Wikipedia talk:Notability (music)/Archive 14

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RFC nearing end

Wikipedia talk:Record charts/RFC has been relatively unattended, and I would like to hear more voices.—Kww(talk) 18:54, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Notability of specific albums

Typing Mozart Violin Sonatas into the search box, and expecting to find a more-or-less complete listing of these, I am instead taken to an article * which turns out to be an entry for a CD of Hilary Hahn playing exactly four of Mozart's ~25-30 sonatas for violin. Just what is the point of this, other than frustrating Wikipedia users? There is no discussion presented of the four sonatas, simply a track listing, with no timings or other information to make the page even minimally useful; and the issuer's catalog number is not provided. Putting this identical search term into Amazon yields 1,512 results - shall we make separate Wikipedia article pages for them all? I myself have some 20 CDs of Mozart violin sonatas, by various performers, probably most of whom are as notable as Hahn - would I be welcomed to create new WP pages for all these? I think not, and I recommend this and other similar pages for deletion, as nothing more than useless and misleading clutter. The article on Hahn already contains an extensive discography, several other entries similarly linking to "articles" on specific discs.

Certainly many specific albums or CDs can be considered "notable" and worthy of their own separate WP entries - for instance, in classical music, where the composer performs his/her own work; or in complete collections such as the 6-CD reissue of the Boskovsky/Kraus recordings of the Mozart sonatas from the 1950s. But it's hard to see how random selections of compositions, by random performers, can rise to being sufficiently "notable" as to warrant their own separate articles. Milkunderwood (talk) 09:37, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

The albums would justify articles if sources existed discussing them which could be used to expand the articles in question beyond basic details and a track listing. The possibly inappropriate destination from your search is a separate issue, and one that can be fixed by creating appropriate redirects and naming other articles appropriately.--Michig (talk) 09:55, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
If you repeat your search you may now find you get a better result.--Michig (talk) 09:59, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
The same 3-word search term takes me back to the identical useless article; no better result. I agree that the inappropriate destination from the search is a separate issue, and needs to be fixed, perhaps by disambiguation. But I still can't imagine how this one CD rises to notability, regardless of the enthusiasm of Hahn's fans. What about the other 1500 CDs of Mozart violin sonatas? "Notability" may be a vague term, but it isn't entirely meaningless. Milkunderwood (talk) 10:32, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Try again, ignoring the suggestion that appears. It will take a while for the new redirect to pop up while you're typing as the suggestions are based on a cache but if you enter 'Mozart Violin Sonatas' and hit return you should get something more useful. If Hahn's CD (or any of the other multitude of CDs) had received meaningful reviews from several respected sources or had charted then it would be notable and there would be no reason not to have an article on it. If not and all we have is a track listing then those articles should perhaps not be here. I haven't searched to see if this is the case with Hahn's so offer no opinion on whether or not it is notable.--Michig (talk) 11:14, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
With regard to the confusion caused by the article's title, I have moved it to reflect the actual full title given on the CD's cover. See Milkunderwood (talk) 18:24, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
On the Discussion page for the article on Hahn's recording of 4 sonatas, a previous entry appearing before mine states "Parentheses should be added to the title so that its clear this is not a general article about the sonatas but a very specific recording of a small subset of those sonatas by Hilary Hahn." I haven't been able to locate a MOS page to verify this suggestion, but I'm sure there must be one here somewhere. Milkunderwood (talk) 19:24, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Requiring feature articles to establish notability

The article on the band Blanket Music has been nominated for deletion, and to my mind it raises some issues. Namely: are a few music reviews in notable and semi-notable publications enough to establish notability? Here's what I had to say on the matter:

Weak Keep: Nothing came up in a 15 year Google news search, and only CMJ mentions turn up in Google books. While the sources listed by Michig (Allmusic, Pitchfork, Tiny Mix Tapes, Pop Matters and The Portland Mercury) are all notable music publications, with the exception of the short Allmusic bio these are not feature articles about the band per ser. There is a mention of a song on a soundtrack, but the rest are music reviews. Also, the music reviews are in equal measure bad reviews. Whether or not notability can be established with a handful of music reviews--and mixed reviews at that--seems to be a gray area in WP:BAND.

When I wrote the article on Mahjongg (which I resurrected after it had been deleted) I sourced it almost entirely with feature articles. I think requiring feature articles to establish notability might be a good policy. Do we really want every long-forgotten band that got a few tepid reviews in Pitchfork and Tiny Mix Tapes then vanished off the face of the planet to have an article? It seems to me that if a band is notable, then music publications, newspapers and magazines will eventually profile them.--Atlantictire (talk) 21:19, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

We require coverage as specified in WP:GNG and this guideline. Substantial reviews are significant coverage. The band in question has received much more coverage than "a few tepid reviews in Pitchfork and Tiny Mix Tapes" as is obvious from the AFD discussion.--Michig (talk) 21:31, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
The band in question has 1 good review from 2001, 1 good review form 2002, 1 tepid to bad review from 2002, 2 good reviews from 2004, 2 bad reviews from 2004, 1 good review from 2006, 1 bad review from 2006. No feature articles to my knowledge, and nothing has been written about them in the last five years. I didn't say delete the article... but I am concerned as to whether a band is notable just because they were reviewed in a notable publication. Allmusic already exists as a database of bands and reviewers' consensus about them.--Atlantictire (talk) 21:51, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
You list 9 different times that the band in question has been covered non-trivially--presumably in reliable sources. Given that level of coverage that spans several years, that seems plenty adequate to meet the WP:GNG. Whether the reviews are positive or negative is unimportant, nor is the lack of any reviews for five years important, per WP:NTEMP. Jclemens (talk) 22:32, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

I guess what I'm wondering is where would you get the historical context and biographical information to write an actual article? Are you ok with WP pages that can only ever be stubs? I'm not finding anything in the extant press on Blanket Music that would allow you to do more than this.--Atlantictire (talk) 23:15, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Note that Wikipedia has a guideline on ideal stub articles, so this would indicate that an article is not unacceptable just because it's a stub. There is also no correlation between notability and article size. And finally, if you find an article that is lacking in "historical context," that's what a stub tag is for because someday someone might come along who is knowledgeable enough to flesh out the article. What's the rush? --DOOMSDAYER520 (Talk|Contribs) 18:22, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
While I generally find the notability guidelines for musicians too permissive (particularly the idea that charting even once on any national chart implies notability), I don't think that requiring feature articles would be correct. That would actually be saying than musicians are held to a much higher standard that other people. I think this guideline already does a good job of explaining that minimal reviews or concert listings aren't enough, but feature article is too high. Qwyrxian (talk) 21:55, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Probably the two biggest reasons a SNG exists for bands because for the same degree of RW notability they would tend to have less in depth RS coverage than most other subjects, but also that they would be more likely have biased folks (promoters and fans) pushing the articles. WP is full of articles on obscure ball players. We have to be careful to not single out bands for much unfairly stricter treatment. North8000 (talk) 22:19, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Performer Notability

Would a performer who plays in a band that has a billboard charting album, has won awards grammy/juno, and the band has a large fan base be considered notable? For example, with under WP:NSPORT players are deemed notable if they participate on a professional team, regardless of news coverage. Does this same standard apply to musicians? For example Adrian_Young does not have significant news coverage as an individual However, No Doubt has significant coverage. Would he be considered notable by association, muchlike how soccer players are notable for playing on a good team? Nicweber (talk) 08:21, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

I've been wondering this myself. The article covers "composers and lyricists", but no other individual performers. This is a very glaring oversight, and I'm surprised to return to this article months later to find that it still doesn't explain how we determine notability for a musician who is neither a solo act nor songwriter.--Martin IIIa (talk) 21:14, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

sales of albums by digital download

Many people buy things by digital download, direct to their MP3 players, phones, or computers. Is there a place that list all reliable sources that keep track of this information in various countries? Dream Focus 07:35, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Gold record can mean 3,000 copies to 1 million copies

It currently says "Has had a record certified gold or higher in at least one country." List of music recording certifications shows that different nations have different numbers for getting a gold record. So selling three thousand copies in Ecuador makes you notable, while selling less than one million copies in the United States means you are not. Why should an American album that sells 999,999 copies not be notable, but one that sells 3,000 in Ecuador be notable? I suggest we change that to a set number, perhaps 100,000. Dream Focus 07:35, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

A difficulty with this is that certifications are probably going to be easier to source than arbitrary sales numbers. I would have thought that gold certification would be set by each country at a level where it would provide a meaningful measure of success in that country.--Michig (talk) 05:59, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Notability of singles

While WP:NALBUMS is headed "Albums, singles and songs" there does not seem to be any guidance as to when articles about singles are appropriate. What is the general consensus as to their notability? doomgaze (talk) 02:27, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

