Genres: why is there so little sub-genres in "classical"?

(still in my first month with Roon)
I find it difficult to organize and browse through my classical music library. I have ripped a couple of hundred CDs from my collection meanwhile into my Nucleus. Apart from some spelling errors and other mistakes in album titles, performers, composers, titles, and adding artwork where there was none (all of this I was able to edit myself), I struggle with genres.
Looking at many centuries of classical music, the sub-genres offered as template is ridiculously superficial, compared to other genres like e.g. Blues or Pop/Rock, where there is tons of sub- and sub-sub-categories.
In classical music, it would be most logical to offer historic sub-genres, like renaissance, Baroque, Rokoko, Viennese Classicism, etc., so we can browse through the centuries.
Or: in “vocal music”, I would like to distinguish also opera, oratorio, Lieder etc.pp.
And: in “concerto”, I want to see sub-genres like piano concerto, violin concerto, flute concerto etc.
There is no way to currently browse for, let´s say, baroque operas, or romantic piano concertos.

I have check a lot of discussions in the community about genres, but have not found an answer how to best deal with my question. Any hint is much appreciated. Thank you!

BTW, another question: are the many edits I meanwhile did with all those mis-spellings only made for my own library, or does Roon store such corrections into the central database, so the community is taking advantage of it?

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A couple of pointers…

  • Since you have a local library (not just using a streaming service), you can tell Roon to incorporate your own genres, and make your own genre hierarchy
  • Take a look at the Composition Browser - that allows for filtering on attributes such as Period, Form and Instrumentation as well as the Composer…
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Thank you Geoff, for taking the time!
I was aware already of those help center topics that you mention.
But browsing my own library through compositions is not what I meant. Yes, this works of course, but I get the result displayed on a really vast titel track list, not on the album level (e.g. an opera with 50 tracks appears 50 times on the list). I want to add genres when editing the albums in my library. I have been doing this when importing all my Jazz CDs, here I get plenty of options available as templates from Roon, but in classical there is very little options. Can I add and expand the available genres setting, and how to do that?
And, for my curiosity, asking again: do all the many typos and errors in metadata that I have detected and meanwhile corrected (by editing the albums) go to the Roon central database or have I done this only for my own library?

Yes, this would be great.
Either by era: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern etc.
By type such as Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto, Piano Solo, Opera, Symphony, etc.
I am not an expert at classical music, but definitely differentiating this sub genres would make me a more informed listener.

Yes, I agree it could be done manually but to do that one needs to understand those aspects mentioned above. Plus it was like saying to somebody who already purchased an automatic dishwasher that you could wash all the dishes by hands :relaxed:.

Not knowing what and how to do it better, I just put “Classical” on the genre when ai manicured my albums. And here I hope Roon could do something more advanced in this aspect.


You can, but there are some limitations to be aware of.

In the Album editor, you can create and/or add the genre you want to assign to your album(s). This can be done for both your local albums, and albums added to your library from a streaming service.

If you create a new genre in Roon, then while you can use it and apply it to subsequent albums, it will be a top-level genre, and cannot be a sub-genre. So it will appear as such on the top-level Genres page.

If you want to create a genre that will be a sub-genre, then this can only be created using a local album, not an album from a streaming service that is in your library.

You must insert the new genre as metadata into the tracks in your album. Once this has been done, you can use the genre mappings editor (Settings > Library > Genre mappings > View) to place the genre into the desired position in your genre hierarchy.

Once created this way, the genre can be used on both local albums and albums from a streaming service in your library. For example, Roon currently has the genre hierarchy of Classical > Opera. I created the genre Operetta as a genre metadata tag for a local album, and then used the mapping editor to create the genre hierarchy Classical > Opera > Operetta. Then I could use the tag and the hierarchy for all my operetta albums in my library.

I believe that Roon’s genres are driven by the classification schema used by For the Classical genre, there is only one level of sub-genres, and this is very limited:

Roon 1985

That’s why I have extended it for myself, and no, all my own edits and corrections do not get fed back to the central Roon database in the cloud - they are unique to my library.

If you submit edits and corrections to then these will eventually make their way into Roon’s central database, but frankly, I find using the submission process to be rather tortuous and it has put me off using it.

When I look at what Roon Labs has done with artist and album images using Valence for crowd-sourcing the images, then it’s possible that something similar might be done for other metadata. However, that’s just speculation on my part.

BTW, the Compositions browser’s focus attributes (Instrumentation, Form and Period) are also used in the Composer pages, and these can be helpful in filtering what you are looking for, rather than overloading Genres with these attributes.


Thanks again, Geoff!
I will try and follow your advice. Not sure yet HOW to “insert new genres as metadata into the tracks of my albums”. I am using an external CD drive directly attached to my Nucleus and let Roon do the ripping. Then I edit the ripped CD within my library. I have not found a way to insert new genres on that level. Do I need a different software here, if yes, is there a recommendation?

In general, if someone from Roon is following this thread: After one month with Roon, I have to say I am a bit disappointed to see the limited options offered for managing 1000 years of classical music, and the amount of work-arounds needed, especially in contrast with popular or Jazz music. In further developing the Roon platform, is there a chance for classical aficionados to be treated on the same level of attention? Also, the amount of typographic errors in (especially: classical) music metadata is simply too much. I would be happy to let others participate from all corrections done in my own library. If there are plans to create a “wikipedia”-like team amongst the users, I would sign up.
Thank you!

Ah, then indeed you need a third-party metadata editor. Roon purposely does not alter local files at all, all metadata is held in the Roon database, never written into the files. The only exception to this rule is if you Export the files for use in another player, when basic metadata will be written into the exported files.

The Nucleus is a music “appliance”, not a general-purpose computer, so you can’t add a third-party metadata editor to it. For that, you will need a PC or a Mac to run the editor software. The editors can access your local files stored on the Nucleus and insert metadata tags into the files.

People here use a variety of editors, Mp3tag, dBpoweramp (both a CD-ripper and tag editor), or SongKong to name but three.

I use dBpoweramp for both CD-ripping (on my PC) and metadata editing, and it is excellent. The developer of SongKong is active on this forum, and understands what Roon needs.

I’m afraid Classical metadata is often of questionable quality - it’s very often a case of GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Roon Labs do the best they can to clean up what they are given by their metadata suppliers, but poor quality is the reason for this forum category: Metadata Issues, where we can report errors to them, and they will try and get them corrected with their suppliers.


Lovely, thanks!

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