Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Music/Archive 9

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Infobox debate 1: Time to remove genre section on info box?

Beginning of the infobox debate

Quite frankly over the last few months, I have become sick and tired of IP's and editors of the lower realms of boredom edit warring over the genre section of music info boxes. Thus I would like to put forward the suggestion that we remove it all together and keep such info to the pro's of the article content. I monitor the Pop/R&B realm where is is a big issue. Not sure about what happens with country, rock etc. Thoughts — Realist2 19:22, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what effect removing the genre from the infobox would have on edit warring, since editors can just as easily change it in the article prose as in the infobox. And genre is helpful to have in the infobox, to help readers get a basic sense of the musician/band at a glance. I don't feel strongly about this, though, as long as the genre(s) continue to be mentioned somewhere prominent (if not in the infobox, at least in the lead). -kotra (talk) 01:05, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Genres are important to the infobox, but possibly only keep genres where it is sourced, and not original research. ♫ Cricket02 (talk) 05:24, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Realist2. Infoboxes are fine for precise information like a date of birth or a coordinate. They are not good for subjective values. Genre can be explained easily enough within the article itself. Best. --Kleinzach 05:38, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
would setting a limit to the number of genres to be listed in the info box help any? then of course we could get sick & tired of reverting additions by people unfamiliar with the rule - but limiting the number probably would help on pages i'm involved with. i agree that it's good to give a general idea in the info box (eg rock or jazz or classical) but that the finetuning belongs in the article itself. Sssoul (talk) 07:22, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

With regards to why the info box? That's the area where most the war's occur, it doesn't seem to happen in the article text. Obviously if we were to remove the info box some of the edit warring would tapper into the main text, but not much. As mentioned, most editors just give the info box a check, it's quick and easy to see and change according to ones own pov. But I don't see this madness occurring over such a trivial issue if it was hidden away somewhere in the article content. Most newbies would have to then engage in a little reading to find the area it's discussed and hopefully discover that everything is sourced so they better leave be. — Realist2 11:48, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the explanation. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages, I have no opinion now. -kotra (talk) 20:12, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Agree - time to remove! - edit warring appears to happen more in the info box. Also, the genre choices are often subjective. If the genre is to be based on referenced material all the better to have it in the text. Besides the article text there is also category listing for genre placement. If it must stay in the infobox the more general the better as a guideline, but this would not be a solution, because it would continue to not be followed. - Steve3849 talk 21:26, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

I'd be pleased to see all subjective fields removed from these boxes. --Kleinzach 05:10, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
The time is now. If we eliminate the field the edit war (and warrior) numbers will drop and leave time for actual editing and not just "consensus research" and maintenance. The Real Libs-speak politely 02:45, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
How many infobox templates are involved and which are they? --Kleinzach 03:44, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Are we talking about removing it from all music infoboxes? — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 04:22, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I was going to ask that same question. Take them away from musician boxes only? Or include album and song boxes? I say do 1 do them all. The Real Libs-speak politely 10:46, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

About fracking time! The genre field, I feel, is the bane of Template:Infobox Musical artist. Everything else in it is simple, factual information that is easily verifiable. Genre is largely subjective and requires contextualization and sources, something an infobox is not well-equipped to provide. Leave the subjective material in the prose where it can be explained in detail and properly referenced. I revert unexplained, opinionated genre changes all the time and I've made this suggestion at the template page before: [1] [2] [3] [4] --IllaZilla (talk) 06:15, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

(By the way, on rock music articles, the fighting is awful, see here) Wiki Libs and I have been music editors for a long time. We've had troubles since forever with genres. It's not actually a subjective argument as stated above, bands can define themselves which is good enough for us. But the problem is is when fans come along and attempt to define the band too! I am wholly in support of removing it completely and leaving it in the prose. As Kotra mentioned above: "...editors can just as easily change it in the article prose as in the infobox". This is true, but, we're not supposed to have anything that isn't sourced and referenced well, which makes POV genres obselete through good citations. Using our WP:RS policy we can easily define the genre in the prose without the hassle of revert wars. If we make this policy, then the edit warriors won't stand a chance.
Even if we don't remove the genre field, we should at least make sourcing genres compulsory. Any genre that isn't cited, and/or citable, should be removed post-haste. Utan Vax (talk) 06:47, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I believe it's much more important what the secondary sources classify the band as, as opposed to the band themselves. For example you'll never find a band that cops to being "emo", yet there are entire books on the subject discussing how certain bands are/were pivotal to the genre (Rites of Spring, Jawbreaker, The Get Up Kids, et al...each of those has an entire chapter in that book). Bands will always try to defy categorization and tell you they're this or that; it's the critics who really tell us what genres the music falls into. That's the best way to avoid POV wars, which is what we're always struggling against. That's why I support removing the field. Sources are of course compulsory, but I think that's best left to the article prose rather than a bullet-point list, which is essentially what the infobox is. --IllaZilla (talk) 07:44, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
But, IllaZilla, who even says that the music critics themselves are in a position to judge what genre(s) a band is? That's just POV. Essentially, by your logic, you're saying that people who might have almost no experience as professional music critics (but are still classed as one, by job title or description), would have the knowledge to classify musicians and bands into genre categories. If we took the genre that a music critic assigned to a particular band, we would have to write that that is that particular author's opinion. We cannot present it as fact. It doesn't quite work the way that you described as it kinda clashes with WP:NPOV. But, anyway, regardless of these subordinate discussions, it is pretty clear that we need to get rid of the genre field. Most of us can agree on that. It's going to save us a lot of hassle in the future, and, as stated above, allow us more time to work on actual content. Utan Vax (talk) 09:20, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

re: Citations for the given genres. In spite of all music projects always holding to the "cited content goes in the article, not the box" rule... on some occasions cited genres were required to try end end genre wars. But success doing this has been weak/sporadic because (use Deftones for an example) even when reliable sources are added... POV users and IPs blank the refs on a daily basis (sometimes several times per day). I think we have to conceded that it is an experiment that has failed. Whether it's editor POV or a critics POV... its still an opinion and, as mentioned earlier, the box should just be for specific hard facts... birth dates, birthplace, recording date, release date.. etc, etc, etc. The Real Libs-speak politely 11:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you on that one. I've tried the "citations required, even in the infobox" rule and it didn't quell the POV-warring one bit. Single-purpose accounts and IPs just ignore the rule and change it anyway on a regular basis, so yeah, it's a failed experiment. --IllaZilla (talk) 18:13, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Did this convo fall asleep? What is the next step. How/who/when do we implement this change. The sooner the better. And is there an agreement that this sweeping change should go "across the board"... musicians.. albums... AND songs? I think it should. But if we want to stick with proper Wiki etti-qwetti.. :-)... then we should formally post this discussion link onto those WP:ALBUM and WP:SONG... project pages so that those members have a chnce to speak to the matter. I, for one, don't like the thought of having this exact same conversation a year from now simply because this did not come to a consensus resolution right now. The Real Libs-speak politely 13:06, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I tend to agree, though I don't feel the need to fast-track such a sweeping change. It's only been 9 days since this suggestion was brought up; certainly the WikiProjects should be notified. I've already given an update at the Musicians project talk page...hopefully some of them will come over here to comment and we can move from there. --IllaZilla (talk) 16:57, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Question. If the genre section is remove from the infobox from the musicians', albums', and songs' template, wouldn't we need to remove it from the article themselves too, and pretty much completely eliminate genre from all music related articles? DiverseMentality(Discuss it) 17:00, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

No. The suggestion is merely to remove the "genre" field from the infoboxes. Everything else in the infoboxes is objective, factual information that is easily verifiable (date of birth, record label, etc.). Genre, however, is a subjective classfication (the artist may classify themselves in one genre, while critics and other third-party sources may classify them as others), therefore it requires context and referencing. The infobox is not well-suited to provide this discussion and referencing, hence the genre field is the grounds for constant POV-warring. The idea is that removing the field will help quell such edit warring and will encourage editors to discuss genres and musical styles in the bodies of articles, with appropriate references. There is certainly no reason to completely exclude any mention of genres within articles, discussion of genre is as useful to the article as any other verifiable information. However, mention of genres belongs in the prose of the article body where the context and referencing can be provided. --IllaZilla (talk) 17:31, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Strongly support removing the genre field, IllaZilla sums it up very nicely above - the place for such info is in the text of the article, where it can be treated informatively and in context, I see only source for division in keeping them in the info box.--Alf melmac 11:59, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Hey Alfred... are you supporting the removal in 'just' the musician box?... Or in the album/song box as well? Y'know... you being an admin n all.... and with the strong support of us sheep back here in editorland.... you could just BE BOLD right now and go ahead and remove them from the music templates... and then just sit back and see who actually takes a whinybaby fit and sh*ts their pants. The Real Libs-speak politely 12:47, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
<mumbles something inchorrent about the singles/song classification on wiki still being shot to pieces and utterly stupid> I was referring soley to the musician/band infobox as that is where I've seen the majority of stupidity about the issue, but I am easy swayed on this topic I think. This discussion has been running eleven days now, so I'll wait another three before taking that action.--Alf melmac 12:55, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Perfect! Three days can't go by fast enough. :-D The Real Libs-speak politely 13:15, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Please keep us informed here - so we can support the changes as and when necessary. --Kleinzach 13:34, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Kleinzach you supported rm'ing the genre field from music boxes before... is this still the opinion you hold? For myself I am going to follow Alfie's format in his earlier post so that there will be no guesswork as to my opinion. That being said...
Strongly support!! The Real Libs-speak politely 13:44, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I support removing all subjective/qualitative fields from all infoboxes - that includes genres. --Kleinzach 00:38, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Are all genres subjective? — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 06:29, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
That's an interesting question. Let's just say that it many cases, the contributor has to make a subjective judgement, which is why a nuanced description in the article itself is less controversial than an unqualified label in a box. --Kleinzach 08:28, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the genre should definitely be mentioned, and preferably even discussed in the main text (if enough discussion of the band's sound is available from reliable sources). But why don't we just say—for articles that suffer edit wars over genre—there needs to be reliable sources to back up the disputed genres. We won't throw out all the legitimate uses of the field (who would argue that Elvis wasn't rock & roll, or that Miles Davis wasn't jazz), but we will put the onus on the quarreling editors to back up their claims. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 09:08, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
As mentioned previously in this conversation... that experiment has failed. (see: Deftones) Even when valid reliable sources are added to support a genre claim in the box... the ones who dispute the claim still delete the content anyways. The Real Libs-speak politely 10:43, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Twas Now, your questions/doubts seem similar to mine - i think it would be useful and valid to list one or two "undisputable" genres in the info boxes, but i really can't think of any way to implement that *and* to reduce the "info box warring" that has so many editors so frustrated. in the articles i work most on the main nuisance is people repeatedly adding long strings of genres/subgenres of contestable importance in the given artists' output; maybe that could be curtailed by having a limited menu of genres to choose from - real broad ones like rock, jazz, etc - and an automated limit to how many can be selected, but i doubt that's practical. the fuzziness of genre definitions/boundaries is also part of the difficulty - where is the boundary between rock and rock & roll, or rock & roll and R&B - R&B as defined by who when - is pop a genre or an insult - etc. etc. Sssoul (talk) 13:44, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
A short predetermined genre list is an interesting idea. It would cut down on edit warring substantially, though not entirely. With many "cross-genre" or "unclassifiable" artists it would still be a subjective decision, but with a compromise that could satisfy those who find a genre entry in the box desirable. I for one still favor removal all together. - Steve3849 talk 15:26, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I made a proposal along those lines here and it wasn't well-received. The main objection was that we'd be constraining editors to a limited number of genres they could put in the field, which runs along of the lines of "forcing" them to edit in certain ways and placing limits on the types of contributions they can make. Personally I don't have much of a problem with that, but nevertheless I don't foresee a similar proposal gaining much community support. --IllaZilla (talk) 16:13, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
right, i do see that the idea of "building in" a limit to the type/number of genres that can go in the info box is problematic in a few ways - but thanks for letting me know i'm not the only one who's pondered it. i still wish there were a way to deal with this without totally eliminating the field from the info boxes, but ... [scratching head] ... Sssoul (talk) 16:29, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Got here from the Music WikiProj, as far as i can tell there is quite a consensus here for the genre section to be removed, I agree with above also, is there any considerable vote against it? --SteelersFanUK06 ReplyOnMine! 15:43, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

