Talk:Personal Association Relationship Class

From MusicBrainz Wiki

My opinion is that this information doesn't belong in MusicBrainz at all. Personal relationships aren't a particularly musical thing; everyone has them. MusicBrainz can never hope to be any kind of authoritative source on this kind of thing, it's just not something that we should be spending a lot of time modelling or tracking. As examples:

  • What's a marriage? Are de-facto marriages included? If so, how do you determine when a marriage starts and ends? What happens if a couple is married in a foreign country, and this marriage isn't recognised by their home country? (Gay marriages spring to mind.)
  • What's a parent? Do adopted parents count? If so, do we want to record their biological parents as well (giving four parents in the database)? What about surrogate mothers?

These questions are all resolvable, but they are highly politically charged and it would take a long time to reach a consensus: probably by greatly expanding the list of potential relationships. IMO, a bunch of people building a music database are poorly qualified to be making these decisions, and we should stay out of it.

I can imagine an online database being created dedicated to tracking the personal lives of celebrities (not just musicians: actors, authors, politicians...), and I think this would be very popular and controversial. If there's a real demand for such a thing, it will be created. In the meantime, I don't think MusicBrainz loses anything important if we just leave this whole area alone.

I also think it's a problem that MusicBrainz can never be authoritative about this area, since we're explicitly refusing to add relationships to non-musicians. This means we will only ever have a fraction of musicians' personal relationships in the database. For example, it will be impossible to determine if a musician is married from looking at the database: if there's no "married to" relationship, it might be because they're not married, or it might be because they're married to someone who isn't a musician. This just makes MB less useful.


I think the original intent was not to store all these relationships, but merely to give the possibility to represent them, if they are relevant to musicianst who are stored in MusicBrainz anyway. That's all. --DonRedman

This is the original type definition source for this class:

  • personal relationship [artist--artist] <personal relationship | personal relationship|>
    • parent <is the parent of | has parent | Indicates a parent child relationship>
    • sibling <is the sibling of | has sibling | Indicates a siblink relationship (i.e. brother or sister).>
    • married <is/was married to | is/was married to | Indicates a marrige between two persons.>
    • involved with <is/was involved with | is/was involved with | Indicates that two persons were otherwise involved with each other.>