Difference between revisions of "Style/Artist"

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{{Official style}}
(some notes: this page incorporates most of the ArtistName terminology page, which will no longer be needed if this becomes official. Same goes for ArtistSortName and ArtistComment. Also ignore the examples for now, they will need some cleaning up. --warp).
 
 
=Artist=
 
 
When adding a new Artist to the database you can provide various pieces of information, of which the name is the most important.
 
   
 
==Name==
 
==Name==
   
The Artist Name is the official name of an [[Artist|artist]], be it a person or a band. In most cases, it's the name as found on releases' sleeves.
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The artist name is the official name of an artist, whether it is a person, band, or character. In most cases, it is the name as found on releases.
 
This is a simple concept, but there are complications to this caused by artists releasing material under different names, whether as side projects, collaborations with other artists, or due to changes in musical direction. The meaning of an artist name also changes subtly depending on the [[Artist Type|ArtistType]]. The same name can be used for more than one artist. If you add a new artist that has the same name as an existing one, you will be required to enter a comment (see below).
 
 
There are also the concepts of [[Performance Name|PerformanceName]] and [[Legal Name|LegalName]], either of which might be the official ArtistName. These two can be linked using the [[Performance Name Relationship Type|PerformanceNameRelationshipType]].
 
   
 
Note that you can change how an artist is credited on a release or track when you enter that release. There is usually no need to add a new artist to the database if the artist is already present in our database under a (slightly) different name.
 
Note that you can change how an artist is credited on a release or track when you enter that release. There is usually no need to add a new artist to the database if the artist is already present in our database under a (slightly) different name.
   
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Keep in mind MusicBrainz is an international site, and "official name" doesn't necessarily mean "most common English name". For example, the "official name" for the Japanese composer [[artist:4e871dff-df89-45f5-857f-28067cdc9d5e|Tōru Takemitsu]] is "武満徹", not "Tōru Takemitsu" (which is the primary English alias instead).
==Sort name==
 
   
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===Definite articles and titles===
The "artist sort name" is a variant of the artist name that will be used when the artist is listed with other artists.
 
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Only include [[wikipedia:wikt:definite_article|definite articles]] (like "The", "El" or "Der") and honorary titles (like "Sir" or "MBE") if they're actually used by the artist as part of its name. If it's not clear, leave them out, and just add them to the [[Style/Artist Credits|artist credit]] when printed.
   
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*[[artist:ce8cacb6-c917-41f5-b403-8fb601c89e70|Glenn Miller Orchestra]] doesn't have an article on their official name (but [[release:5b45204b-5de5-4192-a416-fd73dd1e2ca2|In the Nutcracker Mood]] is credited to "The Glenn Miller Orchestra").
The idea is to ensure that all the artists that start with "The" will not end up under "T". This also applies to artists who have regular names like Eric Clapton, but not to bands that have fictitious names like Cypress Hill. Sort names should contain all the accented characters that are present in the name of the artist.
 
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*[[artist:ba550d0e-adac-4864-b88b-407cab5e76af|Paul McCartney]] has been knighted. He doesn't usually perform or record as "Sir Paul McCartney", so "Sir" shouldn't be part the artist name (but he is credited as "Sir Paul McCartney" in [[release:592302f9-09a8-4309-9113-9965cd6350e0|A Garland for Linda]]).
   
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===Performance names and legal names===
Think of the sort name as being the name that would place the artist where you would expect to find it alphabetically (e.g. in a record shop).
 
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Generally, use the name the artist mainly performs under as the artist name. Alternative names, including any legal names and name variations, should generally be entered as [[Aliases|aliases]], and can be used in artist credits and relationship credits when appropriate.
   
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* [[artist:4a4ee089-93b1-4470-af9a-6ff575d32704|The Prodigy]] have an alias of (and some releases credited to) "Prodigy".
The guidelines for [[Sortname Style|SortNameStyle]] are complex, please take a look at them if you're editing or voting on a [[Sortname|SortName]].
 
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* [[artist:7c20f558-d664-42bd-b6f1-81acf9dbb72d|t.A.T.u.]] were originally known as "Тату" in Russia (they later used "t.A.T.u." everywhere).
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* [[artist:42922db2-2e80-44b8-9cdf-0b3a6634c124|Yazoo]] are known as "Yaz" in the USA after a lawsuit from another American artist called Yazoo.
   
