[mb-style] RFV-SomethingElse: Updated wording for Performance AR "instrumental" attribute (expires 2011-07-29)

Calvin Walton calvin.walton at kepstin.ca
Sat Jul 30 15:34:27 UTC 2011

A few other people have discussed some other things, so I'm just going
to respond to some of your points.

On Wed, 2011-07-27 at 17:03 -0700, Ryan Torchia wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 1:33 PM, Calvin Walton
> <calvin.walton at kepstin.ca> wrote:
>         On Wed, 2011-07-27 at 13:14 -0700, Ryan Torchia wrote:

> Argh...sorry, my fault.  I need to start providing links to my
> examples.  Anyway, here's a recording if you're interested.
> Basically there's a wordless, but very prominant vocal part, so the
> question is really: Does "Instrumental" mean no lyrics or no voices?
> If it means no lyrics, it makes sense that this is already an
> instrumental and wouldn't ever need to be specially designated as
> such.  But that creates some odd situations:
> 1) Basically we're telling users "If it's an instrumental, don't mark
> it 'instrumental'."
> 2) By that definition, a song could be an acapella instrumental
> (though we wouldn't mark it as an instrumental).
> 3) I can think of some edge cases like where a piece that originally
> had no vocal part was covered or remixed with a vocal part (and
> lyrics) added.  In that case, would the original recording be marked
> "instrumental"?  

The only way to represent this in MusicBrainz right now is to create a
new Work for the remixed/cover version, and link it to the original with
the "later version" relationship (which may be renamed to "derivative
version" at some point).

This becomes particularly obvious in the case where an originally
instrumental work has multiple covers by different people
with /different/ lyrics added - you wouldn't want to go and add all of
the new lyricists to the original work, that just doesn't make sense.

> (And while my ADD is kicking in, do you think "acapella" would be
> worth adding to the Perfomance AR?)

I mentioned this, jokingly, when the "instrumental" attribute was first
proposed. The general opinion is that we want to avoid adding all sorts
of different performance type attributes, at least for now. The
"instrumental" attribute was accepted primarily for /technical/ reasons
- it provides a way to indicate that the lyricist should not be credited
on a particular recording.

It might, at some point, make sense to have a sort of list of
performance types, similar to how we do instruments now... Or possibly
even make the performance type an attribute of the recording itself.

> And...actually, now that I think about it, there is one other minor
> problem.  Your definition says: "The lyrics are not relevant for this
> performance of the work, such that the lyricist would not be
> credited."  'Lyricist' is a Work level AR, so even an instrumental
> Performance of a Work is going to include that Lyricist AR.  How about
> something like this:
> “instrumental”
> This attribute is used to indicate a Recording that omits its Work's
> lyrics or vocals. Examples include arrangements in which an instrument
> plays a melody line that is normally sung, an alternate mix that
> includes a song's backing tracks without the vocal track.  

This brings up the problem that I had with the karaoke versions, and
becomes a bit confusing, because the Japanese karaoke releases are,
literally, "an alternate mix that includes a song's backing tracks
without the vocal track".

> Guidelines
>      * This attribute indicates that the Recording deviates from the
> original Work by excluding the lyrics.  If the Work itself has no
> lyrics, the attribute should not be used.
>      * Karaoke versions of songs should not be marked as instrumental.
> The vocal line is intended to be sung live, so the result will be a
> performance of the work that includes lyrics.  Instead, the karaoke
> track should be linked to the original recording(*) with the [Karaoke
> Relationship Type].

I think your guideline wording is an improvement here.

> * The Karaoke Relationship is Recording-Recording?  Shouldn't it be
> Recording-Work?  I think tracks are frequently (usually?) recreated
> without vocals rather than stripped down from the original tapes.

With the Japanese recordings that I deal with most often, the karaoke
versions (usually called "original karaoke") are in fact released
alongside the original by the record label (often on the same single as
the original version!), and are in fact made at the same time as the
main mix, by simply not including the vocal tracks. These do make sense
to link to the particular recording that they were derived from.

(Karaoke places in Japan are actually regulated by JASRAC (think RIAA),
and pay song licensing fees.)

The case of a new karaoke version of a song (the cover versions that you
see for most western karaoke music), there's currently no good way to
link that in NGS. This relation could probably use a bit of a redesign.

> Anyway, sorry I didn't catch all this before the RFV.  I won't veto
> this because I kind of doubt any of these issues are going to cause
> mass panic or nuclear hissy fits.
> --Torc.
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