[Disney] or Composers for Disney track artists?

I have a ton of Disney music I’d like to tag. After a few false starts, I got this album tagged:

However, I have to say, the data is lacking. I’d like to enter these changes, but I’m not sure about the style guidelines.

A lot of Disney releases fail to list any recording artist. There’s a [Disney] special purpose artist (that is a subset of [unknown]) that can be used, however, when I read the notes on the artist page for [Disney], it says this:

This is a Special Purpose Artist.
Please search for the actual COMPOSER

The wording seems to imply I should use the composer’s names in the artist field. Was that the intention? Am I reading that right? That seems very clunky, yet there are lots of releases that do just that.

Also, some of the tracks that have composers as the recording artist are clearly marked in the track title with the recording artist. For instance, this recording:

“The Disneyland Band” is an actual band that performs at Disneyland (with rotating members), and some incarnation of that band recorded the track. Jimmie Dodd is the composer, and I’m fairly sure he didn’t perform on the track.

I think it makes more sense to put the composer in the composer field, and put [Disney] in the artist field. Some of these artists are indeed potentially discover-able with further research. I managed to confirm 11 recording artists out of 28 tracks by doing a few web searches.

Bottom line, I would like to move the composers to the composers field, creating new works if the songs need them, and replace the missing recording artists with the [Disney] special purpose artist.

I want to open a discussion before I change anything, because one one hand, possibly no one’s ever cared enough to be this picky before, but on the other, maybe someone thinks Disney composers in the artist field is a hard and fast rule, and then I’ll get my edits down voted, time wasted, etc. These updates would affect a large number of recordings so I don’t want to jump right in.

Do y’all have any opinions on this?

For actual soundtrack releases, the relevant guideline says:

“If the cover art lists specific artists for each track, that artist should be placed in the track’s Artist Credit field. If there are no track artists, use the release artist instead. If there is no release artist, use the composer for each track instead. If the composer is unknown, use [unknown].”

For stuff that’s not soundtracks, it depends. I’d definitely prefer the composer to [Disney], but I’d also prefer just [unknown] to [Disney]. If we’re to keep [Disney] at all, it should be merged into [unknown] and used as an artist credit, as per the guideline.

I am mostly trying to tag theme park music CDs, where recording artists and composers are often omitted entirely (but can usually be tracked down).

I’d definitely prefer the composer to [Disney], but I’d also prefer just [unknown] to [Disney].

In the artist field, right?

If we’re to keep [Disney] at all, it should be merged into [unknown] and used as an artist credit, as per the guideline.

OK, so you are saying, if we replace the composers in the artist field with a special purpose artist, we should just use [unknown], not [Disney], right?

The “soundtrack composer as recording artist” guideline seems to follow the classical guideline, which makes sense for most soundtracks that are orchestral in nature.

But I think most theme park “soundtracks” are more similar to a “pop compilation” release than a “classical” or “soundtrack” release. They usually have different recording artists, they are usually not completely orchestral in nature, they are usually composed by many different people, and the tracks are usually recorded at different times. Therefore, I would prefer them to list the recording artist as [unknown] if they are truly unknown, as in “pop” releases, and keep the composers in the composer field.

By the way, there is an idea mentioned in this forum thread that may eventually fix this issue. It was suggested that Musicbrainz add a “classical” tag to classical releases (and classical-like soundtracks), to allow a user preference toggle (on the site and in Picard) to change the way track artists are presented (i.e. do we use the performer or the composer as “artist”?).

What do you think about the Disneyland Band track? I have a lot of tracks like that, where the artist is listed in the title.

Basically, when we became able to have different credits for an artist a few years ago, the guidelines were written so that things like [Disney] would be merged into [unknown] (and be just [unknown] with a different credit). But a lot of them didn’t get merged yet - I’m mostly thinking this should be merged. More generally, I’d prefer some info to no info (so composer, if known, to [unknown]), but I wouldn’t mind [unknown] or [Disney] or whatever too much as long as the composers and performers are linked to each recording/work.

