How to present the Genre information

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carlos
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How to present the Genre information

Post by carlos » 19 Feb 2009 17:05

Chuck started an interesting discussion here about whether genre info should be changed according to what is presented in the page. Currently, for instance, "Morning Canticles" are shown on the works page always in the plural, because they usually come in pairs (but not always as I've noticed), while other genres are usually shown in the singular (Motet, Villancico etc.). Chuck is suggesting that we should have a mechanism to change the way the genre is displayed according to the characteristic of the works on the page. So, for a single hymn, "Genre: Sacred, Hymn", but for a collection of hymns, "Genre: Sacred, Hymns". I find it quite complicated and would rather prefer a simpler approach, making all genres appear uniformly as either singular or plural. It would also reduce the page maintenance: imagine someone has just contributed a single aria from a new opera; the work page for it will have something like "Genre: Secular, Opera, Aria". When the contributor decides to add a second aria, we'd have to change the page to show "Genre: Secular, Opera, Arias", if I understood Chuck's reasoning correctly. If we display a standard "Genre: Secular, Operas, Arias" from the very start, this extra work is avoided.

I ask everyone to please give your opinions on this subject before I start any change to the Genre template. We admins are already in a small number here at CPDL, so every single opinion counts! Thanks

CHGiffen
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Re: How to present the Genre information

Post by CHGiffen » 19 Feb 2009 17:38

Thanks Carlos. :)

I've given the matter more thought since initiating that discussion, and I find myself gradually moving towards Carlos's viewpoint that one form is enough - and that the form should be the plural (in the case of nouns). I think by the end of the day, I'd be happy enough withg Motets, Art songs, Evening canticles (by the way, why is "canticles" capitalized in the category? - Canticle is not a proper noun), etc. - although I think I would prefer Opera to Operas (after all, Opera is already a plural serves well in many other contexts to define the genre).

Chuck
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bobnotts
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Re: How to present the Genre information

Post by bobnotts » 19 Feb 2009 22:16

I agree with Carlos - it would be simpler in my opinion to simply list the genre in its plural form, whatever that might be. As he suggested, we're not saying "this work is a motet", more "this work belongs to the motets genre"
although I think I would prefer Opera to Operas (after all, Opera is already a plural serves well in many other contexts to define the genre).
Hmm... what about if you were talking about a composer's works? Would you say "Benjamin Britten's operas are varied and not to everyone's taste" or "Benjamin Britten's opera..." I would say the first one.

I agree that the word "canticle" shouldn't have a capital letter.

Also, this has reminded me of something at the back of my mind - that the works currently categorised as "hymns" on CPDL span more than one genre in my opinion. We have the Christian hymns which are sung by the congregation and choir (at least in most churches) but there are also those texts described as "hymns" - Ave maris stella, for example. A setting of that text recently added has been labelled as a hymn by the contributor. I'll open up a new thread for discussion of this point when I get chance.

Off topic, but anyway: Carlos, would you mind adding "Requiems" to the genre template as a genre that requires a sort key in the template? I would do it myself but I'm afraid I'd break something as I don't understand all of the template.
Last edited by bobnotts on 19 Feb 2009 23:09, edited 1 time in total.
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CHGiffen
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Re: How to present the Genre information

Post by CHGiffen » 20 Feb 2009 13:06

Rob, I think you are probably reopening the old Noel (Mjolnir) discussion about "Office hymns" and "Sequence hymns" with regard to texts like "Ave maris stella" ... There are even categories for these types of hymns (which have been tagged for cleanup by you back in October).

"Carols" is another confusing genre ... since some will think this might be a subcategory of "Christmas". But, in fact, there are several Easter carols and a few "summer carols" that I've heard of. Perhaps there are more. Some carols are sacred, some are secular (even amongst Christmas carols).

I agree about Britten's "operas". But I would suppose Wagner specialized in "opera", while Schubert specialized in "Lieder" - these seem to be genres, while the statement about Britten's operas is a statement about compositions. Oh well, it's probably not that big of a deal. :)

Chuck
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Richard Mix
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Re: How to present the Genre information

Post by Richard Mix » 28 Jun 2010 01:23

What if the template read "Genre categories:(names)", sidestepping changing plurals to singulars? Otherwise we seem to be dealing one by one with cases like "Genre:Tenebrae responsorie". :idea:

DrewE
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Re: How to present the Genre information

Post by DrewE » 28 Jun 2010 03:27

CHGiffen wrote:Rob, I think you are probably reopening the old Noel (Mjolnir) discussion about "Office hymns" and "Sequence hymns" with regard to texts like "Ave maris stella" ... There are even categories for these types of hymns (which have been tagged for cleanup by you back in October).

"Carols" is another confusing genre ... since some will think this might be a subcategory of "Christmas". But, in fact, there are several Easter carols and a few "summer carols" that I've heard of. Perhaps there are more. Some carols are sacred, some are secular (even amongst Christmas carols).

I agree about Britten's "operas". But I would suppose Wagner specialized in "opera", while Schubert specialized in "Lieder" - these seem to be genres, while the statement about Britten's operas is a statement about compositions. Oh well, it's probably not that big of a deal. :)

Chuck
But...Isaac Watts specialized in "hymn"? Rogers and Hammerstein in "musical"?

The distinction seems to be that, for some but not all genres, the singular is also used as a mass noun. There may be cases where a mass noun is distinct from both the singular and the plural forms. Isaac Watts specialized in "hymnody," perhaps, although I would not tend to think of hymnody as a genre. In another field of study, Robert Frost specialized in poetry (and wrote many poems); and here the distinction between the three forms is clear and well-defined.

It's not easy to stuff the inconsistent and arbitrary English language into neatly contained categories!

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