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In some cases, a person (or, more rarely, a group) can perform under multiple names that they actually consider different projects, and not just alternative names. In that case, you should add each artist separately. If they're a person, a separate legal name artist should be added, and linked to all performance names with the [[rt:dd9886f2-1dfe-4270-97db-283f6839a666|is person ("performs as")]] relationship. In this case, do not add legal name aliases to the performance names. For groups, just link each group to their members.
==Comment==
 
   
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* [[artist:a343493e-42f5-47cf-9ccf-9f399aafbe10|Tomoko Kawase]] performs under two different personas, with different styles: [[artist:ec53333e-2067-44ba-8222-79a40cbef550|Tommy february⁶]] and [[artist:02b99ce4-adae-474b-bd30-37a00e0af272|Tommy heavenly⁶]].
The comment is a field in the database used to help users distinguish between [[Identically Named Artists|identically named artists]].
 
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* [[artist:965f5705-6eb1-49a1-b312-cd3d65bcc7c9|Calvin Broadus]] is most known as [[artist:f90e8b26-9e52-4669-a5c9-e28529c47894|Snoop Dogg]], but has a reggae side project, [[artist:960db060-0ba8-4f6c-9770-49b81dc6e5ea|Snoop Lion]].
   
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==Sort name==
It will appear in the search results next to each name (so, the comment should be kept fairly short). A few words is normally enough, just enough that someone reading it will recognize the artist they're looking for. The comment field is ''not'' a place to store general background information about the artist, that kind of information should go in the [[Artist Annotation|ArtistAnnotation]].
 
 
==Country==
 
 
Use the country where the artist was born and raised in the country field. When you're not dealing with a single artist, use the country where the band was formed. If the artist is predominantly active in a different country, use that country instead.
 
 
==Other fields==
 
 
The remaining fields are fairly straightforward:
 
 
# Type
 
#: With Type you can choose if this artist entry is for a single person or a band.
 
# Gender
 
#: If the artist is a person you can choose his or her gender.
 
# Begin date, End date
 
#: If you're entering a band, the begin and end date describe when the band was formed and disbanded.
 
#: If you're entering a person, the begin and end date refer to the date of their birth and death.
 
 
An artist can also have multiple aliases. An [[Artist Alias|ArtistAlias]] is used as a search hint to catch alternative or incorrect spelling of an ArtistName. These are usually entered later, you will not be asked to enter any artist aliases when adding a new artist to the database.
 
 
==Examples==
 
 
===Individual performs and releases material under various names===
 
 
Paul David Hewson sings in the band U2 under the name "Bono".:
 
* Paul David Hewson, a [[Legal Name|LegalName]], has an [[Artist]] database record
 
* "Bono", a [[Performance Name|PerformanceName]], has a separate [[Artist]] database record
 
* The artist database records of Paul David Hewson and Bono are linked with the [[Performance Name Relationship Type|PerformanceNameRelationshipType]]
 
* Bono is linked as a member of U2 (see [[Member Of Band Relationship Type]]), but not Paul David Hewson
 
 
Richard David James is a musician who releases solo material under a variety of names, including Aphex Twin and Caustic Window:
 
* Both Caustic Window and Aphex Twin are [[Performance Name|PerformanceName]], with separate [[Artist]] database records
 
* Each album has the corresponding artist as its [[Primary Artist|PrimaryArtist]]
 
* Each [[Performance Name|PerformanceName]] artist record is related to the Richard David James artist record with the [[Performance Name Relationship Type|PerformanceNameRelationshipType]]
 
* The different [[Performance Name|PerformanceName]]s are not related to each other (see [[Same Artist With Different Names]]).
 
 
===Shortening names===
 
   
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See the guideline for [[/Sort Name|sort names]].
It's very common for some [[Legal Name|LegalName]]s to be shortened for normal use, such as "William" shortened to "Bill" or "Elisabeth" shortened to "Liz".
 
   
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== Disambiguation comment==
[[Artist:098ae3cc-2ca3-4fb2-a6d8-2a7c1a6b3565|Bill Berry]]'s [[Legal Name|LegalName]] is William Thomas Berry.
 
   
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Disambiguation comments should be short but informative. See more at [[Disambiguation Comment]].
===Dropping the last name===
 
   
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==Area==
The classic case is [[Artist:79239441-bfd5-4981-a70c-55c3f15c1287|Madonna]]. In that case, a separate artist is created for her [[Legal Name|LegalName]], [[Artist:b3d01315-d52a-4f3a-908b-0618315c1ef2|Madonna Louise Ciccone]], while "Madonna" is a [[Performance Name|PerformanceName]]. This allows albums to be credited correctly to just "Madonna", while still allowing important information to be recorded against her [[Legal Name|LegalName]].
 
