WORKS how to use them to create four PART Sonatas

I have put 32 Sonatas of Beethoven by Cl.Arrau in a single folder with tracks properly ordered and named for exemple “05 - Sonata 02 in A Op.2,2 - I - Allegro vivace” followed by II, III and IV as usual then Sonata 03 follows with 4 new titels and so on.
Interestingly Roon regroups the four tracks of each sonata under one name. The tracks have a simpliied name like “I - Allegro Vivace”. So far so good.
But the name for the grouping are not changed they are always the same so that for exemple there is no “Sonata 02 in F Op.2,1” or “Sonata 03 in F Op.2,1” etc…
Reading the documentation the tags “WORK” and "PART"should solve this situation thanks to the hierarchy Albums have Works and Works have Parts. In this instance “Sonata 03” would be the Work.
Having created the Tag fields WORK and PART (with the Mp3tag software)I can see them in Roon like this:
File Tags
TXXX [PART]PART;I Allegro vivace
TXXX [WORK]WORK;Sonata 02 in A Op.2,2
but this does not help. Roon seems to ignore these tags.

I found the following advice:
Where you add multi-part file tags to an identified album, then you should “Prefer File” metadata in the Album Editor / Metadata Preference / Multi-Part Composition Grouping setting.
But it did not help.

In order to keep matters simple these are my questions:
Q1: how can I prevent Roon to group my tracks?
I am all for the grouping but I get misleading names for the groups and find no way to change these names.
Q2: How to disable Automatic Album identification?
Thank you.

You need also to tick prefer file for multi part composition grouping. You can also set this globally in settings I seem to remember if you don’t want to do this everytime you import an album.

You can “unidenify” an album by clicking on the 3 dots and going through the manual identification process but just don’t accept any of roon’s suggestions until roon just drops out asking you if you want to use “basic information”. I don’t know if there is a quicker/easier way. I would be interested myself if someone knows.

You have used a lot of dashes in your composition strings. You might get lucky, so i’s worth a try, but my experience is that roon doesn’t like so many duplicate delimiters and will make a mess of parsing your strings because with so many dashes it does’t know where the WORK ends and where the PART begins. Your strings also don’t follow rovi canonical conventions, so even if the grouping works you may not get the compositions identified and linked to other performances you might have. The convention I use for the Beethoven sonatas is the following which you can cut and paste from You will see that there is a difference between unnamed and “named” sonatas

Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2/1: 1. Allegro

Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2/2: 1. Allegro vivace

Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major (“Grand Sonata”), Op. 7: 1. Allegro molto e con brio

Obviously this could end up being a lot of work, and there is the rest of your library as well. It’s always best to let roon automate as much of this as possible. I only ever do this amount of editing if there is no other option. Unfortunately this often seems to be the the case with the largest most complicated box sets, particularly classical.

Thank you for your reply Tony.
I have the last version of Roon running under Windows10.
I am using Roon in french but it is easy to translate and there is no ambiguity.
For the multipart composition I did choose File instead of Roon for preferences but I had no sucess.
On the screen what I get is somewhat different from your picture but the bottom line is that Roon tells me to come back in a few days but it does not ask me if I want to use “basic information” as you mention.
At this point this is really the issue for me I think I have not been able to “unidentify” the Album.
Thank you for your reaction. (I am closing my computer for today.)

Are you able to make a screenshot of what you see when you tick “prefer multi-part composition grouping”? You say you see something different to my picture (in French) but the basic layout and clickable button’s should look the same. So maybe we are talking about different things. I use this feature all the time and it run’s like clockwork.

On your other point about unidentifying an album. If you do a manual identification and keep on clicking “none of these look right” then eventually you will get to this screen. Click on “use basic file information” and roon will un-identify your album. There may be an easier way of doing this but I don’t know what it is.

You do say that roon says “come back in a few days” so that is a bit of a puzzle. Maybe something is being lost in the translation but that is what roon says when it has failed to make an identification so it is not clear to me that you have an identified album in the first place.

