Talk:Style/Artist/Sort Name

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A few of the examples are inconsistent:

  • Bill Haley & His Comets has sort name "Haley, Bill & His Comets" -- should be "Haley, Bill, & His Comets", or IMO (although expanding ampersands is not explicitly mentioned): "Haley, Bill, and His Comets"
  • Bob Marley and the Wailers has sort name "Marley, Bob and the Wailers" -- should be "Marley, Bob, and the Wailers"

... same for Don Redman, Gloria Estefan, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. It also might be worth clarifying for rule 2a: "a real person's name appears in a group artist's name" should be something more like "the artist name for a group includes one of the band member's (full/last?) name". The reason being that:

  1. Jethro Tull and Abe Vigoda are both real names, yet neither person is actually in the band that carries their name.
  2. "Real person's name" sounds like it excludes stage names.
  3. I put (full/last?) because I'm not sure about how much and what part of the name is required for this rule. How would we handle, say, Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains?

Torc 20:27, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Use of initials

Rule 1c says to expand abbreviations in last names. What if the artist just uses initials, such as Andrew W.K.? Also might be worth specifying how to alphabetize artists who don't typically include their last name, like Booker T. Jones of Booker T. & the MG's. Torc 20:27, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Suggested Language specific rules

These language specific rules are not official, but are generally applied for artist names in the languages listed below. Sort names for non-English artist names are not discussed yet. Please help out.


If the artist has chosen an "English" name and capitalization, use that. Otherwise, apply the most commonly used Romanization system in the artists home region. For mainland China artists, use Hanyu Pinyin with the given name written without space. For Taiwan artists it is common for the surname to be written in a variant of Wades-Giles. If the given name is written in Wades-Giles, it should be separated with a dash and only the first letter capitalized. Hong Kong artists typically use a Cantonese romanization.


  • "Zhang, Weiliang" (Hanyu Pinyin for 张维良)
  • "Chung, Hsing-min" (Wades-Giles for 鍾興民)


Artist Names with a tussenvoegsel (there is no English word for this; it's the bit between the first and last name): artist "Boudewijn de Groot" to "Groot, de, Boudewijn". This seems to me the most clear and logically correct way to sort these artists. Since "de" is not part of the first name ("de Groot" is the last name), and since we want to sort these persons under "Groot" the best option is "Groot, de, Boudewijn". Better than "Groot, Boudewijn de" where "de" seems to be part of the first name, which it is incorrect. For Belgian artists there ussually is no "tussenvoegsel" and it's part of the name, for instance "Wim De Craene" should be sorted as "De Craene, Wim".

Dutch names

I don't agree with the currently proposed style for Dutch artist names with tussenvoegsel. For the name "Boudewijn de Groot", the wiki currently proposes to use "Groot, de, Boudewijn" with the justification:

Better than "Groot, Boudewijn de" where "de" seems to be part of the first name, which it is incorrect.

IMO this makes it way too complicated, I would stick with "Groot, Boudewijn de". I justify this proposal by noting that this is the recommended? official? way to use tussenvoegsel from the Dutch Wikipedia article (translation) -- 14:26, 31 August 2009 (UTC)


Nobiliary particles in german seem to follow the same rules as Tussenvoegsels in dutch. To quote the wikipedia article on "von":

According to German alphabetical sorting people with von in their surnames – of noble or non-noble descent alike – are listed in telephone books and other files, under the rest of their name (e.g. Ludwig von Mises would be under M in the phone book rather than V).

-- warp 14:57, 12 January 2012 (UTC)


The French use for particules is to put it behind the first name (like in Portuguese it seems). Hence, "Alfred de Musset" gets the sortname of "Musset, Alfred de". MB live example at François de Roubaix.

More complicated examples:


Hungarian names follow the "western" custom, using given name and family name. However, Hungary is the only European country to place the family name before the given names, i.e. it uses the eastern name order. So effectively the sort name equals the name there.


