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Thread: Deciding in langauge for CDs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Question Deciding in langauge for CDs

    Hi all

    This is a question mainly aimed at my fellow classical music collectors but I welcome contributions from anybody with thoughts/views on this issue.

    As I am slowly and painfully make my way round the CD shelf to enter ever more of my CDs onto OCD and I go through cycles of "renewal", i.e. times when I come to identify an issue about how I log my collection which I have not come across before.

    The newest one is a real bug bear for me: Language.
    I am having a real issue deciding how to go about choosing which language I use for entering classical works.
    My CD collection contains CDs from many different countries so I may have CDs with the same piece by a composer but spelt out in the language of the country where the CD was produced.
    So say I have a CD with organ music of Bach with the famous "Toccata and Fugue in D minor", I may have that name in it's English, German, Dutch, Polish, Italian etc spellings.

    Now I can think of several options I could go with this:
    a.) Keep pieces as originally named by composer
    b.) Keep pieces as named on CD
    c.) Keep pieces in one designated language, i.e. English.

    There are potential difficulties with each of these:
    a.) While for better known composers it's not hard to find the original naming (although even there sources can sometimes disagree with each other) the real problem comes with less or little known composers, where I would have to rely the naming of pieces as per the CD back sheet/booklet, which is not always accurate at all. Sometimes these are provided as names in the country's language with no reference to what, if any, names the composer assigned to them.

    b.) Keeps it easy in a way but I can see how, with growing CDs entered into OCD, this will become a total nightmare to find a certain musical piece if it exists in the database in different languages and spellings
    c.) Easy from an searching/query point of view I guess but not practical at all times as I for sure would not be able to translate all languages back into English on all occasions and I don't want to rely on Bablefish or Google Translate for the job as the results could be, ehmmmm.....interesting at times
    Plus being multi-lingual I have little problem with naming not going by one default language. I am probably more familiar with the works of Bach, Mozart etc in their German naming than in any other language.

    I would say I probably tend to favour Options (a) along with (c) but it's about trying to decide how to go forward in a consistent fashion.
    One thing I considered was to go with (a) on composers I am fairly familiar with and (c) for composers whose work I do not actively collect or am familiar with is, but it is a bit of flaky basis as far as consistency is concerned. What would I be doing when in five years’ time I get to really learn about some composer whose music I didn't know too much before. Last thing I would want to then decide and change track/composition names from English to Italian (or whichever language it is) just because I know am familiar with their works.

    So I am alittle bit stuck on this issue and think I want to decide on this first before I go ahead and enter too many CDs which would need re-editing in due course

    What approach do others on here take in regards to different language naming in their CD collections? Do you bother at all?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    I have a "probably more elaborate than necessary" approach to this, but it came about more to facilitate search than a concern for language. Here's what I do:

    If the track is a movement of a larger work, then the track title (in track properties) is simply the name of the movement (Allegro, for example, in the case of typical orchestral or chamber works) and the name of the particular work (Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825, for example) is used as the group name.

    If the track is a single piece (Fantasia in C minor, BWV906, for example) then that is used as a track title and there is no group.

    In each of these cases I use the title exactly as it appears on the liner notes or back insert (though I have found cases where there are inconsistencies in a single album).

    I have also created a custom track field which I use for a "standard" English track title. I created this to allow me to have a Composer + work organisation of the Browse by tree (the left column of the standard OCD display); neither track title nor group title are fields that can be used for Browse by. I use exactly the same wording for every recording of the same work. So, for example, Bach's BWV1056 appears as Concerto No. 5 in f, BWV 1056 in this custom field even though it is called Concerto for Harpsichord, Strings, and Continuo No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056 on Pinnock's DG recording and Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056 on Hewitt's Hyperion release. I must confess I often use the Wikipedia name for the work in this custom field, but I try to maintain a consistent format for a particular composer (all Vivaldi Concerti have the same format in the custom field)

    This allows me to retain the details exactly as they appear on the actual cd (or download) while also having a consistent reference to a particular work.

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