Capitalization issues with Rosalía

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f756e840888>

There’s been a bit of an uppercase surge here, I see. Also, looks like @reosarevok started to revert some of it.

Personally, I don’t think this is any explicit artist intent. Not to mention it looks horrible, especially with the upcoming album written in all-caps:

Source links:

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Yeah - that looks mad. It is also one of those comical ones where “proof” links also show she does both.

On her website there is the link to her info

I can’t read Spanish, but it is clear that the TITLE is in capitals. And then the rest of the text her name is clearly written correctly with normal capitalisation.

I have see this kind of argument before. Someone has chosen to do some artistic titles in all caps… and the fans then get confused and try and re-write the artist’s name in caps.

I was going to change this when I saw it a couple days ago, then I saw the weird ALL CAPS and normal caps combo is what she uses, at least here:

On her official site, under bio (, there’s no uppercase. When you head to pre-order (, everything is all-caps.

But lastly and most importantly, the physical cover art has the capitalization switched with what’s on iTunes:

I changed all of her stuff to have normal caps since there’s no consistency anyway.


So what constitutes consistency? Consider release A Portuguesa. 2 works by 1 composer share the obvious artistic intent (whether or not that actually qualifies at MB) of consistently mimicking an accidental cAPS lOCK. Composer is alone on this among others on the release, and the 2 works are the only ones featuring this among his other listed Compositions. Editor explicitly refers to a since 404:ed PDF. Still, the Works in question are listed in all lower case on the composer’s ofiicial homepage (tuba op139, sax4 op160), so the intent must be understood as Release endemic; but recent discussion (Should we follow the guidelines if we don’t agree with them?) made it clear that SG trumps Track Title quote, so … do we, e.g. on Track 2 “cONCERTO fOR tUBA, op. 139: I. dEPTHS” go for next-to ALL CAPS: “CONCERTO fOR TUBA, op. 139: I. DEPTHS” or what?

That missing PDF is available from the Wayback Machine; it’s sheet music for the cONCERTO using the same capitalization. At least one other recording (not yet in MB) also uses the same capitalization. Also, this particular case is very unlikely to have been a CD designer’s decision, since other works on the McCaslin recording use standard capitalization. So to me there’s enough evidence for artist intent.

I’d be inclined to a higher standard of consistency for ALL CAPS since that is a very common design choice.

Thanks. So Intent Artist is really the composer, whom we thereby know to be inconsistent to some measure (“aCCIDENTAL cAPS lOCK” in prime Work source, “all lower case” in own listing of same work).

I agree.

i have contacted ROSALÍA / Sony regarding this, and this is the answer i got:

i’m going to go ahead and change them again, but i’ll leave the edits open in case anyone wants to contend.

Edit: Removing e-mail addresses on behalf of “Rosalia’s office”. Please don’t include e-mail addresses of people other than yourself in posts. —@Freso

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Eugh. That’s absolutely stupid and looks just wrong, but eh, artists can be idiots if they want. Feel free to revert (but do not change any credits that aren’t printed in all caps).

The album being “El Mal Querer” with English caps we should probably still override - I would rather have it all caps if needed, which is what iTunes has anyway.

Also, is Amazon not an official digital platform then? Would be nice if you could ask about the inconsistency.


I don’t really think that this proves artist intent, but distributor intent, which we already knew by the way they submitted the tracklist to most vendors.

It’s more likely that the artist had been involved in the design of the CD art, in which the titles appear with the standard Spanish capitalization.

However, I will not contend your edits (except for the album title, in which, to me, is clear that they mean to use mixed caps, but are very used to the English language norms).

Edit: I see you choose to put the title in all caps. I think this is fine for consistency’s sake.

i do believe this is the artist’s intent. but either way, it’s the most official word we have for now on the matter.

i made the album title all caps, as suggested by @reosarevok, and for consistency, as you say. i changed the titles on the digital album, but decided to keep the CD’s titles as they are on the release.
the titles are inconsistent even within the physical editions: the tracklist uses roman numerals for the chapters, but the booklet uses arabic numerals… but the capitalization might have been just for style purposes in the design – who knows…


I just stumbled upon this:

And now I’m actually hesitant to touch someone else’s import because, well, it’s exactly as listed on Bandcamp (and vinyl art but everything is all-caps in there).

I will simply ‘use the original values’ in Picard for personal use, but as for the database - if we’re leaning more and more towards leaving everything ‘as is’ due to possible artist intent - we desperately need the alternative tracklists feature. And it would be great for the importing scripts to follow - whenever we’d make changes to the tracklist, it should split from the ‘untouched’ one.

Here is a comical one. And I am not talking about the lack of capitals in the title.

The digital version in the iTunes store has the tracks in lower case. So the Digital Version here is lower case.

But look at the CD Artwork. Back cover shows the tracks as mixed case. So the CD versions are written with normal capitalisation.

So which is right? :smiley:

Personally I don’t think an artistic decision to used non-standard capitalisation should be put into MB. I could write in all kinds of odd fonts, it doesn’t change the name of the work…

This is a database for data. It isn’t about how an artistic director decides to promote the work. Otherwise MB will have to work out how to store gold sparkly text…

With Prince, when he changed his name to symbol that was a legal thing and he made a big point about the change. That should be in here. But someone changing the rules of the written language to make a style point…

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I’d love it to be :frowning: But there’s no way to write this in Unicode.

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When there is no consistency, we can apply English Title Case or whatever appropriate MB general guiideline.

But when there is consistency (except mistakes), we should keep as is.
It’s the case of many Japanese pops using English in their titles where the (funky) capitalisation is used creatively and is part of the work, and thus used consistently — except mistakes.


It is presumably possible to automatically apply standard case to everything in the database (perhaps not now, but eventually) - but not the other way round?
If this is the case storing as much artist intent as possible is preferable to me :slight_smile:


I agree !!! This is a database for data. It isn’t about how an artistic director decide!

But the data can also be “this is how this artist presents their work”. There are a few classical composers, for example, that almost always title their works in lowercase. In that case, we should also respect this and store those titles lowercased - since it’s what the actual title is supposed to be. Same as we would like others to refer to us as MusicBrainz, not music brainz or Musicbrains (both of which we have seen used!) :slight_smile:


What I find tricky is how to spot the difference.

  • When the artist is really using a new style to express their Band name \ Album name \ Track names.
  • When it is purely a side-effect of the person who designed the cover of the album.
  • When the Marketing team come up with it as a gimmick.

IMHO the first case is a clear one. We should let the artist decide how they want to be presented. Whereas the next two cases should be ignored. They are not “artist intent” - they are just cosmetic.

I can see a day in the future when Picard will eventually need a plugin to help “normalise” some of these changes. Could get “interesting” when we have one of these Millennial artists who uses all those obscure Unicode symbols to write the track names instead of “normal” characters. It will make it readable, but impossible to be searched for. This will be the stage when the database will need a “also known as” field that can be searchable.

What I find funny about the Lykke Li example I quoted earlier is that there is obvious confusion in that one as the CD case her own company produces ignores the lower case style. I like the Wikipedia comment about the name: " So Sad So Sexy (stylized as so sad so sexy)".