Difference between revisions of "Artist"

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(Add artist properties)
(Added examples and guidelines)
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Of course, the most interesting thing about any artist is which [[Release]]s they've made. Each release has a [[Release Artist]] and [[Track]]s with [[Track Artist]]s.
Of course, the most interesting thing about any artist is which [[Release]]s they've made. Each release has a [[Release Artist]] and [[Track]]s with [[Track Artist]]s.
== Examples ==
* [[artist:cc197bad-dc9c-440d-a5b5-d52ba2e14234|Coldplay]]
* [[artist:53b106e7-0cc6-42cc-ac95-ed8d30a3a98e|John Williams]] (soundtrack composer & conductor)
* [[artist:8b8a38a9-a290-4560-84f6-3d4466e8d791|John Williams]] (classical guitar player)
* [[artist:83d91898-7763-47d7-b03b-b92132375c47|Pink Floyd]]
* [[artist:593abf14-4292-4d62-b365-79c7674cd1a5|Randy Jackson]] (brother of Michael and Janet.)
* [[artist:39828c81-cc39-4e8a-8e00-f0874c657d47|Randy Jackson]] (former bassist with Journey and American Idol Judge)
== Style guidelines ==
Please see the [[Style/Artist|guidelines for artists]].
== Artist properties ==
== Artist properties ==

Revision as of 20:19, 22 March 2012


An artist is generally a musician, group of musicians, a collaboration of multiple musicians or other music professional contributing to the works described in the MusicBrainz Database. As the MusicBrainz project evolves, so does the definition of "artist", so that now the artist table is used to hold everything up to music industry lawyers (see Miscellaneous Production Relationship Type). In general, however, artists are people who sing or play instruments.

There are various examples of unusual artists documented under Artist Name. See also the list of Fictitious Artists (which are also considered valid, separate artists in MusicBrainz) and Special Purpose Artists.

Of course, the most interesting thing about any artist is which Releases they've made. Each release has a Release Artist and Tracks with Track Artists.


Style guidelines

Please see the guidelines for artists.

Artist properties


The artist name is the official name of an artist, be it a person or a band. In most cases it's the name as found on the liner.

For people, the name can either be a legal name or a performance name. When both are in the database, they can be linked together using the performance name relationship.

Legal name
A legal name is the name of a person as used in official situations such as government dealings. This is usually the name which would be found on a birth certificate, although legal names can be changed, e.g. through marriage or by deed poll. Bands do not have legal names.
Performance name
A performance name is an alias used by a person for marketing or other reasons. A person may use several performance names and may also release material under their legal name.

Sort name

The sort name is a variant of the artist name which would be used when sorting artists by name, such as in record shops or libraries. Among other things, sort names help to ensure that all the artists that start with "The" don't end up up under "T".


The type is used to explicitly state whether an artist is a person or group.


The gender is used to explicitly state whether a person identifies as male, female or neither. Groups do not have genders.


The artist country, as the name suggests, stores the country with which an artist is primarily identified with. It does not necessarily have to be the birth country.

Begin and end dates

See the page about dates for more information.

IPI code

An IPI (interested party information) code is an identifying number assigned by the CISAC database for musical rights management. See IPI for more information, including how to find these codes.


Aliases are alternate names for an artist, which currently have two main functions: localised names and search hints. Localised names are used to store the official names used in different languages and countries. These use the locale field to identify which language or country the name is for. Search hints are used to help both users and the server when searching and can be a number of things including alternate names, nicknames or even misspellings. For more information and examples, see the guidelines for aliases.


See the page about MBIDs for more information.

Disambiguation comment

See the page about comments for more information.


See the page about annotations for more information.

Editing artists

Any MusicBrainz user can edit artists in several ways:

How To

Beginners may also find interest in the following How Tos: