Do we need two areas? (One for "born in", one for "died in")?

If you look at this artist you can see his birth- and deathdate.

It looks a litte bit confusing to see the area “Soviet Union” under “died in” Berverly Hills, Califorina, United States".

Is it just me?

All of these areas linked to an artist have different purpose and I agree it looks confusing at first. I guess birth and death areas are easy to understand but this another area could confuse. From MB Wiki: “indicates the area with which an artist is primarily identified with. It is often, but not always, its birth/formation country”. Most of the people would consider Rachmaninoff being Soviet or Russian composer even though he lived tens of hist last years in US. You couldn’t tell that based on other data. This data isn’t that useful for me but I could imagine someone would like to list all Soviet composers for example.


Thank you for the Wiki-Link,!

I’m sure you already know that "in 1942, Rachmaninoff moved to Beverly Hills, California. He acquired U.S. citizenship a month before his death from advanced melanoma.“
"In August 2015, Russia announced its intentions to seek reburial of
Rachmaninoff’s remains in Russia, claiming that Americans have neglected
the composer’s grave while attempting to “shamelessly privatize” his
name. The composer’s descendants have resisted this idea, pointing out
that he died in the U.S. after spending decades outside of Russia in
self-imposed political exile.”

Would you still list him as a Soviet composer? As a Russian Composer? As a US composer? :wink:

What I want to say: “primarily identified with” is pretty vague and obviously not unique/distinct/unambiguous.
Should an encyclopedia not be exactly the opposite and offer clear and correct informations?

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Do we need two areas? (One for “born in”, one for “died in”)?

I don’t understand the question: We have “born in” and “died in” areas.

As I learned from, we already have 3 Areas:

  1. “born in”
  2. “died in”
  3. “Area” (which should be called “primarily identified with”)

Initially, I thought “Area” is the region for 1) or 2). Thats why I asked about it.

Actually, I only ask why MB supports a pretty vague field like “Area”?
MB writes about the support for “Genre”:

Why does MusicBrainz not support genre information?
Because doing genres right is very hard.

I would say “primarily identified with” would match it perfect. :wink:

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The reason is simply that the artist area (formerly country) has been there “forever” and you can’t get rid of it. The best way would be to turn it into a relationship, which could exist multiple times. There could also be more specific relationship types. I was quite sure there already is a ticket for this, but I seem to be mistaken about it.

Style guidelines are at


FWIW, Wikipedia says this:

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff ([…]) was a Russian pianist, composer, and conductor […]
Sergei Rachmaninoff - Wikipedia

So I think it’s fair to claim Russia, or the Soviet Union, is where is primarily identified as being from. Unless you can find somewhere that calls him an American composer?

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With Rachmaninoff drawing the line isn’t that confusing because he did compose most of his works while living in Russia. During 25 years outside Russia he completed only 6 works. Only one of these works was fully composed in US (lived there about 15 years). He’s sometimes falsely called as Soviet composer even though he never lived in Soviet Union and he and his works were banned there several years.


And, frankly, our childhood and teenage years quite define ourselves and what country or region we are tightly bound to within our very inner self, IMO.

Sounds like his mb area should be edited from Soviet Union to Russia then?



It was changed from Russia to the Soviet Union because “Russian Federation did not exist in his lifetime”, but we use the “Russia” area for the historical Russias.


Agreed, ‘area’ really isn’t that helpful a field title!!

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