To me, there is no distinction between a single and a song. So, as per that section above - ...a separate article on a song is only appropriate when there is enough verifiable material to warrant a reasonably detailed article. That is what I would go with, personally.   ArcAngel   (talk) ) 06:13, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
I guess what I mean by 'singles' in this case are stand-alone two-track releases (A-side and B-side) that were not released as part of an album, so some of the guidlines applicable to songs (redirecting to parent album etc) don't apply. I think the MoS could do with being clearer to be honest, but I can try to just go by that clause. doomgaze (talk) 14:41, 1 June 2011 (UTC)


I had recently expanded, what I can do for now, Ya Ves, a Selena single that never impacted any music chart (and I use the term slightly, because Billboard has removed some peaks positions of her albums and singles). However, I had read that if a single has "been covered by notable bands or artists, then its notable" - does this rule means that if I can find a notable artist (that has an article on Wikipedia) that had recorded or promoted a song, that has recently been merged or deleted, can be included in the songs article and be re-written? AJona1992 (talk) 15:14, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I think if two notable artists have published versions of a particular song, that should clearly meet our inclusion criteria. Consider I Hung My Head: never released as a single, never charted anywhere, but recorded and released by both Sting and Johnny Cash. Jclemens (talk) 01:22, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
The actual text in WP:NSONGS is "... that have been independently released as a recording by several notable artists, bands or groups". Who do you believe has released a recording of this song aside from Selena? Playing it live in a tribute concert (as the article claims that Bobby Pulido and Jay Perez have done) wouldn't count. I don't see that the recording has ever been released (it's not on, and I don't see a source that supports the statement that they recorded it. Beyond that, WP:NSONGS suggests that we don't have articles about songs unless "there is enough verifiable material to warrant a reasonably detailed article", and this article doesn't cross that threshold. Unverified concert claim, status as a "pick track", and data copied from the album liner notes don't constitute a detailed article.
Further, the reason for the exception about cover versions is to allow us to have a place to cover all versions of a song together. This article really hasn't got much to say about different versions: no comparison of the two versions or reactions to the difference in musical styles of the artist.—Kww(talk) 02:03, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Substantive edits versus refinement and specification

I am in the process of compiling secondary sourced material for an article series on an area of music I have studied for decades, and the guideline tends to suggest exclusion of some notables and in fact probably a lot of existing musician pages would be excludable were these guidelines enforced. I did some minor tweaks but there need to be more opportunities for inclusion while weeding out the vanity articles.

Posted, comments here?

At "Other" just kind of spelling out some pretty obvious considerations to frame discussion going forward:

  • 'Has won local contests or sponsored by local chapters or representatives of notable national organizations or national communities reflected a defined notable sub genre. One such triumph shall be creditable if it entitles the winner to move to national or major region competitions or if the contest is notable in and of itself.
  • Fills a gap in coverage of a notable topic such as a genre study or other study of a trend, tradition or school and omission of inclusion would detract from Wikipedia's goal of comprehensive coverage of a notable topic provided inclusion does not elevate notability in such manner as to inappropriately highlight that musician or composer vis a vis equally notable non-included musicians or composers.
GeoBardRap 22:01, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
This isn't the way to go about making significant changes to a guideline. You should discuss your proposals before making them. far from being 'not drastic', your changes significantly change the guideline, so have been reverted pending consensus to add them. It is certainly not appropriate to change a guideline simply so that the subject of an article that you are writing then appears notable.--Michig (talk) 06:51, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I support Michig on this. Also, WP:NMUSIC is already one of the most permissive notability guidelines (compare with WP:PROF or WP:MOVIE for instance). If anything, we should tighten it up, not make it even more permissive. LK (talk) 08:28, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Number 6

"Is an ensemble which contains two or more independently notable musicians, or is a musician who has been a member of two or more independently notable ensembles." Anyone wanna tell me how this is acceptable? I thought notability was WP:NOTINHERITED, but the wording of #6 sure as hell sounds like "notable because he's in a notable band", which is directly in opposition to WP:NOTINHERITED. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 01:47, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

It's come up quite often in the archives. Did you have a look? --Izno (talk) 04:26, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  • If our hypothetical musician is non-notable, but was in a notable band, he becomes a redirect to the band.
  • If he was a member of any number of other non-notable bands, that fact can be covered in his section of the notable band's article.
  • If he's been a member of two notable bands, to where is he redirected? Therein lies the rub. Plus, if both bands are themselves notable (meaning, independent RS have covered them), we almost certainly have enough to meet V and N for the individual members, though possibly not by much. Hence, presumption of notability. Jclemens (talk) 04:44, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
But that's the problem. Far too often people are ignoring the "reliable sources" part and saying "keep, he was in band X and band Y". And they back it up with sources about band X and band Y that only tangentially mention him. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Hallucinogen (musician) (2nd nomination) for but one example. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 05:11, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
So what? If he's a part of two notable bands, he needs to be a redirect somewhere, for encyclopedic completeness. Notability is not the be-all-and-end-all of inclusion, which is why it's a guideline, not a policy. Let's do a thought experiment here: If someone can be a redirect, then they can be a disambiguation page, if there are two logical places for a redirect, right? And if someone can be a disambiguation page, why not add what content is verifiable? Focus on serving the readers, and let notability serve that end, rather than trying to insist that readers can't possibly want to find out about a non-notable band member who's been a member of two notable bands. Jclemens (talk) 06:27, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
He doesn't need to be redirected anywhere. If he's not individually notable, then he can be deleted, can't he? I can't think of any single other subject where "keep because there's nowhere to redirect it to" will fly. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 13:38, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:CREATIVE, point 3? That notability standard relates to the notability of the product, not to coverage of the person who created or "played a major role in co-creating", the product. This seems very analogous to me to this criterion, in which it is the product (the bands), not the creator who is noted. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:17, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually, yes, he *does* need to be redirected somewhere. Deleting a redirect just because it is ambiguous is not appropriate--we fix problems via editing, rather than deleting, per WP:ATD (a policy which trumps N as a guideline). Non-notable topics with a discernable parent topic are made into redirects. The deal with these folks is that they have multiple parent articles. Jclemens (talk) 01:29, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

If someone has been a member of two or more clearly notable bands, and we can verify this using reliable sources, then we can at least have a properly-sourced stub stating that musician X is a musician who was/is a member of band Y and band Z. Ideally we would have a bit more than this and we will in the vast majority of cases, but there's nothing wrong with well-sourced stubs. Members of notable bands are plausible/likely search terms for those bands, so these articles also serve a purpose in pointing people to further information about those bands. If the musician is primarily known for one band and the article contains minimal information on them then we can redirect it to that band's article (where the other band should be mentioned/linked). What is the benefit of deleting these articles? None whatsoever that I can see. People need to start thinking about what is of most benefit to this encyclopedia as their primary consideration. TPH gives Hallucinogen (musician) as an example but it is a poor one as there is plenty of coverage of him, and virtually all of the 'bands' that he has been in are either basically him working under a pseudonym or him collaborating with another artist. Better examples of the borderline cases are people who may have played on one tour with a notable band long after their popularity faded and then played on one album by another band that has had dozens of members. I can't think of any names off the top of my head but there have been a few of those at AFD. In those cases I think it's appropriate to make a judgment as to whether they were a sufficiently significant member to be useful as a search term. In many cases, someone brought in to play bass on a single album won't be. Remember that this is a guideline though, not a rule, so each case should be judged on its own merits - it simply states that a musician that has been a member of two or more notable bands will generally be considered notable.--Michig (talk) 14:02, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

May vs. May (not will)

