Our current definition of “Song”, as seen when selecting the type in the work edit page, says:
A song is in its origin (and still in most cases) a composition for voice, with or without instruments, performed by singing. This is the most common form by far in folk and popular music, but also fairly common in a classical context (“art songs”).
This suggests that it is meant for voice, but it doesn’t explicitly limit its use for non-vocal music because of the whole mess which is the English language. I’d be happy to limit it further, if there’s anywhere approaching community consensus about it, but I remember this being fairly controversial in the past.
Huh… I almost said in my previous message “nowhere in Musicbrainz docs…”
I feel like it’s a bad thing for the only documentation of a particular (sub-)rule to be in the context-documentation of the edit page.
And/however, I agree that the wording there (the context-doc) is not very “rule”-ish.
I don’t understand why we have incidental music type because I don’t understand the meaning.
I have some (rock) instrumentals that have been edited to incidental music work type.
It does not sound right to me because I don’t understand what is incidental word and how it can mean anything.
“or some other presentation form that is not primarily musical”
In addition to music accompanying events on-stage (i.e. any music written for a theatre play), the term is often used for off-stage worldly incidents (however “staged”) ranging from ‘occasional’ to ‘specific’ and even ‘unique’.
Dufay: Nuper rosarum flores (for the consecration of the Florence Cathedral)
Händel: Music for the Royal Fireworks
Bach, JS: Ratswahl Cantatas (29, 71, 120)
Bach, CPE: Einführungsmusik für Pastor Friderici (H821g/W251) resp. Diakon Schäffer (H821m/W253)
Roman: Golovin Music (eponymous for the Russian emissary to Stockholm, on the occasion of the coronation of tsar Peter II), Drottningholm Music (for the royal wedding of heir apparent Adolf Fredrik to Lovisa Ulrika)
Stenhammar: Stockholm Exhibition Cantata
Ibert: Ouverture de fête (for the celebration of the 2600th anniversary of the founding of the Japanese empire)
Isles of Wonder: Music for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Worldly incident not to be confused with artistic intent (Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du temps) or ambient (Eno: Music for Airports).
Still (even more) difficult for me to understand.
And the French Wikipedia is more easy but it says:
Il ne faut donc pas confondre « musique de scène » et « musique pour la scène », cette dernière regroupant tous les genres musicaux destinés « à la scène » : opéra, ballet, opérette, comédie musicale, etc. — y compris, bien sûr, la musique de scène.
Don’t mistake incidental music (stage music) with music for stage (opera, ballet, opérette, etc.)!
I’m happy not having to deal with incidental music work type and am now 200% happy with no types + no lyrics for my instrumentals!