Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs

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WikiProject Songs (Rated Project-class)
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RfC: Should Infobox single and Infobox song be merged?

Currently, song articles usually one of two infoboxes:

  • {{Infobox single}} – for use when the song has been released as a "single"
  • {{Infobox song}} – for songs not released as singles, for example, those that predate music recording, released as album tracks only, "radio-only/promo" releases, etc.

Both infoboxes share most parameters: Name, Cover, Caption, Artist, Album, Released, Format, Recorded, Studio, Venue, Genre, Length, Label, Writer, Producer, and ISWC. The main differences are:

  • Infobox single – includes a Chronology for Last and Next Single
  • Infobox song – includes extra fields for Composer, Lyricist, English title, Language, Written, Published, and an Album track listing (partial or full)

Is there enough difference to retain two templates or should they be merged? —Ojorojo (talk) 13:39, 9 April 2017 (UTC) Originally: 17:19, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Merge A quick review of Featured song articles[1] shows no appreciable difference in scope, content, layout, etc., between articles using one template or the other, except that those with Infobox single include sales charts and promotional info in the body of the article. This difference is not reflected in the Infobox single itself, so there is nothing to gain by using it (a "Singles chronology" may be added to Infobox song using {{Extra chronology}}). —Ojorojo (talk) 17:19, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep them separate and fix them. A single is a 'release' with usually more than one song, release date, cover art, record label, etc. A song is a composition, that may not even have been released, or may have been recorded a thousand times, across multiple genres, and the key details of each are quite different, although the infoboxes are currently a bit of a jumble. --Michig (talk) 17:40, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
    Doesn't that make a single basically an album and which it should thus be merged with {{infobox album}}? --Izno (talk) 17:58, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
    It doesn't make a single an album, as they are distinctly different entities, but it's possible we could have one infobox for all 'musical releases'. --Michig (talk) 18:13, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Merge as someone who suggested this RfC. While I agree with Michig that there were differences between the two mediums, in today's market distinguishing a single from a song is mostly arbitrary, considering that two RFCs on the definition of a single arrived at no consensus. If the templates are merged, there would be parameters that apply mostly or entirely to singles, and others to songs. Template:Infobox musical artist is somewhat like this, with some different parameters depending on whether the subject is a person or a band.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 18:49, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Alternatively, I'd be fine with Michig's suggestion that all musical releases be covered in a unified infobox.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 18:51, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Don't merge. There's been too much merging of these infoboxes by the infobox warriors already: The infobox for Hymns was eliminated, the Songs infobox was bolloxed up, resulting in a suboptimal and unwieldy and unhelpful hybrid. Please don't do it yet another time. Let people choose which infobox they want to use. Softlavender (talk) 19:06, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
The usage of either infobox was discussed, Softlavender, at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs/Archive 16#Definition of "single" and usage of infoboxes. BTW, I started the previous central discussion, which resulted in "no consensus" but recommending case-by-case basis. Somehow, it led to this RfC one month after closing rationale. George Ho (talk) 10:16, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Merge As long as it's done well, and unique parameters for singles are enabled when the the type is single and the use for hymns is not problematic, I see no reason for having two separate infoboxes. Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:38, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep separate. They are two different things, one is a piece of music and the other is a marketing term. Just because we have all used the word "single" to mean a song does not make it so. This is not to say that the components of each box should not re-evaluated (possibly used in tandem when appropriate?). Anyway, how many 'singles' are actually released now? --Richhoncho (talk) 22:53, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
    Encyclopedia entries address various aspects of a song, including the music and marketing. To separate the two, because one was released as a single and one wasn't, is an artificial distinction. WP articles (at least FAs and most GAs) take the more encompassing encyclopedic approach. Additionally, there are no parameters in Infobox single that focus on the marketing aspect – in this respect, it is the same as Infobox song. To retain Infobox single so it can be "fixed" when we finally agree what a single is ignors that this is best left for the body of an article, not an infobox. —Ojorojo (talk) 02:23, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
    I have long seen a problem on WP with articles muddling songs (i.e. the compositions), individual recordings of songs, and singles - three very different things. If we were to have an article on a 'song', I would expect the (main) infobox to focus on the key aspects of the composition (writer, year written, publisher, etc.), and if there are particularly notable recordings of that song that we want to cover in the same article (and I don't believe thay always should be), they would go in subsections, possibly with infoboxes appropriate to those separate versions. If we have an article primarily about one recording of a particular song (e.g. an album track) then key facts are recording artist, genre, studio, recording dates, producer, what it was originally released on, etc. If we have an article about a single, and by that I mean primarily a physical release (history hasn't disappeared), then the key facts are things like record label, release date, cover art and artist, tracklist, duration, catalogue number, as well as some of the things about the recording(s). If we can cover all of those in one infobox, all well and good, but 'compositions' don't have record sleeves, duration, producer, recording studio, etc., and I don't really see giving all of these different things the same 'song' infobox to be the answer. --Michig (talk) 17:46, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
    Totally agree with Michig. --Richhoncho (talk) 18:23, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
    Again, I see it as an artificial construction. Separating the song (composition) from a notable recording of it from a single release or releases is counterintuitive and doesn't reflect current good practices. "Hey Jude" is an example. Although it was a single, a large portion of the article is devoted to writing, composition, production/release as well as marketing/sales and covers. This is an encyclopedic approach that has been largely adopted by WP. Trying to decide (using your interpretations) if it's a song, one particular recording, or a single can lead to endless debates that would not result in better articles (currently promotional singles use Infobox song because they are not "true" singles). There are enough problems getting editors to follow basic guidelines – enforcing a minority interpretation of songs is unworkable. —Ojorojo (talk) 19:25, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