I prefer the simpler, original, language. TPH's edit is inappropriate--we don't say "man (not will)" on other SNG's, do we? The fact that some musicians have a loyal following who argue the most tenuous reasons to keep an article on a non-notable musician is not a reason to modify the guideline. Jclemens (talk) 14:22, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Then I think it needs something to make it clearer that meeting a criterion of WP:BAND is not a free pass to circumvent WP:GNG. Seems far too often, someone will argue that someone's notable because they got one week at #100 (see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Lenny Gault). Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 15:03, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
The main problem is, I believe, that so many people don't understand the difference between policies and guidelines. This is a guideline - it documents what is generally considered notable - too many people see it something that determines via a few simple criteria whether a subject is 'notable' (and should be kept) or is not 'notable' (and should be deleted). It's useful as it reflects consensus, and decisions on which articles we keep or delete should be guided by established consensus. 'May' has the same meaning as 'may (not will)' so that change isn't helpful. We already have a notice at the top of the page to this effect - are people not noticing it? #100 isn't a significant hit in most countries, but presumably that's a fair number of sales in the US given the population (or does Billboard still base its charts on how successful pluggers have been in getting airplay)?--Michig (talk) 16:55, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
It's not entirely about numbers, either. I've found at least three artists in the past couple years who charted in the 50-60 range on the country music charts and absolutely fail WP:GNG because no sources exist. On the other hand, sometimes an artist gets a lot of publicity before and after the fact, but the album goes nowhere and the single never hits even #60 on country (e.g. Laura Bryna). I had some poor misguided soul try to tell me that she wasn't notable because she never charted, even though the article has a dozen sources. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 21:19, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
That sounds like someone hasn't actually read the guidelines, in which case tweaking them won't solve the problem. Any idea what #60 on the Country chart generally corresponds to on the Hot 100? I suspect somewhere outside the top 200, which probably corresponds to not many sales, and often not much coverage (?), and in the absence of a specialist chart placing wouldn't indicate notability. If people aren't getting the fact that passing the GNG means the artist is notable whatever else is true about them there's probably little hope of getting through to them. This is clear enough I think if people actually read the guidelines.--Michig (talk) 22:07, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
And you're right. WP:GNG trumps any other guidelines. If they meet GNG, it doesn't matter if they fail WP:BAND or any subset. Also, I wouldn't say that the country charts have an analogue since, unlike the Hot 100, they're driven entirely by airplay. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 22:37, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
I've always treated them as logical ORs. That is, meet the GNG *or* and SNG, and you're good. ATHLETE is often cited to trump the GNG--that is, no professional start = no article, no matter how much RS press received for the player. Others, like PORNBIO are well-respected within the Wikiproject, but ridiculed and overridden regularly at AfD. All that being said, if GNG is "it", why do we even bother to have SNGs if they're neither exclusionary (must meet it, even if GNG is met, or no article) or inclusionary (meet the SNG and you're in, even if GNG not met)? Jclemens (talk) 01:50, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:NSONG only works as a logical and, not or. It includes "All articles on albums, singles or songs must meet the basic criteria at the notability guidelines, with significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject." With that text, any song that meets the SNG already meets the GNG. The SNG only provides any guidance if you treat it as an additional hurdle to jump. Logically, I think we should strive to have all SNGs function that way: GNG as a minimum hurdle, SNG as an exclusion designed to keep coverage consistent through a topic area, handling things like album tracks (for which you can nearly always find at least two mentions in reviews of the album), high-school athletes (which ATHLETE would exclude), and similar things that would simply swamp us out. Today, we have some that are written as inclusion rules, some that are written as exclusion rules, and some that wobble back-and-forth.—Kww(talk) 00:08, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
GNG actually settles it by saying that meeting one of the listed SNG's meets GNG. So that it is a logical OR. North8000 (talk) 02:37, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Traditional songs Notability: tweaking the verbiage

This is new copy in the guideline - it covers a gap in that most of the editors here are thinking in terms of songs other than trad.

Traditional music is more properly the province of other projects, but to the extent that WP editors may consult the guidleine on this project it seems useful to rhave somediscuasion of traditional songs.

This minimalist addition to the Project Page is pretty cut and dried and does not introduce any particularly controversial novelties, but rather expresses established WP policy in the context of trad music, which is an ommission in the previous version of the project page.

If you have an issue with any of this content please state specifically what your problem is and cite what WP policy you believe it is inconsistent with.

A mere reversioni of this addition without a discussion in the talk page will probably not be a particularly productive way to proceed, so please provide alternative wording or some reason why you don't think the material belongs there. Thank you in advance.

  • Reference

When in doubt don't delete

GeoBardRap 23:59, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Looks good. North8000 (talk) 03:07, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah just common sense. This mod below is really just a clarification of the net resulting actual policy or guideline:
  • "Has been a featured subject of a substantial broadcast segment across a national radio or TV network."
(As opposed to old language, a silly "thirty minute" specification, which is a redline hard and fast rule which is not the way WP policies and guidelines are enforced anyway. So the rewording is actually a more accurate statement of existing policy and not any kind of policy mod. But it is noticed here for comments, re-tweaking. Obviously if a band is on one of three segements on Sixty Minutes, they are notable and the fact that they did not reach the thirty minute landmark is irrelevant :)GeoBardRap 18:29, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Looks good. North8000 (talk) 19:15, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

A discussion concerning Sputnik Music

There is a discussion at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#sputnikmusic related to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kosherat that may be of interest to those following this page. J04n(talk page) 18:08, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Hip Hop Subgenre

I want to do a entry on a pacific subgenre of Hip Hop and that's Southern rap. So can please improve it or make a new one to get expected as a new page — Preceding unsigned comment added by Picaxe01 (talkcontribs) 21:12, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Band Tryad got deleted because it doesn't has these criterias?

I believe those criterias have a strong tendency to support commercial music only. Tryad for instance won't even win a grammy because their music is released under the creative commons license. Nevertheless they are one of the most successful and famous bands coming from that direction. I searched for that info on the web and couldn't believe that Wikipedia has no article on them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, 13 September 2011 (UTC)


Hello. I can't see where this issue has come up before, but if it has my apologies. I am writing to ask whether we can consider that the MUSICBIO criteria are inappropriate for the Chinese music industry. This list asserts that the SARFT certifies records gold or platinum, but there is no indication of this on their website, nor are these certifications well-known. The Chinese Wikipedia article explains them in the HK, Taiwan and US contexts, and says nothing about China. The main digital download system--is Baidu--, but this has such a bad reputation on Wikipedia that it seems to me people haven't considered whether its MP3 charting is problematic. It is the de facto national chart. Just some thoughts for your consideration. Njnu-ban-xueshenghao (talk) 23:39, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Delete "Every album by notable musician gets own article" guideline?

When considering notability of articles on albums, I've been confused because the WP:NALBUMS guideline contains the guidance: "In general, if the musician or ensemble is notable, and if the album in question has been mentioned in multiple reliable sources, then their officially released albums may have sufficient notability to have individual articles on Wikipedia." The problem I'm seeing is that it is very easy to find 4 or 5 trivial sources for non-notable albums by notable musicians. To clarify these kinds of situations, I propose that the "exception" for notable musicians in this guideline should be deleted as follows:

All articles on albums, singles or songs must meet the basic criteria at the notability guidelines, with significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. In general, if the musician or ensemble is notable, and if the album in question has been mentioned in multiple reliable sources, then their officially released albums may have sufficient notability to have individual articles on Wikipedia.

In other words, I'm proposing that the "significant coverage" requirement should apply to all albums, even those by notable musicians. That would correct the impression that this guideline automatically permits an article for every album by any notable musician. --Noleander (talk) 17:51, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Original text: I recently did an AfD on five albums by musician Don Moen. This musician has about 30 albums. Every single one of those albums (except the ones just deleted) has its own WP article e.g. More of You, Lord – Praise with Don Moen Volume 2. I'm trying to decide if I should start AfDs on more of the albums, but unfortunately this guideline has the guidance: "In general, if the musician or ensemble is notable, and if the album in question has been mentioned in multiple reliable sources, then their officially released albums may have sufficient notability to have individual articles on Wikipedia." The problem I'm seeing is that it is very easy to find 4 or 5 trivial sources for non-notable albums by notable musicians. For example, an editor is now attempting to find more sources for one of the deleted albums - assuming that the sources are all trivial reviews, it is difficult to argue that the album article should stay deleted, because of this guideline's "exception" for notable musicians.</ To clarify these kinds of situations, I propose that the "exception" for notable musicians in this guideline should be deleted as follows: --Noleander (talk) 13:10, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. If the article can be adequately sourced and the album is by a notable artist, there is really no good reason why it shouldn't have its own article. It makes little sense for discographies of notable artists to have only some albums linked to separate articles if editors are willing to write articles for all the albums. Noleander, you refer to the "problem" you're seeing but you don't explain why you perceive it as a problem - perhaps you could elucidate? You say "Every single one of (Don Moen's) albums (except the ones just deleted) has its own WP article", so what is the sense of having just a few albums deemed less notable than the others missing? Do you really think that's of any benefit to our readers?

Album articles are seldom problematic so their maintenance is not unduly time-consuming. This sort of unconstructive deletionism is driving away good editors and taking up too much of the time of those who stay and find themselves spending their time defending harmless articles instead of sorting out real problems or adding significantly to the encyclopaedia. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 14:23, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

