artist, they key thing is the Album Artist must be the same for all tracks on the release, or you wil run into all kinds of problems. The ARTIST is just an extension of album artist, usually the same but may very on a few tracks due to a featured artist, duet ectera.

With Classical Music the problem is that rather than the album being credited to a single distinct entity (be that an individual or a group) it is usually a collaboration between distinct groups/individuals, most commonly a conductor, soloist and orchestra, and the music is usually composed by someone else who probably (see long dead) had no involvement with this particular recording. The groups/individuals will be involved in different recordings with other group/individuals so the ALBUM ARTIST has to credit them individually. So this means the ALBUM ARTIST usually list multiple groups/individuals but it usually clear what this should be set to because it should reflect what is on the front cover. Regarding the composer I never add them as part of ALBUMARTIST, but I do add them as COMPOSER and usually add them to start of ALBUM TITLE as well if no explicity there.

Like Popular Music ARTIST should be similar to ALBUM ARTIST but it complicated by the fact that the order is usually not clear in the liner notes , so I always add (if they exist) in this order Performer, Orchestra, Conductor. So ARTIST becomes a sort of meta- meta field and its difficult for tools like Roon to work out who does what, and it think this is the point they are making so I also have separate fields for CONDUCTOR, ORCHESTRA, PERFOMER etc. Of course I don’t do this all manually it would be to difficult, I use my SongKong tagger tool.

In your example I would simply add Glemser as ARTIST and ALBUM ARTIST, also add him to PERFORMER, and add Sciabin as COMPOSER

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Thanks for the advice. And I’ll have a look at Song Kong (mentioned in the Tagging Tools thread).