    I don't see what is artificial about it. "Hey Jude" is a song, obviously best known for the original Beatles version, but also recorded by several other artists. The article appears from the lede to be about the song, but has a single infobox. The article is quite badly arranged as it doesn't separate the song from the original recording from it - e.g. the 'Personnel' and charts sections have level 2 headings, when they should sit within the section about the original recording, not directly after a section about other versions of the song (which clearly have no relation to the personnel or charts listed). And this is a featured article! If the focus is the song it should start with all the content about the *song*, the composition, the lyrics, etc., then have a section on the Beatles recording and the single, which has subsections on the personnel and charts, since they relate directly to that particular recording/release, not the song itself, and then a section on other versions afterwards. It illustrates the problem somewhat, I see this over and over again, and I feel that the 'encyclopedic approach largely adopted by WP' is simply a minority interpretation enforced on everyone else by a small number of determined editors. Sometimes the song will be the primary focus, with different recordings and releases included in the article, sometimes the single (the release) is the primary focus, and any details about the songs on it are secondary. --Michig (talk) 21:56, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
    I completely disagree with your last point "sometimes the single (the release) is the primary focus, and any details about the songs on it are secondary". It's like writing an article about a book and discussing the cover, printing, editions, appearance on best seller lists, awards, etc., but little attention to the story and the circumstances around it. Featured article criteria include that the article be "comprehensive: it neglects no major facts or details and places the subject in context". Most FAs about songs that were released as singles place a good deal of emphasis on the song itself (writing, composition, lyrics, etc.). If the song is not discussed in the article about the single, where should it be? For a large majority of articles, there probably aren't enough RS about the "release" itself to develop a reasonably interesting article. —Ojorojo (talk) 14:53, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
    I disagree completely, and who said an article about a single shouldn't mention the songs? I certainly didn't. Take a look at Five Minutes with Arctic Monkeys or James II (record) - clearly both about the singles (despite some nonsense about them being EPs (again because of flawed WP convention), not about individual songs. And we have loads of articles about [artist x]'s [nth] single, articles about double A-side singles, that obviously won't have 'a song' as the primary focus, etc. To my mind you either start with a song, include all the content about the song, then have all of the details about a related single in a subsection, or you start with a single and cover the songs on it in a subsection, whichever makes more sense. --Michig (talk) 18:44, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
    What do the featured and good articles do? You just pointed to a pair of very-low quality articles, which typically are a bad indicator of best practices.... (and don't cherrypick). --Izno (talk) 19:15, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Those are stubs (and probably WP:PERMASTUBs) and don't represent developed potential GA or FA material. If an article begins and focuses mostly on the song, but was released as a single (for example "Hoochie Coochie Man"), which infobox would you use? —Ojorojo (talk) 19:21, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
  • To answer the first question, GA/FAs are likely to do whatever guidelines state they should, not necessarily what would be best. Re. "Hoochie Coochie Man", personally I would write it as an article on the song (given that he recorded several different versions, and the song itself has far more lasting significance than the originally released single, that particular recording having subsequently been released on numerous album releases) with an infobox giving key facts about the song itself, and cover the single in a subsection. But maybe my approach is too logical for this project. --Michig (talk) 19:44, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
I think you're saying you'd use Infobox song (correct me if I'm wrong) for HCM. Infobox song doesn't contain any additional fields that would be useful (Written and Published are usually used for dates, when the song pre-dates music recording – otherwise they would just repeat the Released date). It seems odd not to use Infobox single (with an image of the single) when it was clearly released as a single. The only guidance (WP:SONG#Infobox) says "you can use {{Infobox single}} for singles (A- or B-sides) and use {{Infobox song}} for album tracks", without any further qualification. This seems to be how they are used. —Ojorojo (talk) 20:08, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
File:left out picture sleeve image for copyright/space concerns
1969 Italian single picture sleeve
Single by Cream from the album Wheels of Fire
Released January 1969 (1969-01) (US)
Format 7-inch 45 rpm record
Recorded March 10, 1968 (1st show)
Venue Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 4:16
Label Atco (no. 6646)
Writer(s) Robert Johnson
Producer(s) Felix Pappalardi
Cream American singles chronology
"White Room"
  • Just so we don't stray too far from the subject of the RfC, here's the existing Infobox song used for a single. Comparing it to the Infobox single used in the article shows that Infobox single doesn't provide any additional information, except B-side and color (which can easily be fixed).
Using the Type=, "Single by X" could read "Promotional single by X", "Radio-only single by X", "Digital download-only song by X", etc. It would allow for more options, whereas being limited to "Single by X" has a narrow application for some people. —Ojorojo (talk) 01:25, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
The idea is OK, but I would caution against using Type= in the new template. Its already used in the auxiliary templates, Extra Chronology, extra album cover, etc to do a different function, and it's being used erroneously in Infobox Single in a vast number of ways at present. A different field name would be a better choice. - X201 (talk) 09:02, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, this is more of a demonstration that one infobox can handle a variety of situations, rather than how a merged infobox would be coded. That would require more input from the experts. —Ojorojo (talk) 14:53, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Merge Both templates contain information that is relevant to both "categories" (for example, why would you not want language information for a single that isn't in English? or composer info?) - using 2 templates seems overkill. As such, for the purpose of functionality - the 2 templates should be merged into one of the 2 (probably songs) and the other redirected. (talk) 01:36, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Merge {{Infobox album}}, {{Infobox song}}, {{Infobox single}} and {{Infobox musical composition}} to one "musical work" template
  1. If we're going to merge songs with singles (which are often a collection of two or more songs), the next logical step would be to merge albums and songs, since they share most of the same parameters and uses.
  2. The distinction between {{Infobox song}} and {{Infobox musical composition}} is totally arbitrary. "Songs" are musical compositions with lyrics, and the two templates seem to exist only to act as a division between pre- and post-19th-century music. And I don't mean "classical" vs. "non-classical", I mean before and after the advent of music commerce. See Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven) and Ode to Joy - no infobox there. {{Infobox song}} and {{musical composition}} may as well be interchangeable (and they are, see "Our Prayer", "O My Father", "Kumbaya").
--Ilovetopaint (talk) 22:47, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
I support that option.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 04:15, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Comment/question. Ojorojo: I'm interested in the possibilities raised by this, especially after seeing the Cream "Crossroads" example above. I've long thought we have too many infoboxes in some articles – for example, at "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", where there are several cover versions apparently in need of one. Can't be helped there, I guess, but I wonder how a combined song–single infobox might apply in, say, "A Day in the Life", where the same artist's recording currently gets two infoboxes – as a 1967 album track, and as a 1978 single B-side. Do you think the single release could be incorporated into the song infobox as a second entry in the "Released" field, and the singles chronology then set inside the same box? A bit off-topic, but I'm just trying to imagine how this idea could pan out. JG66 (talk) 11:52, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

