User:Symphonick/Work titles

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

Proposal number: RFC-Works titles
Champion: symphonick
Current status: RFC

JIRA ticket STYLE-263


  1. Try to establish the original title in the original language and use this in the title field.
  2. All other titles should be in aliases.
  3. No other information should be added to the title field. A temporary exception is made for part numbers and catalogue numbers, see below


The work title field should only contain the title given by the composer, in the language the work was originally written. This is not necessarily the composer's preferred language, also consider if the work was written with a specific performance or audience (country) in mind. See style/language for how to format language-specific details.
One catalogue number can be added to this title (as a workaround until catalogues can have specific fields).
Untitled works, where the composer has only titled the work with a form or a character/tempo (concerto, symphony, allegro etc) have separate guidelines.

When dealing with written music, it is recommended to use printed scores as sources for titles. For example IMSLP have downloadable scans of old music, often early editions and autographs (common places for an original title to be found).
If the ideal source is not available to you, just use the best source you can find. Titles can be corrected later.

Catalogue numbers exception

Ideally catalogue should be put in specific fields, but since catalogue numbers are an important part of identifying a work, as a workaround one catalogue number can be appended to the title. If more than one catalogue is used for a work, try to find the most commonly used catalogue.
Exact formatting depends on the specific catalogue, e.g. certain catalogues have a dot before the number etc.


  • Winterreise, D 911 by F. Schubert
  • Falstaff, op. 68 by E. Elgar
  • Missa in Angustiis, Hob. XXII:11 by J. Haydn
  • Die Zauberflöte, K. 620 by W.A. Mozart

Part numbers

Only part numbers given by the composer may be used in the title field. Do not add your own numbering of parts.


  • Gloria (Mozart: Krönungsmesse)
  • But who may abide (Händel: The Messiah)
  • No. 4. Recitativo accompagnato ed Aria (Händel: The Messiah, "Mozart" arrangement, KV 572)
    • So spricht der Herr
    • Doch wer mag ertragen den Tag seiner Ankunft

Part ordering

Unfortunately there is currently no ordering system available in MusicBrainz. Until a solution is in place, the disambiguation field can be used if necessary; e.g. "Allegro (1st mvt)" vs. "Allegro (3rd mvt).