THE LIVING COMPOSERS PROJECT  

Style Guide

CRITERIA, GENERAL INFORMATION

– For this project, the 'LCP', whose goal is to present as vast a spectrum of contemporary music as possible, only four criteria exist: (1) The composer must have lived after the year 2000, when the LCP started; (2) The composer must write principally 'classical music' as opposed to 'popular music' of any sort; (3) The composer must have some record of performances; and (4) The composer must have been born in or before 1991.

– Composers who are deceased but lived after the year 2000 are eligible for inclusion and composers who die after being included in the LCP remain in place. Composers are removed from the LCP only due to broken links where suitable replacements could not be found.

– Composers from all countries are eligible for inclusion, but the aim of the LCP is to give visitors the opportunity to explore composers from countries other than those found in Europe and North America, whose composers are already represented very well, here and elsewhere.

– No discrimination is made in terms of the 'popularity' or 'success' of a composer as opposed to 'obscurity'. Composers are often famous, or unknown, for reasons independent of the quality of their music. Thus, for the LCP, no judgment of the music by any composer is made or suggested.

– The LCP evolves regularly, but could never pretend to be complete. Suggestions are always welcomed.

CONCERNING PROFILES

– All profiles are written by Dan Albertson in a house style and are marked with an asterisk (*). These pages contain two basic parts, a biography and a list of works. A discography may or may not be included. Biographies are given in this order: introduction, education, honours, other positions, teaching positions, country of residence, and publishers. Other paragraphs may be added as necessary.

– Titles of respect, such as Mr., Ms., Prof., are used in the text to describe the composer in question and degrees are abbreviated as BMus, BA, DMus, DFA, MFA, PhD, etc.

– Composers who are listed in the LCP are linked when they are mentioned, but only for the first time, within profiles.

EDITORIAL CONVENTIONS

– A preference for British English is exhibited in the LCP, except in the case of titles, e. g. organised yet Organized.

– The LCP always refers, within profiles, to the French horn as such, not as the horn, and the English horn as such, not as the cor anglais.

– Although often called a 'contrabass', 'string bass' or 'bass', within profiles in the LCP, the term 'double bass' is always used to describe this instrument, in order to avoid potential confusion between it and the vocal range 'bass'. The term 'contrabass' is used, however, to denote low instruments, such as contrabass clarinets.

– The LCP always uses the term 'bass guitar' in profiles, as opposed to 'electric bass', 'electric double bass' or 'electric bass guitar'.

– Although many instruments have conflicting plurals, the general system of adding an '-s' is used in profiles in the LCP, with one exception. When instruments atypical in 'classical music' are mentioned, they are always given in the singular, even if more than one is described, because either their original language has no plural or because the plural has a different ending, e. g. '2 koto' or '3 oud'.

– Only modern names of cities, countries, schools, etc. are listed. Thus, visitors will find no composer from 'Yugoslavia'; no composer educated in 'Leningrad'; etc.

– In countries that use a system other than the Roman alphabet, the issue of transliteration inevitably becomes a problem. The LCP follows the preferences of the composers in question, not strict rules concerning transliteration. Therefore, visitors will find Russian composers named both Dmitry and Dmitri, or both Sergey and Sergei.

– Major cities are given in their English names, if different than their native names. Thus, the LCP uses Cologne, not Köln, and Moscow, not Moskva. However, if the name of the city is a part of an organisation, it will not be converted, e. g. 'Kölner Gesellschaft' or 'Muzyka Moskva'. The LCP retains diacritical marks for native spellings that are often omitted abroad, such as São Paulo and Düsseldorf.

– Except when listing the names of specific groups, the LCP uses the terms 'chorus' and 'choruses' in profiles, as opposed to 'choir' and 'choirs'.

– Schools whose names are in languages from western Europe are given in their native names. Schools from other nations may be given in their native names or in translations, or both.

– The LCP discriminates between the prefixes 'Mac-' and 'Mc-'. Names beginning with 'Mac-' appear between 'Mab-' and 'Mad-', whereas names beginning with 'Mc-' are to be found between 'Mb-' and 'Md-'.

– The country of birth for all composers is omitted in the introductions to profiles in the LCP, even if the city is not famous. For instance, a composer from Ukraine is assumed to have been born in Ukraine unless otherwise noted.

– All names requiring diacritical marks are spelled as precisely as possible, but difficulties in coding make names from Vietnam, in particular, challenging to render faithfully.

– Contrary to prevailing practice, the LCP uses the ancient ligature æ where appropriate, e. g. Æschylus or Tenebræ.

– While composers are identified by surname in biographies and discographies, within lists of works, 'the composer' is used instead, e. g. 'text by the composer'.

