Wikipedia:WikiProject Composers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some Wikipedians have formed a project to better organize information in articles related to composers. This page and its subpages contain their suggestions; it is hoped that this project will help to focus the efforts of other Wikipedians. If you would like to help, please inquire on the talk page and see the to-do list there.

Rather than try to force information to appear in a uniform way, this WikiProject aims to present what information is available in the best way possible. The project provides a place to discuss various ways to accomplish this. These recommendations on the Composers project are based on various Wikipedia style guides and common practices in articles. Use your own judgement in applying these guidelines and all Wikipedia guidelines to composer articles and be bold.

Project listing, facts and figures

WikiProject Composers is an independent WikiProject, listed under Music. It was started by Sketchee, Antandrus and Mindspillage on 1 January 2005. There were 8,679 articles within the scope of the project on 28 June 2013 (compared to 7,521 on 28 December 2011, 4,953 on 15 November 2009, and 3,987 on 19 June 2008).


This scope of this WikiProject includes the life and work of art music composers of all eras and all styles. Information on musical traditions, styles, and interrelationships will also be pertinent to articles.


  1. To ensure composer pages are accurate, well referenced and documented. See also WikiProject Fact and Reference Check.
  2. To give attention to notable composers who are neglected on Wikipedia
  3. To establish standards for, and pool information on, the use of sound recordings and images in composer articles.

Related WikiProjects

The parents of this WikiProject are WikiProject Classical music and WikiProject Biography.

A similar WikiProject is:

Task forces


To join, please add your name to the participants list.

How to help

How you can help depends on your time, resources and interest. Here are a variety of ideas for contributions ranging from simple to complex:

  • Identify underdeveloped composer pages and place a link on the /Composers project subpage.
  • Ask questions about a composer here as well as on the composers' own talk page to alert everyone involved in the project in that page. Not everyone may have that composer on their watchlist.
  • Ask general questions on the project talk page which may apply to various composers.
  • Correct links to a composer and find other appropriate articles which should link to them.
  • Make a note on the talk page if a composer appears anywhere as red link. (Someone is mentioned as notable, yet doesn't have an article!)
  • Find appropriate external links and see also categories for composer articles that are missing this information.
  • Identify information included in other articles which also should be on the composers page and incorporate that information on the composers' page
  • Identify information included on the composers' page which should also be included in other articles
  • Suggest possible resources which can be used for the project. (Books, websites, etc.)
  • Reorganize composer pages. See #Article structure for ideas.
  • Proofread composer pages for errors or fact discrepancies between other articles.
  • Look for "peacock terms" (such as "most important" or "greatest ever" without supporting evidence) in composer articles and rewrite the sentences to better present the information if possible. (Sometimes these may be unavoidable, but check to make sure that they are NPOV within context.)
  • Contact recording companies and publishers to gain permission to use sound excerpts score images, preferably after consultation with other contributors on the discussion page.
  • Check that composers are in the correct category/ies and change them as needed.
  • Create appropriate interwiki links to articles. You might use "What links here" to make sure that things that you'd expect to link to a composer does so.
  • Create a link to this project from talk pages of existing articles listed /Composers and/or other articles within the scope of the project. Ask the articles editors for input on the project see if they would like to implement any of the ideas here on the article themselves.
  • Upload relevant images to composer pages. Possible sources include the Library of Congress.
  • Tag unverified pages with {{Unreferenced}}, {{refimprove}}, {{primarysources}} as applicable. This alerts editors specifically looking to improve references and citations on Wikipedia..
  • Add images to articles in Category:Wikipedia requested images of composers

See also How to edit a page, How to write a great article, and Manual of Style

Current status of articles

To help direct our efforts more efficiently to maximise the quality of these articles, please use this section to alert other participants in the project to the changing status of articles about composers.

See also WikiProject Composers Article alerts.

In need of attention

Please refer to the subpage devoted to a list of composers whose articles are either missing or underdeveloped.

Featured articles

These articles have been accepted as featured articles: they may be helpful examples.

New articles

Articles that have recently been written and would benefit from a review by one or more members of this WikiProject: Eduard Grell, Carl Ritschl, Gordon Sherwood, Auguste van Biene, Fernande Decruck, Earl MacDonald, Lucien Garban, Christopher Trapani, Robert Davine, Rutger Hoedemaekers, Gabriella Smith

Article structure

These are considered best practices by the project members, they are not Policy, Wikipedia Guideline, or part of the Manual of Style.

Lead section

The introductory paragraph/statement should contain the name of the composer in bold followed by the date of the composer's birth and also death if applicable. If the exact date (e.g. 16 January 1863) is not known, use the closest verifiable approximation (e.g., 19th century, 1863, January 1863). Briefly summarize why the person is important, by concisely summarizing the information discussed in the article. Therefore, unless the exact place of birth is essential information, it should be included in the biographical section or paragraph instead. Brief information on the composer's stylistic location in relation to his or her contemporaries, and in historical terms, would be helpful to many readers. If the person is notable, however, as a Hungarian nationalist or conductor for a particular organization that should be here.

For example: "John Doe (1863–1910) was a romantic composer who wrote much of the common repertoire for the clarinet still performed today."

The last sentence of the first paragraph may be a summary statement of the importance of the composer – i.e. in the same position as the standard thesis statement of an essay.