I think you misunderstand my question. The Don Moen scenario just explained how this question arose. The question I'm posing is: what is the value of the guidance "In general, if the musician or ensemble is notable, and if the album in question has been mentioned in multiple reliable sources, then their officially released albums may have sufficient notability to have individual articles on Wikipedia". My point is that that sentence has the potential to cause confusion, and could be deleted because the prior sentence covers all situations. --Noleander (talk) 15:12, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Oppose. If an article is mentioned by reliable sources, then it passes WP:N. It is either notable or it isn't, and the way we determine that is by how much third-party discussion it receives. If an article is poorly sourced (or unsourced period) then it may qualify for AFD, but if it has those sources then it is notable, plain and simple. Melicans (talk, contributions) 15:00, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Understood. Could you please explain if/why you think the guidance "In general, if the musician or ensemble is notable, and if the album in question has been mentioned in multiple reliable sources, then their officially released albums may have sufficient notability to have individual articles on Wikipedia" adds any value to this guideline? Specifically: doesnt it just muddy the waters since the prior sentence already discusses how to determine notability? --Noleander (talk) 15:14, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Potentially, but I see it as an explanation of what may qualify as 'notability'. What exactly is 'significant coverage in reliable sources'? Is there a specific quantity of quality sources needed? What is the threshold? It's very ambiguous, and seems up to each person to determine for themselves. The part you propose be removed seems to em to be an attempt at further explaining that notability threshold (although admittedly a not very good one). That said I believe I may have misunderstood your original proposal, so I've struck my oppose. Melicans (talk, contributions) 15:37, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
You've got a point there. Perhaps the sentence is trying to say "If the artist is notable, then the threshold for sourcing is lower than for a non-notable artist"? If so, perhaps the best thing to do is reword the sentence. Alternatively, just strike it and state that all albums, regardless of the notability of the musician, must satisfy the already-stated primary requirement: "All articles on albums, singles or songs must meet the basic criteria at the notability guidelines, with significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject." I guess I'm an Occam's razor sort of person, and so eliminating that "exception for notables" is my preference. --Noleander (talk) 16:19, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree. In essence this is just bringing it back into line with the already existing notability requirements. If an article is to exist, it must be notable. It is notable if it has coverage in reliable third-party sources, and that coverage must be in the article. If that coverage is not in the article it does not mean that it doesn't exist; only that nobody has looked for it or added it to the article. Seems fairly straightforward to me; though I still question what consitutes 'significant coverage'. Is it three sources? Five? Ten? Fifteen? Does coverage in a book qualify more than a brief mention in an online article? Etc. Melicans (talk, contributions) 16:53, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
You are correct in suggesting that more clarity could be brought to the "significant coverage" phrase. But that is an independent issue. Maybe we could go in two steps: (1) determine if the "notable musician exception" should be deleted; and then (2) consider adding clarity to the "significant coverage" phrase. --Noleander (talk) 17:23, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. As I misunderstood what you were suggesting initially and have now read it through more thoroughly, I do support removing the exception. WP:N is the threshold by which we should judge all articles, including those on albums, songs, and artists. The notability of the artist is in no way reflective of the notability of their product. Melicans (talk, contributions) 17:42, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Apparently I did a very poor job in my initial proposal above. Two out of two editors missed my point :-) I've revised my text above, accordingly. --Noleander (talk) 17:51, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I don't see the "significant coverage" question as a separate issue at all. I think the part which Noleander wants to delete is attempting to clarify that it is to be expected that media coverage of a notable musician is likely to be more extensive than coverage of any one of their albums individually, and that we should take this into account when assessing sources; so a sentence or two in a particular publication could be considered trivial in reference to a band, but significant in reference to a specific album or song. If we want to make this clearer we need to decide on alternative wording before removing the current version.
One more question for now: wouldn't it make things so much easier if we did allow an "exception" for albums by notable artists with regard to notability (obviously subject to other requirements such as WP:Verifiability)? Since a band or musician's recorded work is usually the main reason for their notability, I would contend that each album by a notable artist is intrinsically notable. Consensus on this point would save a lot of tedious analysis of arguably-trivial sourcing and free up editors' time for more constructive pursuits. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 18:02, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Excellent question. Here is the hypothetical: Let's say there is a very minor musician, who just barely meets WP notability requirements for an article, but does have an article. Let's say that musician has produced 20 albums, and - say - half of them are marginally significant, but the other half are insignificant, with no independent coverage at all, except perhaps a brief mention in some lists. The question is: for those 10 insignificant albums, would the encyclopedia be better off with ten separate articles devoted to each of them, or better with a single List of albums by artist ABC article that lists the 10 insignificant albums? (Of course, the 10 significant albums would each have an article). My gut feeling is that the List of albums ... is better. --Noleander (talk) 18:24, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes it would. Even if we only have basic details about an album, that still has value for the encyclopedia. Differentiating between notable and non-notable artists helps to differentiate between articles that are encyclopedic and those which are added for promotional purposes. Albums by notable artists should be presumed to have received significant coverage. It isn't difficult to find coverage of virtually any current album by a notable artist - for older ones the coverage is likely there even if not easily found on the internet. The obsession among some editors with 'notability' based on internet/easily found coverage and with deleting articles on these grounds is enormously damaging. If it's verifiable (never difficult in these cases) and of encyclopedic interest, it belongs here. Whether to have standalone articles or not should be guided by considerations for the reader, not inflexible interpretation of a guideline. The GNG isn't everything.--Michig (talk) 18:30, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Michig: in the hypothetical example above, separate articles for each album would be better, assuming that details such as tracklistings and credits are available. If the only information available is the title and year, then a separate article would not be appropriate, and those releases should simply be listed in a discography. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 12:02, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Leave it be. Obviously any coverage you find about an album will be mostly about the band. How much can you say about an album other than its sales? What sort of review would you expect to find? Its usually very short if anything at all. So you can't expect to find "significant coverage". Any mention thus counts. Dream Focus 18:35, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
How much indeed. Every mention does indeed count, no matter how little or how large. And if it has those mentions as sources, then the article has nothing to fear. Melicans (talk, contributions) 19:25, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Support In addition to thoughts made already:
  • This basically creates a major exception to wp:notability criteria. Why should just one type of article (album) be made exempt from the core criteria that apply to all other articles in Wikipedia by just having a particular relationship to a notable topic? So, now is every creation by a notable person/group to be exempt from the notability sourcing requirements?
  • If there is no real coverage of the album in sources, where the heck is the content for the article going to come from? Or should we also make album articles exempt from wp:verifiability so that they can have content without having sources? North8000 (talk) 18:54, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • The articles I've seen on insignificant albums (from very minor artists) consist of the list of tracks, and the album cover. --Noleander (talk) 19:02, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • That was basically my point. No content from secondary sources. North8000 (talk) 19:27, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • The page under discussion *is* a notability guideline, so anything stated here is not an exception to the notability criteria but is a part of those criteria.--Michig (talk) 19:21, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I really meant an exception to the general sourcing based notability requirement. North8000 (talk) 19:24, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • One more thing. Since existence of an article on the artist ostensibly requires notability, that would mean that EVERY album by EVERY artist in with an article is automatically considered to notable. North8000 (talk) 19:33, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • No. Lots of articles here are on subjects that are not notable, which is why they get deleted via CSD, PROD, or AFD. The mere existence of an article doesn't prove notability any more than the absence of an article disproves it. Albums by notable artists are generally of encyclopedic interest and verifiable content about them should not be deleted from the encyclopedia. Whether we have a standalone article is another matter. Even 'notable' albums are sometimes better covered in an article on the artist or their discography. --Michig (talk) 20:10, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Michig: You may have misinterpreted North8000's comment: I think they were trying to (ironically) point out the absurdity of the current guideline, because it implies that once a minor artist has a WP article, every single album by that artist automatically also deserves a dedicated article. As to your comment about "even 'notable' albums are sometimes better covered in an article on the artist or their discography" ... that is the essence of this proposal: the idea is that minor artists should have articles only for their albums that meet the "significant coverage" requirement; but their insignificant albums should just be addressed in the artist's article (or a discography article). Deleting the "exception" sentence as proposed above would help meet that goal. --Noleander (talk) 20:15, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • That's what I meant. As a practical matter, every album is going to have people who try to make it an article, and if it is considered to be wp:notable, it WILL have an article. And since artists must be notable in order to have an article, the existence of the article will be given as proof that the artist is notable. Therefore, the current wording in essence dictates that EVERY album by EVERY artist who has an article can (and probably will) have a separate article. And that is a problem. North8000 (talk) 20:32, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - The key album requirement is the over-arching sentence: "All articles on albums, singles or songs must meet the basic criteria at the notability guidelines, with significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject." That requirement applies equally well to notable and non-notable artists. Adding an exception for insignificant albums by artists that happen to have WP articles causes confusion and looks like WP:Instruction creep. That exception was probably created with artists like John Lennon or Yoyo Ma in mind, but instead it is being used for very minor artists that just barely meet the WP notability requirements themselves. Im not suggesting that the material on insignificant albums be removed from the encyclopedia: instead the material can be just as well presented in a discography article for the artist. --Noleander (talk)