You've raised several good points that should be discussed sooner or later. I think WP:LAYIM is useful:

Images should ideally be spread evenly within the article, and relevant to the sections they are located in ... When placing images, be careful not to stack too many of them within the lead, or within a single section; if the images in a section spill over into the next section at 1024×768 screen resolution, that may mean that the section is too short or there are too many images in that section.

The inboxes in "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" all fit within their respective sections, but the last two or three don't appear "spread out" – they're too close together and (along with the chart boxes) give the article a fragmented, jumbled look. (Hopefully, "Train Kept A-Rollin'" is a better example of multiple infoboxes.) "A Day in the Life" is an example of infobox misuse (the GA reviewed version[2] only had one infobox). Two are stacked in the lead, giving it a busy, unbalanced look. Since the single is not discussed in the article (only mentioned as "issued as a B-side"), the second infobox is not warranted. Likewise, Gibbs' version only receives three sentences in the Covers section – not enough to support an additional infobox (plus it is placed in the Legacy section, which has no mention of it).
The current practice is basically "one occurrence" per infobox. Consensus during a recent RfC was that Cover versions/alt Artists should not be included in infobox song. The tendency to include too many "covers", regardless of their importance or discussion in the article, was a main reason. If a second recording/release or artist version is discussed in enough detail, additional infoboxes may be used (but consistent with WP:LAYIM). I don't see adding it to the primary infobox as useful and there is too much potential for misuse.
Ojorojo (talk) 15:00, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, I agree that WP:LAYIM needs to be kept in mind. "Train Kept A-Rollin'" looks excellent, most obviously because the highlighted versions of the song carry plenty of discussion and description, as one would expect. In the case of "Lovin' Feelin'", most of the infobox placement only works because the various lists and tables appear with the (short) discussion of each cover version, padding out the sections. There seems to be at least two schools of thought on this: one, as someone mentioned above re "Hey Jude", that personnel, chart boxes etc should sit with the text; another (which is the way I've been guided by reviewers), that all list, table and box elements should appear together after the final section of prose.
I'd not checked the listed version of "A Day in the Life". (That explains a few other problems I've noticed there.) But you're saying that, unlike in the GA listing, the single's release date should not be included? I'm trying to get my head around that, because it might be useful to present a second date along with a second "length" (for a single edit) when an artist's album track is subsequently issued on a single, perhaps a decade or more later. That would seem to be a tidy, comprehensive way to ensure we do away with all these two-boxes-per-artist examples, which is what interests me about the proposal. Perhaps I'm focusing too much on the way things are currently in some articles, even when, as you say, there's a case of infobox misuse. JG66 (talk) 02:02, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Using an infobox single in the lead & mentioning both the LP and later single may seem convenient, but I see a couple of problems: 1) the infobox single guideline for "Released" specifies "This field should refer to the earliest known commercial release date, using a single occurrence" (emphasis in the original – this is incorporated by reference in infobox song); 2) more importantly, the single is not (or barely) mentioned in the article. An infobox should only contain key facts as discussed in the article. If the single were important (it was a B-side), it should be discussed in a "Releases" section, with dates, edit info, promotion, charts, etc. If the section has enough material, an infobox single could be added there. I think the "single occurrence" guideline should be maintained – the song's appearance as the last song on Sgt. Pepper is far more important than the belated (11 yrs.) single release and the lead infobox should reflect this. —Ojorojo (talk) 14:18, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Merge. I can't help but get my head lost in the wider implications (applications?) of infoboxes, such as wanting to avoid a second infobox when an artist's recording was reissued as a single – so I'm hoping we can refine things somewhere down the line. For now, though, I think this proposal is a good start. JG66 (talk) 16:54, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
Might as well. I'm surprised that the digital download/promo/radio-only, etc. releases perspective hasn't been addressed. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:51, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Listed in the template. --George Ho (talk) 08:54, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the simple reason that not all songs were released as singles. If you to be practical, you could instead merge both into {{Infobox musical work}}, but as it stands, the two infoboxes don't exactly serve the same purpose. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 01:54, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Missing the point – merging the two infoboxes would essentially combine the elements of both. Since they are already so similar, there would be little difference – both would continue to appear identical to the existing infoboxes, but with added flexibility (see the above "Crossroads" example). Creating an "Infobox musical work" with a merge with {{Infobox musical composition}} would be problematic. That infobox has ~50 (!) parameters versus ~25 for Infobox song & single. Many of the fields could be misinterpreted and misused ("Occasion", "Based on", "Dedication", "Performed", "Solo", "Vocal", "Instrumental", etc.). —Ojorojo (talk) 14:08, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Merge for all the reosans given at pevious TfM proposals, and because we have articles about songs, not about singles. