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

Proposal number: RFC-CSG Works part I: Works definition
Champion: symphonick
Current status: RFC

Definition of a classical work

Works belonging to the "classical music" genre should either have at least one known recording or performance (even if it is not currently in the MB database) or should be the most recent common ancestor to two Works which are in the MB database.

Work boundaries

Works should be entered into MusicBrainz using the boundaries decided by the composer, as printed in the score. Some special cases:

"Menuet - Trio"


In unnumbered operas (Wagner, for instance), sometimes an act is the smallest entity you can enter. See "excerpts" below for how to deal with popular arias and choruses.


Sometimes works are published in "collections". This is common for songs and shorter instrumental pieces, but can also happen with larger works like piano sonatas. These works can be interesting to have as "containers", but should not be treated as a main work with parts. Note Note: In general you should only add collections as works if the composer was involved. Do not enter things like "All piano sonatas by Beethoven" as works in MusicBrainz.

Linking recordings to works

Sometimes recordings and works don't match exactly.


1. audio excerpts 2. performance of an excerpt

track splits

Unknown version