It says:
When album not identifyed do not loose hope!
… try again in a few days.

Tony, Are you under windows10 ?

Here is the multipart bit. I did check it ang register!

Yes. Windows 10.

That’s the first time I’ve seen a localised (foreign language) roon. So it looks a lot different than I expected. But I assume if you click on “OK” then roon will unidentify. If it doesn’t then that “OK” button is not working the same way that the “use basic file information” button works in English roon. You should end up with something similar to the following with “Unidentified” in French.

But is there any reason why you want to unidentify that Claudio Arrau album? You do not have to unidentify it if all you want to do is fix the grouping. You can edit the WORK/PART and have the benefits of an identified album as well.

It is getting late but hopefully I will create the WORK/PART tags tomorrow evening and see what happens.
I show an example of WORK/PART in my first message.
I have this album since a long time.
But if I remember correctly I have reshuffled and reassembled the multidisc content to have the sonatas in sequence. This means I have now a single large list of track numbers different from the original.

By the way what is Rovi?

Roon is using 3rd party metadata suppliers to understand the contents of your library. Rovi is one of them. gives you a window into the composition string formats roon is expecting (as it is using rovi as well).

I understand now why you want to unidentify that album if you have restructured it as radically as you describe. I hope the Arrau album is a one off. If you have completely departed from the original album release structure in the rest of your library as well you are going to have a very difficult time with roon.

PS. According to my bad French you have set all the switches I normally set to get multi-part grouping. So if you are still not getting what you expect to see then there are two possibilities:

  1. You are not writing out WORK/PART tags as you think you are. You can view the tags roon is seeing by clicking “3 dots / view file info / file tags”.

  2. If roon is seeing WORK / PART tags then the other possibility is that roon is struggling to parse your composition strings. In that case unless you can do a composition “merge” against existing compositions that roon does recognise (which sounds unlikely the way you have described things) then there is very little option but to edit your 32 sonatas to match the format of the sonatas on allmusic. That’s a lot of work but it should resolve the grouping problem. However, because you have unidentified the album then in all likelyhood none of the sonatas will be “identified” by roon at a composition level.

Alternatively you can put the album back together again the way it was originally released and hope that roon can make an identification and save yourself a lot of work. I haven’t got that album so I don’t know if roon will make an identification or if it does how successful it is. Maybe others have that album and can comment? It’s not always the case but in general you will be much better off sticking with the original release structure.

Hello Tony,
I have added the tags WORK and PART successfully along with entering their values.
(In fact their concatenation gives the TITLE).

At the track level Roon shows the tag values correctly.
But although he is aware of the existance of various compositions (the breaks for grouping are correct) he fails to give the proper WORK name to the compositions. Often he goes on without changing the names, in my case it are the Sonatas names. In short all the compositions show up with a name but they are wrong.

I spent an immoderate amount of time testing and reducing for that purpose the number of tags and their values to the minimum but I failed to have the various Sonata names (WORK) appear reliably.

The introduction of the entity WORK for classical music is a most positive innovation but the implementation is disappointing.

I am somewhat saturated with this issue and for the time being will not experiment with workaroun!
Thank you for your support on this issue.

You may wish to have a look at The MusiCHI suite , the Tagger part of it (20 Euro) automates the lookup of Work (Composition - interchangeable in Roon)

The Text Processor allows easy split off of the Part

Once this is done Roon deals with them nicely.

It also standardizes the naming convention of the composition which you can configure

There is a 30 day demo


So although I have a tagger (Mp3Tag) and that I have created the WORK and PART tags I should benefit from the MusiCHI tagger?
I will try this but later as I said I need some fresh air. Thank you for the tip.

I’m pretty sure that we do not support commas as Opus sub-composition delimiters.

If you change Op.2,3 to Op.2/3, you will probably get better results if you have other performances of the same composition in your library. If you don’t have other performances, then what you have achieved is as good as you are going to get.

It’s worth noting that Beethoven + Op.2/3 is actually all you should need.

