composer vs music department

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Many, many opera/classical performances are not included in IMDb. When I need one for my inventory purposes, I've been adding them.

However, I find the distinctions between Composer (as a department) and Music Department a little confusing.

The title I'm trying to add today was composed by Verdi. But when I try to add Verdi as the Composer, I get the message than he has no such credits. Instead he's listed in the Music Department. OK, so when I enter him there, the drop down menu gives me the choice "composer" for Occupation:


But when I choose that, the credit gets rejected:


If this is not an acceptable choice, WHY is it on the drop-down menu? I suggest removing it.

In addition, the prevalent occupation for his music department credits, although clearly not the only one, is "music by" (see below). WHY is it NOT on the drop-down menu? I suggest adding it.
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bderoes, Champion

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Posted 5 months ago

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MAthePA

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"Please note the new rules regarding composer credits as explained in the guide. This section should now only contain composers of the background score; in modern titles this usually means the person credited in the opening title sequence as Music by or Score by or an equivalent wording.

The composers of songs featured on the soundtrack or classical pieces used as part of the score should instead be added to the soundtrack section. We have created a new Soundtrack category on filmography pages for song/classical piece composers/performers/etc which uses the data from the soundtrack section so these names no longer need to be added as composers here. A good example is Madonna

Composers of unnamed incidental music, unidentified musical cues or any other component of the larger score (also ineligible for the soundtrack section) should instead be submitted to the music department section. We typically expect only one person per title to be credited in the main composers section."

cited from here:

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bderoes, Champion

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MAthePA,

I read that. My post is about the choices in the drop-down menu.

It's CONFUSING to have a choice from the drop-down menu immediately rejected by the system. And it seems logical to have a prevalent choice omitted from the menu.
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MAthePA

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A choice may be rejected immediately or not depending on situation.
I don't consider the existing system to be perfect. But at the same time, in view of the examples provided in initial post, I see you trying to place a dead composer into the section where they are not much expected after new rules. If you do so (that may be a correct idea) be ready to see the red alert with further explanation. Finally, having a red alert, you may then check the box to ignore and proceed submitting. There are rare cases when the "ignore" check-box is not provided.
(Edited)
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bderoes, Champion

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MAthePA,
Are you saying that Verdi should have been listed under the Composer section? Because it was rejected there. NO other title in his credits exist there.

Reading the rules clarifies little for me with regard to opera. The Composer writes the songs (arias, duets, etc.) AND the underlying score (the connective music). But it's not the same kind of score that John Williams or Danny Elfman writes. So if they want it under Music Department, fine. But then while IN the Music Department (my screenshot above), an option for occupation is offered that is immediately rejected. That seems to be a bit of residue that needs cleansing.

You seem to be pushing back on my request to have the Occupation "composer" removed from the Music Department if it's going to be automatically rejected. (There was no "ignore" box, as shown.)  And "music by" is the occupation used for years, including recent titles, so why not add it to the drop-down.  
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MAthePA

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I tried to play the options for a non-dead composer. 
Yes, it seems the "composer" option in drop-down list (Music dept.) is just confusing because results in no other effect except the red alert without a check-box.
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Phil G

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I think some confusion here may come from the way the drop-down lists are created. As far as I know, they're generated automatically, based on existing data (across all titles). But, the problem is that when the list is generated, any modifiers on the attributes get ignored, so for example "composer: additional music" gets added into the list as just "composer". As noted in the warning, "composer" is an acceptable attribute if it has a modifier, but not without, so presumably most of the half-million or so "composer" attributes listed actually have modifiers attached.

I'm just guessing, but presumably the same logic is used for generating the drop-down lists for all departments, so it might not be simple to fix the issue for this case without having unintended effects elsewhere in the system.
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ljdoncel, Champion

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Hi, bderoes:
My post is about the choices in the drop-down menu
The choices in the drop-down menu match the most frequent occupations in that department (the list shows up when you click on ).

Note that "music by" is currently in position #25, so it's far from being close to appear in the drop-down menu. You're right that "music by" is an occupation used for years, but many "music by" credits actually belong in the Composer section.

But there's still your very pertinent question...
If this is not an acceptable choice, WHY is it on the drop-down menu?
The key point is partially shown on your screenshots:

When creating the available list of choices the system reads the string in the occupation field, but only until a first colon appears, i.e. occupations such as "makeup artist", "makeup artist: second unit", "makeup artist: London" or "makeup artist: rabid dog" are all computed and captioned as "makeup artist" in the breakdown. Hence, credits of the type "composer: whatever" will be counted as "composer" regardless the additional info.

There are lots of "composer: whatever" credits that correctly belongs in the Music department. When all of them are grouped into a single "composer" denomination, this easily becomes the most prevalent choice. See, the following are numbers from 22 Dec 2018:

TOTAL CREW: 74,015,240 credits
            Music department: 2,352,171 credits
                          Occupations starting with composer : 684,677 (29,1%)
                                         ► composer: theme music : 288,947
                                         ► composer: additional music : 235,466
                                         ► composer: incidental music : 49,533
                                         ► composer: stock music : 21,496
                                         ► composer: title music : 12,486
                                         ► composer: theme song : 7,272
                                         ► composer: main title theme : 6,714
                                         ► composer: theme : 5,202
                                         ► composer: title theme : 3,906
                                         ► composer: main title theme song : 1,656
                                         ► etc.
These 10 occupations (632,678 credits), all of them correctly stored in the Music department, take up over 92% of the "so-called composer" credits here. Therefore, the red warning is in place to remember that "composers" that belong in the Music department always need that "additional info". "Composers" (without modifiers) are expected to go in the Composers section.