The question still hangs out there though about which box(es) to remove it from. There have been posts to the individual projects (musician, album, song) to bring their discussion to this forum but so far not too many have. This discussion aims at the musician box. But the ongoing genre wars also take place over albums and songs too... its just not as "out there/in your face" as the genre wars over musicians/bands. It's a pretty safe bet that many of the members of this project are also members of those splinter projects as well... so a consensus here would likely be the consensus from them anyway. Do we focus on the musician box only. Or do we thrust WP:BOLD out there and say all music boxes... musician, album, song... will have their genre fields chopped away and so endeth the box wars forever. I, for one, say do it... hack them all. And let WP:V and WP:RS take command of the genre descriptions in the main article content... where it belongs. The Real Libs-speak politely 16:22, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

I would support that as well: Unilateral removal of the genre field across music boxes (artist, album, song). The edit-warring happens in all 3, it's just most prominent in artist. For consistency we should make the same change to all 3. --IllaZilla (talk) 16:33, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
i am not as gung-ho about this change as some of my esteemed colleagues here, but: yeah, if it's removed from one type of info-box i definitely support removing it from all of them. so put me down as a mild but sweeping support. Sssoul (talk) 18:53, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Delete from all. Its the most obvious way of doing it in my opinion. I think that everyone's agreed on that too. --SteelersFanUK06 ReplyOnMine! 13:51, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
How will people who are new to the artist know what they sound like? Titan50 (talk) 15:55, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
by reading the article, which *will* discuss what genre(s) the artist is associated with. Sssoul (talk) 16:14, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Hopefully by reading the article, rather than relying on the infobox alone for 100% of their information. Of course the best way would be to follow one of the external links to the artist's website and actually listen to some of their music, or listen to any sound samples that are in the article. --IllaZilla (talk) 16:13, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Many musician articles... especially the FAs.. have entire sections dedicated to "Musical style." These sections are typically where you will find some decent artist overviews with a couple of "notable critic described them as..." types of quotes etc etc etc. It places the opinion solely on the cited quoted and rm's the unwanted "Wikipedia opinion"... some even include point/counter-point styled descriptions just to try and keep things as neutral as possible. Thse are the sections where reader should be getting "genre"... not the box. The Real Libs-speak politely 17:16, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Sorry guys, I've been away from this discussion for some time. Is there a consensus here that it is a good idea? To clarify I'm talking about the genre field on musicians, albums and singles. That said, if we want to take it one stage at a time I'm also up for that. — Realist2 21:56, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Less stringent proposal by Rodhullandemu

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I tend to agree that this field, in any infobox, is a battlefield; however much you try to persuade, or even impose WP:RS and WP:V, someone will always come along and add their own pet preference. I've seen it mostly in The Beatles-related articles, but it's a major problem across all popular music-related articles. Proper article writing should mean that individual songs have comment, or discussion, about genre-related issues; although for some reason Allmusic differentiates between "genre" and "style". OK, I can see that a rock music album may encompass several styles, but detail like that, for an artist or album in particular, is inappropriate for the infobox. Accordingly, I formally propose that the "genre" field of infoboxes for (a) musicians and (b) albums, be abolished. For individual tracks, the genre is more specifically determinable by WP:RS and should, for now, be retained. Discussion invited, even a straw poll if necessary. If accepted, the templates themselves can be edited and we can invite one of the bot operators to write a script to traverse affected articles to remove existing fields. --Rodhullandemu 22:16, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Support preposal: While this is not as far reaching as my original proposal, I believe this will be a strong step in the correct direction. I'm particularly happy to see an admin help put any consensus into action. — Realist2 22:25, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I support this as well. It seems to sum up most of my feelings on the issue. --IllaZilla (talk) 23:35, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
  • yeah: support Sssoul (talk) 00:08, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Personally I like the genre section and it hasn't been a problem in the articles that I edit. There is a different between OR and the obvious, so I don't see why it should be deleted from all infoboxes. I mean sure it might be hard to justify a very specific genre, but those such as rock, pop, and the more general terms are easily assigned without controversy. You could always remove the field manually from infoboxes with problems or assign a more general genre. Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 00:29, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. This information could easliy be added in the first line of the article, eg, "The Beatles are a/an XXXX band", therefore the genre section could still be removed and the above line can be cited. --SteelersFanUK06 ReplyOnMine! 00:36, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Response. Oh, I'd support taking it out of the artist's box as many can be all over the place. I was only talking about the song and album infoboxes. Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 01:04, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - as a step in the right direction. --Kleinzach 00:59, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as a first step. Genre for songs is more specific... but it doesn't mean that there aren't hundreds of edit wars going on in song articles over that little annoying field. How long before we re-table deleting it for the song box as well? The Real Libs-speak politely 01:21, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
  • If the first step is a great success and the song genre field becomes more trouble than it's worth we can have a "vote" on the in the future and see what consensus draws. — Realist2 12:07, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I expect it won't be long before we are going that next step. Rodhullandemu says in his original post that his own experience is with Beatles related articles... even Rodhullandemu would agree (I think) that it would be a great day when someone doesn't stick "heavy metal" into the genre fields for Helter Skelter or Revolution :-) The Real Libs-speak politely 16:56, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Certainly do, unless it's properly sourced rather than personal opinion; if I had much hair left, I would have torn it out by now and see no reason to make a rod for our own backs. --Rodhullandemu 17:09, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support "less stringent proposal" as the ball seems to be rolling with this one. I also still support the original proposal. - Steve3849 talk 16:26, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Was applied at this point in the discussion; the debate as a whole had been running for over a week, and the latest proposal (my own) had been under discussion for the customary five days. Accordingly, the votes below do not form part of the consensus as I perceived and applied it. --Rodhullandemu 18:52, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Complete bull. A discussion does not have a cut of point in this manner. It does not go for 5 days and automatically stop. If issues are unresolved and new opinions are expressed, discussion should continue. This isn't consensus Not by a long shot. Orane (talk) 18:56, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Incorrect, otherwise a discussion could theoretically continue until one side or the other gets tired. There's no point going on if the outcome seems clear after a reasonable time. There was no new material being added to the debate. The current opposition has only surfaced since the implementation of the changes, and I am most certainly not saying that the above cut-off point reflects current consensus, because it plainly doesn't. If you read what I wrote, I made it quite plain that this was the time at which consensus was addressed. To call it "complete bull", when the outcome after a reasonable time is obvious is beneath you. Or should be. --Rodhullandemu 19:39, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
wow. 6 supports and 5 days for consensus. It is only called consensus because it is convenient. Certainly unfair to how many thousands or music-related contributors to this project. All music projects/portals should be notified of the discussion for this to be even remotely fair. ♫ Cricket02 (talk) 01:26, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm with you 100%. It doesn't matter if the change was nearly supported before implementation, it still wasn't long enough, informative enough, and involved no more than 30 people. We need at least 300 users, several months, and a clear plan in order to successfully do this. None of those requirements have been accomplished, and now look at what we have. Extreme controversy and such. AN OLD MAN (talk) 02:54, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

*Oppose The genre section is certainly the most warred over part of any music article. However, being warred over doesn't mean that information should be removed from an infobox. Hypothetically, if the title of an article was the most warred over part, then we should remove titles from articles, right? Infoboxes are there to encompass any straightforward applicable information about a band/artist/album in a convenient way, so it's not encyclopediatic, convenient (many times you have to scroll to the middle of a history section in order to find out something genre-related), or "complete" to not mention genres. The philosophy we should use is that either only the main genres of a band should be mentioned (which is already in force for many high-quality articles, and that seems to work quite well), or any that would apply noticably should be mentioned. For example (the latter philosophy), many people on Wiki seem to believe glam metal is only unique because of its image, with the bands being "just hard rock with hair + spandex" etc. However, that is a blatant POV statement, as the genre is loosely defined and a good portion of bands do indeed "combine heavy metal with glam rock", creating a unique musical style. Besides, many bands that are definately "pop metal" but not "hairbands" (such as Def Leppard, Dokken, Skid Row, etc.) are considered to be glam. Any band that is widely considered and/or fits even some of the glam requirements should be labeled glam metal in order to favor any POV, and soforth for nearly all other genres. Lastly, though genres are subject to debate and multiple defintions, just about any band can't be THAT mislabeled. No matter how much you twist ANY definition around, Public Enemy certainly doesn't play country and definately plays hip hop. AN OLD MAN (talk) 04:48, 9 October 2008 (UTC) AN OLD MAN is a sock account of ASL

