Artist Area: Country vs City/Higher Specicifity


#1

Lately I’ve noticed a lot of artists I’ve added being routinely changed to ‘New Zealand’ instead of a more specific place that I’ve researched and added.
I’ve had the docs referred to as reasoning:
https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Artist#Area

However a lot of the artists I add fit within:
"If an artist is most commonly associated with an area smaller than a country, select that instead."
eg they are very much ‘local’ bands that are always based in one town.

I think the guideline is extremely open to interpretation on this front - I’m still not clear on what exactly qualifies.
But it seems inappropriate for editors to go through artists they have done no research on and just change them all to the country… aren’t we losing data? Can’t we use computing power to provide just the country/top level anyway?
The nicer editors have taken the time to change the ‘begin’ area to the more specific place, but it’s obviously not always the same information.

I don’t really care which way it goes, but I would honestly rather have ‘area’ hard coded to be the country (across the board) than have confusing guidelines/waste time researching these details. Either it’s information we want, or it isn’t.


[STYLE-855] Clarify Artist-Area and Label-Area field instructions: specific, or country, both OK?
#2

I’m not arguing against your position aerozol. (And I haven’t been changing Area: Opoutere to Area: NZ either. :grin: )
I can see 3 things that might lead an editor towards using “large area” rather than “small area”:

  1. " Area: Opoutere" would leave most users in the dark as to area. (Area: Opoutere, NZ would solve this.)
  2. Much less knowledge is needed to input “large area” , compared to the knowledge needed for “small area”.
  3. Those seeking to boost the importance of an artist might see “large area” national artists as likely to get more attention (achieve WP:notability?) compared to “small area” artists.

[STYLE-855] Clarify Artist-Area and Label-Area field instructions: specific, or country, both OK?
#3

The idea is basically that unless the artist somehow “represents” the smaller area and is always associated with it, it should use the country (so, basically, unless everyone would automatically associate them with the city, like say the Berlin Philharmonic, or the artist consider themselves a representative of the smaller area, like a Catalan independentist band). That said, I can see how that’s kind of annoying and I’m open to preferring smaller areas when available.

Honestly, the main problem is that “artist area” is an inherited issue from when we had “artist country” and we have never really figured out what to do with it.


#4

I keep the “origin” to the most specific location possible, while the other location can be broader because few bands stay in one city.

I saw once (haven’t taken notice to others) that on the side bar, it said “Japan”, but when I opened the edit page to narrow it down to a city, the city was already populated in the field.


#5

I did get this from the guidelines, but pretty much all the NZ bands I add are, to me, associated with their area and scene. To anyone from a different country I think it’s fair to say that those details will be meaningless. Which is an awkward position.

But anyway, thanks guys, based off this I will stand by my more specific areas for artists I add, and refer people back here for discussion if they disagree.


#6

This does seem likely to be an issue for many lesser-known artists. To those they are best known to there might be a more specific association, while anyone else wouldn’t necessarily know or care about the specifics.


#7

If that’s the case then I am in favour of the docs at https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Artist#Area saying so. Then editors will know where we stand.
Without this information, we have editors like poor @aerozol saying,

I get the impression that the MB project didn’t make a decision about whether we wanted this data or not. It sounds to me that it’s information we collect because we collected it before, and the container became more flexible when the database schema changed because that was easier than creating a “Country” container out of an “Area” container. Maybe I misunderstand. But not every detail about MB was carefully designed and balanced, some things just turned happen to be that way at the moment.

I’m in favour of revising the docs to permit editors to be specific if they want to, or to use country as a way to simplify research if they want to. I frequently edit records for local Artists, and it makes much more sense to me to give their long-time home city as their Area, rather than rounding out to a country.


#8

I have now made such a style proposal, STYLE-855, Clarify Artist-Area and Label-Area field instructions: specific, or country, both OK. I welcome discussion there.


#9

I used to change some Slovak artists from the cities back to Slovakia in the past, but I’m not doing it anymore because I realized it’s probably not the correct way to do things. However I still have an issue with this, and the issue is that you can’t search for an artist from the parent areas if you select the more specific one. For example when I search for artists from the area of Slovakia, I don’t see artists from Bratislava, even though Bratislava is located in Slovakia. There should be an option to include sub-areas in your search. Is there a ticket for that? I only found https://tickets.metabrainz.org/browse/MBS-9351 which doesn’t cover all cases and is only about the web service.