Discussion about keeping play titles in Recording names

Redundant info which is already stored in relationships is being removed from titles but there is an opposing view arguing that it’s worth keeping due to the UI.

I edit mostly classical music, but in this case the analogy is obvious: the musical is for all practical purposes a modern form of opera :slight_smile: , and approach established on MusicBrainz for operas may be easily applied to musicals as well.

In both cases (operas and musicals):

  • There is a large umbrella work which consists of smaller parts.
  • Usually the umbrella work is performed and recorded as a whole.
  • But sometimes smaller parts are performed and recorded separately as stand-alone pieces.

The common approach on MusicBrainz for classical music, including operas:

  • Keep track names as printed on CD (include name of the umbrella work only if it is printed on the CD).
  • For work names, keep the name of the main work in the title of parts as a prefix. Example from classical music: Acis and Galatea, HWV 49: Act I, no. 7. Aria “Love in her eyes sits playing” (Acis). The main work is “Acis and Galatea”, which consists of Acts (intermediate sub-parts), which consists of Numbers (smallest sub-parts). Applying this approach to the case in question, the work name probably shall be “My Fair Lady: On the Street Where You Live”.

Just for your reference, here is a classical release “The Enjoyment of Opera” with arias from various operas, which is for all purposes similar to your release “Great Songs From The Musicals”: a collection of parts of larger works, recorded as stand-alone pieces.


I agree that the musical name does not belong in the “recording” title. What I do not understand is the lack of standardization in the “track” title naming. Look at Simply Musicals and Great Songs From The Musicals one has the musical name at the beginning of the track name and the other does not. Does the musical name belong in the track title or not (or is that up to the individual contributor), on both of these releases it is shown on the art work.

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@dashv: theres no specific guidelines for track titles in our “theatre” guidelines, so our generic guidelines apply which say to stay as close as possible to the back cover: Which means that e.g. all tracks on https://musicbrainz.org/release/07b1ff30-f407-4c25-85c8-b7d85943cfe2 are wrong and should include the umbrella work, as on cover … (either as “My Fair Lady: On the Street Where You Live” or as "On the Street Where You Live (from: “My Fair Lady”)

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Actually I couldn’t agree more with alex–s7. I never understood why we would have different guidelines for Theatre, Opera, Operetta and Musicals, which all are “Plays” basically meant to be seen/heard as a whole… and all share the equal importance of Writers (Composers) and Performers which MusicBrainz has to cope with…

Your statement that “all tracks on Great Songs From the Musicals are wrong” appears incorrect.
The Musicals are shown in bright red after the track title, indicating that they are not part of it but are extra title information (https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Titles#Extra_title_information). The example at the end of that style guide implies that linking to the Work is the way to go.

Wrong again :slight_smile: Your assumption that the example about cover versions in our guidelines in any way implies something about Musical Recording titles is hazardous, and so is your guess what secret meaning a chosen color on the back cover has. (You know, there was this young graphicist who was in love with a girl that liked red and thus preferred the use of a color to a colon or to brackets since there was limited space anyway…)
The question still is: why should Recordings of (Broadway) Musicals be treated differently than theater / soundtrack / opera where including the “umbrella” work (in one way or the other) is clearly the thing to do.

Many people will have that CD as their only CD with musicals on. The red text is a very important part of the title. Otherwise the important details of which musical those tracks are from is lost in the depths of the database.

It is part of the track name as it is listed on the cover, but not part of the recording name.