  • Oppose Abolishing the genre field does not solve problems about genre disputes. Not to mention the categories willl still be there, which categorize artists and albums by (yes!) genre. I've worked on pages with infobox genre disputes and some without them. This is a simplistic way of dealing with a very nuanced issue. WesleyDodds (talk) 06:03, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Why not put referenced genre info in the first sentence of the article? The infobox genre field has not been straight forward. - Steve3849 talk 06:02, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
It often is referenced in the article body, but I don't see why that's a reason to remove the genre field from music infoboxes. The purpose of the infobox is to give a brief summary of a topic. Listing a genre is a very effective way of briefly explaining what a band, song or album sounds like in prose form. WesleyDodds (talk) 06:10, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think the removal of the genre from the infobox is not necessarily the best way to handle this, although I am sympathetic to problems caused by the edit warring over it. I've had to block disruptive editors for that very thing. But genre is a major descriptive element about an album. I would think the matter could be addressed less radically by utilizing something like AMG's differentials between genre and style. For example, at List of music styles we have dozens, but in the template at the bottom of the page, these are divided between "Musical styles" and "Genres and movements." There are only 11 in the latter, which link to various subgenres. Why not limit genre in the infobox to the major descriptor and leave discussions of variant styles to the article? For example, Dizzy Gillespie and His Big Band is a jazz album. It is also Big band, Bop & Afro-Cuban jazz, but these all fall under the umbrella of jazz. (I appreciate that an effort was made to inform WikiProject Albums of this discussion in advance. It's unfortunate that due to a formatting error this didn't happen. The infobox is of pretty strong interest to the project, after all.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:11, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support I am a little behind the conversation and see that this change has already been made. It appears to be very well received. When I looked at my watchlist for the first time in weeks I was a bit shocked. I thought I was witnessing a coup of some kind with dozens of regular editors suddenly deleting long standing parts of the infobox. I think this is a positive change which will result in a lot more editing and a greatly reduced amount of edit warring. Music articles should have a musical style section in them that is referenced. The box shouldn't contain any subjective data. Just facts. I realize there probably weren't very many edit wars in the music genres that weren't Rock music related. But I expect most of those articles have a musical style descriptor right in the first sentence of their lead-ins. So repeating it in the box isn't really going to be missed anyways. Thank you to those editors who took the giant leap forward in implementing this change. Anger22 (Talk 2 22) 12:12, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose. We should strongly keep the genre field. Most of the bands have undisputed genre (for example, no one would argue Iron Maiden is a heavy metal band). When a band's genre is disputed, we're used to have a larger term there (smth. like "Rock music", "Pop music", etc) and leave a link to "Music style" section (like in HIM (Finnish band) and Marylin Manson articles). The music style information is, perhaps, the most useful information about a band. Information of music style should be reliable as with any other information, so references are favorable. I can see no reason to remove genre field except lazyness to seek for sources and make referenses. Garret Beaumain (talk) 18:27, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per my reasons stated some time ago. Strongly agree with Wesley Doods and Moonriddengirl. Genres are extremely useful in the infobox to give an overview of the bands/artists. Decide removing the field on a case-by-case basis, certainly no need to apply to ALL infoboxes. ♫ Cricket02 (talk) 01:22, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Why should take away the genre field just because of some edit warring trolls? Now that the genre field is gone, I can see trying to add the genre(s) to the article itself. That could also cause in edit war. This reminds me of the genre debates at the Evanescence article until it was decided the genre field would be removed. Although, it was eventually added back in because some gave a strong warning. Maybe something like that could work with some other articles. Kokoro20 (talk) 07:35, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose all aspects of the proposal. NSR77 TC 23:47, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support This is something that should have done long ago. The field attracts vandals and trolls and opinion pushers. Only a bare minority follow the actual guideline for the field. The restoration proposals placed further down on this talk page by Wesley Dodds simply repeat alternatives and discussions that have already taken place. Options that were either rejected or they failed when they were attempted. The genre field should not appear in any music related infobox templates. Fair Deal (talk) 00:16, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Someitimes these approaches have failed, but sometimes they have worked; it's not all failure. Until now there have been no genre guidelines, so we couldn't properly enforce these options. Also, every aspect of Wikipedia draws vandals and troll and opinion pushers. WesleyDodds (talk) 02:50, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The genre field was useful. I would much rather have a constant battle and discussion over genre than no genre field at all. I was amazed and confused to see the genre removed from all artists. --Hew (talk) 06:13, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose The infoboxes were extremely useful tool in finding out basic info about a band or album you had never heard of. Now it lacks the single most important fact: the genre. Even if the genres were disputed and not 100% correct it was much more informative than nothing at all. Bring back the genres! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:33, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. While I realize that the genre line in the infobox is being "abused" by users, I still find it a very useful bit of information, and turn to it frequently when reading about bands. I often find it much easier to just take a look at the genre field of the infobox than browse through the article to find it out. I do think that adding references to that field could be helpful. # Ido50 (talk to me), at 20:41, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
  • Oppose. It is so easy to just take a glance at the page, and know all the genres a band plays.


The removal process has begun. Thank you. For the more frequently edited pages the current genre lines should fail to appear automatically with any edit. However, for the current text lines to be deleted it might be beneficial to have a bot set up to perform a direct removal of current genre entries. - Steve3849 talk 15:14, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

So, looking at articles I take it it's been accepted, fair enough. Can we make sure that every artist/band has a "style" section, please? Titan50 (talk) 18:22, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Some already do. Many will need them. As a continuation of this overdue change w should move towards a "MUSTARD" change that pushes for editors to not use POV and use genres as adjectives in the opening sentances of music articles. All in due time. The Real Libs-speak politely 18:29, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

I see it's already taken effect, which is good. Anybody know a good bot operator we could ask to start deleting the text lines from the current entries? --IllaZilla (talk) 21:10, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

We won't need that; this is not a substituted template so its contents are created on the fly; as such, non-existent fields are just not shown. As soon as cached pages are replaced by being updated, that field will be unavailable, and everything will work out in time. --Rodhullandemu 21:51, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
The problem with that is that articles using the template pre-genre removal still have the genre field in them, it just doesn't show in the page view. It does appear in the edit window, and then editors are confused as to why it doesn't appear in the page view. One editor has already expressed this concern, and I'm sure others will follow. It would be helpful to have a bot go around removing the field from all articles using the template. Alternatively, I have long thought that for high-use templates like this it would be a good idea to have a bot which could go around every time there is a major update to the template (like this one) and leave a message on the talk pages of articles which use it. Something to the effect of "An update has been made to Template:Infobox Musical artist. Please update this article to ensure that it is using the latest version of the template." I remember an instance where the albums infobox was changed and it screwed up all of the articles on split releases I'd worked on. I'd sure have appreciated an update message like that in that case. What do people think of that idea? --IllaZilla (talk) 22:02, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I take your point completely; on the one hand, it's useful to inform editors of major changes, and we do so in the login notices where appropriate. On the other hand, the earlier change (as far as I can see) does not seem to have had the fallout I anticipated. As for having a bot traverse for notifications, I am not so up with the bot operators to know who is active enough and has the spare time to do this. Even so, a new bot (albeit temporary) would still require approval, and have to undergo a test run. I'm open to suggestions here. --Rodhullandemu 22:17, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I saw this mentioned at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#An odd infobox problem. AnomieBOT recently did a similar replacement after {{Female adult bio}} had a parameter removed; since this is basically the same thing, post a list of affected templates at User talk:AnomieBOT and I'll see if the run can be speedily approved. Anomie 23:23, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I've worked with four or five bot owners during the past few months so perhaps I could make a recommendation? (Some of them are more reliable than others!) The job would have to be well-defined and there should be one or test runs before the main one. In my experience it's never possible to get the bot run right the first time. --Kleinzach 23:21, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Great to see it taking effect. Should all this be written down officially somewhere? Or is it a case of accepting it via word of mouth? — Realist2 23:54, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it should be written down. Either as a Music Project guideline or as a new entry in Mustard? Mustard doesn't have a section on infoboxes at present so this would be an opportunity to draft one - maybe here or in userspace. --Kleinzach 00:17, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

The decision to remove genres from infoboxes is a very narrow discussion held on a not very active WikiProject. This needs to be discussed among all relevant WikiProjects, including those related to genres, albums, and songs. Keep in mind removing genres from infoboxes will not curb genre debates in articles because the genre of an artist or release will still need to be discussed in the article, and other forms of media infoboxes list genres. WesleyDodds (talk) 01:06, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

It was brought up at all projects. The overall result was to remove them. And all of the commentary coming from editors today as they have been learning about it has been nothing but positive. It is the most overkilled POV edit war battlefield on Wikipedia. And it is a change that should have been implemented 2 years ago. The song/single box has been exempt, temporarily, and to be discussed in the next few weeks. The result, based on the overwhelming postive response from the musician/album changes will likely be to push the field out of those boxes as well. It's an "opinion" field... nothing more... nothing less. And opinions needs citations and that sort of content is better placed in the article... not the box. The removal of the genre field from the song box can't come too soon. As mentioned already.... it'll be a great day on Wikipedia that someone doesn't have to rm 'heavy metal' from the Revolution page. The Real Libs-speak politely 01:13, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I for one edit on various types of music articles, including bands, genres, songs, and albums. I didn't find out about these discussions until today. Having to remove "Heavy metal" from the "Revolution" infobox shouldn't be a reason to remove genre fields from music infoboxes. What's to stop someone for calling it a heavy metal song in the article? WesleyDodds (talk) 01:17, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Are you a member of any of the related Wikiprojects (Music/Musicians/Albums/Songs)? Notes were posted on all their talk pages to join this conversation. We could't possibly have placed notices on every artist, album & song page. The templates are created & overseen by the Wikiprojects, so they were notified. --IllaZilla (talk) 01:32, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
This is the umbrella project for music, hence the discussion was held here. (Given the nature of WP it's impossible to always notify everybody everywhere wherever. . . .) --Kleinzach 01:28, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not a member of those WikiProjects, but I am a member of Wikipedia:WikiProject Alternative music, a very active project focused on a genre. Genre WikiProjects, including ones related to Metal and Hip-Hop (just thinking of the most active ones) should have been notified. WesleyDodds (talk) 06:08, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I whole-heartedly agree with Wesley Dodds here. Though this would stop many edit wars and relieve many editors, it wouldn't stop the large and numerous genre debates in the main context of the articles, which obviously can't be removed no matter what. This removal, as Libs says, was brought up in just about every project, but wasn't absolutely thoroughly discussed in each or publized nearly enough. Just because users were invited to join discussions doesn't mean there was enough time to actually discuss this or to warn tens of thousands of editors. I only found out about this whole thing two days ago, purely by chance. Sure, there's an overwhelming majority of supporters, but there's probably been only around 40 people at max participating in this discussion across all Wikiprojects in a course of just two weeks. In order to make this all clean and crystal clear, we should have at least 300 opinions (doesn't have to be complex, just 2-3 sentences), more publicity on this issue, at least two months of discussion (possibly broken down into several sections and such), and a clear bot + priority + aftermath plan. The current plan right now is far from this and IMO, the initiation should be completely reverted until this is further resolved. There are more problems with this issue too, with reasons stated in my opinion in the above section. This removal, while simple, is a HUGE change. Just my two cents. AN OLD MAN (talk) 05:16, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

