Talk:Opus number

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Musical catalogues[edit]

I guess eventually we might want a separate page on musical catalogues or something, as they are not strictly speaking opus numbers (and virtually every known composer has been catalogued at some point). I suppose we will eventually have more to say about opus numbers themselves, then we can break off, but for now, I think it's OK as it stands. --Camembert

The Opus Number in the 20th Century[edit]

Trying again. (May triplepost.)

I did blather on a lot there, but (always that but...) do believe that something about the conversion, of opus number from generally publication date or date of composition, to increasingly a composer-assigned catalog order itself

One notices for instance composers referring to their first acknowledged work as their "opus 1" even when earlier works are published; with composers like George Enescu giving works written years apart , for ex. the two string quartets, the two piano quartets, the same opus number (I believe they weren't published together, which I know wasn't the case with Myaskovsky's first four acknowledged string quartets, his opus 33 1–4, where #s 3 and 4 originated in 1909–10 or so, and 1, 2 in the 1930s while he revised 3 and 4 and gave them all "opus 33" as I understand it — at which point they were published but separately (I can verify seeing separate scores of them, but not that they were the first published editions from the '30s), only receiving publication even partially as a set when the collected partial edition was published of his music starting in 1953 (quartets 1–3, in volume 8.), etc. ... it seems a habit with language that terms twist inside out at least a bit like this. ) Schissel : bowl listen 00:21, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)

Should oeuvre redirect here?[edit]

Oeuvre currently redirects here. While oeuvre literally means "work", just as opus does, my impression is that oeuvre usually refers to the collective works of an artist, while opus is more commonly reserved for an individual work. I wouldn't claim to know for certain, however, and wouldn't have enough to add to the Oeuvre page if it were to be created. But to those more knowledgable on the subject: should there be a mention that the collected opuses of an artist are known as his oeuvre (and not, say, as his opera, which is the Latin plural of opus but means something entirely different)? Or is there a more correct term that I'm unaware of?--Severinus 17:42, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I changed the redirect to refer to work of art, which at least has the benefit of not limiting itself to music. There doesn't seem to be any really good target. Perhaps a disambiguation page would be more appropriate? Christopher Parham (talk) 20:55, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

What about arrangements?[edit]

How do Opus numbers work if there are multiple arrangements of the same piece? For instance, say there's a Quartet, but there's three versions of it, one for String Quartet, one for Brass Quartet, and one for Woodwind Quartet. Other than the different instrumentations, the pieces are exactly the same. How do Opus numbers work in this case? My first thought is that they might be considered "No." in the Opus, but that wouldn't make sense. Wouldn't that suggest each is a different piece within the work? I'm asking because a friend of mine was asking how my own compositions would be cataloged, and this problem has come up. Stenir (talk) 05:16, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Often arrangements are given a letter (opus 1a), but I don't think there's a single standard practice, while the use of letter suffixes can also mean other things (Schoenberg piano pieces opus 33a and 33b are two piano pieces, but neither are arrangements.) Schissel | Sound the Note! 23:09, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

What constitutes verifying an opus number?[edit]

This came up awhile back, and will continue to do so, I don't doubt. At least one edition of Carl Czerny's second piano sonata - the one, moreover, scanned in to IMSLP - has the "wrong" opus number. At least, I think it does. The number printed on the image page disagrees with the "opus 13" that's been attached to the work everywhere else. Does this mean that the work has been published with two opus numbers - not unknown, there are well-known examples, several of them... - or that one of them is a typo? How does one determine which answer is true?

Another, related after a fashion... when a composer, like Franz Krommer, has so many works that have the same opus number (probably different publishers...)- let's suppose the composer is better-known and that a work-article about a work by the composer is written - should one encourage using the (much less ambiguous) cataloguing numbers (Padrta in Krommer's case) in the body of such articles? (E.g., staying with Krommer, opus 96 was assigned, by Krommer or by publishers?, to a string trio in F from 1818, and also a quartet for flute and strings in F, published the next year. His cataloguer in the 20th century, K. Padrta, assigns P XI:I to the trio, while the other op. 96 is either a misprint for op. 94 also in C, P IX:18 (94 is - by the way - also the opus number given a set of piano waltzes, P XVIII:2), or is P IX:20. Schissel | Sound the Note! 23:09, 15 February 2009 (UTC)


Is it Op. or op. with capital letter or not? Because I've seen both. Are these two abreviatons correct? Please reply OboeCrack (talk) 14:53, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

And is it "Opus" or "opus"? Would it be most correct to write "Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28", "Chopin's 24 Preludes, op. 28", "Chopin's 24 Preludes, Opus 28", or "Chopin's 24 Preludes, opus 28"? John Link (talk) 21:36, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

It is ultimately a question of style, not correctness. Traditionally, it has been "24 Preludes, Op. 28". Of recent times, the form "24 Preludes, op. 28" has cropped up in concert programmes and other sorts of references. In encyclopedias, however, it's usually the first form. The full spelling "24 Preludes, Opus/opus 28" is not generally favoured, just as we don't write "Beethoven's Symphony Number/number 9" (rather, Symphony No. 9).
The only absolutely hard-and-fast rule on WP, at the moment, is to use a consistent form in any given article. I spend countless hours fixing lists of works where sometimes all four forms have been used by different editors, and I always make sure they all adhere to the first form above. -- JackofOz (talk) 21:54, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Plural of "opus number" is "opus numbers", not "opera numbers"[edit]

Someone's using the term "opera numbers", but it's only ever been, to my knowledge, "opus numbers". The word 'opus' is used adjectivally in this sense (Q. What sort of number is it? A. It's an opus number), and adjectives are indeclinable in English. Hence, "What sort of numbers are these? They're opus numbers".

The plural of the noun 'opus' is usually 'opuses', but it can be 'opera'.

I'm changing all 'opera numbers' back to 'opus numbers'. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 10:48, 13 January 2010 (UTC)


The capitalization of opus is inconsistent in this article. Is there justification for the capitalization? Ponydepression (talk) 02:30, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

The article basically follows WP:OPUS. When it's used to denote a specific work, e.g. "Op. 61" or "Opus 61", it's capitalised. In running text, "he did not assign an opus number", it's not. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 04:15, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! I will correct two instances, in the first sentences of paragraphs one and two, since they are not referring to a specific work. If I misunderstood, please feel free to revert. Ponydepression (talk) 20:00, 9 June 2017 (UTC)