CONCERNING LISTS OF WORKS

– In a list of works, the dates given always refer to the dates of composition of a work rather than the date of première, unless otherwise noted. Within each section, the compositions are listed from the earliest to the most recent and pieces with no date provided go to the end of each section. This general principle of earliest to most recent is found in all areas of the LCP. For specific dates, the style of day–month–year is used, i. e. 3 January 2017.

– Works in lists of works where dates are omitted and/or unavailable are listed alphabetically, not chronologically.

– All lists of works are either complete or select, according to the discretion of the composer. A marking of 'complete' is not meant to suggest that every work by the composer is included, but rather that all of the works that the composer wishes to be represented are mentioned.

– Lists of works by category are always arranged in the following sequence: stage, orchestral, chamber music, choral, vocal, piano, organ, harpsichord, clavichord, electroacoustic, multimedia/performance, didactic music, and film scores (director), with additional categories as required.

– Orchestral instrumentation in profiles in the LCP is given in the standard order of winds, brass, plucked instruments, keyboards, percussion, and strings, with bass guitar grouped with the strings. For chamber pieces, keyboards and percussion are generally placed after the strings, with some exceptions, e. g. when a limited number of players is required, or when demarcating instruments from a larger group.

– When a work exists in more than one version and the versions are in different categories, the works are always cross-referenced in each category.

– All instrumentations are listed in full, with the exception of 'string quartet', which is assumed to be '2 violins, viola, cello'. Thus, a work with only 'violin' after its title is for violin, without accompaniment, and a work for 'mixed chorus' lacks instruments. The LCP thus avoids the terms 'a cappella', 'solo', 'unaccompanied', etc., unless they are a part of a title. Works for 'brass quintet', 'string trio', 'wind quintet', etc. will have their instrumentations written in full, to allow doublings and variations in instrumentation to be noted.

– Titles are generally given as the composer wrote them, so that inconsistencies with other profiles in the LCP may arise, e. g. 'étude' or 'etude'. However, adjustments to titles are sometimes made in order to make references easier, e. g. when a second work with a certain title appears, the first work with the same title will usually be adjusted accordingly. Generic titles may also be altered or curtailed, e. g. Quintet instead of Wind Quintet.

– Titles are assumed to be 'sic', i. e. as written, even if the titles seem to be wrong.

– All titles in languages from western Europe are given in their original languages, with translations not provided; titles in other languages are given either in both their original forms and English translations, or simply in English translations.

– A pair of important signs is used in the lists of works. '(+)' means that one player uses more than one instrument, e. g. 'flute (+ piccolo)'. '/' means that a player may replace the specified instrument with a similar one, e. g. 'oboe/English horn'.

– Unless otherwise noted, all instruments are played by the number of people implied. '2 clarinets' means 2 clarinettists, '5 percussion' means 5 percussionists and 'percussion' means 1 percussionist. In the case of percussion instruments, sometimes confusion arises. The term 'tubular bells' is plural, but a set requires only one player, so that one player is implied; '2 tubular bells' would thus mean that two players are needed on two sets, unless otherwise mentioned, while '5 woodblocks' would means that 5 players are required on woodblocks. Exceptions would be noted, e. g. '5 woodblocks (1 player)'.

– Instruments are normal in pitch unless otherwise noted. A 'clarinet' is thus in B-flat and a 'trumpet' in C. Differences in size are also noted for applicable instruments, e. g. soprano, sopranino, alto, tenor, bass, contrabass, etc.

– Instruments not likely to be known outside their country of origin are given a brief explanation in parentheses after the first mention in profiles, e. g. 'duduk (oboe from Armenia)'.

– Adjectives used to denote a change to an instrument, e. g. 'amplified', 'microtonal' or 'youth', apply only to the instrument which it precedes. Thus, a work for 'amplified flute, guitar', means that only the flute is amplified.

– Works are listed according to their dates of completion, not the date when they were started. Thus, a work from 2014–16 would appear in-between works from 2015 and 2017, not in-between works from 2013 and 2015.

– Stage works generally include information about numbers of acts, authors or choreographers. If incidental music is listed, the name of the playwright is mentioned; titles of plays are given in the language of the playwright, not the composer.

– 'Actor' is a term without gender; where specified, distinction is made between 'female actors' and 'male actors'.

– Instrumental listings for stage works are in the following order: voices, actors, choruses, mimes, dancers, instruments.

– In all categories, the following terms are used: 'small orchestra' (30 or fewer players), 'orchestra' (31–60 players) and 'large orchestra' (61 or more players). The total number of players could vary depending on the size of string sections. Thus, if a specific number is given, it is the desired number of total players. In the orchestral category, if no designation is given, e. g. 'Symphony No. 2, 2014', the work is for 'orchestra'.

– In general, 12 is the minimum number of players required for a 'small orchestra'.

– The terms 'chamber orchestra' and 'chamber ensemble' are not used in the LCP, except in titles. 'Small orchestra' and 'ensemble' are used instead.

– As often as possible, texts used in a piece are given in parentheses after the title. The term 'vocalise' is used to describe a work without a text.

– For choral and vocal works, the text is sung in the original language unless a translator is mentioned in brackets. If the name of the translator is unknown, the language of translation is mentioned instead, e. g. '(text by Vladimir Mayakovsky [English translation])'.

– Choral and vocal works may instead be listed in the orchestral category, per the wishes of the composer.

– If a choral or vocal work is sung in both its original language and another language, the term 'also' is used, e. g. '(text by Vladimir Mayakovsky [also German translation])'.

– The term 'speaker' is used for a person who speaks a text in a piece, as opposed to 'narrator', 'reciter', etc.

– Religious works with specific titles, e. g. Agnus Dei, Mass, Stabat Mater, etc., use the liturgical texts of the same name unless otherwise noted. Also, works whose titles and texts imply a language, e. g. Latin for Stabat Mater or Hebrew for Kol Nidre, are sung in that language unless otherwise noted. Thus, texts from the Bible are in English if the title is in English, in German if the title is in German, etc., unless otherwise noted. Choral works by a Japanese composer, for instance, are not likely to be given in their original titles, but visitors should still assume that the texts are sung in Japanese.

– Choral and vocal works list voices, then instruments.

– The terms 'tape' and 'CD' are no longer used. The LCP uses 'fixed media' instead, with the number of tracks, where specified, given in parentheses.

– Works with instruments and either fixed media or live electronics are likely to be included in the main category of its instrumentation, rather than in the electroacoustic category.

CONCERNING DISCOGRAPHIES

– The preference of the LCP is to include titles, names of performers, names of labels, catalogue numbers, and years of release for each recording, but sometimes details are unavailable.

– Unless otherwise noted, all recordings are CDs. Other formats are noted in parentheses at the end of a listing, e. g. '(LP)', '(cassette)' or '(DVD)'.

– For discographies in which the years of release are unavailable, the recordings are listed alphabetically by label. If a composer has more than one recording on the same label, the recordings are listed by catalogue numbers from lowest to highest, which generally reflects some sense of chronological order.

– In a listing in which numerous formats are included and years are unavailable, LPs will be first to appear, then cassettes, CDs and DVDs, each in alphabetical order by label.

CONCERNING EXTERNAL LINKS

– Many composers are represented in the LCP by a link to a website instead of a profile. All websites, to be included, must contain a biography and a list of works. Composers are always represented by only one link.

– Links to websites of publishers about their composers are common. Composers often change publishers at some point during their careers. Preference is always given in the LCP either to the more recent publisher, or the publisher holding the greater number of works.

– Although all linkes have been verified, their contents belong to their owners and not to the LCP.

– All sites are in English, or have extant versions in English; exceptions are marked, e. g. '(German only)' or '(mostly in Spanish)'.

– Webites that feature biographical information in English may or may not have a list of works in English.

– If a link becomes 'broken', attempts will be made to find the new URL. If the new URL is not found, the composer will be temporarily removed from the LCP. Visitors are encouraged to report broken links to the webmaster.

CONCERNING THE COUNTRY INDICES

– Composers are generally listed according to their country of birth, with possible adjustments for country of citizenship, employment or residency; ethnicity and heritage are not factors. The case of each composer is unique and often complex, e. g. many composers were born in a country other than where they were educated and/or reside; many composers work in two countries, but prefer to be identified only by one country, or by the country of birth, while other composers move from one country to another, making a dual listing necessary; etc.

– If a composer appears in a particular index, and only 'belongs' to one country, the country in question is omitted, e. g. an Italian composer will not be labeled in the 'Italy' index as being from '(Italy)'.

– Distinct regions of a country that are not independent politically, for example Hong Kong and Macao in China or Scotland and Wales in the UK, are not listed separately. The LCP recognises Kosovo, Palestine and Taiwan as separate entities: practical, not political, choices.

– In general, composers from Northern Ireland are listed under Ireland, not the UK.

CONCERNING THE A–Z INDICES

– Composers are listed by surname. Composers from Asian nations are generally listed in Eastern order, without commas, but exceptions are made according to individual usage. Composers from Iceland and Mongolia, where patronymics are used in place of surnames, are nonetheless listed as though the patronymic were a surname.

– Composers with prefixes in their names or multipart names are listed according to individual usage. 'De Vos Malan' appears under D and 'Van de Vate' appears under V; such instances are not cross-referenced.

– In almost all cases, the year of birth of a composer is listed.

– Diacritical marks in surnames are not factors in their alphabetical listings, even when certain letters, e. g. 'å' or 'ø', are often listed under separate letters in the languages in question.