From MusicBrainz Wiki
Revision as of 20:40, 22 March 2012 by PavanChander (talk | contribs) (Intro and additional info)

Template:DocumentationHeader 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. In other words, artists are usually people who sing or play instruments.

Special cases include fictitious artists, special purpose artists and miscellaneous people such as graphic designers or illustrators that are added to the database an an "artist" in order to credit them for their work.


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.

Additional information