Classical vs. non-classical artist crediting

Continuing the discussion from 2018 Classical releases vs. non-classical artists in a more generalized way:
Main reason for opening this topic is the discussion in Edit #100610269.

To show what kind of releases I’m talking about see this collection.
Though the Documention states: “Classical” is used here in the broadest sense … the guidelines for track artist only refer to “classical” in the common sense of music composed for the performance by classical ensembles and/or soloists.
What is missing, imo, is a guideline how to credit artists for “classical crossover”, the genre where I would put the collected releases with adding those genre(s) where the music belongs to.

Any thoughts about this are welcome.

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How I approach it:

  • Pop/Jazz artists playing their own works together with an orchestra → not classical
  • Pop/Jazz artists writing works for orchestra/other artists¹ → maybe classical
  • Classical artists → generally classical
  • Classical artists performing pop or jazz → not classical
    …and there are many edge cases :wink:

¹) e.g. Billy Joel - Fantasies & Delusions is classical

from your collection:
A Live Record → concept album (pop)
Concerto for Group and Orchestra → edge case (looking at the cover → classical / looking at the track list → concept album)
Remember Me, My Dear → edge case (currently classical, but I don’t know…)
Altissima Luce: Laudario Di Cortona (XIII Sec.) → probably jazz (currently not classical)
Apocalypse → Jazz
Bill Laurance & The Untold Orchestra Live at EFG London Jazz Festival 2021 → jazz
Sylva → jazz
What Heat - Bokanté + Metropole Orkest → pop or jazz
In fact, I would consider all of them popular (= not classical)


My Personal Opinion: I find this a strange issue. Not everything that uses an orchestra should immediately become classical. Why break a database just to change the tags on some tracks for some users? I worry that “classical crossover” is starting to creep into new areas it doesn’t need to be in.

Many artists experiment and bring in whole orchestras. Or string quartets. Or a classical piano. Or other classical components to their music. That choice of instrument should not change consistent data for that artist.

I think we need to also look outside of MusicBrainz users and see how the outside world credits the music.


I found a good general description at this “Classical Crossover” magazine website:
What is Classical Crossover? – Classical Crossover Magazine

Classical Crossover combines traditional classical elements such as operatic vocals, the incorporation of string instruments or full orchestration and applies it to popular music OR the reverse with rhythmic elements, belting or modern techniques used on standard classical repertoire. Many other combinations are possible but the key measure is the blending of both classical and popular styles together to create a new sound. Although it has only recently become a recognized genre in it’s own right, crossover is actually a long tradition.

Pretty obvious examples in my library of the first type are the Hampton String Quartet, famous for their “What if Mozart Wrote…” series.

I don’t have any full albums that I would consider the second type (rhythmic elements, belting or modern techniques used on standard classical repertoire), but a few tracks, such as Herb Alpert’s rendition of Concierto de Aranjuez.

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