From MusicBrainz Wiki

Status: Work in Progress
Can refer to
  1. the acoustic fingerprinting system built entirely on open-source technology, currently used by MusicBrainz, or
  2. a single UUID used by that system to identify a set of matching fingerprints.
Example: 12ec629c-dd1c-422a-9e3b-90f12280ea35
advanced relationship (or AR)
See: relationship.
Aliases are name variants associated with a given entity. Their main use has been to improve search results (e.g. a search for "Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky" will find "Пётр Ильич Чайковский").
In May, 2012 new features were added to aliases, inlcuding alias-type, -locale, and -sortname.
A text field used to store information that doesn't fit elsewhere in MusicBrainz. Most entities have an annotation field.
Example of a common annotation: Sub Optimal Credits
Generally, any individual (or group of individuals) contributing to the works described in the MusicBrainz Database.
Why "generally"? Because the Artist entity developed out of a one-artist-per-name approach rather than a one-artist-per-physical-person/group approach. So currently, for example, an Artist may be a real-world person or may be a persona associated with a real-world person.
See: guidelines for Artists with multiple names
artist credit (or AC)
A MusicBrainz feature making it possible to:
  1. Display an artist's name as it appears on a particular release.
    (This is generally used for minor name variations (not "performance names") although there are no specific Style guidelines currently in place.)
  2. Add two or more artists to an artist field, joined by a "join phrase" such as "&" or "feat.".
See: How to Use Artist Credits

!!!;attribute (or relationship attribute)

A MusicBrainz "attribute" is information that further describes or modifies a relationship".
Example: "live" is one of the possible attributes of the "is a recording of" relationship.
More casually, "attribute" is sometimes used interchangeably with "property". Used in that sense, "gender" might be called either an attribute or a property of an "artist".
auto-editor (or automod)
An experienced MusicBrainz editor who has been given certain elevated privleges.
An automated process, often controlled by an editor, that submits edits to the database.
Editor-controlled bots are subject to the Bot CoC.

!!!;CD stub

A title/tracklist (not a full [#Release|release]]) submitted and stored outside the main database. CD stubs are meant to be relatively easy to submit, and doing so does not require an MB account.
comment (or disambiguation comment)
Comments are used to help distinguish (disambiguate) entities with similar names. The contents of the "comment" field will appear as a parenthetical phrase beside the entity's name on the MusicBrainz site.
Note: comments are meant to be human-readable aids. Within the database, of course, the MBID uniquely identifies each entity.
The Classical Style Guide, as set of guidelines for entering classical releases in MusicBrainz.


As Wikipedia puts it, "an organized collection of data … typically in digital form."
For editors coming to MusicBrainz with no background in information technology, the WikiBooks article on wikibooks:Relational_Database_Design:Relational database design provides a fairly quick introduction.
A (nearly) unique identifier for optical discs calculated from the TOC, represented as a string of ascii characters
Example: XzPS7vW.HPHsYemQh0HBUGr8vuU-

!!!;dynamic attribute

A proposed schema enhancement that would allow a an entity
An individual change made to the data stored by MusicBrainz. A MusicBrainz account is required to submit edits.
edit note
A comment attached to an edit by an editor or by ModBot.
See also: How_to_Write_Edit_Notes
A contributor to the MusicBrainz database or to other aspects of the project.
A "thing" stored in the database (such as an Artist or Release), which can be linked to other entities using relationships.
fingerprint (or acoustic fingerprint)
A (generally) unique identifier for a recording, generated from the audio content itself.
Examples: Acoustids and PUIDs
The "Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records", a model for bibliographic data, proposed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.
internationalization (or i18n)
Internationalization is, as wikipedia puts it, "the process of designing a software application so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes."
It is sometimes abbreviated to "i18n", from "i"+[eighteen more letters]+"n".
See also: localization
A logo used by record companies to "brand" a particular release.
Distributors, parent corporations and other interested parties might also put their logo on a release. Determining which logo is the "label" can be tricky. See How to identify labels.
Wikitionary defines "intertwingle" as "to interconnect or interrelate in a deep and complex way." For the purposes of MusicBrainz, this generally refers to the act of adding links and context to wiki pages.
Intertwingle is a fun word for something that nobody wants to do.
The "Interested Parties Information" Code, an identifier assigned in the CISAC database to each interested party. Namely, authors, composers, publishers and so on.
"International Standard Recording Code", a unique identifier for sound recordings, represented as a string of alpha-numeric characters. These are sometimes encoded into recordings as a watermark.
Example: GBAJC0002983
"International Standard Work Code", a unique identifier for musical compositions, represented as a string of alpha-numeric characters.
Example: T-070.181.551-1
In the context of a release, the "label" field generally corresponds to the imprint.
In the context of the database, the "label" entity can be used to store information about a particular imprint, or about the companies and corporations that control those imprints.
So, for example, a "holding company" will be stored in MusicBrainz using a "label" entity, but will generally not have its own catalog of releases.
See also: label types
label code
A code sometimes printed on a release, which identifies a record company, usually formatted as "LC-xxxx" (where "xxxx" is a four or five digit number).
localization (or l10n)
Localization is, as Wikipedia puts it, "the process of adapting internationalized software for a specific region or language by adding locale-specific components and translating text."
It is sometimes abbreviated to "l10n", from "l"+[10 more letters]+"n".
MusicBrainz IDentifier, a unique identifier (UUID) assigned to each entity in the MusicBrainz database.
Example: 66c662b6-6e2f-4930-8610-912e24c63ed1
The means by which a release is transmitted or delivered. This could be a physical object such as a CD, or it could be something less tangible such as streaming content or a downloadable file.
This can refer either to "descriptive metadata" (i.e. information about information) or to "structural medatata" (i.e. information about how information is stored). The contents of the MusicBrainz database are primarily "descriptive metadata".
A bot used by the MusicBrainz Server to perform a number of automated functions.
An older term for MusicBrainz editor.
"Next Generation Schema". This refers to the updated database schema released on 18 May 2011.
The update, with a corresponding revision of the style guidelines, was considered a major milestone in the development of Musicbrainz. Hence, it's not uncommon to describe certain aspects of MusicBrainz as being either "pre-" or "post-NGS".
See also: NGS (History), NGS Roadmap, Preparing for NGS, Release Announcement, Release Notes
Non-Album Track (or NAT)
The pre-NGS precursor to standalone recordings.


