Incorrect composers displayed

next example. Album just added to Roon

One Mozart Concerto composed by Beethoven, the other by Mitsuko Uchida…

Contradicts my file tags as well as what AllMusic is telling me:

Again the same two questions to @support

  1. What is happening here?
  2. Why do I get “Prefer Roon” for Multi-Composition-Grouping on a newly added album when I have set my general library references to “Prefer File”. I see that on a regular basis for identified albums. If this is standard behaviour then what are the general settings for?

I’ve just looked up this album in Qobuz (via Roon), and I think the culprit is that Uchida & Beethoven are both credited as arrangers. Who has done that, and why Roon should then give prominence to the arranger over the composer, I have no idea…

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Hi Geoff,

thanks for the hint. When removing these two credits, the composer entry is left blank.

Which is still a little bit puzzling, because on AllMusic the work is correctly credited to Mozart. Somehow this does not come over.

And the interaction between album display and my library preference settings is still a mystery to me.

I get this confusion a lot, especially with Mozart piano concertos. But it is a general problem.

Mozart actually improvised a lot of the stuff he wrote for himself. The No. 20 has a Beethoven credit for one of the cadenzas:,K.466(Mozart,_Wolfgang_Amadeus)

I’m not an expert but my guess is that Uchida gets a credit also for one or more of the No. 21 cadenzas.

So, I find it is not uncommon for there to be two Composer credits but this is unusual where the primary Composer is missing. Personally I think the way this is handled in general is a complete mess. Roon will roll up Arrangers, Orchestrators, Cadenzas etc. as a “Composer” display which is obviously going to lead to a lot of confusion. It is a similar problem with Opera and Vocal Music where the Chorus Director is rolled up into the “Conductor” display.

I think on the main album display these roles should be split out somehow to avoid this sort of confusion.

Hi Tony,

the problem in this case is that there are no two composer credits for Mozart and Uchida (as the arranger) but only one forBeethoven and Uchida respectively. There is no composer credit for me:

Geoff does have the composer credit showing for this album… I have no idea why I don’t.

I don’t know either.

It’s just an observation really that what you see I also see. The pattern I see is where there are multiple composer credits (composer, arranger, orchestrator, cadenza, etc.), I often see the main composer missing all together. I have just been silently correcting these sorts of errors locally as I have given up trying to report them.

I am new to Qobuz and I am seeing something else. Large numbers of compositions have no composer credits at all. I am really surprised as Qobuz promotes itself as “the” classical steaming service. This seems very odd. I wonder if there is an integration issue with roon? It is really quite consistently bad.

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I did not experience (or notice…) this so far. I have more often the situation that I see both (arranger and composer).

I’d like to understand a little bit more specifically how this causes problems.

We group credit roles into a handful of categories, and hinge a bunch of product functionality on those category definitions. The categories are:

  • Composer
  • Ensemble
  • Main Performer
  • Other Performer
  • Production
  • Conductor
  • Other (stuff like “cover art”, “photographer”, etc–this category comes with strong de-emphasis in the product)

Maybe it’s because I spend a lot of time listening to Jazz, but I find it essential to include arrangers/orchestrators alongside composers–without this, it’s not possible to go to a seminal arranger’s composer page and find their arrangements. In many cases, the arranger did significantly work (or more important work) compared with the original composer, particularly in cases where a low-value song from a musical was elevated into a standard by a good arrangement.

At the same time, I don’t see arrangers/orchestrators as being important enough to the product as a whole to justify a whole separate screen (and category) for them. Like the composer and lyricist, they are the contributors to the music that was written on the page before the performance, and this is how we define the category, more or less. So it feels very right to have them where they are.

I completely agree that cadenza improvisers are not composers. If there is a way for us to pick these cases apart in the data and re-classify them, we should try to. Do you typically see these showing up with literal “Composer” roles, or are they consistently labeled as something else, and then grouped (by Roon) into the “Composed By…” section?

On the conductor side–do people with Chorus Director credits actually hold a baton during the performance? I think that was our assumption when putting it in that category. If they are more likely to be sitting in the audience, we should re-classify that as a production role.

If Roon is going to group the arranger in with the composer, would it not be better to list the composer before the arranger? In this Uchida / Tate example, the (cadenza) arranger is listed ahead of the composer:

It just feels a little odd at the moment…

Sure, that might be possible. Keep in mind–what I’m doing here is trying to understand the issue. I think (at least for some people) that there is more than a display ordering problem here. I’d rather not decide what to do about it until I’m sure that I have a handle on the whole thing.

