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Status: Work in progress. Tracking the CSG-works discussion here
  • Checkmark.png structure is already a mess
  • Attention.png What to write about language?
  • Attention.png Opera needs more attention

Titled works

The title of a work 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 should be avoided.


Either For titled works, always use the original language given by the composer. Or Use always the English, Latin version of the work title

Catalogue numbers

As we currently have no field for catalogue numbers & those are an important part of identifying a work, the standard catalogue is added to the title.



Use the comment field to disambiguate different works by the same composer that have the same title (or a very similar one). This is useful even if the catalog numbers differ, but required only if they do not differ (or do not exist). For works with texts, comments are also important to differentiate translations.



The annotation field has the same varied uses as in every other work. A specific use for classical works is to store the dramatic roles ("characters") of operas and similar works.


For titled works, use only if the work is known under a different name.

English aliases for the examples above:

  • Carmen (no alias)
  • An den Mond D 468 (no alias)
  • Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147 (no alias - German libretto)
  • „Wie unglücklich bin ich nit“ K. 147 (125g) (no alias)
  • Gymnopédie No. 1 (no alias)
  • Moscow, Cheryomushki, Op. 105 (an alias for the Russian libretto, or translation for English libretto or both?)
  • The Firebird

Multi-part works

The title of the main work must be repeated in the parts, otherwise one composer could have a lot of works named only "allegro", which would currently be difficult to deal with. Exceptions: Songs are often published in books/collections with one opus, often with generic titles like "3 songs for SATB, Op. 8". We want that as a super-work for UI reasons, but the works linked to a "collection" should not have their titles formatted as a multi-part work.


  • Nixon in China: Act 3 "I am no one"
  • Ciclo brasileiro: Impressões Seresteiras
  • Winterreise D. 911: Gute Nacht
  • Auf Flügeln des Gesanges, op. 34 no. 2

Translated works

Translated works are distinct works in MB, as they need a new relationship (translator) that doesn't apply to the parent.


  • Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147
  • Heart and lips, thy whole behaviour, BWV 147 (English version) (official translation from Bärenreiter) (can we find a recording of this to create the work from?)
  • Moscow, Cheryomushki, Op. 105 (English libretto) see aliases