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Revision as of 20:09, 3 August 2014 by Richard Mix (talk | contribs) (anonymous vs. traditional for composer name?)
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anonymous vs. traditional for composer name?

  • Posted by: Vaarky 22:44, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Has there previously been discussion of whether the composer entry Traditional should be changed to Anonymous? My opinion is that Traditional denotes a category of music and is not appropriate in the composer field. The composer is either unknown (Anonymous) or someone's name. That will also not artificially divide in two the number of compositions by unknown composers just because some songs are believed to be Traditional while others are not.

Reply by: Chucktalk Giffen 13:38, 27 October 2008 (UTC)


I'm very much inclined to agree with this viewpoint. Isn't a "tradtional" work "anonymous" (at least to us)? To me, "traditional" seems more of a music genre than a music source.

As an added point, why on the Traditional page are there two columns - one with sections apparently for titles from A to Z, the other with a single section "Hymn tunes" which only has a single entry (Slane)? It seems that a better use of two column format could be found.

I wasn't aware of this discussion, but I tend to agree with you both on this. Is there still interest in merging the pages? I should note, however, that some changes made by me to the {{Composer}} template in 2012 may have partly solved the problem cited by Vaarky, since it now displays:
Composer: Anonymous (Traditional)
Composer: Anonymous (Gregorian chant)
and so on for the other "chants" regarded as composers. —Carlos Email.gif 16:57, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
"Anonymous" works are from written sources; "Traditional" works belong to (or originate in) oral tradition. A very useful distinction, it seems to me. I wouldn't mind though if Anonymous were rearranged Composer:Source|Anonymous (source) or even Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (spurious works)|Circle of JSB; "anon." is bound to become unmanageably large at some point otherwise. Richard Mix (talk) 20:06, 3 August 2014 (UTC)