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:09, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Merge - per nomination and 3Family6. It's redundant to have both when they're essentially the same thing, especially in this era of blurred lines between singles, "digital singles" and songs. If the infobox is the same, it'll be one less thing to argue or edit war over when it's unclear which to label a song. Sergecross73 msg me 14:27, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Merge it's needlessly repetitive to have separate infoboxes when they're quite similar already, and the only real distinction is whether a song is commercially released (which would make it a single). It could be titled either "Infobox song" (or "Infobox musical work" if album template also gets merged). Snuggums (talk / edits) 20:13, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Merge the song and single infoboxes; mostly identical. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
    to reply to me
    09:45, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

I think we also need to have a discussion about limiting the use of the Extra chronology template within the main template. Both of the efforts on this article (Welcome to My Hood) are beyond a joke. - X201 (talk) 11:48, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Agree, they overwhelm that article so completely, they make actual song/single seem irrelevant. Unfortunately, once a particular infobox field starts to be used (or overused!), it comes to be seen as essential and expected. Many don't seem to get that infoboxes are for key facts and not "information for information's sake" (How important is the nth artist's next single important to understanding this article? At least there are no album track listings). It should be discussed, but this RfC has probably meandered enough and should try to focus on the merge question. —Ojorojo (talk) 19:34, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Don't merge. Infobox song is used on many articles that have little to do with music recordings, including popular songs, anthems, children's songs and folk songs, such as America the Beautiful, Go Down Moses, God Save the Queen, Colonel Bogey, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Barbara Allen and Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!. What these articles' infoboxes need is not a generic "singles" format, but a song infobox with more relevant fields such as country of origin, other countries/languages, earliest known publication, alternative versions, Child number, Roud number and other things that don't immediately come to mind. Yes, the great majority of new song articles will concern music recordings, but many articles on culturally significant songs are suffering (infobox-wise) from being squeezed into a pop music format. Scolaire (talk) 15:26, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
That's a good point. I don't see how we couldn't add those parameters to a "Infobox musical composition" template, though.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 15:58, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I just think that if non-recording-related fields were added to Infobox songs (and some recording-related fields removed, or would that not be feasible?), then the "they're both identical so they should be merged" argument wouldn't apply. Scolaire (talk) 17:04, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I've just realised you're talking about a different infobox altogether: Template:Infobox musical composition. Using that instead of Infobox song for a song article would be counterintuitive. Scolaire (talk) 17:15, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
That template includes a section that shows its use for songs (Template:Infobox musical composition#Example 3 - Songs). The same template is also used for hymns (Example 2 - Hymns). Some of the fields you mentioned were in the former Infobox standard, which were frequently misunderstood and/or misused (long lists of unimportant covers/alternative versions, etc.). —Ojorojo (talk) 20:02, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
That's just what I'm talking about. It starts with "songs are the same thing as singles", then it's "songs are the same thing as singles which are more or less the same thing as albums", now it's "just use the Infobox musical composition which has all those fields you don't understand." If we're going that way, why not just have an "artistic works" infobox which includes painting, literature, drama and film as well as music? Or merge the artistic works one with people, places, politics and everything else in one big "Infobox everything"? What I'm arguing for is an infobox that has fields relating to songs that can be used on articles about songs (as opposed to recordings). What is wrong with infoboxes being specific? I though that was the point of infoboxes. Scolaire (talk) 18:18, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
What is the literature, visual art, or cinematic equivalent to a "single track album"? If you want an infobox that contrasts "songs" with "recordings", then we should be thinking about a {{Infobox musical recording}} template, and perhaps some embedding function. It makes no sense why we should have 3 different templates with virtually identical uses: |Title=, |cover=, |type=, |artist=, |recorded=, |released=, |genre=, |length=, |writer=, |producer=, |chronology=... and then there are 2 or 3 more parameters specific to albums and/or singles.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 17:01, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