I would definitely add the band as an artist and link it with a performer relationship to the recording, regardless of what you eventually pick as the track artist.

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Looking at the back of the release for the recording you linked to, it is not the band that is listed per se but the particular amusement that the track is associated with. I would say this not part of the track title (it is after the time), nor extra title information (it isn’t disambiguating from other recordings) though it could be a form of subtitle (but probably not one that should be formed with a colon, more like a semi-colon or full-stop but at the moment that’s against the guidance, see also STYLE-598). That isn’t to say that the performers shouldn’t be listed as the artists for the track, and they definitely should be on the recording whether you apply classical style or not.

That recording should probably be merged with https://musicbrainz.org/recording/eef10e38-759a-4838-8fe3-26f6976b30c6

Yes, on second look I agree. So then the title should be shortened to “Mickey Mouse Club March” with the artist as [unknown], but then it will definitely get confused with other “Mickey Mouse Club March” tracks, as I am sure there are a dozen recordings of that tune in my CD collection alone. So, it does need a disambiguation, so even though “Disneyland Band” is not a disambiguation on the release, should I add “Disneyland Band” as the disambiguation? And if I do, should I add it to the track or the recording?

OK, so what I will do is add the composers to the works, and use [unknown] as the artist unless known of course. That’s what i would initially expect as a new Musicbrainz user, and as long as you don’t mind:smile:

I certainly don’t know all of the performers, but I know a small number of them, and I’d be happy to add those relationships to the recordings while I add them as the known “artists”.


It should not get confused with other Mickey Mouse Club March recordings because Disneyland Band should be the artist on the recording. (In case you don’t know, a track is just on one release and is linked to one recording that can be on many releases and is what has relationships with artists, works, etc.) Personally I would be happy to say this release is not a classical release and it’s definitely not a soundtrack, so I would be happy with the performing artist being used for the track also. Others may disagree :slight_smile:

If you don’t know the performing artist then you’ll have to use [unknown] but with a [Disney] artist credit.

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Hold up! That just bamboozled me. Please explain that bit slowly.

Check out https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Artist_Credits
It’s how we show a more particular way of naming the artist a bit like artist name variations in discogs

Oh right, yes, so “Artist in MusicBrainz” vs “Artist as credited”.



And now I have re-read what @reosarevok was saying I think I understand one of his points as:
if you’re generally entering the performing artist but don’t know who they are, use the composer because it’s more useful than unknown (and since nothing is on the release there is no right or wrong type of artist). Either way, always add the relationships that you know and then the more meaningful data is there.

I understand that [unknown] is ugly and really should be the last resort. I guess my issue with using the composer is that I see it as misleading information, rather than useful information. It’s certainly inaccurate, and most likely confusing for someone who is not involved or interested in the minutia of the recording process, i.e. the average user who just wants to tag their files with Picard.

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[quote=“tikilab, post:13, topic:87680, full:true”]
I understand that [unknown] is ugly and really should be the last resort. I guess my issue with using the composer is that I see it as misleading information, rather than useful information. It’s certainly inaccurate, […][/quote]

It is only inaccurate if you assume that the credited artist is the performer, which is not always the case (classical music, soundtracks, some audiobooks, kind of remixes, and some other cases). Sure it is the most common case, but that does not make it universal. As long as you put in more accurate information in the relationships (and possibly annotation(s)), everything is fine.


Ah gotcha. The artist field is sort of a catch all for the entity most associated as the “artist”. I’m learning. :slight_smile:

That really does make the point for a “classical” flag for Musicbrainz!

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Sorry to drag this out further, but I want to be sure I’m doing this right. It’s in this order and not the other way around, right?

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The order is correct, yes.

I’d just use Disney, without the brackets, though.


I wouldn’t. See:


If it’s credited to Disney, why credit it to [Disney]?

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It’s not credited to Disney. The performers are uncredited. That’s why we use the special purpose artist [Disney].

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