You can find similar situations, for instance, in the Art Department (where "art director" or "set decorator" exists [e.g. "art director: second unit"]), in the Costume and Wardrobe Department (where "costume designer" exists [e.g. "costume designer: Los Angeles"]), Editorial Department (where "editor" exists [e.g. "editor: reshoots"]), etc.
Reading the rules clarifies little for me with regard to opera. The Composer writes the songs (arias, duets, etc.) AND the underlying score (the connective music). But it's not the same kind of score that John Williams or Danny Elfman writes[?]
I would like a clarification from on this point too, because the line between "Composer" and "Music department" is seems very thin.

Cheers!


ETA: Sorry, Phil, I was writing the post and didn't see your answer... My bad.
(Edited)
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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ljdoncel that... Is just an excellent clarification of that situation. 
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MAthePA

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ljdoncel, thank you very much. I've liken Phil's post, and now I like also yours for perfect technical approach as always.

But guys, "composer" remains to be confusing there. Really. 
It would not be so, if only a contributor should use the field (below the drop-down) to complete the after "composer" attribute. So they don't need to input "composer: additional music", but choose "composer" in drop-down and then input "additional music" into the field. This way it would be OK. But existing variant is CONFUSING and results in no success at all.
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Phil G

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ETA: Sorry, Phil, I was writing the post and didn't see your answer... My bad.
ljdoncel, please don't ever apologise for offering such a clear and detailed explanation. Even when I think I know something already, I often find myself learning more about it from the extra detail you add into your posts.


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bderoes, Champion

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Phil G &  ljdoncel,
Awesome posts! Real data is SO revealing.



IMDb staff:
The warning text (to avoid using Composer in the Music Dept) says

"If your submission is not for the primary composer, then amend the occupation field (for example: composer: additional music)."

That example would suggest that the composer of an opera, who gets credit for all of the music, should be listed in the composer section. (Classical opera is not just a collection of songs; it includes music between the arias, duets,  recitatives, etc. And those are unlikely to be listed in the Soundtracks section.)

Yet when I added another opera last week, and placed the composer in the Composer section (using the override checkbox), this was one of the last things to get "approved". But the approval was revised to place the composer in the Music Department.

I think it's incredibly telling that the data editor did not include an occupation within the Music Department. Even your own staff doesn't know what to do with opera?

Perhaps the example in the warning message could be amended to read:
"If your submission is not for the primary composer, then amend the occupation field (for example: composer: additional music). For composers of opera, occupation "music by" is often used."

Or maybe composers of opera belong in the Composer department.


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Regarding opera credits for dead composers, there was this previous thread where it was said that it wasn't settled whether they should be under Composers or Music Department:
https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...

However, it seems that there are now very few of these credits left in the Composer section. Puccini doesn't have any either.
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MAthePA

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I think, the biotic state should not be the ground for changing between "departments" in the base. At least, until the formula of immortality is discovered...
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bderoes, Champion

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I'm disappointed that the status of this thread is "acknowledged", but I see no response by IMDb staff.

Perhaps I need to start a new thread and recap the issues differently?

The bottom line is this: contributors (and staff data editors) need help with labeling an opera composer's occupation. My last suggestion is the one I like best (given all the evidence of why "composer" is listed yet rejected). That suggestion again:

Perhaps the example in the warning message could be amended to read:
"If your submission is not for the primary composer, then amend the occupation field (for example: composer: additional music). For composers of opera, occupation "music by" is often used." 

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Hi bderoes -

Thanks for outlining the issue at hand with the contribution form, specifically regarding the menu selection for the "Music Department".  I have filed a ticket for our editorial team to address the confusion within the form (and your request to remove 'Composer' and include 'Music by'), as soon as I have an update with any planned changes I will let you know here.
(Edited)
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Meredith, Employee

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Hi bderoes, 

The dropdown is derived from the existing attributes already in used in that department. Some of these are there correctly and so we will be unable to remove them. We agree this is not ideal, but as there are some cases where the attributes are relevant, we cannot remove the entry from the dropdown.  

Regarding credits being added to music department or as composer, we will use editorial discretion. We agree there is some grey area, particularly around opera credits, where the music plays an instrumental role in driving the story. Credits for these can be accepted into the composer section however may be modified by our editors where applicable. 

Thank you for your understanding,
Meredith
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Meredith: It might take some additional programming to work properly, but it would be desirable if the dropdown list in the Music Department took into account the attributes after the colon. Thus, instead of the plain occupation "composer" (not acceptable by itself in the Music Department) appearing in the list, the occupations "composer: theme music" and "composer: additional music" (which are acceptable in the Music Department) would appear instead.
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bderoes, Champion

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Meredith, 
Your reply doesn't seem to address my actual suggestion:
Perhaps the example in the warning message could be amended to read:
"If your submission is not for the primary composer, then amend the occupation field (for example: composer: additional music). For composers of opera, occupation "music by" is often used." 
Opera is very much underrepresented on IMDb. That might be partly because of confusions like this, making it difficult/frustrating to add perhaps the most important credit on the title. _I_ have now acclimated to the composer being listed in the Music Dept with occupation Music By, but the learning curve was steep. And, as I pointed out above, even when a staffer corrected one of my contributions (from Composer department to Music department), _they_ left the occupation blank, adding fuel to my suggestion that the documentation/help text should be enhanced to link opera with "music by".

(I like gromit82's suggestion, but opera composers are almost always listed as "music by", not "composer: ?", so the suggestion doesn't address my concern.)