Delete or merge to fix broken style guidelines?

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When cleaning up Tchaikovsky’s operas I found that some numbers for “The Queen of Spades”, op. 68 were already created by another user, but contrary to style guidelines for operas he/she used the structure “Act / Scene / Number” instead of the recommended “Act / Number” (, probably just following what was printed on a CD cover. The justification of the style guidelines is pretty good: “Scene” is an instruction what and who appears on stage and is not directly related to the music. Besides, using “Scenes” unnecessary increases the number of layers without clear benefits. Style guidelines for reference:

I would like to clean up the structure by removing the “Scene” layer, that is making numbers directly parts of acts, as recommended by the style guidelines and in consistency with other operas I have already cleaned up.

The question is what to do with the “Scene” works? I see the following possibilities:

  • Just leave “Scene” works as “orphans”, not linked to any other work. Disadvantage: somebody may still find it by direct search and re-introduce.

  • Delete unnecessary “Scene” works. Could this be done at all? I do not see any “Delete” button and suppose this is by design.

  • Merge unnecessary “Scene” works into the “Act” work, effectively removing “Scene” works (they will not exist as separate works anymore).

At the moment I am inclined to use the last approach as the most clean, although it requires a bit more efforts. What would you recommend?

edited: fixed the name of the affected opera

Entities without relationships are automatically deleted. So you could remove all links to them, but you’d have to clean up all linked recordings first.

MusicBrainz has a policy of merging rather than deleting, but in this case they are not really duplicates, so it’s a bit of an edge case. I’m personally torn between your option two and three.

I would probably merge into the act work. Keep in mind you can merge all scenes in one work in one go, so it’s not really more effort than removing them. Of course, any recordings that are still at the scene level should be marked as partial if they’re to remain as recordings of the whole act :slight_smile:

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Thank you for suggestions, I will merge “Scene” works into the “Act” work. Since the original author created scenes just in Act I, the amount of work is less than I initially expected.