Proposal:Special Purpose Artist

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Revision as of 10:04, 10 October 2010 by Nikki (talk | contribs)


Status: This page describes an active style guideline proposal and is not official.



Proposal number: RFC-293
Champion: None
Current status: Unknown



Template:DocumentationHeader Template:ArtistHeader

Purpose of the Special Purpose Artists

Several special artists exist in the database to deal with unusual cases. There always are some unnoticed bogus artists, but those Special Purpose Artists (SPAs) listed here exist officially, used to handle each of these various types of special case artists.

Before using any of these artists, please familiarize yourself with the release artist and track artist pages.

List of official SPAs

Note: "artist" here refers to either the performer or composer, whichever would be the correct artist-type to normally be used for the particular release-type.

  • [data] - Used for data CDs and data tracks (additional tracks on audio CDs that contain data other than standard CD audio). Note that data track style should also be used to title data tracks.
  • [dialogue] - Used for soundtrack tracks which consist solely of excerpted dialogue. Example: the "Royale with Cheese" discussion from Pulp Fiction would be correctly assigned to [dialogue], not to "John Travolta & Samuel L. Jackson". Their performances within the track should instead be indicated by vocal advanced relationships.
  • [no artist] - There is no artist. (Recorded silence or noise, if it is attributed to any artist, should be assigned to that artist and not to [no artist].)
  • [traditional] - Used for music which has been handed down - usually by oral tradition - where the writer(s) is/are not known and will never be known.
  • [unknown] - The artist is unknown, but is potentially discoverable with further research. Please do some research before using this artist; this artist should not be used simply as a "lazy easy solution" to an artist you don't happen to know offhand.
  • Various Artists - Used only for compilation-type releases or release groups containing tracks by multiple different artists. This artist should not be used for tracks or works. (If a track consists of multiple songs by multiple independent artists, tracks with multiple artists should be used, not this artist.)

Exception for Various Artists

The following is only valid until the NGS server release.

Various Artists may be used for a track artist only if the combined workaround artist's name would exceed current server limitations (255 or more characters in length). In such cases, the artist should be set to Various Artists, and the full workaround artist name should be stored in that track's annotation. Any such track should be added to the list on the discussion page so that it can be corrected once the NGS release occurs.

Internal-use-only SPAs

The following Special Purpose Artists are for internal use only, and should never be assigned to any track, release, release group, or work. Please do not attempt to "clean up" these artists.

Fictitious Artists

These should not have a new Special Purpose Artist created; where needed, Fictitious Artists should be created.

Placeholder SPAs

Subsets of [unknown]

These artists are subsets of [unknown]. As with [unknown], they should only be used as a last resort, pending further research.

Subsets of [no artist]

These artists are subsets of [no artist]. They should only be used if the category is applicable, and if they would otherwise be assigned to [no artist].

(All of this section should be removed once all merges, with retained AC, have taken place after the NGS release occurs.)

Adding new SPAs

Please note that you should not create any new Special Purpose Artist without prior discussion about it on the style mailing list.

Any Special Purpose Artist that is created should be named in all lower-case, and surrounded by square brackets, such as [example]. It also should be added to this page, with explanation for its use. The only exception to this naming style is the "Various Artists" artist.