User:LordSputnik/Definite Article

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

Proposal number: RFC-STYLE-180
Champion: LordSputnik
Current status: RFC
Initial Discussion

JIRA ticket


This proposal is designed to improve the correctness of artist names in the database, where the artist name starts with "The" or some other definite article. It also aims to improve the consistency of artist credits for these artists.


Insert the following text at the end of the "Name" section of Style/Artist.

Definite Articles

A definite article is a word before a noun which indicates uniqueness, found in some languages. For example:

  • English has one: the
  • French has three: le, la, les
  • Spanish has four: el, la, los, las
  • German has many, including: der, die, das

When adding an artist to the database whose name appears to start with a definite article, always check whether the definite article is actually part of the artist name. In cases where this is not known, ignore the definite article.

If an artist name does not start with a definite article, but is credited with a definite article on a release, include the definite article in the artist credit. The exception here is where a join phrase is used before the artist name - in this case, include the definite article in the join phrase.


  • "The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" should actually be Royal Philharmonic Orchestra according to their website. If they appear on a release as "The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra", then "The" should be included in the artist credit. If they were to appear as "...and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra", then "and the" would be the join phrase.
  • In the case of "Los Lobos", "Los" is actually part of the name according to their website and Wikipedia, so their artist name in MusicBrainz is correct: Los Lobos.