User:LordSputnik/Definite Article

From MusicBrainz Wiki

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.

A definite article is typically a word before a noun which indicates uniqueness. For example, "the" is the English definite article, "le", "la" and "les" are the French definite articles, and "el", "la", "los" and "las" are the Spanish definite articles.

When adding an artist to the database whose name appears to start with a definite article (eg. "The"), always check whether the definite article is actually part of the artist name. In cases where this is not known, ignore the definite article. In the case where an existing artist has a credit on a release starting with a definitive article and it isn't part of the artist name, include the definite article in the artist credit, not 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, not 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.