This is not a one to one correspondence with the roon “credit role” model but I find that most of the problems I have with Classical music role handling are with the following general categories of role.

  • Composer
  • Vocal Ensemble
  • Vocal Ensemble Conductor


So, if we take “Composer”, for example, then orchestrator, arranger, lyricist, writer are all considered in the roon model as composer roles. But orchestration and transcription are production roles and cadenza is a performer role.

This leads to all sorts of side effects as composer, production and performer roles are all treated differently. So, for example. Richard Wagner will be duplicated on the composer line when both a composer and lyricst credit has come through in meta-data. This is technically correct in terms of data modelling, but it just looks really odd and it creates a Hobson’s choice to remove the lyricist credit if the aesthetics of roon is important to you. As an aside, I rather suspect that many with a strong aural aesthetic have an equally strong visual aesthetic and these things can become surprisingly important and is at the root of recent push back on the UI.

Another side effect. My experience is that it is very common for the label/meta data supplier to assign an orchestration, transcription or cadenza role to “arranger”. But I know by trial and error if I make that correction then roon will not display the role on the composer line. So the best of a bad job is that I leave it as is. Worse, I will often change a cadenza role if it has come through in meta-data to “arranger” so it appears on the composer line. Sometimes there will be a tag-line on the album art along the lines of “cadenza by . . .” so the information is not completely lost (unless of course the album cover has been over-written by a “better” one).

What would be nice if there was an option on the composer line if you like the detail (I know many do not) which broke out the composer roles on the same line, aka:

Composer: Richard Wagner; Lyricist: Richard Wagner; Arranger: Felix the Cat; Transcription: Fido the Dog

Vocal Ensemble

There are almost identical issues with “Vocal Ensembles”. Choir and chorus is a performer, but vocal ensemble is an ensemble. They are not categorised very consistently in meta-data but only an ensemble will be displayed on the orchestra line. So with acappella music the primary artist is often completely missing from the main album page and hidden in the credits unless it has an ensemble credit. With more complex opera, requiem, oratorio etc. I personally prefer to see choirs/chorus etc. listed on the same line against the orchestra as arguably they are the most important primary artist along with the key soloists. Either way this is an edit I would prefer not to make but it is often necessary as it can be hit and miss how the vocal ensemble is categorised in meta-data and of course roon will treat them differently accordingly.

Vocal Ensemble Conductor

It gets quite complicated in this category. A choir master, choir director and choir conductor are all conductors in the roon model. But a chorus master is a performer and a children’s choirmaster is production. One of the most common roles I see is “chorus director” but that doesn’t seem to be assigned in the roon model.

Again, I don’t see any evidence in meta-data, for example, that “master” is consistently a conductor and “director” is consistently an admin role. The meta-data suppliers and labels will use the terms quite interchangeably.

There are going to be quite a few use cases whether the vocal conductor is on stage or not and is a conductor in that sense. The first distinction is, is this a live or recorded work? So, I would have thought (maybe I am wrong) that with a recorded work the vocal conductor is doing just that in the studio. With a live work there is going to be a lot of variation. In acappella works these vocal conductor roles will always be on the stage. In many cases where there is a small instrumental ensemble accompaniment the vocal conductor or the lead violin will assume this role. The chorus director for a big Verdi opera is not going to be onstage getting in the way but he will usually have equal billing with the orchestra conductor in the pit so I would like to see him on the main album display page. Then you have something like Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” or the Bernstein’s Berlin Wall Beethoven 9th with 4 orchestras and 7 choirs. I don’t know how many conductors were there that night. I rather suspect that too many conductors spoil the soup and Bernstein was more than up to the job. But the convention would be to see that all the conductors, orchestras and choirs prominently on the disk and I would expect to see them also on an electronic player. Again, one idea is just to break out the different credit roles on the same orchestra, composer and conductor display lines as there are now for those who would like it.


A few possible role re-classifications from the above, right away–

  • The Choir/Chorus role should be re-classified as an ensemble for sure–this is just an oversight. We should also add separate Choir and Chorus roles to accommodate file-based tags that don’t literally say Choir/Chorus which is clunky. These should also be treated as ensembles.