[R to Scolaire] All singles are songs, but all songs are not singles – put another way, singles are a subset of songs, i.e., those which have been released in a particular medium. Ignoring the "song" or musical aspects of a single produces very dull, two-dimensional articles – ones which would not satisfy the featured article criterion "comprehensive: it neglects no major facts or details and places the subject in context". Likewise, a fully-developed non-single song article should discuss its public presence: important performances, popularity as sheet music or piano rolls, notable recordings, popular releases, etc., otherwise the reader would not see the whole picture. In practice, many WP articles about traditional or historical songs (including several you noted above) have long sections about "Notable recordings", "In popular culture", etc. If the subject is being dealt with comprehensively, the line between the song and recording(s) will often be blurred. That is why the infobox parameters are so similar. Infobox song has been around for over 10 years – "if they're so similar, don't merge them, make them different" hasn't seemed to have caught on. —Ojorojo (talk) 21:19, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

Err, no. A single is generally a release with at least 2 recordings of songs. A song is not the same as a recording of a song, and neither is the same as a single. --Michig (talk) 08:09, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
What? A single is a single song. It could have b-sides or alternate mixes. It could be a 45 or seven-inch vinyl recording (I've seen some with the same version on both sides of such thing) or could be a 12-inch with the same recording on both sides as well, or be just short of an EP. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:00, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
No. A single is not a song and a song is not a single. A single was (historic) a delivery medium for recordings (songs, instrumentals, speeches and who knows what else), and called that from the advent of the long player (to differentiate) to (probably) the digital age. The concept of a "single" is redundant now. which is why all this talk of merging is a little silly. 20 years time the kids won't know what a "single is" but, hopefully, they will still know what a song is. Would be no harm to have to boxes which work together, song and single rather than as alternatives. --Richhoncho (talk) 14:24, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
No. A single is one single song but not all releases of single songs are singles. I agree with the rest of your commentary. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:29, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
The most common use of "single" is the A-side – that's what is promoted, played on the radio, reviewed in the press, appears in the charts, etc. If a B-side receive any attention, then it becomes a "double A-side". Again, check out some FAs. Other than listing the name(s), tracks other than the A-side receive no or little discussion in WP articles (probably because they receive no or little coverage in reliable sources). Now, with music downloading, the focus on the primary song is even stronger. —Ojorojo (talk) 14:34, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
That simply isn't true. Throughout the history of recorded music, the vast majority of singles are vinyl records, cassettes or CDs with 2 or more tracks on them. The concept of a single being the same as one song is peculiar to Wikipedia. The A-side of a single is exactly that - one of the sides of a single. --Michig (talk) 14:38, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
Physically, yes. But the attention (unless you're Elvis or the Beatles) is squarely on one song. How many reviews, charts, etc., even mention more than the primary song? Treating singles as multi-song releases similar to an EP is not a typical approach and WP reflects this. —Ojorojo (talk) 14:49, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia should reflect verified fact. Just because a song on the A-side of a single usually gets the most attention, we shouldn't be pretending that a single is the same as a song. --Michig (talk) 15:39, 29 March 2017 (UTC)


The Music Industries: From Conception to Consumption:

"As of [2011] a single has become defined as 'a Record containing not more than 4 tracks' where a 'track' is defined as 'a Recording which reproduces 1 Title whose playing time is not less than 2½ minutes when played at its correct speed'"

