Talk:Additional Relationship Attribute

From MusicBrainz Wiki

This boolean attribute flags that a musical contribution is "additional". Exactly what "additional" means is currently not very well defined. However, I can make a stab at it...

There is usually a normal, regular set of musicians that you would expect to perform, compose, or otherwise contribute to a piece of music. Sometimes, they are replaced by someone else. So Jimi Hendrix would be expected to compose all his own work, but for "All Along the Watchtower", Bob Dylan composed it. It might be appropriate to record that with a "composed by" relationship (Composition Relationship Class).

In other cases though, musicians get someone extra to "help", but do it mostly themselves. On the Garbage track "Push It", there's some lyrics taken from the Beach Boys song "Don't Worry Baby". In this case, although the song was written by Garbage, Brian Wilson and Roger Christian are "additional" lyricists. The "additional" flag is appropriate in this case.

The "additional" flag doesn't necessarily indicate the size of the contribution. The Metallica album "S & M" was a joint performance by Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, in which they contributed an equal amount. Normally you would expect a Metallica album to be performed just by Metallica. In this sense the SFSO is an "additional" performer - that is, in addition to what you'd expect.

To record that a contribution was small, or not significant, don't use this attribute. Instead, use the MinorRelationshipAttribute. For the two examples above, Brian Wilson and Roger Christian's contribution to "Push It" was minor, in addition to being additional. However, the SFSO's contribution to "S & M" was major, and shouldn't have the "minor" attribute.

The "additional" flag also indicates that a work is an "addendum" to a musicians normal body of work. When compiling a list of all the SFSO works, you probably wouldn't regard "S & M" as a canonical SFSO work, mainly because, as a Metallica album, it's considerably outside the normal work of the SFSO. You would want it to be listed on their album page, but in a separate, less prominent area. This is where the "additional" flag can be used by the website to improve the layout of the page.

One more thing that the "additional" flag can indicate is that the contributor shouldn't be expected to contribute to any other works. The band Def FX had a member, Larry van Kriedt, who tended to drift in and out of the band. For the album "Surge" he was not an "official" member. Nevertheless, he played saxophone on the track "Happy and Soft", and for this the liner notes give him credit as "additional musician". This indicates that he didn't contribute to other tracks on the album, and emphasises that for this album at least, he should not be considered an official member.

What this all means for SamplesRelationshipType, I can't guess. What are "additional" samples? There are two things I can think of that are related, but subtly different:

  1. Samples that are so insignificant that the average listener isn't interested in them
  2. There are many samples on the work, and you need a way to distinguish the big samples from the incidental samples

The difference is when a work only has insignificant samples: should they be recorded as "additional" (i.e., additional to the rest of the music) or not? These all sound more like "minor" than "additional".

And that brings up a big point: what's the difference between "minor" and "additional"? Do we really need both of these?


An alternative use of the "additional" attribute would be as a synonym for "assistant". For example, a classical piece may have one primary conductor and one or more "additional" conductors. The "additional" flag would be used to distinguish who was the "main" conductor and who wasn't (see discussion on ConductorRelationshipType).


Would most or all guest performances be additional? --MichelleW


I've found a good example of an 'additional' remixing: The Avalanches - A Different Feeling (Paperclip People remix) (Avalanches edit). Paperclip People remixed a song by The Avalanches, who themselves then edited it. Two remixing relationships are added: "... was remixed by Paperclip People" and "... was additionally remixed by The Avalanches". --thewilkybarkid