A question, is the album template going to be edited like the musician template or are we to just remove the genres as we see them?  Orfen  TC 01:30, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

The album template has been changed identically to the musician template. If you are still seeing genres in page views of musical artist or album articles, you need to purge your cache or hit refresh. Note that it has not yet been removed from the songs template, so it will still appear in articles about songs or singles. --IllaZilla (talk) 01:34, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I have purged my cache and refreshed multiple times yet the genres for The Black Parade still appear while the genres for other musician and album articles are not appearing anymore. I checked the template and it looks right but the genres are still appearing for me.  Orfen  TC 01:43, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Refreshing the page or clearing your cache won't change things. But if you click on "edit", then click on "save", the genre will disappear. (It is not necessary to change the article. I would infer that the infobox is transcluded when the article is edited, even if there are no changes.) Mudwater (Talk) 01:49, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I have noticed genre disappearing one by one from artist and album articles throughout the day. It may be a ripple effect as the WP servers themselves clear their caches. Give it a day and see if it's still there, then we can investigate if it's a technical issue that needs fixing. --IllaZilla (talk) 01:53, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Based on a quick and cursory check, I'm not seeing genre in album articles now, so the ripple effect seems to have happened. If that's the case, it's not necessary to edit the articles as I described. (I'd be interested in a more technical explanation if anyone has one.) Mudwater (Talk) 12:34, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
The reason a bot is still needed is that although the genre field becomes non-visible after an edit, the line of text that was last associated with it still exists and therefore needs to be manually deleted. Otherwise it will continue to be a source of confusion for editors in literally thousands of articles. Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm not an expert). - Steve3849 talk 03:21, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

As someone who is not a member of any music-related WikiProjects, but who does watch and edit a number of music-related articles, including the infamous genre battleground Cradle of Filth, I didn't hear about this discussion just now. But I just wanted to jump in and say that imho the decision reached is absolutely the correct one, trying to nail down genres into a single info field in an infobox is a terribly futile endeavour, and we're much better off only covering them as part of the article prose. --Stormie (talk) 02:36, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Comment Not that anyone will listen at this point, but I must say this. I think that it is extremely _______(any of the following words apply here: fucked up, unfair, unjust, thoughtless, distressful, disrespectful, worrisome, ineffectual) that a discussion among say, five people, should transpose into a overhaul of the English Wikipedia, since the template affects every music-related article on here. You guys should not get to hold this sort of power. I'm going to have to take this further, because it worries me what else you guys may get the urge to change, and feel that because three or four of you agree on it, then it should go info effect everywhere. Consensus has to do with a huge discussion with majority showing strong evidence for or against a topic. I don't expect that everyone on Wikipedia should/would/could vote, but for a change that affects so many articles, it definitely needs more than seven people writing "support" to a proposition. Orane (talk) 05:45, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Ever since the implamentation started, many opposers have been coming here to complain, so everybody's opinion is being counted. :) Good thing someone else realises that we need a cleaner, longer, and MUCH larger consensus! Several hundred users stating just a simple opinion would be more meaningful. In addition, there were virtually no opposers in the discussion before the implementation. It would also be cool to even ask Jimbo Wales for his opinion. No joke. AN OLD MAN (talk) 07:25, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's necessary to drag him into this debate. This we need to settle amongst ourselves. If it's eight month later and tons more pages of discussion, then maybe. But that's a last resort, and we're nowhere near that point yet. WesleyDodds (talk) 02:47, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Basic question for all those involved: is this were we are going to hold a centralized discussion on this topic? I wish to know so I don't have to leave comments in like three different questions. Also, I plan to leave a notice on the talk page for Wikipedia:WikiProject Alternative music informing project members about this discussion, and I suggest the same is done for other genre WikiProjects including Metal, Hip Hop, R&B, and so on, many of which are far more active than this one. WesleyDodds (talk) 05:58, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Never mind, I see that it's been decided that this is the place for centralized discussion. Makes things much easier. WesleyDodds (talk) 06:05, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I only found out about this now, thanks to WD's notice at WT:ALM. I disagree with the removal of genres as it doesn't actually solve anything; the genre is still noted in the article (or should be, lest the article be crap) so the supposed edit warring can (and will) still take place... just somewhere else. Giggy (talk) 06:58, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I oppose the genre field removal. It gave me a sense of what I was looking at in a band or album. And where I've been, the edit warring is really not that bad. There just needs to be a consensus made on the talk page for the genres. Tezkag72 (talk) 14:59, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Where we go from here?

IMO Rodhullandemu's proposal has been passed and implemented, however anyone who disagrees with it is free to start a (more) centralized discussion at a higher level (there are three or four possibly places). It might well be a good thing to give this an airing, as the whole subject of infoboxes is controversial. If anyone decides to do this, I'll be happy to participate. Best. --Kleinzach 08:01, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I would suggest in the meantime people stop removing genre fields from infoboxes. Since the genre field has been removed from the templates, they won't show up anyway, but it we stop removing genres from individual infoboxes it'll be easier to fix if a new consensus is established, instead of having to go back and re-add everything. WesleyDodds (talk) 10:15, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
New consensus? Of 2? I would suggest someone get a bot fired up to remove them all as quickly as possible so that we can focus on gettting them removed from the song boxes next. There won't be a consensus to re-add the field anytime soon as 99% of all the editors who are learning about it(the ones who didn't know about the original consensus) are shouting hurrah! and deleting them like mad dogs. The Real Libs-speak politely 10:28, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, no. The content staying in the article does no damage as the field has removed, so there's no need to try to eradicate the whole thing from the surface of the Earth. This isn't a life or death matter, don't make it seem like one. Giggy (talk) 10:31, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Frankly, that's not a very helpful attitude, Wiki libs. Other people have expressed dismay with this decision in the template talk pages. Consensus can always change. WesleyDodds (talk) 10:35, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I fail to see any consensus at all on this page. This seems to have been pushed through by a handful of determine editors. --neon white talk 18:21, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
The focus should not be to get rid of them from the song infobox, but to determine if they should be removed. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 10:42, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Well my watchlist is already quieter, I'm already seeing good results and hopefully the fall of the genre warrior and multitude of socks. How fucking sad they are. :-) — Realist2 11:51, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Somewhat tongue in cheek, I have to note that your watchlist would be quieter also if we simply deleted the articles. Or fully protected them. A quiet watchlist is not necessarily our chief goal here. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:05, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Tongue in cheek, that's me! Full Protection you say? It had crossed my mind, if only to stop this monster. Why not give the genre thing a month long trial run and see how it goes? If it doesn't work then we can go back (I can hear the warriors crying and theirs nothing I hate more than a genre warrior). — Realist2 12:24, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure that genre warring is more of a problem with some music genres than others. I've yet to see a fight over it on a jazz article. :) (Note, I'm sure there has been. If people can argue over something, they usually will.) I'm of the opinion that we were able to eliminate most edit warring over the review section by explicitly defining acceptable reviews (no, you can't link your LiveJournal entry) and could probably do the same with genre, but although I am not in support of the basic removal and would prefer to do something less drastic, it's not something I'd go to the mat over, either. At least not at this point. Hate to see valuable information removed from quick access,though, simply to thwart the tendentious editors. :/ --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:40, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
How are we to determine if it has worked or not? — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 13:13, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

It hasn't helped that admins don't seem to consider it disruptive and rarely punish the genre warriors. It's left serious music editors rather disenchanted. It is a particular problem on Pop/R&B (where I edit) but clearly there are problems on others. Maybe Jazz and country have it lucky. We should have a template warning for edit warriors too, "You are a Genre warrior, stop or your account will be nuked". Gush, only in my wildest dreams. — Realist2 12:52, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