It appears increasingly evident that singles are typically regarded as (potentially) multi-track releases - not literally a "single track".--Ilovetopaint (talk) 13:43, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
That seems a better solution, per some of the objections in the discussion above.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 13:47, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
File:left out picture sleeve image for copyright/space concerns
1969 Italian single picture sleeve
Single from the album Wheels of Fire by Cream
Released January 1969 (1969-01) (US)
Recorded March 10, 1968 (1st show)
Venue Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 4:16
Label Atco (no. 6646)
Producer Felix Pappalardi
Cream American singles chronology
"White Room"
Here's the above "Crossroads" example using the existing infobox album. Again, they're very similar, except for color, etc. Maybe infobox musical composition would be better for those who wish to deal with songs more abstractly, without recordings and releases. —Ojorojo (talk) 01:35, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Merge. Singles are songs; if I understand rightly, the singles infobox has parameters applicable to singles and songs that aren't singles, so {{infobox single}} could be used on songs that aren't singles. We could simply rename the templates if {{infobox song}} were the preferred title. If there are elements in {{Infobox song}} not applicable to singles, e.g. stuff relevant to hymns and folk songs, those elements could simply be merged into {{Infobox single}}. I'm neutral on the proposal of merging these with the album infobox; albums being distinct, I'm uncomfortable with the idea, but since I'm much more familiar with compositions that don't come in albums (operas, symphonies, concerti, etc.), I don't want to make an argument against merging. Nyttend (talk) 02:12, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Conditional merge but it should probably be done with some sort of a parameter added to distinguish between the two (i.e. single=y/n) so that the text in the intro box reads correctly (i.e. you don't want it to read 'single' from X album on a song that isn't a single and visa versa). --TheSandDoctor (talk) 22:26, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment It's coming up on 30 days for this RfC. Would it be useful to extend it or list it at the Requests for closure noticeboard? —Ojorojo (talk) 16:51, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
I already did so, Ojorojo. --George Ho (talk) 20:39, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Actually, Ojorojo, though closure is requested, and it's listed in the CENT template, why not relist it for some while until the closer comes? --George Ho (talk) 03:41, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
OK, please correct relisting if needed. —Ojorojo (talk) 13:39, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
@Ojorojo: Fixed the relisting for the bot. Looks fine? --George Ho (talk) 13:48, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Merge. There are sufficiently many common parameters shared between the two templates "song" and "single". "Album" I haven't analyzed, but per the above a "single" in the sense espoused by many above (whether this is the common understanding I will not comment on here) also shares many of its parameters with that of the "album" and so there may be an opportunity for one musical composition infobox. (Which I haven't decided would be a good idea either way.) --Izno (talk) 17:51, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Why?. A single (music) really is two recordings on a piece of vinyl; a song might have been sung for a thousand years before anyone invented records or copyrights or any of that stuff, and could be written after those things have gone the way of the dodo. Two different things are reasonably entitled to two different kinds of boxes. If you want, you can carefully work the innards of the two templates into a single template or Lua module that handles both (without loss or change of functionality), perhaps in a broader class of musical compositions. But don't break the front end, don't mess with what a hundred articles link to for no obvious reason. Wnt (talk) 17:00, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
"Cailín Óg a Stór"
English title "The Croppy Boy"
Published 1582
Genre Broadside ballad
Writer(s) Unknown
Language Irish
Again, a merger effectively combines the two, not with one supplanting the other. Merging the two infoboxes, which already have mostly similar parameters, does not change their current appearance or use. Here's a current use of infobox song; with a merger it would appear identical.
The reason for a merger is for increased flexibility (see these discussions: Adding Lyricist and Composer & Adding "English title" and "Language"). Infobox song allows for more description, e.g., instrumental, EP, promotional single, etc. (and English title, language, composer, and lyricist, which some editors have expressed an interest in) than infobox single. Rather than limiting or reducing infobox song, the merger would expand the possibilities of infobox single.
Ojorojo (talk) 17:28, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
Well, if you can "merge" these templates in such a way that the articles containing them don't change, or need to be changed, that doesn't even seem like something an RFC is needed for. The technical details of a template are just plain editing, including if you push off some subroutines to a file used by other templates. I only think an RFC (and Opposes in that RFC) are needed if you propose to get rid of one template call or reduce its functionality, so that the users have to go back and do something that doesn't make as much sense. Wnt (talk) 01:35, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
I see below that people talk about "using a bot" and "deleting the old template". I oppose doing that. Conceptually, there is no reason not to keep "infobox song" and "infobox single" as things editors can type. Bear in mind that some editors have learned to type these things, and you can't just update the way they remember to do things with a bot. It also conflicts with my intuitive sense that a single and a song are two different things worthy of two different boxes. You can (and should) merge up everything inside the templates, and you can even feel free to allow new parameters in each template that are present in the other that might not strictly make sense. But don't change the "editor interface" and don't mass-edit the articles to get rid of the user-friendly front end. Wnt (talk) 13:59, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
@Wnt: when you read @Walter Görlitz: and myself talk about getting a bot to do it. What do you envisage when your read that? because your message is leaving me a little puzzled. Also what do you mean by "get rid of the user-friendly front end"? - X201 (talk) 14:15, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
@X201: I mean, if people are writing {{infobox song}} (or single) in an article now, they should be able to do the same thing later, and if the infobox song/single templates have specific documentation, you can leave that, and if they default to certain default color schemes etc. you can leave that. The user doesn't need to know if you merged the innards of the two templates so that they both take the parameters they're given and go to some generalized infobox musical composition thing. I don't want a bot going through all the wikipedia articles changing every "infobox song" to "infobox musical composition", because that's basically spamming the history only so that editors who used to use infobox song might be presented with a redlink or a message telling them they should do something differently. There's no reason to do that. Wnt (talk) 20:17, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
At some point, one (or both) of the templates will cease to exist and if an editor tries to add it, it would fail to display anything other than an error stating that the template has been deprecated. Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:47, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Reluctantly merge - I have long thought that infoboxes would treat "song" and "single" well as separate entities. However, I'm convinced by supporters of the proposal that the "infobox single" is becoming more redundant to "infobox song". The merger may not help the "single" vs. "song" distinction, but at least we can use the "|Type=" parameter... Or we can still use "infobox single" as a redirect template... if coded to retain the background colour (i.e. yellow)? Also, we can still use {{extra album cover}} as part of the merged infobox if necessary... but an extra image is generally unnecessary often. How to treat individual older releases may vary, but newer releases shrank the distinction between "single" and "song". Downloadable format is popular, while physical format is... I don't know what words to put it, but it's not as thriving as it was in pre-digital age.

