LS 566- Article Summary #1- Brown

First of all, Hello again! Time for a new class, and a fresh start.

Here’s an article by Tom Brown, and my thoughts on the matter:

Tom Brown, a guest poster for writes about the standards for metadata as it pertains to Digital Service Providers (DSPs) in classical music.  Ideally, Brown argues, there would be a standard method to producing and maintaining classical music metadata, but DSPs have been under fire for NOT giving enough attention to the classical genre.  How do we correct this?

“Supply classical content in a way that’s homogenous with the way the same content is managed by the digital services that invest the most in it (2016).”  For example- iTunes!

Let’s take iTunes and run with it, since it’s big and well-known. iTunes has its own set of standards for metadata that include categorization by:

  1. Reference source (International Music Score Library Project)
  2. composer names (which can vary)
  3. primary artists- up to three at album level; track level (soloists, orchestra, conductor)
  4. Album titles
  5. track titles
  6. opera titles
  7. Languages (sometimes multiple)
  8. Casing

(#s 2-8 can all be referenced by the IMSLP)

We can learn a lot for iTunes metadata techniques.  The challenge comes from making a way for that kind of categorization to be applied across the board for all classical music- not just that of iTunes’ inventory.  Also for future music that comes years and years down the line, what will constitute as “classical”?  Will Lady Gaga every achieve that status? Will a brand new categorization be formed? The topic is worth investigating, and one I find very intriguing.


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