Sort on their first name.


All of the official rules above apply. Articles to put after if they come first are "il", "gli", "lo", "la", "i", "le". The Italian equivalent of the Dutch "van" are "de" and "del" and should be treated as the Dutch rules.


Names are usually family name first, given name second. As a result, the sortname (once transliterated) is the same as the artist name. However, Japanese artists commonly known in countries that use Latin script often reverse their name for releases in those nations, so some caution is required when adding such artists.



  • Last name, First name [2nd, 3rd, ...]. Example: "Moreira, Gilberto Passos Gil"
  • Specific rules:
    • Compost last name. Example: "Espírito Santo, Pedro"
    • Familiar ship indication names (Filho, Neto, Júnior), go with the last name. Example: "Connick Júnior, Harry"
    • de, da, e before last name. Example: "Hollanda, Francisco Buarque de"


Persons are sorted normally (Last Name, First Name). There are no "de" or "von" particles in normal Romanian names. Bands with Romanian names are always sorted by their name, because the definite article in Romanian is a suffix.

Sorting 's in a name

How would a band name like "John Doe's Band" be sorted?

It should sort as the person first, but what to do with the 's? Possible sortnames I can come up with:

  • Doe, John, Band
  • Doe, John's, Band
  • Doe, John's Band
  • Doe, John, 's Band
  • Doe, John, 's, Band

(Though the last one is just ridiculous IMO) --MightyJay 10:32, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Prior discussions?

These guidelines seem really unnecessarily complicated. Are the discussions regarding them archived anywhere? I'd like to get an idea of why they ended up like this, especially rule 2 and 2a. Specifically:

  • Don Redman and His Orchestra has sort name "Redman, Don and His Orchestra"
    • Shouldn't there be a comma after Don? Redman, Don, and His Orchestra. That's indicated by rule 9 and by pretty much every system of bibliographic style.
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience has sort name "Hendrix, Jimi, The, Experience"
    • The purpose of Sortname is simply to ensure the name alphabetizes correctly in a list. Why not just drop the article completely in this situation, or move it to the very end? This double inversion doesn't really seem to help alphabetize any more correctly.
  • The Great Orchestra and John Doe has sort name "Doe, John, The Great Orchestra and"
    • This seems more like two equal parts to a name, and shouldn't be handled differently than any other duet or collaboration. If the artists decide to put the group name ahead of an individual name, I think the alphabetization should reflect that: Great Orchestra and John Doe, The. Take Queen and David Bowie. Torc 16:24, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Archived Discussion

Note: This guideline was rewritten in March of 2010. The discussion below refers to the old version of this guideline.

What about The Dave Matthews Cover Band? Should it sort like "The Dave Matthews Band"? --zout 14:56, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

  • I would imagine so; I would change it to something like, "Mathews, Dave, Cover Band, The". --navap 23:23, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Why is it that A Perfect Circle is not Perfect Circle, A when nearly all bands beginning with The are sorted otherwise? --Jpmoss 20:34, 7 August 2009 (UTC)


I personally don't think the reorganization of this page has made the guidelines any clearer. While a separation of guidelines and examples is understandable, the current guidelines part of the page is very incomplete. Ideally, you would be able to understand all the guidelines by just reading the guidelines part, and only have the examples to illustrate the guidelines and perhaps a few more difficult examples or exceptions to the general guidelines. However, currently the guidelines don't even state for example for a person the sortname is "Lastname, Firstname" (or anything else for that matter). So I have to read the examples to learn the actual guidelines. I think this is a wrong way to present the guidelines, since the guidelines should be complete and the examples should only be there to reinforce/elaborate the guidelines, not to introduce new ones. But that's just my two cents ;) --MightyJay 11:15, 14 June 2009 (UTC)


What are the guidelines for pseudonyms? I notice that David Bowie's sort name is "Bowie, David" but Lupe Fiasco's is "Lupe Fiasco." What's the distinction?