RfC on categorizing all works by an artist by genre
NAC: There is a clear consensus that artists should not be characterized by genre, at least not routinely. The question was only about the characterization of artists, who often mix or cross over genres. One editor said that the decision as to whether to characterize artists should be case-by-case, which is that occasionally an artist can be characterized as to a genre, but artists should not routinely be characterized as to genre. Characterizing albums or songs by genre was not the issue and does not appear to be controversial. Do not characterize artists by genre routinely. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:47, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
Question: Should we continue categorizing all works (albums or songs) by an artist by genre? 16:53, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
I propose we stop grouping all works by an artist by genre. Doing so is often original research and grossly misleading.
Please allow me to give a brief and neutral overview of this discussion so far. Back in April 2017, I started a discussion at WikiProject Songs expressing concern about how we categorize all works by artists by specific genres. I revisited the discussion once again in May 2018. Both discussions were productive, but neither generated anything close to consensus. In an attempt to get more editor feedback, I opened a RfC, which received very little feedback. Most recently, I revisited this discussion again in February 2019, which saw mostly the same participants saying they stood by their previous statements. You'll see I've provided summaries of editor feedback in the two latter discussions, which no participating editors said misrepresented their views. Please review these discussions.
To very briefly summarize, there are a few editors who strongly prefer to maintain status quo, a few editors who are indifferent (and may not like this RfC), and slightly more editors who believe there needs to be some sort of change. After the most recent discussion was archived, I asked a few editors where to go next. I was told Wikipedia:Categorization was an option, and was also encouraged to start an RfC. Since this applies to WikiProjects other than WikiProject Songs, I've tried to pick a more encompassing space for discussion, and plan to post invites at WikiProjects Albums and Songs, WP:Categorization, and other spaces.
Within Wikipedia articles, we require sources to verify claims. When adding one or more genres to infoboxes, we required citations to prove the work has been described in this way. Why are we not treating categories the same way? We should only be adding genre categories when sourcing allows. Saying all Lady Gaga songs are synthpop is original research and grossly misleading. Her songs have been described as electronic, jazz, pop, rock, etc. You get my point.
Some editors have argued the genre categories are necessary for organizational purposes. I disagree. If Category:Rock albums by American artists is too large, then let us create/use genre subcategories such as Category:Pop rock albums by American artists, or separate by time (example: Category:1990s rock albums by American artists. But don't be lazy and say all seven articles in Category:Gavin DeGraw albums are classified as rock when: 1) only one of the articles actually has an inline citation classifying the album as rock; 2) some articles use specific rock subgenres, and 3) one of the articles does not even use the word "rock" in the infobox or anywhere in the article's prose. Saying these are all rock albums is inaccurate. We should only add genre categories when they truly apply.
We can do better. Wikipedia can do better. I realize this might be seen as a drastic change to how we categorize music articles, but I feel very strongly we should only add genre categories when sourcing and an article's text allows us to do so. I invite editors to please review past discussions and share their thoughts below.
I'm not knowledgeable on the Wikipedia category system, but IMO any system that relies on determining a genre to find something is a bad idea. Genres are in the eye of the beholder; occasionally they are clear-cut, but that is not the norm. Something like the artist's name is an objective trait. North8000 (talk) 19:20, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
You're right. I did not even use the word "subjective" above, but genres are absolutely subjective, which is precisely why we must rely on appropriate secondary coverage for genre information. Anything less is a disservice to readers. ---Another Believer(Talk) 19:23, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
No, we should not categorize all works of an artist by genre. Artists cross genres. Levivich 07:17, 30 March 2019 (UTC)
No Since the wording of the RFC could easily be misread, I note that "no" means don't categorize by genre. Applicable genre words usually varies with the eye of the beholder. While genre classification may have other uses, it's not a good primary location/search method. North8000 (talk) 13:20, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm considering reversing myself on this. I don't use categories, but what I didn't think of is that people probably use categories to browse a particular genre, not to find a particular band. In which case my argument would not apply, and categories provide some value.North8000 (talk) 19:07, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
I struck my "no". I'm leaving this to people who know categories better than me. North8000 (talk) 11:54, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
Depends. Some musicians stick firmly within one genre; others are more flexible, and some work within many different genres. So treat it on a case-by-case basis. --BrownHairedGirl(talk) • (contribs) 16:22, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
BrownHairedGirl, Sure, but do you agree we should only be adding genre categories when sourcing allows, and not making the judgements on our own? ---Another Believer(Talk) 16:24, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
But the question which you pose in this RFC is Should we continue categorizing all works (albums or songs) by an artist by genre?.