    Another flaw about the "infobox single" is its treatment toward some single releases that lack the "Side (A/One/1)"/"Side (B/Two/2)" labeling. An example is "Spinout"/"All That I Am" release by Elvis Presley, but both the articles treat both tracks like "opposite sides" respectively. They are not treated as A-side/B-side. The matter was discussed at Talk:A-side and B-side#Terminology of the topic and then Template talk:Infobox single/Archive 8#A-side, B-side, flipside, other side... what else is it? Somehow, "infobox song" currently lacks "A-side"/"B-side" parameters. The "other side" labeling will be discussed sometime in the future, especially when the merger discussion is over. --George Ho (talk) 08:15, 7 April 2017 (UTC); edited. 08:17, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm thinking: what would happen to a single release Scream/Childhood if the templates merge? --George Ho (talk) 10:37, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
You would use the infobox song template and set the type to Single. And to answer an earlier question, I suspect that we would commission a bot to make the appropriate changes and leave the old infobox in-place until it completes its work. I would suggest not leaving a redirect. Walter Görlitz (talk) 13:50, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
A bot run would be the best way and then delete the old template location and any redirects, but before then some serious work need to be put into the fields, their names and their function. Type is one of the ones on my hit list. I've been cleaning up infobox single and its obvious that the name of Type does not convey its purpose to users, as they have stuck all kinds of rubbish in it. But that's a discussion for after the merge is agreed. - X201 (talk) 15:18, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
[R to George] The merged song/single infobox would include fields for both A-side and B-side (infobox song currently only has A-side). The merger would not effect how the infoboxes currently appear in articles, including your examples. As you note, how articles should treat "two sides vs. one side" is for future discussion and not the subject of this RfC on the merger. The combined code might look like this, although experienced coders should be consulted: —Ojorojo (talk) 15:40, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
{{Infobox song/single <!-- See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Songs -->
| Name          = 
| Cover         = <!-- just the file name -->
| Border        =
| Alt           = 
| Caption       = 
| Type [as per X201 this should be renamed] = <!-- Song, Single, Promo release, Instrumental, Hymn, etc. This would set the color. -->
| Artist        = 
| Album         = 
| EP            = 
| A-side        = 
| B-side        = 
| English_title = 
| Written       = 
| Published     = 
| Released      = <!-- {{Start date|YYYY|MM|DD}} -->
| Format        = 
| Recorded      = 
| Studio        =
| Venue         =
| Genre         = 
| Length        = <!-- {{Duration|m=MM|s=SS}} -->
| Label         = 
| Writer        =  
| Composer      = 
| Lyricist      = 
| Language      = 
| Producer      = 
| ISWC          = 
| Chronology    = 
| Last single   = 
| This single   = 
| Next single   = 
| Tracks        = <!-- Alternatively, this field may include a collapsible album track template -->
| prev          = 
| prev_no       = 
| track_no      = 
| next          = 
| next_no       =
| Misc          = <!-- Allows use of {{Extra chronology}}, {{Extra track listing}}, {{Extra album cover}}, {{Audiosample}} -->
  • Merge - The infoboxes share most of the same parameters. It doesn't make sense to keep them separate just for the sake of semantics. Kaldari (talk) 02:10, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Ed Sheeran album tracks

The recent unprecedented success of Ed Sheeran's album (all 16 tracks in the top 20) has created a strange situation. I had thought that a top 40 entry at least (and many singles that reach the top 100 also get an entry) was a big factor behind a song being notable. I created articles for the non official singles that reached the top 20 (Shape of You, Castle on the Hill, How Would You Feel and Galway Girl already existed) with references and chart positions but they have been redirected back to Divide. Is the issue that they were not official singles that makes them lack notability? Perfect, for example, reached number 4 and pretty much every song in history that reached this position has an article. Surely all the songs are independently notable. Nancy Mulligan, for example, has articles on its influences and backstory that could be added.

What are people's thoughts. 03md 22:28, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Per WP:NSONGS, "songs and singles are probably notable if they have been the subject of multiple, non-trivial published works whose sources are independent of the artist and label." A song simply charting with no other independent sources fails that criteria. Charting in and of itself does not make a song notable, and the song should not have an article unless the required multiple, non-trivial sources are found. --StarcheerspeaksnewslostwarsTalk to me 22:54, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

When to use an Infobox; and when to omit

Hi there, I recently completed an edit of Waltzing Matilda by adding {{infobox song}} and made a range of minor changes. My edit was reverted with the comment: "....It is my understanding that tradtional folk ballads like this one are not given infoboxes (see Auld Lang Syne, Wind that shakes the barley...." May I please receive some guidance on whether the claim by this editor is correct? Many thanks Rangasyd (talk) 09:40, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