A branch of philosophy that, as wikipedia puts it, "deals with questions concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences."
See also: the Music Ontology project
performance name
A name that an artist uses when performing. Often this refers to an assumed name used, such as a "pen name", "stage name", "alter ego", "persona" or the like.
See: guidelines for Artists with multiple names
The official MusicBrainz tagging app, named for Captain Jean-Luc Picard from the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.


Ideas for improving certain aspects of MusicBrainz, formally submitted to [mb-style] for community approval.
See also: ticket
"Portable Unique IDentifier", an audio fingerprint. Use of PUIDs in MusicBrainz is now deprecated in favor of AcoustIDs.


For the purposes of MusicBrainz, a "recording" is maybe closer to a "mix" than to a "master".
Think of it as an abstract container that holds information about a piece of recorded audio. It might not have a perfect 1:1 correspondence with a real-world "thing", although in a perfect world it would correspond 1:1 with an ISRC.


Originally referred to as "Advanced Relationships".
A relationship is a connection between two entities in a database.
They can be thought of, loosely, as the "verb phrases" in a Subject-Verb-Object statement.


Casually, "release" is often used interchangeably with "album", as in "Hey! The New Originals have a new release out!"
But for the purposes of MusicBrainz, a "release" is a specific printing/pressing/issue sold in a specific locale. While MB doesn't have an "album" entity per se, the "release group" entity is close.
release date
The date that a release was released in a particular region. It is <underline>not</underline> the date on which the release was recorded or performed, and it is not the copyright date.

!!!;release group

A "container" used to group together all the various versions and reissues of a release. This is the closest thing MusicBrainz has to an "album" entity.
Example: the release group for Kind of Blue by Miles Davis
"Request for Comment", the first stage in the proposal process, a 7 day (minimum) discussion period.
"Request for Veto", the second stage in the proposal process, a 2 day window in which a prosal can be vetoed.
In the context of MusicBrainz, "script" might mean
  1. The "release script", a particular writing system or alphabet, such as "Latin", "Katakana" or "Cyrillic".
    See also: relevant style guideline
  2. A Greasemonkey script used to extend the functionality of the MusicBrainz website.
  3. A script for customizing file names in Picard.
    See: Picard scripting
sort name
A name that has been re-ordered (as needed) to facilitate alphabetically ordered lists.
Example: if an artist's name is "John Smith", then his sort name is "Smith, John".
standalone recording (or SAR)
A recording which does not appear on a release. Prior to NGS, these were referred to as "Non-album Tracks" (aka NATs).
Sub Optimal Credits
There will always be some credits that cannot be entered in the database exactly as they appear on a release. In such cases, an explanation can be included in the annotation under the heading [[Sub_Optimal_Credits]].


In the contect of MusicBrainz, "Style" might refer to
  1. The Official Style Guidelines, a set of guidelines for entering data in MusicBrainz, or
  2. The [mb-style] mailing list, where style guidelines are discussed and developed.
As commonly used in MusicBrainz, a "tag" may refer to
  1. Metadata embedded in an audio file, such as ID3 or Vorbis comments (aka "Flac tags").
See also: Picard tag mapping
  1. "Folksonomy tags", a system for collaborative description and classification.
See also: Extended Picard Tagging
An individual issue reported on the MusicBrainz bug tracker at [1] (which tracks not just "bugs" but also style-related issues, feature requests and so on).
"Table of Contents", the area of an optical disc that describes the tracklist in terms of track durations.
"Universal Unique IDentifier", a 128-bit identifier, commonly in the form of a 32-digit hexadecimal string.
MBIDs and AcoustIDs are examples of UUIDs.

A "work" in MusicBrainz is based on the FRBR defintion, "a distinct intellectual or artistic creation".