  • I think that Transcription roles should be re-classified as composers. This is what I would have expected, and I’m surprised to learn that they are someplace else.

  • Lets ignore the mis-classification of Cadenza as Arranger in some metadata and focus on how Cadenza should be classified when tagged accurately. My view is–this should be a Main Performer role because the person so credited is almost certainly performing the cadenza, and many times even improvising the cadenza. This would cause the performer to be treated more like a soloist or featured artist instead of burying them. Thoughts?

  • Chorus Master and Children's Choirmaster and a few others like them should probably be classed as Conductor roles. We could add a Chorus Director role as well to better facilitate hand-tagging.

Any thoughts on the above are welcome.

Regarding a more verbose treatment for credits.

This is something that we have tried in the past, and lived with for a considerable amount of time (pre launch of Roon). It was extremely verbose and led to poor graphics/layout that made screens hard to read. Creating the rolecategories was part of how we solved this, since it helped us prioritize information better based on the amount of space available.

Making a setting for people who want it still obligates us to make the layout work–so this is no escape hatch. We definitely won’t do this for all track credits again–we already know that that is unmanageable.

It might be feasible to re-treat “Composed By” with slightly more verbosity if we do it compactly/cleverly and focus on common cases like composer/transcriber, composer/arranger, composer/lyricist might be an improvement that doesn’t go too far. Composed By Johann Sebastian Bach, Arr. Franz Liszt is fine and not punishingly verbose. So is Composed by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein. I’m not sure I could commit to walking down every possible rabbit hole here, but at least some of the cases seem straightforward and might cover a lot of ground.

There are still situations where we just display a naked list of names–most prominently in the footer–they would probably stay as-is aside from category updates. All of this UI/layout stuff would have to be worked out with others before I can commit to it–the above is just me thinking through it alone.


No further thoughts other than two hips and a hooray for this line of inquiry and possible change. Plenty of good ideas in this thread.

This is a tricky one. For sure the original meaning was an improvisation so in that sense the performer credit makes sense. But this is Classical music so those improvisations got written down and are now in many cases more like an “edition” of a score. The example of a Beethoven cadenza for a Mozart Concerto is not uncommon. There are a lot of famous cadenzas by long dead Violinists as well. Not all Classical performers can improvise even if that is what the score says. But maybe a compromise is as you suggest for handling ‘verbose’ composer credits "_Composed by X, Cadenza by Y. I think it would be rare there would be more than two names so I think your suggestion of dealing with most “standard” combinations of this type is a very good one:

It might be feasible to re-treat “Composed By” with slightly more verbosity if we do it compactly/cleverly and focus on common cases like composer/transcriber, composer/arranger, composer/lyricist might be an improvement that doesn’t go too far. Composed By Johann Sebastian Bach, Arr. Franz Liszt is fine and not punishingly verbose. So is Composed by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein . I’m not sure I could commit to walking down every possible rabbit hole here, but at least some of the cases seem straightforward and might cover a lot of ground.

The Credit Role mapping is very long so it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. It would be great if you could re-assign a few of those as I suggested. I am sure there are some others as well that others have come across. But many of the other credits are rarely used. What I think is important is to bring as many “performing” and “composer” credits as possible forward to those categories like composer, conductor, ensemble so they get displayed on the main screens and walk the fine line of not cluttering them up.

I think the credit role mapping could be helped a lot by spending a few hours to proofread it. It’s long, but not that long.

I’m going to play with the credits text massaging idea, discuss with others, and see where it goes.

You’ve given me some ideas about cadenza…maybe we need two roles–Cadenza and Cadenza Composer which categorize differently We could have some logic to automatically re-write Cadenza->Cadenza Composer for identified albums in situations where that is obviously correct (dead people at time of recording, etc). Less sure…I kind of want to look through the data in an automated fashion and figure out how many of these credits there are and what is in them in an aggregate sense.

A whole cottage industry it would seem composing cadenzas. I don’t think improvisation in the Jazz sense is very common anymore. Contemporary violinists do write down new cadenzas. I’m sure I remember a few examples in my library but I cannot find them:

There is also quite an historical store to draw on for some of the most famous works. Beethoven, for example, never wrote a cadenza for his violin concerto (or at least nothing has been found) so many followed to fill the gap. This is probably an example where if there are not two composer credits coming through in meta-data something is missing: