Music Metadata

VMII is based on an open music metadata format that’s designed to make it easy to express baroque/classical music metadata such as instrumentation, scholarly sources, and more.

You can edit a VMII music metadata file using Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, Google Sheets, or other spreadsheet software, and save it to CSV for inclusion in VMII. Each metadata row represents a movement of a work. When metadata values pertain to the entire work, you must repeat them on each row. Here are the possible columns:

ColumnTypeRequired?DescriptionExample Value
work_type strict text yes

The type of the entire work. Please contact us if you need a value that is not listed below.

air de cour | aria | cantata | chorale | duo | lied | magnificat | mass | motet | ode | opera | opéra-ballet | oratorio | passion | requiem | sanctus | serenata | song | tragédie | trio | vocalise

vocalise
movement_type strict text yes

The standardized type of this movement. Please contact us if you need a value that is not listed below.

  • aria: air | aria | arie | ariette | arioso | vocalise
  • duet: duet | duett | duetto | duo
  • ensemble: quartet | quatuor | quintet | quintett | quintette | quintetto | terzett | terzetto | trio
  • song: canzone | canzonetta | chanson | lied | ode | psalm | song
  • recit: accompagnato | recit | recitative | recitativo | récitatif
  • chorus: chor | chorus | chœur | coro
  • chorale: choral | chorale
  • instrumental: adagio | chaconne | contredanse | entrée | gavotte | gigue | instrumental | introduction | loure | march | marche | menuet | minuet | musette | ouverture | overture | pantomime | passepied | prelude | prélude | rigaudon | ritornello | ritournelle | sarabande | sinfonia | sonata | sonate | sonatina | symphonie | symphony | tambourin
chœur
movement_type_orig text yes If the exact movement type from the manuscript is not listed above, use this field to document the original movement type. recit à 4
catalogue_name multivalue text no Abbreviated name of the standard works catalogue, like BWV for Bach. In the rare case of works in multiple catalogues, you can write multiple values separated by ;. BWV
catalogue_num multivalue text no Number in the standard works catalogue. In the rare case of works in multiple catalogues, separate values by ; (they must correspond to the catalogue_name values). 244
purpose multivalue text yes sacred or secular. In rare cases a work can be both: sacred; secular. sacred
occasion multivalue text no The event or reason the work was composed. Separate multiple values by ;. Trinity II
written_for multivalue text no The person the work was composed for, if applicable. Separate multiple values by ;. Queen Elisabeth I
year 4-digit year no The year the work was composed. 1708
language multivalue text no

The ISO 639-1 language code for the original language. If the movement has more than one original language, separate multiple values with ;.

en | fr | it | de | la

de
composer multivalue text yes

The full name of the composer, first name first. In rare cases when a work was only until recently attributed to a well-known composer, the actual composer can be placed second in the multivalue field. Otherwise, when modern scholarship shows convincingly that the composer was someone else, list only the actual composer.

Johann Sebastian Bach
work_title multivalue text yes The title of the entire work in its original language. For very major works, this can be translated into other languages, but keep the source language first. Separate multiple values by ;. Weihnachts-Oratorium; Christmas Oratorio
version text no Sometimes a movement exists in multiple versions with different texts or instrumentations. In this case, list the movement twice with a brief version description in this field. Version 1 or 1783 Version
part_num text no If a work is divided into parts, each row should contain the name of the part it is in. Part 1
movement_num text yes The movement number from the standard urtext edition (e.g., Neue Bach-Ausgabe). 25c
tempo multivalue text yes The tempi from the manuscript, in order of appearance. Where there is a da capo, do not repeat the A section tempi. For “air gai”-type designations in Frenh music, write air gai in movement_type_orig, air in movement_type, and gai in tempo. Separate multiple values by ;. Allegro; Adagio; Andante
instrumentation multiline text no

The instrumentation for each musical line, with a new line of text for each one.