To Real/Wiki Libs and some others behind this change, I just want to suggest that, while your sense of triumph and relief are palpable, you ought to realize that this whole "15 editors" thing will be coming across as no small outrage to the six-figure-plus number of Wikipedians who are as we write digesting this change (including my young son, who will be close to devastated, as he spends the bulk of his free time trolling WP articles on genres and bands). After getting over yesterday's initial consternation and confusion, I have come around to supporting this change, as genre debates are indeed a ghetto, but I would recommend avoiding a triumphalist tone--because while for you few, this is the vindication of a long and frustrating struggle for truth and light, for most people it will come across as a sudden, sweeping, and arbitrary change by fiat, which as we all know is not what WP is about. AdRock (talk) 13:02, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Hey, I'm just happy the trolls are quieter, nothing wrong with being happy about that aspect of it. Hell I'm gunno splash out and put more articles on my watchlist now, I have more free time. Also if you have come around to supporting the idea why not pop your name on the support list above, :-) — Realist2 13:27, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the suggestion made previously by several editors -- change the infoboxes to allow only one of a very short list of values to be specified as genre. The list would be something like this: rock, pop, hip-hop, rhythm and blues, jazz, country, reggae, folk, classical, or art music. This would give the reader a very broad but helpful musical category at a quick glance. There still might be some edit wars (e.g. rock vs. pop -- clear definitions would help), but those would be greatly reduced. I know that the editors who removed genre from the infoboxes sincerely thought that they had arrived at a consensus after a discussion lasting several weeks, but this is such a big change, perhaps the discussion should be continued in a broader or higher level forum. Mudwater (Talk) 13:01, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Mudwater; a narrow range of very broad genre categories to choose from is a good idea, just to peg a band *somewhere* on the music spectrum right there in the infobox. As has been mentioned, there is of course the vast expanse of the article body to go into more (god help us) detail on genre. AdRock (talk) 13:05, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Wouldn't very broad genre categories" just invite more problems than ever? Falling between inaccuracy on the other hand, and redundancy on the other. --Kleinzach 13:17, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
The problem with that suggestion... and it has been brought up many times... is that we've tried that already... and it failed. Limiting the numbers... failed. Having it be supported by cited content in the article... failed. Having citations right in the box itself (yuck)... failed (and never should have been an option). I have been here for over four years trying every which way possible to maintain this field with some sort of binding guideline that all editors would agree to. Hoping that the edit wars would end. And they all failed. Except this new and grand idea. Which, minus a small minority, has been accepted by the masses and the masses are running with it... big time. The Real Libs-speak politely 13:21, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I think the judgment that the change "minus a small minority, has been accepted by the masses" is a tad premature, but in any case I will take your word for it that alternatives have been tried in the past without success. I'm sure you realize that much of the history of this issue will have to be repeatedly rehashed as people get a handle on this—hence my initial comment. AdRock (talk) 13:29, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not aware that the "picking from a short list" system has been implemented before. Keep in mind the key feature of this system -- only one genre that is on the short list (say a dozen or fewer possible genres) will be displayed in the infobox. (See for example the "type" parameter in Template:Infobox album.) Mudwater (Talk) 13:30, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I like that idea, especially the color-coding. Anybody? AdRock (talk) 14:17, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I am not 100% against that.(I have actually thought of it before) But we always end up back into the debate of genre and style. the WP:METAL kiddies will cry 'til they are blue in their pre-pubescent faces that heavy metal is a genre. It's a style of rock. We all know its a style of rock. But they don't. So if we have a colour code for rock and it covers all alternative/metal/industrial/experimental... there will be a cry of no-fair from all those genre specific projects who will whine and complain that they want their own colour. We could all be nice nice and AGF that there won't be any whining or crying. But guess what. This is music. Editors are quite passionate about the subject. And there will be yet another battlefield over colour (and speaking as one with mono-chromatic vision.... Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia that "anyone can edit"... but colour coding genres is discrimination against colour blind editors bangs imaginary gavel :-D ) I am not against the colours. But experience tells me its just going from one can of worms to another. On top of that. If you look back through the Infobox musician template talk page archives... you will see months and months and months of bickering over what colours to use for which box. It was yet another wheel spin over "yellow" vs "wheat"... and a collosal waste of time to boot. The Real Libs-speak politely 14:31, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
i pondered the "short list" idea for a while, and even semi-suggested it somewhere earlier in this discussion, but in the end: boundaries between genres are extremely fuzzy; some genres (R&B for example) have been defined in radically different ways in different time periods; many many artists delve into multiple genres; many many albums contain music from multiple genres; and people perceive all these things in too many different ways. the "short list" idea will just lead to "wars" of people switching the one or two allowed choices back and forth all the time. leaving genres for discussion in the article, where they can be discussed in appropriate detail, sourced properly, etc, is a much better solution. Sssoul (talk) 14:42, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Woooooow. Months of bickering over color? I am beginning to see the magnitude of the problem. But do such quibbles come from serious people? I mean is there a serious person out there arguing that heavy metal is not a kind of rock music? And abundantly clearly, color is a cosmetic issue—if assigning colors requires an international peace conference, then forget the bleeding (as it were) colors. Aren't arguments over rock v. pop prefereable to arguments over 16 different subgenres? Hell, make one of the choices "Rock/Pop." I realize, Wiki libs, that the sledgehammer metaphor is greatly appealing to you, but there may yet be something workable here in the nature of a compromise (you yourself even offered the ringing endorsement: "I am not 100% against that"). AdRock (talk) 15:07, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

LOL, Pop vs rock can get you linched on Wikipedia by otherwise moderate editors. Its the "image" of the style. The Beatles are a Pop rock band. They are probably the best example of "Pop as an artform" that can be mentioned. The Who is also a Pop band. Bryan Adms is a modern "pop artiste". But the image of the term makes people think of all the "ugly" in music... the boy bands... the Britneys... the Mariah's ... the Robbie's... all that is extreme crap in modern music, unfortunately, is what people see as pop. It can fuel a mass debate if there is a Pop colour option. And I doubt that we would be allowed to create a fake/poseur/lip-synch'r/talentless/waste-o-oxygen colour for all the Britneys, Justins and Backdoor Boys. But if we could :).... The Real Libs-speak politely 15:16, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

If we could that would rule; you (they) are preaching to the choir, I am a huge fan of punk and hardcore—most of the music I like is an explicit rejection of all that is bad in pop. But I made the "Rock/Pop" suggestion regardless, in the interest of compromising while cutting through clutter—you seem to be saying that's not possible. Alas. But for now I'm going to bow out of this discussion, before I get fired. I have absolutely no idea how you people do this... AdRock (talk) 15:28, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

By the way, can someone clarify how this change is expected to drastically reduce the genre warring? I mean aren't the debates simply going to be transferred to the first line of the article? "Singer and the Band Bembers are a thrash metal/easy listening/jazzcore/blackened-acappella band from Tuvalu..." etc. etc. AdRock (talk) 14:28, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I've commented to that before. That has to be a "mustard" issue. When a genre is used as an adjective.... let the wars begin. Led Zeppelin were an English hard rock, heavy metal, blues-rock, folk-rock band.???? or Led Zeppelin were an English rock band. Instead of whining and spinning over pov fields in infoboxes we should be discussing writing style and coming up with a better guideline for music page layout. Either which way... if we can keep the wars contained to the article body rather than the box... there are already ample rules under WP:MOS to help support what goes and what stays. The Real Libs-speak politely 14:36, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
What's a "mustard issue"? AdRock (talk) 14:55, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry... Wiki-vet term... WP:MUSTARD. The Real Libs-speak politely 15:01, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
That mean ole Mr. Mustard... AdRock (talk) 15:09, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Great, now I am going to have that song stuck in my head all day. Could be worse I guess... could've been Oh Mandy... you came and deleted a field without asking... The Real Libs-speak politely 15:18, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Thought you'd like that. AdRock (talk) 15:31, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
First you guys are stupid and second other users or IP adressess will probably find another way to edit war about the genres. Oh can we take a new vote where actually all music project have a clue about this discussion. Be Black Hole Sun (talk · contribs)
First, WP:CIVIL and Second all the relevant projects were contacted. The Real Libs-speak politely 17:01, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm with you on the civil thing. As to the notice, not exactly, although you made an effort to do so. You actually advised WikiProject Album, which has a major interest, of the wrong conversation. IllaZilla refactored your note only today. (See the thread.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 17:16, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Excuse me BBHS? Since you are a chronic POV pusher on Wikipedia it doesn't surprise me that you don't like the change. — Realist2 18:09, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
The original post was in good faith... but horrid right-clicking skills and poor follow-up... for which I apologise. I try to limit myself to one mistake per month on Wiki. I certainly didn't want it to be that one :-D ... but it was and I can't undo my goof. At the time of the post the convo was directly above my link.... close! But close only counts in horseshoes and communicable diseases. The Real Libs-speak politely 17:20, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Stuff happens. :) I'd have no reason to doubt you made the notice in good faith. I followed your link at the time, but had nothing to add to the conversation on singles & song infoboxes, since I've to date written precisely one (1) song article. But it was a bit of bad luck, since the album template change impacts thousands of articles, and consensus may have been better reflected with more input from Project Album participants...though maybe not. For the most part, we seem to be a very introverted project. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 17:26, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I do not 'clan' with any project. But I do have them all on my watchlist so I can be up to date on what their directions are. I find the album proj to be either very active... or very dormant... depending on the week. I find nowadays that... since my ol' buddy PEJL left... it has not been near as busy as it used to be. I have stated before though... these edit wars are just as ferocious in album articles as they are in musician articles (and songs). When warriors can't get their POV into the artist... they go after the next best thing... their albums. Album articles are great places for cited quotes with regards to style (from an RS of course... + showing differing opinions from RS's if they exist) Its a much better way to convey this info to the reader in a neutral way then just a label in the box (which often contradicts the article prose) The Real Libs-speak politely 17:36, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

If the purpose of this removal is to prevent edit warring, I don't see how simply removing the infobox line will help. If the material is in the article, surely the edit warriors will conduct their campaigns there. Of the approximately 69,811 articles currently tagged with {{Album}} (very precise approximation, I know; it's drawn from the assessment page, but is likely out of date) that will be impacted by this template change, how many do you suppose are subject to genre edit warring? 1% Less? In my opinion, implementing a change that will remove quick access to non-controversial information on nearly 70,000 articles should not be done without first considering and trying other remedies. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:08, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, the chronic, usually pre-teen IP's/socks are usually too disinterested to actually read into the text body. Show them a colorful info box and their faces light up with excitement. Like I already said, I'm already feeling the difference, seriously. The edit warring happens on about 10% or music articles, if your on about constant changing then it rises to about 30% easily. — Realist2 18:14, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Those are rather high numbers. Can I ask what leads you to assume that approximately 7,000 articles are currently being edit warred on with respect to genre labels in infoboxes? Or as many as 21,000? (Higher, actually, since my number is only album articles, not all music articles.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:17, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "Realist", that statement is discriminatory and does not assume good faith. It is my experience that when all genres are cited in the infobox, edit wars are almost non-existant (ex: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, The Used). I propose that all genres in the infobox be cited in accordance with WP:V. --Pwnage8 (talk) 19:19, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • One of the core priciples of wikipedia is that we do not change the way it works because of vandalism or bad editors, this suggest goes completly against that core principle. We deal with the bad editors and the edit warring, we don't alter wikipedia or compromise the articles it to combat it, if that happens we might as well delete the entire project to solve it's problems. An editor's primary purpose should be to ensure the completeness, accuracy and, above all, usefulness of the encylopedia not to deal with the problems by tearing it down by removing often very useful information from the encyclopedia because it is controversial. This is a classical example of 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'. This simple is not the way it works. I also object to the way this has been pushed through by certain editors when the discussion is still on going and there clearly is no consensus. It appears to me to be more of a personal quest rather than an attempt to improve wikipedia. --neon white talk 18:37, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Hmm. I've been watching this page with some interest, wondering how it would go. Obviously, the answer is, "Not well." The thing is, I see both sides of the argument, as certain pages have seen needless edits regarding the genre, especially the order (i.e., putting "pop" before or after "R&B"...). I admit that there's a possibility that sourcing could work, but that brings up other questions as well. First, should every source-able genre be included? Second, does the order matter? If so, which order should it go in, chronological or number of songs recorded in a specific style? Third, how specific are we getting? Is pop enough? Or do we go into the subgenres (teen pop, piano pop, urban pop etc)? I guess what I'm asking is, how do we define genre, and to what extent should we narrow it? I realise that there will be different guidelines that can apply to this (as in, artist vs. album vs. song/single) but how exactly are we gonna differentiate them all? The reason behind all my questions is because I edit mostly pop articles, and they seem to be the most flakey. I mean, the Spice Girls page lists Pop, dance-pop, Europop, pop rock, dance, Eurodance, R&B, funk, and Teen pop. If all of them could be sourced, should all of them belong there? SKS2K6 (talk) 21:09, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
AAAAH!! Why no one told me about this?!? Put it back put it back put it back!!!! Tezkag72 (talk) 22:54, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I disagree with this change. Why change it? What good can come out of it? I see absolutely nothing that this will help. Hopefully, it will be realized that this has more cons than pros and it will be changed. Whiffle Ball Tony (talk) 23:54, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Why change it??? Read the above discussion from the beginning. Reading through there are more cons stated than pros. Probably the most pertinent con (to me) is that subjective information in an infobox field is not encyclopedic. The most repeated complaint is that it was done too quickly and with not enough consensus. This complaint is not a pro, only a protest. - Steve3849 talk 03:28, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I like to use Wikipedia to help me find new music. Sometimes I'll go through a label's page and check out the artists. I use the genres to help me find what I'm looking for. For example, if I'm looking through Southern Lord Records list of artists and I'm looking for a doom metal band, I'll look through until I find one, check them out on, and if I like it, I'll go get an album. If not, I let it rest. The fact that genres are no longer going to be represented completely eliminates this and is going to make music searching much more difficult. There are also other cons, however I have to get going. Whiffle Ball Tony (talk) 11:56, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I suggest you use Category:Doom metal musical groups to assist your searching - these are totally independent of the genre field of the info box.--Alf melmac 10:14, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