I answered that this is sometimes appropriate. I was thinking of for example Status Quo or Nanci Griffith, who have followed the same style throughout their careers.
You propose not categorising by genre, but now you say sure when I suggest that sometimes we should. Have you changed your mind? --BrownHairedGirl(talk) • (contribs) 16:32, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl: No, I've definitely not changed my mind. I said "Sure" to agree some musicians stick to specific genres. The way we currently categorize albums and songs is not based strictly on sourcing about those specific works. If I'm following correctly, you're saying there may be some instances in which all works by a group have been called the same genre in sourcing (for example, all 4 albums by a rock band have been described as rock music within their respective articles). In this case, I suppose placing the category for the band's albums under a rock genre category would be appropriate, but at the same time, what's wrong with just categorizing the album articles individually and leaving the artist category outside a genre? I'm glad we're in agreement about only adding categories when sourcing allows. Currently, we're not doing so consistently, and that's part of the problem. ---Another Believer(Talk) 16:39, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
If all of an artists's work fit in one genre, the std categorisation practice is categorise their works by that genre. The same principles apply regardless of topic: if all the contents of Category:X belong in Category:Y, then make Category:X a subcat of Category:Y. The alternative of placing each page in Category:X directly in Category:Y bloats Category:Y and adds category clutter to each of the pages in Category:X. This fundamental to how en.wp categories work, per WP:SUBCAT. Again, no WP:LOCALCON here can change WP:SUBCAT.
If an artist's work is mostly but not entirely in Genre1, then we have a choice to make. If we were purist, we'd say don't put the albums cat in genre1.
But remember that per WP:CAT, categories are for navigation. They are not some sort of linnean classification, or some repository of mathematical purity. They are a means to connect related articles.
So what best helps our readers? We already have a guideline on that WP:DEFINING. Is that genre of a defining attribute of the artists's work as a whole? If so, then place their albums category in that genre.
The thresholds are of course a judgement call. But we are editors, not robots and we don't need a precise formula. Most cases will be fairly simple: if Beethoven spent one winter in Norway making a blackened death metal album, we wouldn't look at the rest of his hundreds of albums and say "nah, he's not a pure classical artist, so remove Category:L van Beethoven albums from the classical albums category". --BrownHairedGirl(talk) • (contribs) 17:53, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl: even the old cliché about Status Quo only having the same three-chord boogie rock song wouldn't necessarily be true... they were certainly psychedelic pop, not rock, for their first couple of hits. A fair amount of the later material is closer to country music than to rock. And "Accident Prone" (one of my personal favourites) is a pretty convincing stab at disco... Richard3120 (talk) 17:59, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl: I'm happy to set the sourcing issue aside, but the discrepancy between how we categorize works by genre and what sources actually say about specific works is part of the problem here. I appreciate your thorough responses and will review some of the links you've shared. ---Another Believer(Talk) 20:05, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
Case-by-case A hard-and-fast rule is entirely unnecessary. Some artists change genre over their career while others do not. In cases where they do, a decision should be made whether the genre is appropriate. If the decision is controversial, a discussion may be required. Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:54, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
