Wikipedia:WikiProject Classical music/Contemporary music task force/Scope

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This page is for the discussion of the scope of WikiProject Contemporary music's coverage of wikipedia's articles. The proposals set out below are not final and comments can be added by anyone. Non members are welcome to add their thoughts and endorse/add/expand proposals, all that is asked is that they declare that they are not members.) [This lead has been refactored for simplicity and to follow normal WP practice.] --Jubilee♫clipman 00:37, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Definition of a "composer"[edit]

  1. As defined by WikiProject Composers.
  • Endorse --Kleinzach 02:47, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Definition of "contemporary"[edit]

  1. Dependent on our decisions below. Note - this might result in a radical change in our project's overall scope, at present defined as covering "[a]ll articles that relate to Contemporary classical music written in the past 50 years or so".

Composers inclusion criteria[edit]

  1. We might want to include only living composers. That would unequivocally make our project contemporary (except, in certain cases, for those composers who are unable to compose or have stopped composing for various reasons).
  2. If that is rejected, we will then fall back on the "past 50 years or so" criterion that covers this project generally and that was endorsed by the project members a few months back.
  • Discussion (including endorsement/rejection of 1 and 2, extra proposals, questions etc):
I think it would be strange if a composer were to be hit by a bus tomorrow that would make the work he had just completed non-contemporary. In the mean time we would still be listing something published by Elliott Carter in 1928 as qualifying. We could consider a name change ot living composers or some such but that woudl be different.--Peter cohen (talk) 14:52, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Comment - Fair point: a work published yesterday by a composer that died today is obviously still a contemporary work. Hence the comment in the next section: Other permutations and options exist, of course, so this needs some thought... --Jubilee♫clipman 01:59, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Compositions inclusion criteria[edit]

  • Note - we might want to make this and the following Works criteria consistant with our decision above: i.e., if we only cover living composers we only cover their works OR if we cover composers working within the last 50 years or so we only cover works written within that timeframe excluding the works written earlier by the same composers. Other permutations and options exist, of course, so this needs some thought...
  1. Operas, musical theatre and films etc are primarily covered by the Opera, Musical Theatre and Films projects etc. that have their own particular guidelines.
  2. EITHER we only cover works by living composers (as composers, point 1).
  3. OR, we cover all works "written in the last 50 years or so" irrespective of whether the composer is dead or alive (as composers, point 2).
  • Discussion (including endorsement/rejection of 1, 2, and 3, extra proposals, questions etc):
You're right that part of this is secondary to the previous disucssion. I see no harm in a composition being held by both opera and contempm projects. An opera specialist might be best placed to provide information about the libretto and the staging while a comtempm specialist might be more up with the musical style. For example, as an opera fan, I've created articles on a couple of Turnage works I saw at the (London) Coliseum. I've got one to GA and will probably get the other there. However to get them to FA it will probably help if someone who's more interested in Turnage's music per se got involved as they might have critical biographies or relevant journal subscriptions that could fill in stuff that would pass me by. Music theatre and film may be less obvious as an overlap but if this project were to keep Michael Nyman because of some of his compositions (I know there has been some discussion) it would seem strange to exclude his film from falling under its scope. BTW I don't recall ever going near the Films Project's pages. Do they pay any attention to film music? Music Theatre is somewhat different from opera in that I thought there was a move to exclude non-"classical" composers.
As far as when there may be conflicting guidelines from two overlapping projects, those here could always say that in the case of opera we follow their general layout etc. Because in the any case their is always the potential of conflict with fringe material such as Eight Songs for a Mad King or Twice Through the Heart which may or may not be operas.--Peter cohen (talk) 15:16, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Comment CTM generally defers to the more specialist project. We also follow their guidelines as appropriate. The Film Project doesn't appear to be much interested in the music, IIRC. Music Theatre is sometimes considered "classical": Porgy and Bess, for example, is either opera or musical depending on your perspective, or perhaps it is both? --Jubilee♫clipman 01:52, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
ISTR Porgy being the subject of a pitch war between opera and music theatre projects. It's another one fo the grey area projects. Anyway, my point stands that there is no harm in an article being held by more than one project as members of oen project may have access to a range of sources tha complements that used by the other. And for the film music it appears that this is the project to maintain information on film scores of interest.--Peter cohen (talk) 15:44, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Well Porgy is hardly contemporary, anyway! OTOH, there is a lot of cross-genre music out there these days, including musicals/operas/whatever-they-are. Indeed, perhaps film music really should be under our wing since no one else takes care of it? Perhaps we could restrict to art films if the mass-media/box-office stuff is of no interest? And indeed: we don't need to exclusively cover anything if other projects can help out with specific aspects such as biographical info, opera staging etc. Perhaps we also need to refine which particular aspects CTM looks at, too? Eg, musical style/genre, general copyediting, sourcing, etc? --Jubilee♫clipman 22:13, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I think that film composers need not to be overlooked or ignored. The fact that they're composing film scores doesn't make them less valuable. Otherwise, we'd reduce the scope to contemporary composers performed by classical musicians at classical music venues (concert halls, opera houses, festivals etc.). I think, music composed for films ist be the kind of contemporary classical music most listened to nowadays. Which of course says nothing about the respective music's quality, but we also hardly get to hear the vast majority of 17th century opera music, which was just written for an occasion (like a coronation, a wedding etc.) and swiftly forgotten afterwards. --Catgut (talk) 23:25, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, that's a good point: Mendelssohn's music for A Midsummer Night's Dream was written for something that may well have been turmed into a film these days; God knows how much film music Shostackovich wrote; Mozart's senerades are "occasional music" and thus qualify as "throw-away rubbish", if you will (he probably viewed them that way, anyway); in a sense, plays are the forerunners to films and operas were initially "plays with music" essentially. Film music, thus, very much comes under our purview. Thank for that Catcut! --Jubilee♫clipman 23:47, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, and it also should be added, that the majority of today's film composers are in fact classically trained musicians and/or composers. Meaning that they know how to write a score, they know about arranging and orchestrating (that's how many of them got into the film business), they incorporate different styles of music, and deal with pop and rock just like Alban Berg or Ernst Krenek did with jazz in the 1930s. So from a purely artisan point of view, film composers are real composers. Let's also not forget, that Arnold Schönberg wrote Begleitmusik für eine Lichtspielszene (accompanying music for a cinematic scene), and later - unsuccessfully - tried to get some work done in Hollywood. Erich Wolfgang Korngold started out as a wunderkind and successful opera composer in Austria, and later became a major name in Hollywood. Hans Werner Henze did some film composing. I think, that in the second half of the 20th century some shift occurred among composers working for the movies and others who did'nt, very often due to the conflict regarding tonality. But these days are over, minimal music and especially Philip Glass have done a lot to bridge the gap, so there's no need to exclude film composers any longer, aside from ideological questions maybe. --Catgut (talk) 00:42, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
John Williams, Howard Shore, Michael Nyman, Tan Dun etc etc in then? No exclusions for box-office pandering? --Jubilee♫clipman 00:50, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Oh, hopefully not! I'd say that film composers whose work has transcended beyond the recording studio and the cinemas to concert halls and other venues, should be included. Other examples coming to my mind are Nino Rota (who is of course an undisputed figure) and Bernard Herrmann. And it would be very interesting if someone could focus on Ennio Morricone whose beginnings are clearly rooted in 1950s, 1960s avantgarde music. I remember seeing a TV documentary on him, where he spoke about participating at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse. It would be nice to get a source and more information on that. Morricone was also part of an Italian avantgarde ensemble called Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, and someone referred to it on the talkpage. Unfortunately, there's only a German wiki article on this group [1], maybe it gets translated one day. There's also this source from an obviously German label that published several recordings [2]. One could use the English translation for an article on this group and/or expanding the Morricone article with the material. --Catgut (talk) 05:08, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

