From MusicBrainz Wiki
< Style‎ | Titles
Revision as of 08:13, 22 November 2005 by Zout (talk) ((Imported from MoinMoin))

Style for separate parts of an album title

Use a colon (:) to separate multi-line PartsOfATitle for albums.

If there is an alternative dividing punctuation mark such as the question mark (?) or exclamation point Idea.png, use that mark instead of the colon.


Take an example from Etta James:

  • Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions

Or from Faith No More:

  • Who Cares a Lot? Greatest Hits

Or from Spock's Beard:

  • Don't Try This @ Home Either! From the Vaults, Series 3


The covers of CDs and LPs are generally full color printed squares. This allows designers to use text color, position and size to indicate what is a title or subtitle. Converting that to a single line of text for display on your iPod or in WinAmp requires adding something to separate or differentiate the different parts of the title. Various people have come up with different solutions to this e.g. put the subtitle in brackets, square brackets, after a comma, a dash etc. Eventually the MusicBrainz database will be able to support sub-titles as a field in their own right and this will allow the user to choose how to display them (even giving them the option to ignore them completely) but until then we needed an agreed format to standardise on.



It is acceptable to use the colon to seperate extra sub-titles, i.e.:

Bug Swamp: The Complete Bug Hits: 1987-1990 (fictional title). --TarragonAllen

Please note this is only a guideline for use on AlbumTitles and not for general use on all titles. Additionally, it only applies to multi-line titles. --TarragonAllen

So what guideline applies to TrackTitles? IIRC works and parts of works (like movements in symphonies) can be separated by colons according to the ClassicalStyleGuide. So it seems to me that the guideline separate SubTitles by a colon (:) is somewhat of a GeneralSylePrinciple. I would prefer to say that applying this principle to TrackTitles is a bit more tricky, and that people should look at the ClassicalStyleGuide for this. --DonRedman

Please, can we rename this to SubTitleStyle? There are two guidelines dealing with separate titles: the MultipleTitleStyle and this one. MultipleTitleStyle deals with several equal titles, which are divided by " / " and this one deals with subordinate titles wich are separated by colons. Therefore sub-title is the correct term. --DonRedman

What about combinations of this and MultipleTitleStyle? I.e. a song has not only one SubTitle but several SubTitles. Often you see track listings like this:

I. SubTitle
II. SubTitle

or even with parts:

Part I - SubTitle
Part II - SubTitle

I propose (and hope this is finally the correct place for this) "MainTitle: I. SubTitle / II. SubTitle" for the first and "MainTitle: Part I: SubTitle / Part II: SubTitle" for the second one according to PartNumberStyle. And of course also other numbering schemas can be used like "a) ... / b) ... / c) ...". --Shepard

Authors: Original by NeilCafferky (based on IRC and mailing list discussion), re-written for the wiki by TarragonAllen with help from DonRedman, and an example contributed by derGraph.