IMSLP talk:Score submission guide/Manual of Style

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Considerations for a new manual of style for page title.

  • Do not use original title by composer ?
- Sonata for Violin and Piano -> Violin Sonata
- but: Sonata for Pianoforte accompanied by Violin and Cello -> Piano Trio ??
  • Title in original language or English ?
  • Capitalisation of nouns
  • Instrumentation not included unless ...
  • Key not included unless ...
  • Always include piece numbering and opus numbering. No.##, Op.## preceded by comma space. no space between No./Op. and number.

- Exceptions:

-Songs; Lieder

Peter. I'd already been giving these issues some thought, and here are just a few ideas:

It's not always possible to be sure what the composer's original title was, since it wasn't necessarily in their native language, and there's no telling whether it's given authentically on the only editions to hand. Different cataloging systems use different approaches, e.g.

  • Symphony No.9 (Dvořák, Antonin Leopold) — current IMSLP standard, without key or sub-title
  • Dvořák, Antonin, 1841-1904. Symphonies. no. 9, op. 95, E minor — AACR2 standard followed by most libraries (e.g. Sibley)
  • Antonin Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World"), B. 178 (Op. 95) (first published as No. 5) — the "Amazon" approach, leaving nothing to chance!

Each system has its own plus and minus points. The tendency on IMSLP is to give the minimum information needed to identify a work, and it's not always possible to do this reliably, or in the correct language. Even then, it took me a while to work out that "Prodaná nevesta" was "The Bartered Bride"

The library AACR2 system would do the job, but it's a little clumsy to use (e.g. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix. Präludien und Fugen, organ, op. 37. Nr. 1), and likely to be superseded within a couple of years anyway.

On the other hand, Amazon's titles seem to be consistent, and leave little room for ambiguity:

  • Bedrich Smetana: Prodaná nevesta (The Bartered Bride), opera, JB 1:100
  • 'Bedrich Smetana: Má Vlast (My Fatherland), symphonic poems (6), JB 1:112
  • Antonin Dvorak: Nocturne for string orchestra in B major (arr. from Str. Qrt. No. 4 & Str. Qnt. B. 49), B. 47 (Op. 40)
  • Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 103 in E flat major ("Drumroll"), H. 1/103
  • Sigismond Thalberg: Grand fantaisia and variations on themes from "Norma," for piano, Op. 12
  • Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet, fantasy-overture for orchestra in B minor (3 versions)

Perhaps there's something to be said for this fuller approach, perhaps even adding the year of compositon as well (while not necessarily using the same abbreviations or punctuation). There would also be an incidental benefit in terms of our links to items on Amazon, while also considering IMSLP has scores for many works where recordings aren't available.

(As an aside, the re-integration of IMDBP information into the main work pages could provide an opportunity to list variant titles in other languages (as on the composer pages), which would enhance the site search facilities, and perhaps allow more catalogue information on works to be displayed right at the top of the page, instead of at the bottom. But we'd still have to rely on the work titles displayed on each composer page to get there in the first place) — P.davydov 17:24, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

Erm, maybe this isn't the place to bring this up. But... "offical" guide? Eric 04:28, 21 August 2009 (UTC)



Why can a single user (CC) decide that 'major' has to be removed from the title? --BoccaccioTalk Email 11:16, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Arrangers, etc.

All should be entered into the "Editor" field, with dates if possible, along with a brief description of the person's contribution, e.g. "Franz Liszt (1811-1886), transcriber" -

- I was fairly sure this was no longer true, but its presence here would explain why I still see this even in a number of somewhat recent uploads. If so, suggested alternate wording? Eric 00:15, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, that should definitely be changed - thanks for noticing it. KGill talk email 00:54, 3 January 2011 (UTC)


As it stands, the rule is "For English titles, capitalize the first and last words, together with all nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives". While this is perfectly clear, and I'm not criticizing the rule by any means, I'm slightly confused in certain cases as to what to do. It seems to be standard practice on IMSLP to never capitalize "the" unless it's at the beginning of a sentence - but sometimes the word "the" does function as an adjective, adverb:

The hotter, the better.

For me (and probably no one else) it's unclear what to do with it. Should it be capitalized? This same concept tends to occur for several other words as well. Thanks, Lndlewis10 17:02, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

How about "articles are never capitalized unless at the beginning of the sentence?"-- Snailey (_@/) Talk to Me Email me 18:09, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure in the example that "the" is functioning as an adjective or adverb, but "the", "a" and "an" shouldn't start with a capital letter unless they're at the start of a title (including situations like: Fantasia on "The Marriage of Figaro") — P.davydov 18:44, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Hm... That seems obvious. Lndlewis10 should practice going to bed earlier ;-) Lndlewis10 22:58, 13 February 2011 (UTC)


The form still says this obsolete field is still mandatory - recommend we unconfuse people... Eric 13:57, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

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