No, the genres of individual works should not mindlessly include all genres with which the writer/composer/artist is associated. West Side Story is not classical just because Bernstein also wrote classical works. Stand by Me does not become horror just because it's from a Stephen King novella, Double Indemnity is not a comedy just because other Billy Wilder films are, etc. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 22:38, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
Explicit, I have posted notifications at WikiProject Albums and WikiProject Songs, as well as a few other spaces. I assume this is good enough for notifying past discussion participants? ---Another Believer(Talk) 14:09, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
But this structure still associates albums with genres based on the artist, not what sources say about the albums specifically. I do not see this as a solution, but I'm definitely curious to see what other editors think. ---Another Believer(Talk) 16:23, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
That's the whole point because it wouldn't say a non-rock album is rock but by an act who has clearly established themselves as a rock artist. So an R&B album by a British rock act would be categorized as both an R&B album and an album by a British rock artist, both of which would be true and verifiable based on the sources provided in their respective articles, and none of this implies it is a rock album. StarcheerspeaksnewslostwarsTalk to me 18:01, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
No. The current system states that all songs by Mike Oldfield are "new age songs" and "progressive rock songs". In reality, his songs vary between these two genres, but also rock, hard rock, pop, classical, folk, and some rather undefinable stuff. (As an aside, some of these songs, like Introduction 2003, shouldn't have a standalone article). Fram (talk) 08:11, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
I think a no is an order; the concept of artist and the concept of genre are sufficiently orthogonal that they probably shouldn't be mixed. I'm not a fan of having a shadow category scheme, also. Hidden categories should generally be reserved for maintenance tasks; what (multiple) genres an artist practices in is not a question of maintenance. --Izno (talk) 22:46, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
No. Artist and genre should not be mixed, even when there are sources that specifically define a given artist as exclusively one genre. —烏Γ(kaw)│ 06:11, 03 May 2019 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
Billboard Global 100 and Rolling Stones Daily 100, which of these, if any, will be included on the discography pages and charting sections?
It seems that there's about to be a major mix up in how the charts work soon.
For one, Billboard is soon introducing a Global 100, based on Streams and Sales (no radio).
Secondly, Rolling Stones is releasing a Daily 100 starting in a few days.
Honestly, I've been following the charts very closely for about 7 years (and for even longer less closely) and it feels to me like we might be witnessing history here.
I was wondering when and if these charts would be included on the Wikipedia discography pages.
It seems to me like Billboard's Global 100 would be natural to include. Rolling Stone's Daily 100 feels like it might need to develop a degree of notoriety before it should get included. Since that publication has never had charts before. The Rolling Stones charts are redundant in terms of having a US singles charts. Plus, it is unprecedented and out-of-step will all other national charts, since it is daily instead of weekly Nikki Lee 1999 (talk) 07:27, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree – the Global 100 chart will almost certainly have to be included in Wikipedia, seeing as it's compiled by Nielsen, and quite likely the Rolling Stone chart too... for those unaware of developments, see here  and here . Japan's Oricon has had daily charts before, but Rolling Stone's should have a higher profile.
