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Revision as of 17:51, 25 February 2013 by Symphonick (talk | contribs) (→‎Opera: scenes)
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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. If a sub-part often is performed as a standalone piece, you can add it as a work.

Note Note: Do not split a musical entity into smaller pieces based on tempo markings, lyrics or other information. E.g. the fourth movement of Beethoven's ninth symphony contains many musically different sections, but it is still only a single work.


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. Note Note: Be careful with "scenes"


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 a collection if the composer was involved. Do not enter things like "All piano sonatas by Beethoven" as works in MusicBrainz.

Unknown version

Sometimes you can't source what specific version is performed. It is an arrangement, but is it that exact arrangement by Fritz Kreizler?

Linking recordings to works

It is possible that you have found the correct works to link to your recordings, but it is not an exact match. This is usually solved with the performance AR. If the recoding contains more than one work, link to all performed works. If the recording contains just a part of a work, use the "partial" attribute.

There are however some cases that can be treated differently:

Complete multi-part works

If a multi-part work is presented as a single recording, you can link the recording to the "container" work, instead of linking to every sub-part.

Menuet - Trio etc.

Strictly speaking these works are a single musical entity, but if the "second part" is often recorded as a standalone piece, it can have its own work.

Note Note: All works are not equal, even if the titles are!


1. audio excerpts 2. performance of an excerpt