Cc: @dylan

Effectively …changing Op.2,3 to Op.2/3 did not help.


I use mp3tag and I have many versions of the Beethoven sonatas including several complete cycles. So accomplishing what you want is possible but it may require more manual editing effort than you were anticipating. I have a limited number of the sonatas with me on my travels but for example with this Stephen Kovacevich this is what they look like:


As you can see the format that I am using for the sonata titles is completely different to yours. The format I am using I have just copied from Unfortunately, it looks like you are going to have to do the same and edit all 32 WORKs to comply with this convention. Small edits like changing a comma to a slash does sometimes work as Joel has suggested, so it is worth a try, but often when you run into difficulties like this it is just much quicker to cut and paste from rather than trying to second guess the minimum edits needed by roon. I couldn’t find the complete Arrau cycle but this recital will give you an idea of what you need to do:

You can see all the edits that you will need to make to all the 32 sonatas in this Barenboim cycle:

However, from your screen shots you seem to have other problems as well:

  1. All your WORK titles are the same. They are all “Sonata 03 in C op.2,3”. Why is that? Are you sure each WORK title for each sonata is unique?

  2. Are you sure you are writing out WORK/PART tags that roon can recognize? It is possible your mp3tag is not configured properly. You can see if roon is receiving WORK/PART tags by clicking “three dots → view file info → file tags”.

  3. You have chosen to restructure this album so that roon will not be able to identify it. There are many advantages to a roon identification. In my Kovocavich example, roon found all he original performance dates and venues and I didn’t have to edit a thing. All the sonatas were correctly identified and grouped and linked to all the other instances of the sonatas in my library. That saves hours of tedious manual editing. You are paying a high price just to have the sonatas in numerical order on one “virtual” disk. That makes sense with legacy players where you are using a “folder” view to navigate your sonatas. But roon just doesn’t work that way so you might want to reconsider restructuring the album the way it was originally released and try and get an identification instead. However, I couldn’t find your album on allmusic so maybe in this particular case it doesn’t matter much either way. But in general it is much better to stick with the original album structures and let roon identify it as (if you are lucky) all these edits will be done for you automatically.

Does somebody know the rules for the use of : “-”, “:”, “/” and roman numerals ?
Is there a place where I can find these rules ?
Thank you.

As you noticed I am new to Roon. I was using Foobar2000 before.
I switched to Roon because of the diversity of my equipment for which Foobar does not offer a unified control nor access.
Roon solves this issue very well. When I ordered Roon I knew I would have database problems but I took the risk.
As I write I have just finished brushing up my old data. I added WORK/PART but only when necessary and giving precedence to allmusic when possible.
I am satisfied with the end result.
Thank you for your support.

I could never find that so I would be interested myself if anyone knows.

By trial and error I found it is usually best not to repeat delimiters like dash and colon in a title string, otherwise roon will not know where a WORK ends and a TITLE begins. So I have the habit of using a non repeating mixture. But TBH you can spend a lot of wasted effort trying to second guess what a minimum edit in roon will be. When roon has not parsed the string as I expected I usually find the nuclear option of searching on allmusic and cuting and pasting what I find there much quicker. The main disadvantage is that allmusic/rovi can bear very little relationship to your album art. Most of the time this is not a problem. But if you like to follow an opera libretto for example from your pdf’s then it can be pretty much impossible.

To come back to my intial problem with Cl.Arrau Sonata’s
I created WORK with “Sonata 02 in A Op.2,2” for the Sonata name.
I then and got problems with other Sonatas like “A Op.2,2” as explained before.
I tried Op.2/2 but it did not work either.
In the end I took the reference Op.2.2 out all together and my headhake was gone.

That’s a shame. There are usually other ways of fixing these grouping problems that retains all the composition and album identifiers. Without them roon cannot make links between your library and also to external databases which is a lot of the value add of roon compared to other players that are just displaying text. But you appear to have a screen display that you are happy with so that is the main thing.