New proposal

I'm formulating new guideline proposals that we can possibly use if we are to keep the genre fields. I'll try to have something done by tonight, but the general ideas is that there would be separate guidelines for musician, album, and song infoboxes. I'm at work right now, but I'll explain my reasoning behind this later today. WesleyDodds (talk) 20:19, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

  • I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with. It would be nice to move forward constructively. :) Meanwhile, until consensus emerges, I believe the templates should be restored. Thoughts? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 00:59, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm fine with them being gone for the moment, but if the genre field is still in the song boxes, we might as well put it back in the musician and album boxes. I can go either way, really. WesleyDodds (talk) 01:06, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Ok, I have some proposals now placed in a new section at the bottom of this talk page. WesleyDodds (talk) 02:17, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Removal from songs, albums?!

This I strongly object to. The original idea was just to remove them from the band article, keep songs and albums. Titan50 (talk) 14:30, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

No it was also agreed that albums would be affected too. — Realist2 18:15, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Out of hand

This has gotten out of hand. An overwhelming number of people are opposing the removal of the genre field. Why not remove the field from the articles with the edit wars (as in, delete the field manually from the respective articles under heavy edit wars)? As someone pointed out, not every article in the English Wikipedia has seen such edit wars, and those articles should not have to suffer. The concerns of a few should not lead to an overhaul of the entire template for both album and artists. And Realist2, I think this proposition was a huge mistake and wasn't properly considered. Orane (talk) 18:47, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Agree this seems to have been done on the whim of a very limited number of editors who have swept aside and pretty much ignored any objections. This has been done in a very underhand way. A consensus is when everyone agrees a course of action not when editors decide the argument is going against them so they're going to quickly push through the changes anyway which to me seems to be what has happened here. I'd like to see this go to the either Village pump, Wikiquette alerts of even mediation. --neon white talk 18:56, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Completely agree. I have already contacted a few bureaucrats. We have to do something a about this! Orane (talk) 18:59, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Please consider the timing of this; after five days discussion, there was clear consensus to delete the fields from artist & album infoboxes. Five days is long enough for an Afd or an RfA, and in the former case, WP:SNOW would have applied; you cannot come along afterwards and say there was no consensus. What you can do is to seek to renegotiate the consensus. --Rodhullandemu 19:17, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry but these false claims of consensus are not helpful. I have read this page and i cannot see any such agreement. The discussion was ongoing even as the changes were unilaterally being made and the discussion and objections continue. There was no community wide consensus here. None of the points made in opposition have been addressed or even attempted to be address, they have been ignored completely. As far as i can see the only peeple who voiced support were the ones trying to push this. Several editors made very good arguments against that were not at any stage addressed by the pushers. There is also no convincing argument as to why this was necessary. All i can see is the personal preference of a handful of editors, which, by the look of it, had probably already decided the result, which is not the way decisions are made on wikipedia. A consensus is not a few editors deciding they are correct and others are wrong. The Village pump would have been the proper place to make the proposal initialy but i think mediation is the best course of action now considering the behaviour of the editors involved. --neon white talk 19:27, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
False claims??? Only one person (Grk1011) disagreed at day 9, then clarified that they agreed with removing it from the musical artist infobox. For the musical artist infobox at 9 days (October 8) it was a unanimous decision on this very thread. - Steve3849 talk 03:57, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I saw a consensus. I saw it because it was clearly there, and overwhelming. I have specifically set out in the above discussion the time at which the consensus existed. You are seeing objections lodged afterwards. Please don't accuse me of making false claims, because that is just not the case. And I saw precisely one opposition, which was addressed by other editors. --Rodhullandemu 19:33, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes i have seen your spurious claim of consensus, after all the regular contributors to the discussion that you likely knew would voice their supported had done so (all the editors in support had already expressed their support for such a move previous in discussions). This was not a community wide consensus just an agreement amongst those who already were in agreement. Discussions do not have a cut off point. This is extremely bad practice and not the way a proper discussion should have been conducted. It's like deciding a president by asking a small number of republican campaigners and then announcing the result. There is clearly a lot of opposition on this page from a wider perspective, including several very experienced editors, that needs to be addressed. --neon white talk 19:41, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
As to "spurious consensus", I suggest you go back in the history of this page to the time at which I judged it to exist. Thanks for attributing to me the ability to read the minds of others, but I am not that gifted. I judged by what was on the page. Your analogy about electing a President is unhelpful; and certainly pulling rank by use of "very experienced editors" isn't helpful. I'm not going to put my edit count in issue, but it's there if you want to see it. Meanwhile, I'm not going to debate this further. Take it to mediation if you like, I have other stuff to do. --Rodhullandemu 19:49, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
It's obvious that the only people involved in the so called consensus were those that had already expressed agreement in previous discussions, this can plainly be seen above it, a very narrow selection of like minded editors and not a community decision. There was not a single input outside of the editors who were already contributing to and aware of this page. If experienced editors didnt know about then it was not publicised enough. Similar discussions have lasted months not days. --neon white talk 00:22, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Listen to me, a discussion among 10 people to change a template that affects thousands of articles on Wikipedia is not consensus unless you get a considerable number of people involved. This change affects everyone. Much more people needed to be involved. Orane (talk) 19:19, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I have to wonder, if a field had been added to the infobox, or tweaked in some way, which would affect thousands of articles just as much as this change has, would you have the same objections? You certainly didn't seem to care much about wide community consensus when you added a field to the very same protected template merely a half day after suggesting it, without waiting for a single response to your proposal. I'm sorry to keep bringing up that same example, but it's indicative of a hypocrisy in your arguments. Did you wait for hundreds of editors to come along and participate? Did you notify any other project talk pages? No, you just went ahead with the change to a high-use, protected template with absolutely no input other than your own. It resulted in a brouhaha, just as this change has, and your change had to be reverted. When it was, you gamed the system by creating your own template for use in your preferred articles, which then had to be deleted. Not exactly a show of good faith by anyone's measure. By contrast, the editors behind this proposal and its subsequent change made a good-faith effort to get a wider pool of opinions. They (myself included) went to the parent wikiproject, since this was a proposal that would affect several of its sub-projects. They posted notifications of the discussion on the sub-projects' talk pages. They waited for opinions, and addressed and considered them. When the comments stopped coming in after 2½ weeks and there was clear overwhelming support, they made the change. Now, that change can certainly be discussed, and a new consensus can be formed, but to claim that this was all bad faith, or some sort of cabalism, or that no consensus existed, is simply false. Nearly all of the opposition has come since the change was made. Prior to the change, there was clear consensus, albeit amongst a small pool of editors. However, those editors made the effort to get more people involved. The fact that you didn't participate in the discussions or pay attention to any of the relevant talk pages doesn't mean that you were excluded or marginalized in some way. --IllaZilla (talk) 19:58, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Adding a field would have absolutely no effect to existing articles. Not enough effort was made to gain community input, the only people involved were page regulars. The fact that participation was difficult just means more effort was needed, it does not mean you can announce a consensus. Any major template change needs to be publicised and wide discussed achieved regardless of how long it takes. --neon white talk 00:15, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Ohh, you got me there, didn't you. The difference between you and I is that I learned from my mistake, apologized and moved on. But you guys, who heavily criticized me, seem to have done the same thing now. And even though this change has also proven to be unpopular, no one has reverted the change to allow discussion to continue. Talk about being self righteous. Orane (talk) 20:02, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

(EC) You mean "one of the protected templates"? Let's not forget that changes were implemented to several here. Again, I note that the album wikiproject, which presumably would have a tremendous interest in the album infobox, was not notified of this discussion. Even though it was an accidental omission—and I don't doubt that it was—it's still a serious one. (I do pay attention to WT:Albums.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:04, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

User:Journalist has been calling other high profile editors into this debate in a rather un-neutral fashion. If people are going to canvass in other eye's please send neutral messages to editors. Cheers. — Realist2 20:39, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

How am I being "unneutral"? I'm alerting people of this facade of a consensus. Were you guys thinking of neutrality when you formulate this "plan"? Orane (talk) 21:20, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Come on man, a simple link is enough. Wesley managed it, you have a right to disagree, but do it professionally. — Realist2 21:49, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Speaking of which, has anyone notifed the other genre WikiProjects yet? WesleyDodds (talk) 21:54, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I'll notify them then. WesleyDodds (talk) 07:24, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Orane, the consensus on October 8 (after 9 days) was unanimous to remove the genre field from the musical artist infobox. This is not a facade, or a false claim. Its on this thread for you to re-read more carefully. - Steve3849 talk 03:57, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I think the genre fields should definitely be returned. But there should be a noticeable guideline that says to discuss any genre changes on the talk page. Seriously people ITS NOT THAT BAD. Tezkag72 (talk) 21:03, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with User:Journalist and User:Neon white, this is too important to decide so fast. A lot of contributers were not at all aware of this debate, I only heard about it today (I know I'm not a very prolific contributer, but I do contribute as much as possible, and I am also looking at it from a reader point of view). # Ido50 (talk to me), at 20:58, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

I would just like to say that this has really taken some usefulness away for me from Wikipedia. I like specific genres of music, and when I heard about a band, I would swing by the Wikipedia article and check out what genre the band was to see whether I should bother with it. Now, without that feature, it has just made Wikipedia a little less useful for me, and I'm sure thousands of other people. I'm sure the people who have a problem with the complete removal of the genres far outnumber the people who have a problem with genres being vandalized. Rik Maksen(Talk here) 02:43, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Another suggestion

