History:Object Model/Artist Thoughts

From MusicBrainz Wiki

This is a future sketch of how linking artists to "releases"/"tracks" (I use paranthesis as I mean the words in the current sense) could work in the future. It is just a dump of thoughts and later will be worked into other pages. Aim is to solve multiple artist problems and alias problems. Though we still need an interim solution for SG5.

Vocabulary

First we'll define some vocabulary.

Relationships

When selecting the artists for a issued release and its tracks (however defined) you want to do three things:

  1. Relate every artist that took part in the release with a description of their role on it
  2. Have a label describing the PrimaryArtist(s) how they are written on the release (ReleaseArtistLabel)
  3. Relating the ReleaseArtistLabel directly to the according ArtistEntities of the ReleaseArtists

The third step is not quite obvious first and might look redundant concerning you also have linked them with their role. Though it has advantages. First if you include TrackGrouping then most contributors are linked to the super groups of the released objects and not the released objects themselves (indeed that leads to not allowing performance ARs and other AdvancedRelationshipTypes to be used for releases any more but only for TrackGroups). Second you also can combine 3. with 1. to solve a redundancy problem of 1.: several releases might have the same ReleaseArtistLabel. Also we want to have some consistency in the ReleaseArtistLabels and keep them easy to maintain. So it might come handy to share them between the releases.

A solution might look like this:

Note that as all artists are linked to the appropriate group with AdvancedRelationships there is no need to describe roles for the extra linked ReleaseArtists.

Also note that we have a nice side effect: this is 100% compatible with ID3v2, so good for tagging MP3s. A user with a player that does not differentiate artists by MusicBrainzID but by the main artist field (I think that's the case for every player) might chose to always tag his files with the main ArtistName(s) and not with the ReleaseArtistLabel as this might split one artist into several in the player display.

Then again we have discussed about the VA release problem. It is a difference if a release really is performed by various artists or if it is mostly performed by one artist (who is credited on the front cover) and only one or two tracks are performed by others (contributing with the main artist). So we might want to allow releases that contain songs from different artists to be credited to one single artist (or one or more ReleaseArtists to be correct) as ReleaseArtist and still display all TrackArtists.

Rules

Let us now define a bit clearer when we have one PrimaryArtist, when several PrimaryArtists and when we have a collaboration (which again is one PrimaryArtist). Therefore we consider the simple case that there are two artists, artist A and artist B. Then:

  • The artists are working together over a longer period / have done several songs together / have done songs together which were mostly released under a (steady or similar) common ReleaseArtistLabel and do not so much appear on releases of the artists alone -> create a collaboration