CZ Talk:Music Workgroup

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This is the Discussion Page for the CZ:Music Workgroup

Based on the experience on WP and elsewhere, I think that one of the first things we should do is sub-divide the Music Workgroup's "to-do" list into at least popular and classical, or popular, classical, and world. There are few people who are experts in more than one of these fields. This would help us figure out better what the most needed articles are.

I also think that most of the articles we currently have on the list tend to have pretty good WP articles, so there is less incentive to write an article here. Where WP tends to have awful music articles are those that cover the history of a genre or style. Those tend to be the articles where every anonymous editor adds his or her two cents, where every obvious assertion needs to have a footnote (hypothetical Baroque Music ex.: "Bach was an important baroque composer, according to an article in Newsweek 2005"), and otherwise where Wikipedia's policies tend to lead to bad writing. So I'll suggest that those larger history sections be high on the to-do list. Michael Scott Cuthbert 09:19, 7 August 2007 (CDT)

Hey Myke! Welcome to CZ! :-) Yes, I totally agree with what you suggest. Let's split the Workgroup and focus on articles that cover genres or styles. Matthias Röder 10:00, 7 August 2007 (CDT)

This is entirely possible. Please be sure to put it in the list of suggested new workgroups, linkedfrom CZ:Workgroups. --Larry Sanger 10:33, 7 August 2007 (CDT)

But would they be new workgroups, or a different class of workgroup under the umbrella of the music workgroup? Clearly the biology workgroup will need to go this route too. Chris Day (talk) 10:39, 7 August 2007 (CDT)
I guess they would be sub workgroups. Matthias Röder 10:40, 7 August 2007 (CDT)
I don't think they need to be at this point -- there's not enough activity yet and there are few enough contributors and editors that I can still be of help on popular music articles, and vice-versa with popular music editors. But I've seen from WP and academia that the audiences for classical and popular music are so different that there's unlikely to be much overlap in policy (on terminology, use of notation, etc.) between the two. And trying to decide what's more important to work on, Beethoven or Bruce Springsteen is unlikely to build consensus or community.
Since there hasn't been much public discussion about music articles on CZ yet, it's probably good to open it up. The most important point I see lacking in most WP articles on composers and especially individual pieces is discussion of style and analysis. For most 20th c. composers, analysis will need to wait until Citizendium has a fair use policy in place for images (the images would likely be free creations, but the music depicted therein is still under copyright). And in some cases, WP has misapplied their "no original research" policy to remove unpublished analyses which aren't really research at all. (Saying that a certain passage is in G-minor or a certain chord is V7 is about as much research as looking at a sentence such as "Out damn spot!" and noting that "spot" is a noun and the sentence is an imperative). Michael Scott Cuthbert 22:03, 7 August 2007 (CDT)

I have no problem with separate groups but do wonder whether the present list of categories is the best we could have. How would an Indian, for example, react to seeing what s/he regards as high art music somewhere alongside Grunge? It might be better to have regions at the top level and sub-classify with as many levels as required to cover countries/ethnic groups/genres. This would leave much of the present classification as it is, but shift non-Western musics into categories of their own. Christopher Evans 15 November 2007 (UST)

Amen to that, especially with regard to the list of Core Articles for Music, which is almost unrelievedly Euro-and-American-centric. Really, is Duran Duran one of "the most basic topics known to humanity" (as the CZ:Core Articles list defines itself), while Beijing Opera, gamelan, Indian classical music, and reggae don't even make the top 99? Admittedly, I'm not an expert qualified to write on any of those subjects, but as a user and reader of Citizendium, I would ask the Music Workgroup editors and authors to maintain a constant awareness that there are musical traditions beyond those of Beethoven and the Sex Pistols! Bruce M.Tindall 12:38, 22 November 2007 (CST)

My suggestion was made in full awareness of cultural cross fertilisation makes a rigorous system of regional categories difficult and a classification based on modern national boundaries impossible: would, Khmer music, for example, be treated as a music of China or of Cambodia? how far can meaningful boundaries be drawn between the classical/art musics of N Emerica, E Europe and W Europe? and of course the development of mechanical, then electrical and now electronic recording and increasingly pervasive means of communication has made boundaries more unclear. At the same time it is important that an authoritative encyclopaedia of the kind that Citizendium aims to become is impartial, which in this context means giving each music the weight given it by its own practitioners and audiences. Christopher Evans 15 December (UST)

Editorial guidelines?