As I see that this change is reaching some resistance, perhaps there is another solution. Since many bands and albums have musical styles and genre sections listed within the article perhaps the genre field can be readded to the template but it just forms a link to the appropriate section. This way there can be all the sourced genres listed and elaboration as to why these genres apply to each band or album. This would avoid the field from constantly being changed and can provide easy access to all the genres that apply.  Orfen  TC 20:24, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Piping to a section in the article is unnecessary, since there's always the table of contents. WesleyDodds (talk) 20:41, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
And I thought that an infobox is supposed to list the most basic information about the artist/album. Isn't the genre of the music of extreme importance? If it's notable enough to list genres in the opening sentence to articles, as many of you suggest, then it's just as notable to be placed in the infobox. Secondly, I reiterate, nothing is stopping these editors from edit warring over genre in the body of the article. And last, I think this suggestion also works:
For the articles that have edit wars, remove the entire genre field individually (ie, remove the part from the infobox that says "|Genre(s) pop/ rock etc"). But do it only for these articles. There is no reason for a complete removal of the field from thousands of unaffected articles. If anything, the field "voice types" should go, but that's a whole 'nother story. Orane (talk) 21:19, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Agree - I'm too upset over this to speak clearly on this subject, but I definitely agree with the above suggestion on this topic. There has to be a better way to do this. I've seen the war go on between opinions on what exact genres artists/bands are, but these are NECESSARY. More to the point of where I mean is within the album details. You won't always be able to find citations on the exact subgenre of what a part of an album is because of how limited certain "underground" artists/bands receive within reviews. Albums can differ greatly from what the larger genre an artist/band is made up from! (talk) 15:20, 09 October 2008 (UTC)

Well your edit history does show that you like to arbitrarily change genres, so yes, I imagine this all annoys you. — Realist2 22:32, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Leave him alone. I don't like to change genres, and this change still annoys me...Orane (talk) 22:34, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I'm hearing the annoyed part loud and clear. But statements like I'm too upset over this to speak clearly on this subject and all the others are only adding drama to the issue. However he really has been warned about the genre fighting. — Realist2 22:38, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I have a general question about this. There are many articles on albums and artists that doesn't clearly specify genre in the first sentence. I was just wondering, are we supposed to go through these articles —all of them— and specify the genres in the first sentence/paragraph? Seems like an awful lot of trouble and effort.
And I really don't mean to be an a-hole about all this. We have spoken before, on good terms, and I'd love for it to stay that way. But I just don't get this. Orane (talk) 22:52, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Hey listen, crap happens, we fight over this but agree on other things. If everyone agreed with each other all the time it would be bad. If this decision makes me lose friends, oh well, I thought/think I'm doing the correct thing. At the time there was a 2.5 week long debate that drew no/little objection, and attempt were made to contact the wider community. I haven't responded to allegations that I acted in bad faith, behaved in a reactionary manner or take satisfaction in seeing others miserable. I just planted the post and it all started happening. I rarely returned to the discussion. Not that I'm trying to distance myself from the issue, I support taking it one step further to singles/songs. I have already started seeing results, no joke, my watchlist really is quieter, thus I can watchlist other articles with the spare time I have. Anything that cuts down on the edit wars and socks is a good thing. Since there are some editors that are effectively single purpose accounts, forever changing genres with no rational, maybe they will do something more constructive on Wikipedia instead. Now, what to do about the actual article content, I'm not sure the opening line of the intro is the best place to put it, but it should go somewhere in a (hopefully lengthy) intro. It's best to have it blended into the text rather than sticking out like a black eye, we don't want to draw the warriors attention to it do we. It's best that they need to engage with, and read some of the content before they can make a change. I'm still in favor of a Genre Warrior warning :-) — Realist2 23:12, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I understand fully where you are coming from with the "quieter watch list" thing. However, it's all a result of deception, and underhandedly removing people's privilege to edit articles, something that we do not have the right to do. None of Wikipedi's policies suggest this, and I do not find it at all constructive. Genre is a basic information that categorizes music, and no infobox or articles deserve to be without it. It's a case of does the means justify the ends, you know. Anyway, I guess we'll just have to wait to see how things play out. Orane (talk) 23:23, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

We ain't removing an editors right to edit articles (well ok, those who only change genres :-)). Also, currently the genre field still remains for the most important part, the singles. It doesn't seem wise to treat subjective opinion as fact in the info box anyway. If the genre box were to return it should be optional and unsourced fields instantly blanked, seriously, like a zero tolerance policy to unsourced pov crap. — Realist2 23:36, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, there's a suggestion. Works for me. We fight vandals, not change the way we do things. Your suggestion isn't far from the one I suggested above (see bolded response). Orane (talk) 23:39, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I still think that those who are opposing now should allow this to run on a trial bases for a month, see what happens and restart a fresh debate then. — Realist2 23:46, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. The change was implemented with insufficient consensus and without notification of some of the most interested parties. I also disagree that singles is the "the most important part" for genre labeling; I believe it is equally "core" to album articles. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:04, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I've always liked the approach I took in The Aquabats article. Here's an act whose genre/style has clearly evolved over time (from basic third-wave ska in the '90s to synthpop today). The article opens by simply saying they're a rock band, then in the second paragraph of the lead gives a brief explanation of how their style has evolved over the years. Granted it needs references, so maybe it's not the best example, but I think the format is really good and it definitely helped cut down on the genre warring. We still get the occasional IP changing "rock" to "ska" in the opening sentence with no explanation, but it gets quickly reverted (usually by me). In my opinion this is the best way to go: open up with a general statement "xx is a [broad genre ie. rock/classical/jazz] band from...", then in subsequent parts of the lead give a description of their more specific genre or style (with citations if necessary). In the main article body there should be a section devoted to the artist's musical style, and that's where you can really get into the meat & potatoes of what genres/styles they play, and bring in all the necessary references. Vandals, edit-warrers, POV-pushers, and single-purpose-accounts are much less likely to mess with the information if it's in the body of the article with surrounding sentences and proper references. This actually requires them to do some reading to find it, rather than presenting an easy target in the form an infobox, which is essentially a bullet-point list prominently displayed at the top of the article. Having worked on many articles related to rock/punk/alternative acts, I've seen (and dealt with) all manner of POV and edit wars in the genre field of the infobox, and tried a number of solutions with no success. I can't count the number of silly edit wars I've seen, never with any references, arguing over whether a band is black metal or blackened metal, emo or screamo, hardcore or post-hardcore or melodic hardcore, punk or pop-punk or skate punk, death metal or doom metal, emo-goth or vampiric goth, etc. etc. etc. I'm not kidding even a little bit, these are all real examples, and never a single reliable source in sight. Removing the field seems to me to be the best solution for helping cut back on the edit wars.
That isn't how wikipedia works, we don't change things because they are vandalised, deal with the vandalism rather than compromising the encyclopia. --neon white talk 00:08, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
However I don't only agree with it on the basis of helping fight vandalism and edit warring: I also think it makes a lot of logical sense. If you look at every other field in the infobox, it's all strict, factual, easily verifiable information that in no way can be misconstrued and doesn't require any other text to give it context: things like birth date, years active, record label, etc. Genre, however, can be interpreted differently by many sources: The artist may classify themselves in one genre, while music critics, reviewers, and other third-party sources may classify them in others (to say nothing of the POV of Wikipedia editors). Describing which genres and styles an artist falls into requires a more nuanced approach, being explained in prose form with supporting references and given appropriate context. The infobox is ill-suited for this task. You don't need a bunch of supporting prose to state in the infobox that X is from Los Angeles. It is either true or false and can be easily verified by whatever references are provided in the article body. Genre, however, is a subjective assessment and cannot be proven true or false, ergo we have to present it in a prose form where it can be adequately explained and supported by sources. For these reasons I have never felt comfortable having "genre" as a field in the infobox. --IllaZilla (talk) 23:48, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Genre is not a subjective assessment if it can be sourced and discussed in an article. There's a couple of bookshelves worth of books at my university library that back up the notability of genre. WesleyDodds (talk) 23:53, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Lets put it simple: This will not prevent disputes, edit-wars and unsourced statements from appearing again. After all the genres can be added to the main text, instead of the infobox, and still be unsourced, and what did you solve? The "genre" feature was very practical and informative, for example, some artists switched several musical styles during their career, it was very useful to have the genres ordered like that in a tidy manner. Otherwise you have to read the whole biography and "hunt them" down if there are mentioned somewhere in the sea of text. Also some groups are described as generaly "rock bands" or musical groups in the introduction, while the specific subgenres that they belong to were listed in the infobox. Bring it back, if you are really concerned about unsourced info, and disputes, better look whats happening with many sensitive historical and political articles. There's a hell of a lot of POV all over them for ages. This solves nothing. After all, if you dispute something, you have citation needed and plenty of other instruments.--Dzole (talk) 23:55, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
In addition to the above, and in reiteration of what I've said, not every article experiences these reversions and edit wars. These should not suffer because of the edit wars that occurs in others. And who is responsible for specifying genre in these articles once they are removed from the infobox? Orane (talk) 00:00, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
The editors who work on those articles, I would hope. The genres should already be described in the article body anyway, because the infobox is an at-a-glance summary of the basic information contained in the article. Why would a piece of information be in the infobox if it wasn't already in the article body? It shouldn't be. No measure will end edit wars forever, but there are steps (like this) that can be taken to decrease them. As I said above, it's not just about edit wars anyway. It's about having fields in the infobox that are appropriate to an infobox. Genre is, in fact, subjective, because it is not an objective fact. A person being born on a certain date in a certain place is objective fact and can be easily proven. That they are signed to a certain record label can be equally easily proven. Genre is a topic of critical analysis, and involves the intention and opinion of the artist as well as the interpretations of critics and other third-party sources. Yes, Wesley, there are many sources to back it up. Those sources are critical analyses of the acts, and should be included. But the infobox is not the place for critical analysis. That needs to happen in the article body. --IllaZilla (talk) 00:20, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but you contradicted yourself here. You said that the infobox is an at-a-glance summary. Well, shouldn't it summarize the genre, which is explained and analyzed in the body of the article? Makes lots of sense. Secondly, many people, myself included, disagree that only "factual, objective" data deserves to be in the infobox? Where is this analysis coming from? Where is the rationale for this? Further, if I'm studying an artist, I think I'm more inclined to find out their genre; their music/style/genre, after all, is why they gained notability in the first place and are included on Wikpedia. I don't care necessarily where they were born (but hey, that's me). I don't want to have to hunt down genre listings in a sea of prose, especially for articles that are over 50kb long. Orane (talk) 00:35, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I should hope that you wouldn't have to do much hunting, since it should be mentioned in the lead and of course there's the table of contents which should point you to a section on the artist's musical style. We're not obligated to provide every detail within the infobox. The article body is there to provide information and context, not just to fill the page with text. I said that the infobox is a summary of basic information, it is not the entire article in bullet-point form. I'm generally against having fields in the infobox that require any kind of explanation or contextualization, for this very reason. The infobox is not an appropriate place for such things. For parallel examples see Infobox Painting and Infobox Film. I like the painting one better of the 2 because it's so concise, but both represent infoboxes that only attempt to summarize simple objective facts. Films and paintings have genres, do they not (well, schools of art or artistic movements for paintings, equivalent to genre)? And are they not just as important to films and paintings as they are to musical artists and albums? Yet these infoboxes leave them out in favor of the simple, the concise, and the easily verifiable, leaving more nuanced information like genre for the article body. I find that to be a much more effective approach. --IllaZilla (talk) 00:52, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, unfortunately, not everyone sees things this way. And if genre isn't "basic" information about music, then I don't know what is. The fact that it was a part of the initial infobox should count for something: it's very important. Orane (talk) 01:01, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Based on the history I can find, there wasn't much discussion about what fields should be used in the artist infobox when it was first created. It seems to have originated from this proposal in April 2006, and replaced the old "Infobox Band" which has since been deleted, so I can't see what that looked like. I didn't even realize the template was that young; I assumed it to be much older. There was a bit of discussion about potential POV fields, but nobody addressed genre in this context. If I had been active in the projects then, I would have voiced my concern at that point. My conclusion is that simply because the infobox had a field in it "at birth" doesn't necessarily mean that it should have that field in it forever. The template is only 2½ years old, so there's definitely still room to refine and improve it. It has become an incredibly high-use template in that time, yes, but that in itself doesn't preclude fundamental changes from being made. --IllaZilla (talk) 08:40, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I see citations in the infoboxes of BLP articles all the time. Can this not also apply to genre? If something is disputed, you get a citation. That's how Wikipedia works. This change has no basis in policy whatsoever. It only came about from the opinions of a few editors that it would "cut down on edit warring". There are many articles that aren't affected by this problem, and if genres are cited, any removal is considered vandalism. If you don't want people tampering with cited genres in the infobox, you revert it as vandalism, and get them blocked if they do it several times. This is a tried and true deterrent that'll work much better than simply removing the genre field. After the genre editors adjust to the change, they will simply edit war over uncited genres in the text. Criminals never follow the law, and Wikipedia is no different. Citing genres in the infobox will have the same effect as removing them. Except, the former is more inline with Wikipedia policy, and satisfies everybody's concerns. --Pwnage8 (talk) 18:58, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