"Filetovich Sanovich (16xx–17xx) was a Russian composer and kazoo player of the late Baroque era. He was the most famous exponent of the newly developed Orthodox Kazoo concerto, and championed virtuoso kazoo playing in Russia as well as western Europe."

It is the consensus of this WikiProject that the lead should not contain an infobox, per Wikipedia:WikiProject Composers#Biographical infoboxes, "without first obtaining consensus on the article's talk page".


Here is sample of possible sections which can be used on a composers page. Which categories apply to any one composer is dependent on the information available and what is considered as pertinent to the individual composer. Variations of these headings can be used to better describe what topics are outlined within that section. In most cases a heading is only appropriate if there is more than one paragraph of that type of information. (So don't have a header for everything here when there is only a sentence about each. :) )

==Music== (Not necessary unless you have a lot of subheaders. If included, the word "Musical" is redundant in any subheaders.)
==Legacy== (Could be included in Influence depending on what is discussed.)
==Musical influence== and/or ==Musical style==
==Musical works== (and/or ==Notable compositions== for a prolific composer)
==Media== (For audio/video samples available on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, although placement at appropriate positions in the article text is preferable.)
==See also== (Links to related Wikipedia articles that are not able to fit in the text; see details at MOS:SEEALSO.)
==References== (and/or ==Notes== for footnotes: Always cite sources.)
==External links==

The sample is provided to display aspects of the composer to discuss and research. If you are writing from your own knowledge, please provide a source that corroborates your knowledge to assist other editors.

Points to be covered in the "Style" section of articles

Contributors may wish to consider covering the following points in composer articles. Of course, the needs of every article are different, so this is only a "shell", a template that needs to be adapted for each article. Some of this information may be useful at the opening, but in not much detail; most of it should probably be located in a separate section on style.

  • State, in broad, non-technical terms, some attributes of the composer's style; briefly position the composer in terms of the broad history of the genre.
  • State the style and/or school of composition in which the composer might be located.
  • Explain whose music influenced the composer, and in what ways.
  • Describe the composer's style in more technical terms, both in relation to other composers of the period, and in terms of the evolution of the style during his/her lifetime.
  • State whose music the composer, in turn, influenced.
  • The names of works, and other terms, not in English, should be marked up with the {{lang}} template, using the appropriate two-letter language code; for example: {{lang|de|Von heute auf morgen}}, or {{lang|de|[[Von heute auf morgen]]}} when used as a link.

See also: How to structure the content and Wikipedia:The perfect article


The main categories and subcategories are listed on the Categories subpage.


The Assessment page explains Composers Project article ranking and gives examples.

Popular pages (page-view statistics)

A list of our most popular pages (in terms of page-view statistics) is available.


Sound excerpts

See the project's Guidelines for using sound excerpts page which explains about "fair use' and the quality, number and location of excerpts to be used.

Online research

See the project's Guide to online research for guidance on finding reliable sources online and a list of trustworthy sites.


See the project's Copyright guidelines page.

Images of collectibles

Images of collectibles (coins, banknotes, postage stamps, souvenirs and similar items) in music articles should meet the following conditions:

  1. Images should be free of copyright, or have a valid fair use rationale that satisfies WP:NFCC, specifically 'Criteria 8' (Significance): "Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding."
  2. Inclusion should contribute to information about the subject of the article, not be used to obtain credibility and value for the collectible by associating it with the subject.
  3. The information should be of interest to the average reader of the music article. It should not be trivia.

Coins, notes, stamps etc. in general circulation are more likely to meet these criteria than 'commemorative' issues.


Anecdotes, influences on pop culture, and other peripheral content or "trivia", should only be included in composers' articles if they are likely to be of interest to a typical reader of the article. Examples of content which almost always fail this test are: songs, albums, video games, TV shows, or movies that reference the music.

Biographical infoboxes

The use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article. Whether to include an infobox, which infobox to include, and which parts of the infobox to use, is determined through discussion and consensus among the editors at each individual article.

Most members of this project think that Infoboxes are seldom useful additions to articles for many reasons, including:

  1. They often give trivia undue emphasis and prominence at the head of the article
  2. They tend to become redundant (by duplicating the lead)
  3. They can, conversely, become over-complex and thus vague, confused, or misleading, often compounding errors found elsewhere in the article, e.g. by confusing style and genre, setting forth haphazard lists of individual works, or highlighting the subject's trivial secondary or non-musical occupations.

They think it is normally best, therefore, to avoid infoboxes altogether for classical musicians, and prefer to add an infobox to an article only following consensus for that inclusion on the article's talk page. Particular care should be taken with featured articles as these have been carefully crafted according to clear consensus on their talkpages. (See the Request for Comment about composers' infoboxes and earlier infobox debates.)


Talk page banner

There is an official template:WikiProject Composers talk page banner indicating the involvement of the project. This is coded as {{WikiProject Composers}}.

Stub templates

To indicate very short articles, stubs, the template:Composer-stub should be used; this is coded {{Composer-stub}}. Geographically focussed templates can be found in the subcategories of the category Category:Composer stubs.

External links


What is Wiki.RIP There is a free information resource on the Internet. It is open to any user. Wiki is a library that is public and multilingual.

The basis of this page is on Wikipedia. Text licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License..

Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is an independent company that is not affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation (Wikimedia Foundation).

Privacy Policy      Terms of Use      Disclaimer