  • Support, at least in premise. I tried this a while back, see Wikipedia talk:Notability (music)/Archive 13#Album Notability Standards. I find the current notability standards to be ambiguous. You can see my reasoning for this change and some variants on wording that might work better than removing the entire sentence, such as my suggestion "If the musician or ensemble that recorded an album is considered notable, then one may be able to find reliable sources to confirm notability for individual articles on Wikipedia." Noleander, I think is is sort of obvious that you support your own proposal without a separate 'support' comment! --Fiftytwo thirty (talk) 20:54, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Yeah, you're right :-) I'm accustomed to RfCs, where it is customary for the initiator to also supply a support/oppose !vote below. AfDs, of course, use the opposite convention. --Noleander (talk) 21:28, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I look at the situation from the standpoint of what a Wikipedia editor would actually be able to write about an album if there was not adequate coverage in reliable sources from which the editor could paraphrase. Paraphrasing of references is often enough of a challenge with good available sources. If there is no significant coverage, the best that the editorship could accomplish in terms of article quality would in my view likely be Start. The fact is that there are notable albums that are produced by notable artists that do not get coverage for one reason or another (lack of promotion, the artist is no longer in style, etc.) However, without the good coverage, the editorship is hard pressed to write something worthwhile, accurate, and neutral; and the readership would be better off going elsewhere for information. I see a certain degree of risk from an editing standpoint, if notable artists’ albums that do not receive coverage get their own pages. Of course these albums can show in the Wikipedia subjects’ articles and discographies. My thoughts – looking at it maybe from a little different perspective. Doc2234 (talk) 01:32, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Why shouldn't each album by a notable act be included to the extent that it can be WP:Verified? Is there some big problem here, or is this contemplative navel-gazing looking to WP:N, rather than the desires of our readers? Seriously--N is a shorthand way to say "we want things that a general audience will care about", and arguing that initial albums by notable artists should be excluded runs counter to the mission of Wikipedia. Jclemens (talk) 22:12, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, but how do you administer/determine "care about"? An automatic "yes" for every album even if the band just barely made wp:notable, or via. sourcing for the topic of the article? North8000 (talk) 02:47, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • If it's a notable band, then they're notable. Thus, people aside from the band and their immediate circle of friends care about them. Per WP:NOTPAPER, is there any good reason why we shouldn't cover every album of every notable band to the extent that it can be verified? No, there is not. Jclemens (talk) 05:22, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support The only time any article should exist is when it can be based on third-party, independent sources. Based. Not "include some material from", but based. That's what is indicated by WP:V. An article consisting of an improper usage of a copyrighted image (shoehorned past WP:NFCC#8 with a ludicrous claim like "identification"), a tracklist copied from the CD, and other material provided directly by the record company and artist is not based on third-party, independent sources. If you can't find enough material from independent sources for it to dominate the article, the material you can find belongs in a parent article about the artist or in discography.—Kww(talk) 01:47, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • You would have all that information in a discography article? Interesting approach... I suppose each album would then be a section in the article? Or would the discography look similar to those we have now but with collapse boxes containing more detailed information, or what? Contains Mild Peril (talk) 11:20, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Aside from the abuse of the cover image, yes.—Kww(talk) 11:55, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Detailing, I would be inclined towards a collapsable section per album, which contained a collapsable table per single. The goal would be to get away from this unmanageable conglomeration of independent album and single articles. They tend to be highly redundant, repeating common information in slightly contradictory ways.—Kww(talk) 13:02, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Interesting, as it's done all the time for video games, as the soundtracks tend to be put in the game pages themselves (or "Music of X series" type pages). ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:02, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose – the current wording which sets a lower threshold for works of notable artists is fine; that's what makes the difference between an encyclopedia (look it up) and Artist foo for Dummies. The adoption of the proposed wording could lead to a similar raising of the bar for minor works of major composers, which would be most regrettable. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 02:55, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
    I don't really think so -- the problem with the wording is that is assumes default notability for a subsets of....things....which isn't true. If a "minor work by a major composer" ISN'T notable (which is certainly possible), then there shouldn't be an article about it. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:02, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • By way of example: Haydn dutifully wrote 126 baryton trios for the benefit his patron. Taken together, they're most certainly notable. But dedicating a separate article to each would be loony.--MistyMorn (talk) 09:32, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  • While I agree with both Melodia Chaconne and MistyMorn, the difficulty here is that Michael Bednarek has taken the discussion off onto an irrelevant tangent. The question under consideration here concerns albums or recordings, not compositions. These are entirely different things. Likewise Ridernyc's several objections conflating composers with performers. Milkunderwood (talk) 23:02, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  • strongly support -- particularly as it might apply to classical music as opposed to popular music. The essential difference is that most albums of the various genres of popular music are original works, performed by whoever wrote the song and devised its setting, or otherwise are original in the sense of providing a new interpretation and setting -- but on the other hand virtually all "classical" (aka DWM [1]) music recordings are "interpretations" only in the sense of keeping as close to the original written score as possible while demonstrating the most technical facility possible. So there might be literally hundreds of recordings of a given composition. We've already seen this in action, where a charismatic violinist puts out a disc of what's really a miscellany of classical sonatas, and a fan creates an article for the disc, putting nothing but the track listings. The problem is that as written, the guideline is for any and all music, undifferentiated, in general, including classical music where it's entirely inappropriate. I've had a separate conversation with Michael Bednarek on his talk page about his "oppose" post here concerning "minor works of major composers", and as I understand it, his point is more to do with the inclusion in the encyclopedia of such "minor works" as compositions rather than with specific recordings of them. (Melodia Chaconne didn't label her comment, but I take it to also be a support.) Milkunderwood (talk) 04:38, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support Notability does not carry. The child of a notable parent does not get special consideration for notability. Similarly, works by notable artists shouldn't get what's essentially a free pass, since the proliferation of web reviews means that almost all works by semi-notable people will have multiple reviews. Works should be judged on the basis of their own notability. 05:31, 3 October 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lawrencekhoo (talkcontribs)
  • Support Might as well put my 'vote' in too. Lawrencekhoo makes the most perfectly succinct argument -- "Works should be judged on the basis of their own notability". ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 06:07, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Thus far, all the arguments in favour of the proposal seem based entirely on interpretations of existing guidelines. As far as I'm aware nobody has even attempted to put forward any argument, plausible or otherwise, that such a change would benefit our readers in any way. Isn't that what we're here for? I think sometimes it's too easy for seasoned editors to forget that we're actually writing for the benefit of the general public, most of whom are not regular editors. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 12:02, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Mild oppose. I'm wondering if there are specific examples of articles where this has become a problem. The current wording does say "may have sufficient notability", not "does have." Since a given article presumably adheres to WP:V anyway (with WP:RS as guidance), I'd think it would already have a leg up regardless of how we word the guideline (or not). At the same time I share the concerns Doc2234 mentioned: there is a long tail in which a a particular release may have sold in the tens of thousands of units, which may be extremely high for the particular musical style. Such a release may have been a phenomenal critical success, but those reviews are unlike to appear in, for example, USA Today. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 16:09, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment, in support - In response to both Contains Mild Peril and Gyrofrog, a plethora of unuseful articles on specific albums are not always harmless - they can lead visitors into a blind alley rather than to a general listing or discussion they are really looking for. Needed disambiguations, redirects and moves always stay behind the curve, generally waiting for a complaint or question to be posted, or until an editor happens to notice the need for one or another of these. Such disambiguations, redirects and moves are time-consuming and a hassle for whoever undertakes them. I do have a specific example in mind, an AfD !vote discussion concerning Mozart violin sonatas, but have not yet been able to find that now-removed discussion. I'll try to post it later. Milkunderwood (talk) 19:50, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
    • Here's the link to the AfD discussion I was looking for, as a specific example of a blind alley problem that was a time-wasting nuisance to get fixed, as requested by Gyrofrog, and again below by Ridernyc: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Mozart: Violin Sonatas K. 301, 304, 376 & 526. If you argue that well, that's Mozart, and that's not what we're talking about here in this discussion, this is precisely the point. The whole problem is that the guideline pertains to all music, even where it's obviously inappropriate. Milkunderwood (talk) 02:01, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
    • Those are not albums by Mozart so I fail to see how it applies here. An album by a notable artist is notable, not every album containing work from that artist, or every album containing someone else performing the artists work. Still waiting for a relevant example. Now if someone wants to show me an album with Mozart conducting or performing these sonatas and take that through AFD we might have a point. Ridernyc (talk) 02:08, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
    • I think one of us may be confused, and it may be me. Did you look at the AfD? Hilary Hahn was the performer, of some miscellaneous sonatas written by Mozart. Hahn is undoubtedly notable - that was never at issue. I assume Mozart is notable, as well as his music in general. So far, so good. But that specific recording by her, of something written by Mozart, even though possibly "notable" in some sense, was just clutter, and made an innocent Searchbox search for "Mozart violin sonatas" jump to that specific useless album. This is the kind of problem we are trying to avoid - creating unnecessary and confusing topic searches by casual visitors who are just looking for some basic information. Milkunderwood (talk) 02:51, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
    • I think one of the points everyone is missing is this a guideline and there will always be cases where the guideline falls short. You you will notice everything in the section we are discussing is conditional "may be considered". There will always be times where even if the album is notable it may not be best presented as an individual article, these need to be taken on a case by case basis and are handled by other types of guidelines and policy that have nothing at all to do with notability. Trying to twist and conform notability to handle these issues is not the answer. Ridernyc (talk) 03:55, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
    • You make a fair enough point, and on technical grounds I don't disagree with it. But the issue comes down more to this statement made by North8000, above:

