Author: john6555

Well I can share my 2 pence on how I handle classical music. Might not be the "proper" way but it works for me... Pardon the overkill level of detail, but classical music is certainly a beast to deal with digitally!


I try to get as much info from as possible. For track titles I usually refer to the publisher's website for consistency, and album art I use whatever source has the largest (around 500x500 px) size.

Multiple genres are used. Primary genre is the classical "era" in which it was composed. Usually looking at the composer profile on will indicate their era. Otherwise I use this as a general guideline - Medieval (up to 1400), Renaissance (1400-1650), Baroque (1650-1750), Classical (1750-1820), Romantic (1820-1900), Impressionist (1870-1915), and Modern (1910-present). Secondary genres could be the type of composition or instrument- e.g. Concerto, Symphony, Ballet, Piano, etc. I also always include the genre tag Classical for file organization rules.
The performer is used - e.g. London Symphony Orchestra, except for Various Artists albums, where the composer is used.
Multiple pieces are separated with a "•" symbol, and the conductor is added at the end in parenths - e.g. The Seasons • Chanson Triste • Song Without Words • Nocturne (Ilona Prunyi).
Album Artist
The composer is used - e.g. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. For albums with more than one composer I generally use the composer with the most pieces on the album. I use Various Artists for theme or mix albums where all composers are different.
For single-composer albums, I use the full composer name. For multiple-composer albums, I use last names and separate with a comma.

File OrganizationEdit

All the music, including classical, in my library is auto-organized thanks to MusicBee. I have a general rule set up for all music, and then classical and various artist albums use rule exceptions so they're handled differently. Classical track titles can be really long, so I just exclude them altogether from the file name, and reference the tags instead when needed. Also this is where it is important that all Classical music has a genre tag (doesn't have to be the primary one) of "Classical" so it can be organized into a top level folder. Here's my methodology:

<Genre>\<Album Artist>\<Album> (<Year>)\<Disc-Track#> <Title>

Except when:

  • Genre is "Classical":
Classical\<Genre>\<Album Artist>\<Album> (<Year>)\<Disc-Track#>
  • Album Artist is "Various Artists":
<Genre>\<Album Artist>\<Album> (<Year>)\<Disc-Track#> <Artist> - <Title>
  • Album Artist is "Various Artists", Genre is "Classical":
Classical\<Genre>\<Album Artist>\<Album> (<Year>)\<Disc-Track#> (<Artist>)