As I understand it many traditional songs, certain writers, (Cole Porter and the Gershwins come to mind) were added to Wikipedia before songboxes were created, which may leave the impression that older songs do not need infoboxes. Where there is no infobox for a song I have been adding needs-infobox-y to the WPSongs project tag. FWIW, a number of traditional songs now have infoboxes and it is my opinion that the removal was wrong. --Richhoncho (talk) 10:15, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
There's no reason why they shouldn't have infoboxes, although obviously for these sort of songs a large proportion of the fields in our song infobox will not apply since those fields don't actually relate to songs at all. --Michig (talk) 11:14, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
A case-by-case discussion may be either calm or heated. Talk:Government of the Republic of China#RfC about government infobox is an example of calm discussion. However, Talk:Stanley Kubrick#RfC: Should an infobox be added to this page? is full of heat and exhaustion. Careful starting one. George Ho (talk) 10:14, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
I can't comment on whether they "are" given infoboxes, but I'll answer a solid yes to whether they "should" be given infoboxes. Since infoboxes are merely summaries of critical information (in particular, significant metadata) about the subject, articles about specific topics (as opposed to articles about general concepts, e.g. Parity of zero or Screened porch) should have infoboxes, since it's easy to ascertain specific types of metadata that will be applicable to most or all articles of the sort. Nyttend (talk) 02:24, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
I've been writing articles on folk songs. I've put infoboxes in some articles (because a bot suggested I should), but many of the fields don't apply. I've taken to putting index numbers (Child, Roud and Laws) in "misc" as the software won't let me modify other sections. Joe Fogey (talk) 20:25, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Partial track lists in Infobox song

A discussion is underway at Template talk:Infobox song#… and a bugbear: partial track listing. All editors are welcome to join. JG66 (talk) 16:22, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

Structure for top 10 lists

I have been doing lots of work on adding to and improving the individual top 10 list articles (see Lists of UK top 10 singles and have come up with a template structure. It is in my sandbox here. Obviously you will need to add references, images etc. but the look of the page really works in my opinion and having a consistent structure is what is needed. I am hoping to nominate some for featured list once complete. 03md 22:10, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

In addition to this I have now created List of artists with the most UK top 10 singles to accompany this, I would appreciate people working on this article to make it a complete record. 03md 20:09, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Losing My Religion

Losing My Religion, an article that you or your project may be interested in, has been nominated for an individual good article reassessment. If you are interested in the discussion, please participate by adding your comments to the reassessment page. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, the good article status may be removed from the article. Anarchyte (work | talk) 13:14, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Should we stop classifying "songs by artist" categories by genre?

I'm not sure where else to discuss this, so I'll just post here and see what happens. Very often, when viewing a category for songs by a particular artist, you will see genre categories. For example, Category:Lady Gaga songs is a subcategory of Category:Electropop songs. But not all of the songs in the Lady Gaga category are electropop songs. Certainly "The Lady Is a Tramp" isn't electropop.

This seems to be very common, though, associating songs by an artist with a one or more specific genres (other examples: Category:Amy Winehouse songs, Category:Rihanna songs). We hold a strict standard to articles about individual songs, placing genres in Template:Infobox single/Template:Infobox song only when a reliable source confirms a specific genre or genres, yet we don't hold this standard to categories. Thoughts? ---Another Believer (Talk) 05:34, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

I agree. Not all songs by an artist are of a particular genre. Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:35, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
Agree. Same with albums, e.g. we currently have Bob Marley and the Wailers albums categorized in Reggae albums by Jamaican artists, even though they're not all reggae albums. A lot of artists have worked in multiple genres. --Michig (talk) 05:41, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
WP:Petscan can perform these kinds of intersections for the user interested in reggae by Bob Marley. --Izno (talk) 12:15, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
In some cases, the current scheme is nearly useless. For example, all Category:Led Zeppelin songs are further categorized as British heavy metal and British folk, plus a couple others. Looking through Category:British folk songs, you find Category:Led Zeppelin songs, but since that category includes all LZ songs without further qualification/categorization, it is not apparent which really are British folk songs (except for one song with a separate category). Each song must be checked individually to find out (a brief search only showed one more with "English folk music" in the infobox). So, the current categorization only serves to indicate that one or more of Zeppelin's songs are British folk, but not which one(s). This hardly seems to meet the goal of categorization, i.e., to "browse and quickly find sets of pages on topics that are defined by those [essential or defining] characteristics." ((WP:CAT).—Ojorojo (talk) 14:20, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
I am glad to see some agreement here. I will say, though, if we change the way we categorize by genre, there will be many, many categories needing updating. ---Another Believer (Talk) 19:18, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Need article for "My Silent Love"

The song "My Silent Love" has no article -- is there someone who could create one? (It's a bit beyond my current ability.)

Some seed info:

Music by Dana Suesse, lyrics by Edward Heyman.

Used in the following movies:

 The Uninvited (1944); played on BBC radio when Roderick spends his first night at Windward.
 A Place in the Sun (1951); played at the party where George meets Angela.
 Sabrina (1954); played at the outdoor party.

There are a few YouTube postings; unfortunately the version with Bonnie Poe (as Betty Boop) and Bela Lugosi has been pulled.

BMJ-pdx (talk) 14:57, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

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