   
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===Main area===
Another example is [[Artist:2fddb92d-24b2-46a5-bf28-3aed46f4684c|Kylie Minogue]], who frequently is credited as simply "Kylie". In this case, "Kylie" is simply made an [[Artist Alias|ArtistAlias]], since anyone looking up "Kylie" in the system would not be at all surprised to see the name "Kylie Minogue" instead.
 
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For people, use the country where they were born and raised. For groups, use the country where the band was formed. For characters, use the country where the character was created. If the artist is predominantly active in a different country, use that country instead.
   
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* [[artist:f27ec8db-af05-4f36-916e-3d57f91ecf5e|Michael Jackson]] has the area [[area:489ce91b-6658-3307-9877-795b68554c98|United States]].
===Fictional characters===
 
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* [[artist:b10bbbfc-cf9e-42e0-be17-e2c3e1d2600d|The Beatles]] have the area [[area:8a754a16-0027-3a29-b6d7-2b40ea0481ed|United Kingdom]].
   
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If an artist is most commonly associated with an area smaller than a country, select that instead.
The band [[Artist:d0a0b3a2-ea58-4a7a-b18c-849d589bfac7|Spın̈al Tap]] is composed of several fictional characters, and was originally simply the fictional subject of the mockumentary "This is Spinal Tap". However, the band proved popular, and the actors who play those characters have gone on to record several albums. Each character is considered a [[Performance Name|PerformanceName]], and gets an independent artist record. These [[Performance Name|PerformanceName]]s are used as the members of the band (see [[Member Of Band Relationship Type]]). The actors who play the characters also get artist records, and they are related to their characters with [[Performance Name Relationship Type|PerformanceNameRelationshipType]].
 
   
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* [[artist:dea28aa9-1086-4ffa-8739-0ccc759de1ce|Berliner Philharmoniker]] has the area [[area:c9ac1239-e832-41bc-9930-e252a1fd1105|Berlin]].
Many more examples of this are at [[Fictitious Artist|FictitiousArtist]].
 
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* [[artist:d75d1f08-bbb8-4eae-9877-399ca9121197|Mobb Deep]] have the area [[area:675bbb61-a94a-4b54-9242-1fbf81a46ee6|Queensbridge]].
   
===Artists with identical names===
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===Begin and end area===
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Use as precise an area as you can (city or region are better than just country). Remember for people this means birth and death locations, rather than where they started their career.
   
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* [[artist:4d5447d7-c61c-4120-ba1b-d7f471d385b9|John Lennon]] was born in [[area:c249c30e-88ab-4b2f-a745-96a25bd7afee|Liverpool]] and died in [[area:261962ea-d8c2-4eaf-a80c-f14376ffadb0|Manhattan]].
[http://musicbrainz.org/artist/593abf14-4292-4d62-b365-79c7674cd1a5.html Randy Jackson], brother of Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, and [http://musicbrainz.org/artist/39828c81-cc39-4e8a-8e00-f0874c657d47.html Randy Jackson], former bassist with Journey.
 
   
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==Gender==
===Artist's name has changed===
 
   
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Use the gender the artist identifies as. Use "non-binary" if the artist identifies as something other than "male" or "female". Also use "non-binary", as the widest option, for anything that would seem to require more than one gender, since that is not currently possible (e.g. "non-binary trans woman").
The perennial example of this is [http://musicbrainz.org/artist/7e3b3173-2c1f-42c0-8544-0e6d19bb181f.html Wendy Carlos] ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Carlos Wikipedia page]). She was born "Walter Carlos", but had a sex-change operation in 1972. Even after her name was officially changed, albums were released under "Walter Carlos", on the basis that this would make them more saleable.
 
   
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For characters, the fictional gender of the character should be used. This might not match the gender of a person who performed the character.
[http://musicbrainz.org/artist/5adb8b74-54b8-4700-836e-550b6a2a2f71.html Cat Stevens] changed his name to [http://musicbrainz.org/artist/bf27c046-38b4-4b0f-ad65-358ed588cddf.html Yusuf Islam] when he converted to Islam in 1978.
 