─────────────────────────To clarify: "no, add all of those, even the box-office breakers" rather than "no, don't add any of those"? If the former, I'm assuming you are adding {{contemporary music}} to each of those talk pages? (If not, I can go around them all.) We will use either class=start or class=stub for now: we can assess when we get the articles and categories etc in order (quite a mess at the moment...) We will need to figure out which categories to use actually: category:21st-century classical composers would not seem quite right for Williams, for example, (he is in it, actually) though obviously he gets the film ones and probably gets the contemporary music ones, also (I'm looking into those latter, so hold fire for now). You any good on cats? (No pun intended!) --Jubilee♫clipman 05:56, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Oh yes, I meant the former! And: Right, the assessment can be done later, when the whole overview allows one to have a better perspective. And please go ahead with Williams, I like to stay away from him, as I once spent a whole day trying to get that frigging Star Wars theme out of my head! --Catgut (talk) 00:06, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
doodoododododoooodooo... ;) Ok, thanks for that Catgut. BTW, I have cast a deciding vote on this issue as the vote seems to be split otherwise: all contemporary film composers in. Others can object of course: I will, of course, go with the consensus on this if more comments are made objecting to the inclusion of film composers (or the specifics of the inclusion), as per my commission. Thanks --Jubilee♫clipman 00:20, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Other works (books, academic papers, etc) inclusion criteria[edit]

  1. Libretti and all other opera related works are primarily covered by WikiProject Opera.
  2. The other works are then handled as if they were compositions (as above in other words).
  • Discussion (including endorsement/rejection of 1, and 2, extra proposals, questions etc):

Non-composers inclusion criteria[edit]

  1. How do we decide whether a non-composing instrumentalist, singer, academic, critic, etc is included in our project?
    Suggest we include non-composing instrumentalists, singers, academics, critics etc who have a particular (notable) association with contemporary music. --Kleinzach 02:15, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
  2. What do we do with those that are not included but are also not covered clearly by any other CM-related projects (aside from WP:CM itself, that is)?
    Not a concern IMO. We are not a kind of musical 'Battersea Dogs Home'. --Kleinzach 02:15, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Some non-composers bannered by CTM:

Any ideas what to do with these last two? Do we cover sound engineers etc also? --Jubilee♫clipman 03:28, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Proposal - Non-composers are included if they have a particular connection with contemporary music, that connection itself being notable according to Wikipedia's guidelines. (Suggested above by Kleinzach.)

All other articles[edit]

These are the three main articles that discuss the period we cover. Other articles not covered by the discussions above might correctly fall under our banner.

Question Which other articles do we cover? How do we justify covering those articles? For example, do we cover articles on contemporary music festivals, contemporary music publishers, recently invented instruments used by contemporary composers etc? Any others? (Adding contemporary music genres to the list per Peter cohen's comment below)

  • Discussion:

I would say yes to everything mentioned above although the tromboon and other jokes should not count unless using in "serious" compositions. (And I know some of those can be humorous.) And of course genres of contemporary music shouls also count.--Peter cohen (talk) 15:21, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Comment - perhaps Schickele's instruments should be included as examples of satire? --Jubilee♫clipman 02:04, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Note - I have either removed or refactored some old comments of mine so that I remain neutral in all further discussion. --Jubilee♫clipman }}