      As a practical matter, every album is going to have people who try to make it an article, and if it is considered to be wp:notable, it WILL have an article.

      Milkunderwood (talk) 04:48, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose in all the years this argument has been popping up I have never once had it clearly explained how a work by a notable artist is not notable. If the artist is notable and the content of the article is verifiable then I fall to see how this is even an issue. Ridernyc (talk) 20:08, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I would also like to add this seems more like a MoS issue as to how much should be in artists page and whether or not it is better to cover albums individually or in some other way. I'm not sure what people are talking about here is notability and should not be covered by this guideline. Ridernyc (talk) 20:14, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, then I can explain that for you: "Notable" is wikijargon for "qualifies for its own separate, stand-alone article on Wikipedia". What makes something wiki-notable is the existence of WP:Independent sources that talk about the subject. These sources must talk about the subject, not about something related to the subject. (So if the subject is the album, then it has to talk about the album, not about other stuff the band did, and if the subject is the band, then it has to talk about the band, not just about what some band member's celebrity parent did, or what some individual band member got arrested for as a teenager.) If no such sources exist, or if so few exist that you couldn't write more than a couple of sentences, then it does not meet the community's standards for having a separate article. There are lots of reasons for this, but the big ones are WP:NPOV (how the heck do you write a fair, unbiased, and neutral article if 99% of the material comes from, say, the business that is making money off of the product?) and a strong dislike for tiny, hopelessly incomplete "articles". If you can't find independent sources (e.g., the only sources are from the band's marketing efforts), then you don't write it at all. If you can't find enough information to write a real article, then you merge it to a bigger subject, so the reader isn't disappointed by a two-sentence "article" or by discovering that 90% of the content is identical in page after page about the albums. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:19, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • What you are talking about is a Manual Of Style issue. Not a notability issue. Not having enough content to write an article about the album has nothing at all to do with notability. I again ask for clear examples of an album by a notable artist that is itself not notable. Ridernyc (talk) 22:02, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Please see clear example in link, a couple of posts above yours. Milkunderwood (talk) 02:01, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • No, Rider, it's not a MOS issue. This is how notability works on Wikipedia: one must have "significant coverage" in "independent sources". The primary purpose of the requirement for "significant coverage" is so that one can write more than a couple of sentences. Every single notability guideline supports this. This is never mentioned in the MOS. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:42, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • You're basically describing the general notability guideline here, which is only part of the story. There are also subject-specific notability guidelines of which this page is one, specifying criteria other than "significant coverage" in "independent sources" that would also make a subject notable. In many cases such criteria outline situations where significant inependent coverage will exist. Albums released by genuinely notable artists will, in the vast majority of cases (which is what a 'guideline' such as this should cover), receive significant coverage, even if that coverage cannot be found online. Finding this coverage may require searches through old paper sources, but that doesn't make those albums any less 'notable'. This is the gist of the current wording, which is why it should stay.--Michig (talk) 19:03, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Being produced by a notable person does not make the object notable. We need enough information to write a decent article, not just a hopeless WP:PERMASTUB.
    Related to the comments above: Is there some (idiotic) rule somewhere that says discographies/lists about albums cannot contain substantial details like tracklistings and sales and such? I'd rather have a list with lots of information than a boring and useless list with just the album title and year. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:19, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • No rule as far as am I'm aware, but a proposed guideline to that effect has been misinterpreted as a rule by some editors, before WP:WikiProject_Discographies/style was recently marked as a failed proposal. A couple of editors on the talk page have expressed support for promoting the discogstyle page to guideline status, and I mentioned the unresolved controversy over tracklistings but nobody seems to be discussing that currently. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 22:24, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Honestly, I'm all for including every album by every artist who's ever existed. Notable or no, if we can get sources for it, it should be included.Jasper420 00:04, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
    • Jasper, the difference is that what you have in mind is a semi-obscure album put out by a semi-obscure performer, or perhaps several such albums, and I understand your point (even though I disagree with it.) However, what I'm thinking of is that there are hundreds upon hundreds of albums of for instance Beethoven's 5th Symphony, and thousands upon thousands of albums of miscellaneous collections of shorter classical pieces. The issue is not whether Wikipedia has enough "space" for this sort of stuff, but rather that all these junk articles can make it nearly impossible for visitors to find anything useful in the Search box. Milkunderwood (talk) 02:34, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
      • Classical music? Count me out, and disregard then. Not a strong point for me. Though I will hazard to say, only albums by well know symphonies and orchestras.Jasper420 03:42, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support The sentence in question has always bothered me. Very likely it was not intended to mean that albums by notable artists are exempt from WP: NOTABILITY, but it's certainly easy to interpret it that way. In addition to the issue with classical music brought up by Milkunderwood, there are plenty of one-hit-wonder artists who managed to produce ten or more albums over the course of their careers. Making articles for all those albums solely based on their tenuous connection to the one notable album by the artist is blatant application of notability by association. This is assuming the artist has even one notable album; sometimes the one hit of a one-hit-wonder is a single only release, only appearing on a "best of" package long after the artist has been forgotten by the general public. On top of everything else, this makes it needlessly difficult for readers to narrow down the most notable information on an artist, since they have to sift through articles on albums of no consequence. --Martin IIIa (talk) 02:02, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment - Martin, this is precisely the correct problem that you're identifying. Wikipedia has a few administrators, many more dedicated and knowledgeable editors, however many more than that of editors who come here occasionally for more-or-less specific topics, but nearly the entire world visiting this site just to find some information on their immediate question. Why do we want to make it hard for them to do a simple search and find what they need? More than anything else, this comes down to being a Searchbox problem. Milkunderwood (talk) 04:48, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: This issue is getting long and contentious. It's pretty clear we're not going to get an unambiguous consensus based on the current !votes. I'm going to call for an RfC so as to better determine community consensus on this issue. LK (talk) 09:21, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

RfC "Every album by notable musician gets own article" guideline?

A proposal

I suggest that we add the following paragraph to the guideline:

Recordings of classical music

A recording of a classical musical work merits its own article in Wikipedia if the recording has made a notable impact or is in some way unique or outstanding; for example, a recording of a performance that has had a verifiable impact on later interpreters, or that records a performance of historical significance. In general, recordings of classical works without some added value are not notable enough for inclusion, even if the recordings have been reviewed by reliable sources.

Yours in controversy, --Ravpapa (talk) 07:52, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

  • I support the inclusion of this paragraph. It's reasonable and reflects current practice. Including it would clarify how to handle classical recordings. LK (talk) 10:52, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree. I was just wondering whether it was worth playing the first clause in the plural (ie "Recordings of classical music works merit their own articles in Wikipedia if the recordings have..."). I can see a rationale for favouring articles that cover notable groups of recordings, such as, say, "Schnabel's Beethoven recordings".--MistyMorn (talk) 12:19, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. Certain articles in particular circumstances may fit beneficially into the web of information that is the Wikipedia without meeting these rather indefinite criteria for notability. For instance an article about an album which is an anthology of works by a variety of composers may be a useful place to put the complete album details rather than repeating the contents of the album in each discography, composer bio, or works article that mentions a particular recording on the album, and it is better than omitting a description of what is on the album, since readers are very likely to be interested knowing the entire contents of the album as well as its critical reception. I encountered this problem when trying to add Alfred Brendel's recordings of Busoni's Toccata and some of his Elegies to Ferruccio Busoni discography (as composer). I ended up putting Brendel's two compilation albums which contained these two pieces into standalone articles. As an example, Alfred Brendel – Unpublished Live and Radio Performances 1968–2001 is now linked from the Busoni discography, Elegies (Busoni), and the Alfred Brendel discography and could potentially be linked from other articles mentioning other performances on the album as well. I find this to be a useful way of the organizing the information. --Robert.Allen (talk) 21:51, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
My personal opinion is that, while you have done a fine job of writing this article, the album does not meet the standards of notability that I propose. You could just as well have specified the album in Elegies (Busoni) without the link. And there are plenty of websites where a reader could read reviews and comparisons of different recordings - no need to repeat them here. But, again, that is my own opinion, and I certainly wouldn't initiate an AFD discussion about this. --Ravpapa (talk) 07:32, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
This reflects my own view that anthologies of classical miscellanea are in fact the least useful and deserving of having their own separate articles. Milkunderwood (talk) 15:59, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
If one says that the information is available elsewhere on the web and that means it shouldn't be on the Wikipedia, then that would imply that much of the Wikipedia should be deleted. Besides, the information is unlikely to be available on the web compiled together in one place like this (except at sites that have copied the Wikipedia article). For example, the information from the Fanfare review requires a subscription, which we can probably assume most readers will not have.
The proposed standard is rather vague and is certainly open to wide differences of interpretation. Two editors argue this article is not notable. One editor even appears to suggest that Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and Piano Sonata No. 28 are examples of "classical miscellanea". Yet the article quotes Bryce Morrison of the Gramophone who states about this album: "here is Brendel at his greatest" presenting "the ultimate or definitive musical statement." Couldn't one argue that this enough to qualify the article for notability under the proposed guideline? Is this not evidence that the album has "made a notable impact or is in some way unique or outstanding"? Our personal opinions of Brendel's performances or the music played shouldn't be relevant. The current notability guideline seems to me much more specific and easily measured, if possibly somewhat less restrictive (although it is my impression that a great many classical albums do not get written up in two or more of the standard magazines or newspapers). And I suspect that if this new guideline is adopted, it will be applied inconsistently and with a great deal of contention, and editors will not have a very good idea ahead of time whether the contributions they make is this area will be notable enough not to be deleted. --Robert.Allen (talk) 21:40, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Reply posted elsewhere. Milkunderwood (talk) 01:40, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
I understand your concern about the vagueness of the standard. Perhaps we should write: "... even if the recordings have received extremely favorable reviews by reliable sources." That would make it clear that even a rave review like Morrison's would not be sufficient to meet the notability standard.
I think that the place to note an extremely favorable review of a recording by an artist would be in the artist's own article, and not in a separate article about the recording. --Ravpapa (talk) 14:12, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
I only noticed this now. I like it, but I think there should be some clarification that a "recording" is not the same thing as an "album." Unless there a special notability issue (extremely rare, IMO), people should review the recording, not the album. -- kosboot (talk) 18:31, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Quoting from my "elsewhere" post, "The crux of the argument is whether one wording or another in the general music guideline, either treating classical and popular music together without distinction, or creating in effect two different categories of music, either should be, or should appear to be, more restrictive in defining "notability", or less so. [Robert] take[s] the position that a more restrictive wording (for classical music) will be "applied inconsistently and with a great deal of contention". To the contrary, I feel that either deleting the second sentence, or clearly distinguishing classical music, will bring much more clarity in application of the final guideline, and leave less room for contentious inconsistency. As it presently stands, the guideline is extremely ambiguous. My guess is that a clearer guideline for classical music would be "contentious" only in the eyes of fans of specific performers or composers, who would chafe at the restriction against posting new articles on what they feel are important and notable CD issues, as opposed to listing and annotating them in discographies where they belong." Milkunderwood (talk) 19:31, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I think the wording makes a lot of sense, but is it necessary? Would there be inappropriate articles retained or appropriate articles deleted if we didn't have this paragraph? ThemFromSpace 03:05, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