  • Write the original instrument shown in the manuscript or high-quality edition (e.g., Violino, not violin).
  • Write any instrument modifiers as in the manuscript: Oboe obbligato or Violino concertante.
  • Differentiate solo/ripieno/choral/unison lines as in the score, for example Soprano chorus, Violini unisoni, or just Violini.
  • When multiple of the same instrument are used in a movement, write the roman numeral given in a good edition (or sequentially): Violino I
  • When instrument options are given, separate options with a slash: Soprano / Violino means the line can be played by soprano or violin.
  • When both semicolon and slash are used, slash takes precedence: Soprano; Violino / Viola means the line must be played by soprano and one of the two given stringed instruments.
  • For the continuo line, write Continuo: (or the translation in the work’s source language) followed by any specified continuo instruments, e.g. Continuo: Organ.
  • When instruments are recommended by the editor of the scholarly edition, write them in brackets: Soprano / [Violino I] or even So[prano].
  • If you need to add some information, such as chorus to distinguish from other choral parts, use parentheses to indicate your additions: Soprano (chorale).
  • When a singer has a character name, write that name preceded by @: Tenore @ Evangelista
Tromba I
Tromba II
Timpani
Soprano @ Flora
[Flauto traverso I / Oboe I; Violino I
Flauto traverso II / Oboe II; Violino II
Taille; Viola
Continuo: Organ] / Harpsichord
range multiline string no The range of each corresponding musical line, with octaves in scientific pitch notation (Wikipedia). Use b for flat and # for sharp. C4-C5
Bb2-C3
tessitura multiline string no The approximate tessitura of each corresponding musical line, with octaves in scientific pitch notation (Wikipedia). Use b for flat and # for sharp. C4-C5
Bb2-C3
key_start string no The starting key. Use b for flat and # for sharp. D flat major
key_end string no The ending key. Use b for flat and # for sharp. D flat major
meter multivalue string no All meters used in the movement. Write 4/4 when the composer wrote C for common time, or 2/2/ for cut time. 2/4
num_measures number no The number of measures in the movement. Do not count repeats more than once. 113
structure text no Any notated descriptions of da capos, dal segnos, etc. Do not include plain repeats. Use brackets to indicate editorial additions. Da [capo]
notes multiline text no Any information useful for understanding the entry or performing, with sources cited using Chicago Manual of Style. Use _this_ format for italics (will appear as this). Version 2 is for mezzo-soprano.
issues multiline text no Any known issues with the listing that should be shown publicly. Need to confirm keys.
score_status strict text no

The status of the score availability, to you and/or the modern world: draft | fragment | incomplete | lost | mostly lost | music lost | partly lost | processing | reconstruction | score needed

score needed
source_background text no The status of the score availability, to you and/or the modern world: draft | fragment | incomplete | lost | mostly lost | music lost | partly lost | processing | reconstruction | score needed. When the source is a book, cite using Chicago Manual of Style, with titles italicized _like this_. reconstruction
source_background, source_other text no List any sources helpful for modern performers. Cite using Chicago Manual of Style, with titles italicized _like this_. Alfred Dürr, _Cantatas of J.S. Bach_ (Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 837
url_wikipedia, url_imslp, url* etc. text no List the URL of any sources helpful for modern performers. Use a separate column for each URL destination. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auf,_schmetternde_T%C3%B6ne_der_muntern_Trompeten,_BWV_207a
text_en, text_fr, text_it, text_de, text_la text no

List the text in the original language, with translation in English or other languages. If the translation is not yours, be sure to cite the source (give a link) in the a column like source_text. Format any chorales in bold by enclosing each line in **...**. For B sections, you can indent lines with .


Dove sei, amato bene!
Vieni, l'alma a consolar!
> Sono oppresso da' tormenti
> ed i crudeli miei lamenti
> sol con te posso bear.
contributors multivalue string yes List your name(s) so we can credit you. Jane Doe