User:Symphonick/CSG Work Titles

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Revision as of 11:01, 21 March 2013 by Symphonick (talk | contribs) (Tempo / Character)

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

Proposal number: RFC-CSG Works part II: Titles
Champion: symphonick
Current status: pre-RFC


The name should be recorded in MB as it exists in print from a reliable source, such as a recent urtext edition. Adding to or altering a title given by the composer or publisher should be avoided (see language below regarding translations and more).

If you don't have access to the best edition, just use the best source you can find. The title can be corrected later.

Work type

The type of work (e.g. Aria, Sonata, Trio) is stored in the work type field For works with a given title or where the title consists of a quote from the beginning of the lyrics or libretto,

Work type as title

Works that only have a work type as identifier, here called "generic" or "untitled" works, should be listed in the composer's preferred language.

(e.g. Sonata/Sonate, Quartet g moll)

Usually only the first sub-section should be listed, but exceptions can be made when a work is divided into different sections by the composer, e.g. Menuet - Trio.


If possible, use the language of the first performance, if the work was written with a specific performance in mind. Not applicable for works published after the composer's death.

See the respective CSG-language pages for how to format language-specific details.

Note Note: Works with translated lyrics (as opposed to only translated titles) should have


There can be only one "official" alias per language; try to find the standard translation for your specific language. Be aware that direct translations is not always an option. E.g. a literal translation of "Quartet for Strings" will not work for every language, perhaps the form "String quartet" is more appropriate.
You can enter more aliases as search help (common misspellings etc.), but they should not have a language set.

Note Note: It is expected that eventually, both a title (alias) in the user's preferred language AND the default workname can be shown in the UI.


Remember that nicknames are local.

Note Note: There's possibility we get a specific field for nicknames.

Catalogue numbers

Since catalogue numbers are an important part of identifying a work, as a workaround one catalogue number can be added to the title. If more than one catalogue is used for a work, try to find the most commonly used catalogue.

Note Note: There's possibility we get a specific field for catalogue numbers, or that advanced properties can be used for this purpose.

Tempo / Character

Musicbrainz has no field explicitly for storing the tempo of a work. The annotation can be used for this purpose.

Tempo as title

The exception is when the work has no title except tempo or character, e.g. Allegro, Slow. This is common for movements of larger generic works. Note that you should not translate tempi (possibly transliterate). If you believe a translated alias is needed as search help, that alias should not be official.

Only use the first tempo in the title field, do not list tempo changes inside the work. A second tempo can be used if it describes a major section, for instance in Beethoven's piano sonatas when there is a short introduction in a slower tempo than the main part of the movement. (these type of works are usually referred to with both tempi outside Musicbrainz too).

Multi-part works

  • Main work titles should not be
  • Part numbers should eventually have a separate (text) field, and there should be a "position" attribute too