To put it simpler if you don't want to deal with edit wars and vandalism stop editing wikipedia because to be an editor, you have to deal with those, potentially on any article. There are means to deal with them. Do we remove info because it's controversial or delete articles that are frequently vandalised? --neon white talk 00:08, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

I am still trying to figure out where this phantom "overwhelming resistance" is to this change beyond a few nay sayers here. Look at what's happening in the music articles themselves. Dozens of editors are soaking this overdue positive change up with great exuberance and deleting genre fields left and right. Good for them. Their actually doing some good here. Rather than spinnig wheela and beating dead horses back here. There was a clear consensus with strong arguments for... and little to no arguments against... and the few 'against' arguments that there were/are have been have all been suggesting alternative options that have A)already been tried and B)already failed miserably. The whining has gone from childish to pointless. (some are actually humorous). Flags were bad... now they're gone. Logos were bad... now they're gone... genre fields served no purpose other than bicker-baby-fuel... = bad... and now they're gone. Overall this is a grand step for Wikipedia music articles. There is just one piece missing to make it 100% perfect. Songs still have the pov field. Hopefully sense and reason will prevail with them as it has with the other two boxes. The Real Libs-speak politely 00:39, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Dude, your inflated rhetoric isn't working. Let it go. Orane (talk) 00:42, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Libs, could you provide some links or diffs to show the overwhelming acceptance? Just a few examples would be great. I honestly would really like to see it, but I don't have the time to go investigating lots of music articles at the moment (I'm in the middle of this whole hullaballoo plus an FA nom, and of course real life). It would also help to demonstrate some of the positive reception to those here who don't believe it. --IllaZilla (talk) 00:57, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
The only posisitve reception has been from the people who support this from the beginning. Also, that people are removing the genre field is no indication of overwhelming acceptance. They are removing them because it doesn't work, because you guys rendered the field obsolete. Orane (talk) 01:06, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Yea, and I'm still baffled how 6 votes constitutes consensus that effects thousands and thousands of music-related articles. Incredible. Simple incredible. ♫ Cricket02 (talk) 01:44, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

And you know the worst thing is? I don't think these guys have any intent to change it back. There's even talk of letting it stay for a month. Totally unacceptable. I told them to delete it from only some articles if they wanted, but no one has even commented on that. And they think they dictate how it should work in every music related article. You're right, it is incredible. If needs be, we're probably gonna have to take this to mediation or something. Orane (talk) 01:47, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

You have a number of options if you are going to challenge this decision, but please do it properly so that all involved with these biographical infoboxes know about it. Remember Process is important. Chaotic protests achieve very little. --Kleinzach 02:18, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I suppose this is exactly what would happen under a dictatorship. The best thing that kept me on Wiki is the fact that it becomes a big melting pot when I look up music pages. It's so many people with their own opinions on the subject. Even if you see a genre that looks out of place, it still makes you sit and think a second where that person heard that genre in a song or part of a song. The Aquabats is a good example, but I never wanted to have to read and read about their history to find out what genre(s) they've had. I want to look to the right of the page in a clear, simple manor on what they were to what they are. I especially loved when I would see the "(early on)" next to the genres. It specified it all even more. There isn't another site that had these features so clear, especially ALL IN ONE SPOT. I would honestly think over this whole nonsense and penalize the people who won't listen to reason by changing it back after a warning. And for the record, I never even noticed I had a warning about HeD PE. That is also a close example to an Aquabats theme. It shows people who have NEVER heard them before exactly what particular sounds each album has had. The main I thing I do in a day is become enveloped in music, more so than most I can probably say. So if you were to truly have a problem with a genre someone has listed, say something to them, don't remove the genre info boxes completely... (talk) 19:36, 09 October 2008 (UTC)

With respect to the Aquabats, all you had to look at was the lead paragraph. That was the whole point of my comment on that one. --IllaZilla (talk) 02:46, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Well my point is a step further than that really. The info box without citations is useful! Certain citations can't be found at times for artists, bands, or albums. Just because it hasn't been made somewhere else doesn't mean it shouldn't be displayed, or tweaked if someone else thinks of a better solution to it. I really think we're being ignorant here, no real offense, though. (talk) 01:08, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Worst move yet...removing genres from infoboxes. How can I tell what type of music a band does now? I need to know when I'm looking up music. I'm not going to go and think that something like Oasis is similar to Slayer. I need to know their music genres. It should stay in the infobox. Same with albums. Maplejet (talk) 16:03, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Is that supposed to be a serious comment or a troll joke? The Real Libs-speak politely 16:07, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I disagree!!! Genres section is VERY NECESSARY in sucj kind of articles the more so because I don't see any reasons to remove this sections --Vziel (talk) 19:39, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

When I look up music, I want to know what type of music the band or artist plays. I also want to see the genres of releases. Even though it may be disputed, it can be very helpful and informative —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Don't you understand, that removing this section deprives information from WIKIPEDIA!? WIKIPEDIA is FREE FREE FREE encyclopedia and EVERYONE can edit articles!! Deliting geners sect. is very unreasonable and inconvenient for us --Vziel (talk) 10:41, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
See this example here - is that not more info than you'd get from an info box and it's still FREE FREE FREE? Yes it is and it's better than some arbitary listing in a box as one can get a picture of what's what - I can't get that from an infobox, can you?.--Alf melmac 07:58, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Please bring back the genre field. It was a very helpful field to have for bands and albums. On some album pages, especially the sparse ones, the genre field was the only place in the entire article that the album's genre was mentioned. Other times, like on many band pages, the genre field allowed for quick access to information that otherwise was buried deep in the text (e.g., Death Metal (early), Black Metal (1990s), Doom Metal (now)). This information was extremely helpful, and the loss of it hits very hard. I understand that this decision was made to make it easier for editors, but for readers it really reduces the usefulness of these Wikipedia articles. Consensus was clearly applied too early. I doubt anyone cares about my opinion, but despite the futility I feel the need to express my extreme dissatisfaction with this decision. --darolew 04:13, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Also, I support Orfen's suggestion above, which seems to be a reasonable compromise. (Provided that the article in question actually has a genre section worth speaking of, which many bands and most album pages do not.) --darolew 04:17, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

"the genre field was the only place in the entire article that the album's genre was mentioned" - this should not be the case, I still feel that if editors are allowed to enter data without supporting by citeable text in the body of the article then this is by and large the common state of articles until they get a decent editor starting work on them. I think this is entirely fixable and we should take the opportunity to put the tools in place while we have the opportunity. I personally don't find the list of genres at all informative, but horses for courses, others say they do. I thought Orfen's suggestion was to hyperlink the section to a text section, that would preclude having the field or am I being dumb? <puts ear plugs before the masses begin shouting "you're dumb"> I'm not averse to that idea , but I not sure if sytlistically it's the done thing.--Alf melmac 06:45, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. Don't worry, Darolew. We hear you loud and clear, and thank you for your opinion. In the end, it's statements like these that will bring back the genre field. If there is anyone else you know, or can contact, let them know that they can voice their opinions here, and I'll make sure they're considered. Orane (talk) 05:41, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

It really does make everything easier when the musical genres are staring at you right from the info box.--Greenday21 (talk) 15:51, 13 October 2008 (UTC)Greenday21

Well I just want to make sure my opinion's counted...I am one of those who is out of hand. It just kinda pisses me off that I'm gonna have to actually listen to the artist/album to decide what genres I think it is, haha. But seriously, it isn't that bad for most of these alleged edit warfields. If there are pages that every three edits someone changes the genre (and i have seen a few of those) either keep it like that if everyone changes it to the same thing, or semi-protect the article. There really wasn't a big enough consensus on this genre field removal. I oppose the genre field removal, and I would like us to take one final vote. With everyone. Tezkag72 (talk) 01:39, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Just put the genres back in and make sure they are sourced! Why on earth would you deliberately disclude information in hopes of cutting down on edit waring? Isn't that against wiki laws?Hoponpop69 (talk) 03:06, 15 October 2008 (UTC)