   
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The "non-binary" gender is not intended for use with entities for which the concept of gender is illogical, such as companies. For those, use "Not applicable".
===Chinese names===
 
   
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The "other" gender option is deprecated and should not be used.
When Chinese people emigrate to western countries, they frequently choose a "western name", to avoid the confusion of westerners trying to pronounce their Chinese names, and of the different name order in Chinese names. Jet Li would be one famous example. His full Chinese name is 李連杰 (Li Lian Jie). "Li" is his surname, while "Lian Jie" is his given name. Changing the name order would look something like this: Lianjie Li.
 
   
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==Aliases==
===Icelandic names===
 
   
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See the [[Style/Aliases|guidelines for aliases]].
[http://musicbrainz.org/artist/87c5dedd-371d-4a53-9f7f-80522fb7f3cb.html Björk] is an Icelandic musician whose full name is [http://musicbrainz.org/artist/91c1f421-c830-40e9-b075-dd7f66109eea.html Björk Guðmundsdóttir]. Icelandic second names are really more descriptions than names proper, and in this case the last name simply means "daughter of Guðmund". She is, in fact, the daughter of a man called "Guðmund", unlike English names where someone called "Mark Richardson" isn't necessarily the son of someone called "Richard". So Björk calling herself just "Björk" isn't a performance name like "Madonna" or "Kylie"; it's just what any normal Icelandic person would call her.
 
   
===Comment===
 
   
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{{StyleBox}}
In order to distinguish between [http://musicbrainz.org/artist/593abf14-4292-4d62-b365-79c7674cd1a5.html Randy Jackson], brother of Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, and [http://musicbrainz.org/artist/39828c81-cc39-4e8a-8e00-f0874c657d47.html Randy Jackson], former bassist with Journey, we use artist disambiguation comments. The former has comment "Brother of Michael and Janet." while the latter has "Former bassist with Journey".
 

Latest revision as of 10:11, 24 March 2022

Status: This is an official style guideline.

Name

The artist name is the official name of an artist, whether it is a person, band, or character. In most cases, it is the name as found on releases.

Note that you can change how an artist is credited on a release or track when you enter that release. There is usually no need to add a new artist to the database if the artist is already present in our database under a (slightly) different name.

Keep in mind MusicBrainz is an international site, and "official name" doesn't necessarily mean "most common English name". For example, the "official name" for the Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu is "武満徹", not "Tōru Takemitsu" (which is the primary English alias instead).

Definite articles and titles

Only include definite articles (like "The", "El" or "Der") and honorary titles (like "Sir" or "MBE") if they're actually used by the artist as part of its name. If it's not clear, leave them out, and just add them to the artist credit when printed.

Performance names and legal names

Generally, use the name the artist mainly performs under as the artist name. Alternative names, including any legal names and name variations, should generally be entered as aliases, and can be used in artist credits and relationship credits when appropriate.

  • The Prodigy have an alias of (and some releases credited to) "Prodigy".
  • t.A.T.u. were originally known as "Тату" in Russia (they later used "t.A.T.u." everywhere).
  • Yazoo are known as "Yaz" in the USA after a lawsuit from another American artist called Yazoo.

In some cases, a person (or, more rarely, a group) can perform under multiple names that they actually consider different projects, and not just alternative names. In that case, you should add each artist separately. If they're a person, a separate legal name artist should be added, and linked to all performance names with the is person ("performs as") relationship. In this case, do not add legal name aliases to the performance names. For groups, just link each group to their members.

Sort name

See the guideline for sort names.

Disambiguation comment

Disambiguation comments should be short but informative. See more at Disambiguation Comment.

Area

Main area

For people, use the country where they were born and raised. For groups, use the country where the band was formed. For characters, use the country where the character was created. If the artist is predominantly active in a different country, use that country instead.

If an artist is most commonly associated with an area smaller than a country, select that instead.

Begin and end area

Use as precise an area as you can (city or region are better than just country). Remember for people this means birth and death locations, rather than where they started their career.

Gender

Use the gender the artist identifies as. Use "non-binary" if the artist identifies as something other than "male" or "female". Also use "non-binary", as the widest option, for anything that would seem to require more than one gender, since that is not currently possible (e.g. "non-binary trans woman").

For characters, the fictional gender of the character should be used. This might not match the gender of a person who performed the character.

The "non-binary" gender is not intended for use with entities for which the concept of gender is illogical, such as companies. For those, use "Not applicable".

The "other" gender option is deprecated and should not be used.

Aliases

See the guidelines for aliases.


Style
Overview
Title Style
Entities
Relationships
Classical
Special Cases/Misc.
Languages