The solution to the rather indiscriminate coverage provided for musical recording is to make the rule slightly more restrictive, not very much more restrictive. I think the suggestion above "extremely favorable" is still too restrictive, and against the general principle that we do not care about the quality of the underlying subject in judging inclusion in the encyclopedia. I think doing so goes against NPOV, and that if we do this we will find ourselves arguing over the quality of recordings, and this is not the purpose of an encyclopedia. I think the problem is local reviews in miscellaneous newspapers, and I'd suggest requiring major sources or major, recognized sources.' At least then the disputes will be about the sources, not the recordings, and that's within our proper scope. DGG ( talk ) 14:08, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

But then the question is "what is a major resource?" My perception is that reviews of classical music recordings are infrequent (forget about newspapers). With the exception of periodicals like "American Record Guide" (which I feel is poor), reviews might only appear as part of a longer article/interview with the subject. -- kosboot (talk) 14:20, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
This is why you can not create a blanket guideline. This is one of those things were everything will need to be handled on a case by case basis. Ridernyc (talk) 14:50, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

A proposal - consensus?

It appears to me that we have consensus for including a paragraph distinguishing classical recordings from popular albums. Taking into account the comments above, here is the proposed paragraph:

Recordings of classical music

Recordings of classical music are not albums of original popular songs or existing popular songs in an original setting. Recordings of classical musical works merit their own articles in Wikipedia if the recordings have made a notable impact or are in some way unique or outstanding; for example, a recording of a performance that has had a verifiable impact on later interpreters, or that records a performance of historical significance. In general, recordings of classical works without some added value are not notable enough for inclusion, even if the recordings have received highly favorable reviews in reliable sources.

The only dissenting voice at this point seems to be that of Robert Allen, who has indeed produced well-written articles about classical records, though their notability has been disputed here. Is there agreement for this change? Shall I go ahead and make it? --Ravpapa (talk) 06:59, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Obviously I concur that consensus has been reached on this point, and my impression is that your wording summarizes the issue quite well, though others may suggest some tweaks. I don't know whether this may still leave open opportunities for a challenge as to what constitutes "classical" music. I've tried to address this question in my delete post of 4 October, above in the Involved editors section of this RfC discussion, that starts With reference to comments posted above ... (etc). The second paragraph of this same post, beginning The first distinction that has to be made ... (etc) attempts to clarify what differentiates classical as opposed to popular music. Then further down in that same post I had suggested possibly appropriate guidelines for separate articles as opposed to discographies within articles. I leave it to others involved with the WikiProject Classical music to decide whether any of these suggestions may be useful in any way. Milkunderwood (talk) 16:36, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Opposed. A major problem with a notability guideline which relies on value judgments of the significance or impact of the subject of an article is that it will encourage editors to omit "expert opinion" that is in any way negative or critical. The impact of various performances is something that is almost never studied objectively or quantitatively will generally be highly subjective. Obviously "experts" often disagree on these things, almost as much as Wikipedia editors do. A guideline which only requires that the topic be covered by a certain number of reliable and appropriate sources is far more objective and avoids this problem, and it will encourage balance in the coverage. In addition, there is nothing special about classical music, since there are plenty of pop albums currently covered in the Wikipedia which consist of non-original music. --Robert.Allen (talk) 17:27, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose if they have received reviews in reliable sources then they pass the GNG. Ridernyc (talk) 17:31, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

I make a different proposal, that rather than cluttering up a guideline for undifferentiated Notability (Music) with exceptions for classical, it seems to make more sense to rename this guideline as Notability (Music, other than Classical), and set up a separate article addressing Notability (Classical Music). At least this ought to distinguish, and clarify the potential problems - with which I agree with Robert.Allen that too much is left to interpretation. However, I do still disagree with Robert on the question of "original" as opposed to "non-original", which has already been defined and discussed. An original interpretation or setting, such as a cover, etc, is "original" in the wanted sense. Any faithful note-for-note performance is not original. Milkunderwood (talk) 18:23, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure I like the idea of separating off classical music altogether, since I feel that so-called 'classical music' is already enough of a no-go ghetto zone for most people anyway. However, I do agree that some solution is needed for classical which allows articles on influential recordings without inviting creation of trivial articles, such as track lists of 'random' records. I also agree that it might be best not to attempt to solve a complex issue like this within a general guideline. I don't know whether it would be possible to insert some sort of very brief 'escape clause' for classical music in the guideline itself to discourage track listing and other such inappropriate trivia. (Just a paltry 2c)--MistyMorn (talk) 10:12, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

See this is the problem, you are trying to write something that will exclude items that pass the GNG. That's not the goal of secondary notability guidelines. This was also attempted with WP:Fict and went down in flames after years of constant debate and bickering. You can't try to alter the fact that something is notable. Any guideline that tries to say "this passes the GNG but..." will never gain consensus. Ridernyc (talk) 12:08, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Your comment surprises me. I have not followed the dispute at WP:Fict. However, the situation of classical music records is not dissimilar to the situation of published books: thousands are issued each year, and thousands are reviewed each year by reliable sources. Wikipedia:Notability (books) defines clear criteria for the notability of books, and is not disputed.
If our guideline says that the existence of a few reliable reviews is the criterion for notability, that means all of these thousands of records are eligible candidates for articles. Obviously, no one is going to write thousands of Wikipedia articles on records every year; so the lack of some method of distinguishing among them means that the articles that do get written are those that this or that editor particularly likes. That is not an acceptable situation.
I would be amenable to any criteria which reduce the number of notable albums from thousands to at most hundreds, and would be glad if Robert or Rider would propose such criteria.
Incidentally, the criteria that I suggest in my proposal is not based on value judgements, but rather on objective facts. What I am trying to say in my guideline is this: If all you have to say about a record is that it includes x, y, and z pieces performed by a, b, and c performers, and that 1, 2, and 3 reviewers had this or that to say about it, then it is not worthy of an article. You must have something additional to say about the record if it is to be considered notable. This is, essentially, what the notability guideline for books says: you need something in addition to the plot summary and the reviews to make the book worthy of an article.
So please, Robert and Rider, tell me what that something else is for records. --Ravpapa (talk) 12:17, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
There are thousands of articles on every topic that will never get written, I fail to see the logic of excluding things because we don't have the manpower to cover every single aspect of the topic. And criteria one of WP:BK lists reviews as satisfying notability. Ridernyc (talk) 12:39, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Neither have we the manpower to hunt down and find, and then go through one or another process - whether PROD or AfD, or trying to figure out an unambiguous article title for a move - for stuff that bollixes up the Search function.

I keep coming back to the conviction that Wikipedia must be organized for logical ease of use by visitors who are simply looking for information concerning their immediate question. Thus when I as a casual user need to look for "Mozart violin sonatas", expecting to find a general listing of these, but entering this search term into the Searchbox it keeps wanting to take me to a specific album of Hilary Hahn performing four miscellaneous Mozart violin sonatas in which I have no interest whatever, this represents an unacceptable prioritization of the wants of editors over the needs of visiting casual users. As it happens, that album could not have met any reasonable definition of notability, being nothing more than a bare track listing together with a couple of blurbs says it had won some sort of award. But even if it had contained a lengthy discussion of how and why Hahn's performance brought a unique understanding and interpretation of Mozart, the problem would have remained the same. If I had been looking for that specific album, it would have been because I was interested in Hahn as performer, not in Mozart as composer of a genre. And I would have expected to find it in a discography of Hahn's recordings.