Dear colleagues, I was wondering if we have set up any editorial guidelines for music articles yet? If we did, where can I find them? If not, where should I start a discussion about this important topic? In the forum? Or on the workgroup homepage? Thanks! Matthias Röder 10:48, 9 August 2007 (CDT)

Articles on topics 1900-1960 forthcoming

For the second year in a row, my M.I.T. students in the seminar on music 1900-1960 are writing Wiki encyclopedia articles on topics in music from that period (mostly pieces or composers). This year, I'm giving them the option of posting either to Wikipedia or Citizendium. We'll we working in a sandbox on Wikipedia: [1], but I hope that some of the students will choose to post here. I think CZ will be an especially attractive option for students writing about pieces which already have WP articles but which are not particularly well-written (no names mentioned here, but there are several on that list). I ask the Music Workgroup + CZ in general's patience as we work through any kinks in the process. Best, Michael Scott Cuthbert 15:21, 30 August 2007 (CDT)


Although I have no books on Blues music to help me out, I'm going to start an article on this today. Being somewhat of an amateur fan, I rely on podcasts as it is very difficult to get my hands on Blues music here in Ireland. So in other words, help from someone in the Blues article would be very welcome! Denis Cavanagh 09:15, 2 September 2007 (CDT)

Great start! If you could get a hold of a recent book on blues (or even a more general survey of African-American popular music) from a local library, I think it's important that the general narrative be backed up by recent studies. I know for instance that popular notions of ragtime history don't always square with what ragtime historians are finding these days, so it's good to have a few references to be sure that we're on the right track. Best, Michael Scott Cuthbert 12:18, 3 September 2007 (CDT)

Hi Michael:

Fully aware of that! I will take a look at the music section of my library in college when I get back (Thats not till October) but until then, I'll not add much to it! Denis Cavanagh 13:04, 3 September 2007 (CDT)

Classical music

I changed the post-renaissance stylistic periods into a very simple set of 3 levels of structural development: early, late and post. This terminology is often used to describe romantic and modernist music and can also be partially applied to baroque music, classical-era music being by my opinion only separated from something akin to the idea of post-baroque by it's name.

I decided to keep the name romantic music, because i do not believe that the nineteenth century had a completely uniform musical tradition. With the traditionalists (orientated towards classicism) and the progressives (orientated towards romanticism), any article about classical-era music will encompass a lot about the nineteenth century as well. it might be better to discuss the ideas and musical language of these different style periods in there native time and environments and how they influenced much later traditions and also look at the possibility that both romantic and classical-era music strongly influenced existing composers decades after a period ended (Brahms and Chopin or Strauss and Shostakovich)

This also gives use more then enough reasons to write articles about classical music by centuryMicha van den Berg 12:57, 13 November 2007 (CST)

Popular music / Pop music

The differences between these two terms should probably be highlighted at the top of their respective articles. Although the origin of both terms is basically the same - the music of the masses - Pop music has become a generic term for what some might consider frivolous or 'disposable' music, which is often quite formulaic. This is of course a generalisation, and there are many exceptions. The average length of a pop song is somewhere around three or four minutes and, certainly at the beginning, there was a certain 'poppy' or lively sound to many, if not most, pop songs. They were less likely to have dark themes, though many parodies and subtle songs had dark themes which weren't necessarily visible on the surface. The song 'Turning Japanese' is perhaps a good example of this.

I'm going to leave it there for the minute, as I'm not sure this is the correct place to discuss this! If anyone has a different take on what constitutes pop music, as opposed to Popular music, I'd be interested in hearing it.

I'm not very well-versed on pop music outside of western culture, though I'm aware of a huge industry in India, for example, which should definitely be covered in the core article. --Mal McKee 09:13, 14 May 2008 (CDT)

Theory - scale vs. mode

Do scale and mode really need to be separate articles? I would say that the topics are intricately connected to enough of an extent that, at least, they need not both be lengthy articles. Perhaps scale could just be a relatively brief definition and mode could cover the details of the theory?

Douglass A. Glidden 15:13, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Reclassifying status

I am posting here as the CZ music mailing list was terminated some months ago. The following articles should be reclassified as 'Developing' rather than 'Developed':

  • Matthew Dallman - short article with no references.
  • Stride piano - short article, underlinked, and no references.
  • Jess Stacy - short article, references no longer exist, and needs paragraphs with subheadings.

If there are no objections I intend altering the metadata template to reflect the current status of the article. Unfortunately, the original authors have been absent for a number of years from the project. I will improve them when I have the time to do so. Meg Ireland 03:03, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Unlikely I'll receive a response so I went ahead and reclassified. Meg Ireland 09:12, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Add lyrics tab to albums

I was just thinking that a great way to drive hits to citizendium would be lyrics.

Entire websites are dedicated to posting lyrics to songs.

How great would it be to have a reliable place to get lyrics free of advertisements

Example: go to beatles click discography click an album then the lyrics subtab should show upTom Kelly 19:33, 20 March 2014 (UTC)