My worry is that a few years down the line, the next logical step is to have a real-time chart, which could mean more than one number-one per day, and could be extremely difficult to keep track of... Richard3120 (talk) 13:46, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I really doubt we'll ever see something like that. First off, how on Earth could we even begin to archive that? Does "real time" mean updated per hour? Or updated per minute? Even if it only meant to be updated every hour, that would already be 168x as space/time consuming to archive as regular weekly charts. The Billboard Hot 100's 61 year history would be matched in about 4 months. If charts can't be archived and searched through, then they are pretty much useless as historical records. I know iTunes has done "real time" charts before. But they didn't actually save the information or upload it anywhere. It was just for people to see in the minute that it happened. Nikki Lee 1999 (talk) 14:00, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm getting ahead of myself, I know. But yes, the problem of archiving charts is what worries me – people would presumably use the Wayback Machine to archive a snapshot of a chart at a particular moment. But at the moment, Billboard's archives simply give the highest position reached, and the date of the chart that it reached that position – that would be no different if it were a weekly chart, daily chart or any other time increment. So the archive would exist. Richard3120 (talk) 14:05, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Rolling Stone's daily chart is being driven from data provided by BuzzAngle Music. BuzzAngle Music is a competitor to Nielson Music and provides "building" album and song charts to Hits Daily Double. The link to the current BuzzAngle Music singles chart is here: . I don't think we've ever had a discussion on including information from BuzzAngle Music before. Richard Hendricks (talk) 15:16, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Rolling Stone and BuzzAngle Music are both partly owned by Penske Media Corporation, so I guess that makes BuzzAngle's supply of data to Rolling Stone an in-house operation. Richard3120 (talk) 17:01, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, don't know how I missed this one, but yes, I agree that both charts would be good to use. My threshold for chart inclusion is probably more lax than your typical experienced editor though, as I don't even like how we peel back use of things like Mainstream Rock Songs or Alternative Songs charts when they've charted on on the "Hot Rock Songs" charts. Sergecross73msg me 17:59, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
Question on what to name a songs article if an artist has multiple songs with the same name
Not sure if this is the right place, but I'm guessing someone here can awnser my question. The article I want to create in question is Intro (Meek Mill song), from his album Championships. Unfortuantly, He has more than one song named "Intro", having 4 in fact- the other 3 are from his Dreamchaser mixtape series. (Dreamchasers, Dreamchasers 2, and Dreamchasers 3) As I'm at a lost for what to do, I would ask that someone points me to a relevant policy or comes up with a solution.💵Money💵emoji💵💸 00:52, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
@Money emoji: Let me sidestep your direct question for a moment and ask, why do you want to create an article for this song in particular? Not all songs are notable (see WP:NSONG). Intros, transitions and interludes are not usually notable on their own. Assuming that the song is not really notable, my advice is simple: your problem is best solved by not creating the article at all and simply including the few sourced sentences you can write about an intro in the album article itself. Walter Görlitz (talk) 01:04, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
Walter Görlitz, I am confident that the song is notable unlike most skits/intros/interludes, as it charted at Number 55 on the Billboard hot 100, making it notable (It also isn't a skit/interlude/instrumental it's an actual song that just seems to be named "intro").💵Money💵emoji💵💸 01:34, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
Are we sure the other version is too? (Honest question - I have no idea off-hand.) Sergecross73msg me 01:37, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
Sergecross73, Dreamchaser 2 and Dreamchaser 3 seem to be notable. I'm not sure about Dreamchaser 1, so it doesn't change much. 💵Money💵emoji💵💸 01:54, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
No, I mean, do any of his other Meek Mills “Intro” songs have their own articles? If not, then the solution is just to name it “Intro (Meek Mills song)”. Disambiguation is meant to disambiguate between existing articles, not necessarily the songs themselves. Sergecross73msg me 02:44, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
In the event that multiple Meek Mill songs named "Intro" are sufficiently notable, the most practical solution would be to use the year of release to differentiate each article's title (e.g. Intro (Meek Mill song, 2012) and Intro (Meek Mill song, 2018)). LifeofTau 04:19, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
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Hi, I often see the term "digital download" in music-related articles. Because all downloads are digital (it can't be analog), I suggest to omit the word "digital" and just write "download". @STATicVapor: --Trustable (talk) 19:11, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
That is it's common name so we should use it, not a truncated yet more correct term. Walter Görlitz (talk) 00:25, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
The “digital” part is meant to disguish from “physical” as in a physical release of a CD or record. Yes, there is no “physical download”, but “physical” or “digital” are generally the two terms used in media like music, video games, etc. to distinguish the form of the music release, so I don’t think we’d be better off omitting it. Sergecross73msg me 02:15, 21 May 2019 (UTC)