The essential problem with this entire discussion to date is that we are, all of us, considering the question from the point of view of our wants and enthusiasms as editors, while taking no consideration of the ease or difficulty of use of Wikipedia by users. Exactly the same, if I am interested in Tchaikovsky's violin concerto, I expect to find it in a Tchaikovsky discography, or if in Hahn's performance of it, in Hahn's discography. If I am interested in Busoni's works, I expect to find these in Busoni's discography; or if in Alfred Brendel as a pianist, likewise in Brendel's discography. Who can possibly want to be taken to a specific recording of Brendel playing odds and ends of Busoni? We are not thinking of the needs of visitors trying to search for information, but instead of our own enthusiasms as editors.

Robert.Allen has asked What about albums such as Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2 or Perry Como's So It Goes / Goodbye for Now?. Perhaps an even better example of what he's concerned about would be Baez's Any Day Now (Joan Baez album). All of these are essentially different from either Mozart, Hilary Hahn, Busoni, or Alfred Brendel. These are all albums of popular music, that visitors to Wikipedia will most likely have these specific albums in mind, and be looking for as specific albums. Their interpretations, and their settings, are unique; they are "original" precisely because of their unique interpretations and settings. To the contrary, there is nothing at all original or unique in a collection of Hahn playing some miscellaneous Mozart, or of Brendel playing some miscellaneous Busoni or Beethoven. Creating separate articles on these collections accomplishes nothing more than creating confusing clutter in Searchbox suggestions, and laying stumbling blocks in the path of visitors, entirely regardless of how well received any such collections may have been received by reviewers.

What we have all lost sight of is, for whose benefit are we trying to construct this encyclopedia - our own, as dedicated and enthusiastic editors? Or for the worldwide millions of people who simply have a question and come to Wikipedia looking for an answer that we have hopefully made relatively easy for them to find? Milkunderwood (talk) 15:27, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Again your arguments have nothing to do with notability. I also think your concerns about organisation are vastly overblown. We can not limit articles inclusion just because there are a lot of something. Ridernyc (talk) 15:32, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
That's quite true - they are not directly concerned with "notability" per se. This is why I had suggested treating classical as opposed to popular music separately. And probably "notability" of classical music should still not be the defining criterion for inclusion or exclusion of separate articles on specific recordings of classical music. The immediate problem lies in the fact that this guideline on Notability (Music) does in fact give license to the scattershot creation of inappropriate articles on random collections of classical music. Milkunderwood (talk) 15:54, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
As Ravpapa and others have pointed out, there is a very broad though not entirely unanimous - with Robert.Allen alone being the salient exception - consensus among editors and project members in the field of classical music, that "scattershot creation of ... articles on random collections of classical music" are "inappropriate" - this is by no means merely my own personal perception. Milkunderwood (talk) 16:25, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If an album meets the GNG, and someone decides to create a properly sourced article on it, we shouldn't have a guidelines that states that the article should not exist unless the album "has had a verifiable impact on later interpreters", or "records a performance of historical significance". If enough people have written about an album to support a meaningful, properly-sourced article, then the article should exist. The 'search' issue is a non issue - any album title that would most likely be a search term for a different topic should be redirected to that other topic, with the album article disambiguated with '(album)' or where multiple albums exist with the same title, '([artist] album)'. If you come across an album article where the title should clearly be more appropriately redirected elsewhere, fix it by moving the article to a disambiguated title, redirecting the original, and adding a hatnote to the new target. It has nothing to do with notability.--Michig (talk) 19:24, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

A new suggestion

One possible solution to the Search problem - one which I doubt would fly - would be to impose an inflexible rule stating that any article concerned with an specific album or CD collection of recordings of classical music must be in the format of Album: (etc). Thus e.g., Album: Hilary Hahn plays Bach, or Album: Schoenberg: Violin Concerto; Sibelius: Violin Concerto (Hilary Hahn). That way fans and enthusiasts could fill up Wikipedia to their hearts' content without cluttering up Search with misleading dead ends. (EDIT: With, however, the understanding that the same guideline on "Notability" would still apply, of course.) Milkunderwood (talk) 16:50, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Or, to specifically address Robert's concerns, moving (renaming)
Frederica von Stade – Mahler Songs to Album: Frederica von Stade – Mahler Songs,
Great Pianists of the 20th Century – Alfred Brendel III to Album: Great Pianists of the 20th Century – Alfred Brendel III, and
Alfred Brendel – Unpublished Live and Radio Performances 1968–2001 to Album: Alfred Brendel – Unpublished Live and Radio Performances 1968–2001,
would clarify what these articles actually are, and eliminate any possible confusion concerning them. Milkunderwood (talk) 17:58, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

An excellent and original suggestion. How about this addition to the guideline:
Recordings of classical music
In order to avoid confusion, titles of articles on classical music recordings should have the format Recordingname (Artistname) (Recording), for example, Schoenberg Violin Concerto; Sibelius Violin Concerto (Hilary Hahn) (Recording).
--Ravpapa (talk) 18:26, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm fine with that, and am glad to have your agreement (and separation into a new subsection). I would still make the same distinction between an album and a recording, however - these are really albums, which may have been recorded at different times. And the reason I had suggested putting Album: in the front rather than at the end was to make the entry list further down in the Searchbox, and to be clearer at first glance. Perhaps parentheses would be preferable to a colon, as (Album) (etc) rather than Album: (etc).
Also, I got caught in an edit conflict - I want to clean up my examples above, to make them look clearer. (Done now.) Milkunderwood (talk) 18:42, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
We already have a convention of adding disambiguation in parentheses at the article title where disambiguation is needed. There is no need to add this to every article on an album.--Michig (talk) 19:12, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Please provide an example, using any article with a long title? I'm not doubting you, just want to see how it displays. Thanks. (I know what a disambiguation page looks like, but I don't recall seeing a parenthetical disambiguation in an article title.) Milkunderwood (talk) 19:21, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
See Porgy and Bess for example, where the opera is clearly the primary topic, and where several notable albums exist containing recordings of it, e.g. Porgy and Bess (Miles Davis album), Porgy and Bess (Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong album). In this case as there are several other 'Porgy and Bess' articles, the hatnote in Porgy and Bess points to Porgy and Bess (disambiguation), which lists all of the other articles that the reader may be searching for. Anyone searching for Porgy and Bess will be go straight to the article on the opera. The existence of the other articles in no way hinders this.--Michig (talk) 20:23, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, this is a very helpful example - I appreciate your taking the time. It's especially useful in also being an interesting example of a "quasi-classical" composition, in the sense that on the one hand it contains a note-by-note instrumental and vocal score to be followed precisely by subsequent performers, while on the other, it provides leeway for any number of different settings and interpretations, each of which can certainly be called "original". Food for thought. Milkunderwood (talk) 20:55, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

These are manual of style issues and do not belong in this notability guideline at all. I'm all for a manual of style for classical albums, but this is not the place to handle that. Ridernyc (talk) 21:57, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

I understand that, but the problem is that this present Notability (Music) guideline, in its second sentence, is what is giving license to people for creating articles on whatever thises and thatses of random classical collections they might feel like - just as, see the ones mentioned at the top of this subsection. Do you have a suggestion on how to resolve that aspect of it? Milkunderwood (talk) 22:26, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
On second thought, although I do understand your concern, I cannot agree with it. The issue really is one of notability rather than style. Random collections of classical music simply are not notable except in extremely rare circumstances. Such as The Goldberg Variations (Gould album). Milkunderwood (talk) 22:47, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry not going to go over this yet again with you. You can keep going down this road but it's not going anywhere. Any attempt you make to override the GNG will never each consensus. These types of issues have been pushed all the way up to the ARBCOM level and it always stands the you can not over rule the GNG. If it has coverage in reliable sources it passes GNG end of story. Ridernyc (talk) 01:17, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Ridernyc is right. As long as he and Robert Allen continue their opposition, there is no consensus to bring this guideline in line with the actual practice of the classical music project. We have lost. See my post at the Classical music project talkpage. --Ravpapa (talk) 05:20, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

I wouldn't say "lost" but our argument has not convinced Allen. So in true Wikipedia style, let people populate WP with articles on albums. When enough have been created, then those belonging to the project at that time can decide how to deal with hundreds of articles on record albums most of which will lack notability. (I agree whoever it was above who said that albums should be listed under the performer. And I still believe an "album" in the classical world is nearly useless because of the frequent change of "album.") -- kosboot (talk) 23:47, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Ravpapa chose not to link to his "See my post ...", above, but I think it's worth looking at: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Classical music#No consensus, but what does it matter?. There is long-standing consensus among WikiProject Classical music editors that nearly all such articles get deleted, for all the reasons that have been put forward here in this discussion explaining how classical music is essentially different from other types of music. And so it goes. Write an article, and watch it disappear before your eyes. Milkunderwood (talk) 00:06, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Milk - a good reminder - makes me feel better. -- kosboot (talk) 00:45, 24 October 2011 (UTC)