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What is IMSLP's definition of a collection?

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:47 am
by Zeyar Shwe
Can an admin please explain to me what the IMSLP's definition of a collection is?

I am in the process of uploading works by Philippe Joseph Hinner and am really perplexed by the way that some of them were put under the collection and some under the compositions.

His 4 Harp Sonatas, Op.6 was put under the collection. For me this would belong to the compositions rather than collection. For me a collection means works by different composers or collection of the same composer from several Op. numbers. The works with the Op nos like 4 Harp Sonatas, Op.6 belong to the composition.

Or IMSLP treats the work containing more than 2 or 3 sonatas as a collection rather than a composition? At the moment the classification of ' the collection' appears to be a bit arbitrary and there is no consistency. It is really odd to see his 4 Harp Sonatas, Op.6 under the collection and his 4 Harp Duets, Op.10 under the composition.

Re: What is IMSLP's definition of a collection?

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:55 am
by Davydov
A "Collection" on IMSLP consists of two or more "Works" in a single published edition. The collection pages were introduced because it isn't always possible to split a printed edition into its constituent parts, or there is some value in keeping an important edition intact.

So the ambiguity really lies in what constitutes a "Work". A song cycle or group of small piano pieces, written at the same time and published together would normally be treated as a single work. But Beethoven complicated matters because some of his piano sonatas were published together (e.g. the famous "Moonlight" sonata (No. 14) was published with No. 13 as Op. 27. It was found to be more convenient to have each sonata on a separate page. So our definition of "Work" was tweaked to allow these exceptions for multi-movement works like the Beethoven sonatas.

This obviously muddies the waters in cases like the "6 Harp Sonatas, Op. 6" you mentioned. My own view is that if the composer intended them to be published as a collection, then we should treat them as a single "Work" -- the only exception being if the constituent sonatas formed part of a longer, numbered series, like the Beethoven sonatas. (The fact that the Beethoven sonatas were numbered long after his death doesn't matter, because the numbers are so universally used).

In short, I would say that if the items within a collection don't qualify for their own individual workpages on IMSLP, then it isn't really a collection :)

Re: What is IMSLP's definition of a collection?

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:22 am
by Zeyar Shwe
Thanks. I am still confused. Why should 4 Harp Duets, Op.10 classified as a collection, whereas '4 Harp Duets, Op.10' and '3 Sonatas for Harp and Violin, Op.5' classified as composition ?

Re: What is IMSLP's definition of a collection?

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:15 pm
by Davydov
In Hinner's case the situation is confusing because there are other items without opus number, such as "9 Romances and 3 Harp Sonatas" and "6 Harp Sonatas" which may or may not constitute collections, and also a rogue "Harp Sonata in E-flat major" which could belong to one of the other opus sets (if so, it should be moved there).

I agree that "4 Harp Sonatas, Op.6" should be treated as a work rather than a collection, so I've moved it accordingly. If the original editors of that page have additional information which led them to treat it as a collection, they're welcome to weigh in here.

Re: What is IMSLP's definition of a collection?

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:19 pm
by Notenschreiber
ThatĀ“s strange. Following CarolusĀ“ argumentation, the 4 harp sonatas are a collection, because each of them could be performed as a single work.
We should really clarify this issue.

Re: What is IMSLP's definition of a collection?

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:47 am
by Zeyar Shwe
I also think that IMSLP should have clear guideline for what constitutes a collection. If we have to try and guess whether the composer meant it to be a collection or a work, we are than going into the land of ' conjecture' rather than actual fact and different admins will have different interpretations.
IMSLP needs to be consistent and not arbitrary, in my opinion.