Duplicating recording artist in recording AR?

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The reason for this post is that I just remembered this edit some time ago.

The performer is the group Berliner Saxophon Quartett consisting of 4 members. I had added the group and the 4 persons as recording artist to the recording. In the mentioned edit, the group was removed with the argument that it is already credited in the recording artist field. As this argument still feels wrong to me (is it covered by some official guideline?), I would like to have a discussion about that.

I think it would be better allowing to add relationships to the recording without any restrictions coming from the entry of the recording artist field.
Simply because the relationships offer much better possibilities for giving structured data, like the actual role of the artist. In fact, it’s not too clear to me why we need an recording artist at all. Relationships can everything the recording artist field can, plus much more.

Listing the four performers is listing the quartet - only with better info. After all, it was the people who really performed there, the quartet is just a way to group them.

I would definitely like the ability to indicate “X performed on Y as part of group Z” somehow, but otherwise I don’t think it makes any sense to have them both, suggesting that this was performed by these four saxophonists plus a quartet.

I think if we added a relationship to a Beatles song with all members credited that just said “performer: The Beatles”, it would feel absolutely redundant and be removed quickly. I don’t really buy that this is any different in classical.

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Thank you for your response, reosarevok.

I completely agree with you that “X performed on Y as part of group Z” would probably be the best solution.
I also agree with you that this has nothing to do with classical. But why should it be bad to add a relationship for the Beatles in your example? There are already redundancies in the relationship: The “recorded at” relationship gives the date 1962-11-26. Giving this again at “recording of” is redundant.

Trying to put my thoughts in a nutshell: Relationships are the superior way of representing metadata. The recording artist field has much fewer possibilities (and given the rich framework of relationships, I don’t see a clear reason why we need it at all). Thus, the entry in the weaker recording artist field shouldn’t restrict the data which is allowed to be added the the relationships.

“X performed on Y as part of group Z” would be a 3-point relationship, the support of which can be voted and commented on MBS-1159.


Thanks, I just voted for it.

I just came across of another example. In the performer relations of that recording, the string quartet “Amadeus quartet” is listed, and additionally the 4 string players.

reosarevok, do I get you right that “Amadeus quartet” should be removed here? I don’t like this, as we are throwing away information on a recording without good cause. Classical recordings often appear on dozens of releases (in this case, already 5 releases are linked) without an evident connection to each other. Commonly, this makes it quite hard to dig up the right recording. We should leave anything in place which might be of help for finding the recording.

You get me right that I would not add it. That’s not a guideline, though, just my personal view on the issue. The recording will already appear on the recordings page for the quartet, for finding needs.

That said, since it’s not a guideline, there’s no need for you to remove it (it’s not “wrong”, officially). I can live with it being there like that until we can do multi-point relationships, although I am afraid that’ll take basically forever :confused:

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Yes, but this is separated from the performer-relationships where it won’t show up. The higher the chance to find the recording, the better.
Or a slightly different point of view: Relationships provide the most fine-grained possibilities for searching (at least in theory), so preferably the full set of information should be contained in the relationships.

Thank you for clarifying!

If I changed everything wrong that I’m spotting, there wouldn’t be time for sleep. :slight_smile:

Does this mean

  1. groups don’t perform; they are merely ‘credited’ for recordings that persons perform (except in corner cases)? or
  2. groups do perform; but that should only be expressed in relationships when the group isn’t in the artist credits?

To me, artist credits aren’t a substitute for relationships.


Mostly 1, in my view. Groups just, well, group performers, but they don’t perform as such, do they? I still think it’d be very weird to have a “performer: Black Sabbath” relationship in all tracks in Paranoid when we already have the members, for example. But maybe there’s a point, I dunno.


Oops, really? I always had assumed that 2. is your point. So the performer-type orchestra (among others) should never be used?

This is a bit like saying: All my CDs have only a single track. It’d be weired to have track numbers.

What I mean is: To get a clear picture, one should better look at the more intricate examples, not only the simplest ones. To stay with a rock music, let’s look at the Deep Purple album Concerto for Group and Orchestra. It is a live performance together with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The recordings have the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as the performing orchestra relationship. So you are saying that in your opinion, this relationship should better be removed (no matter whether the members of the orchestra are listed separately or not)? This feels really really wrong to me.

No, it should definitely not be removed if the members aren’t listed separately, because linking to a grouping of performers is better than not linking to anyone at all :slight_smile: But if all the orchestra members are listed, then having that relationship too sounds at best redundant to me, and at worst confusing (“all this people play, and also the orchestra? This sure must be a work for huge forces!”).

I think we would both agree though that the ideal option would be to have “(list of performers) performed (recording) as part of (grouping)” though - which is also how it’s usually printed on albums! It’s just not possible right now, and might not be for years :disappointed:

In the meantime, I’m fine with not removing the group relationships when present, and I think I might stop doing that - I’m unlikely to start adding them myself though :slight_smile:

To me, it comes down to this:

  • is "list all recordings performed by " the sort of query that MB should have an answer for?
  • do artist credits provide an accurate and unambiguous answer?

Maybe they do and I’m getting caught up in hypotheticals that don’t really happen.

Right now what is possible, though, is to link the members of a band (or orchestra…) to the group via the member of relationship.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t let you specify who played on this recording, or that while Bob normally plays electric guitar, on this recording he played acoustic guitar.

But if you do both—put the people who played and the group on the recording and in addition make sure the member-of relationship is in the database, then that actually is clear: Bob and Tom play drums on this recording. So does the group The Hypothetical Band. Bob and Tom are members of the Hypothetical Band, so they’re not additional people playing.

(If you just have Bob and Tom, without the band, you don’t know which of two bands they’re in, or if maybe this is something that they did without the other band members).

[But please don’t do this with orchestras. I doubt the page would even load once you’d added 60+ people to each recording].


Let me comment that in my opinion, groups clearly are performers. However, I see the redundancy problem of listing people twice, which apparently we cannot completely avoid at the moment.

And let me once again add my second point: The recording artist is a weak to dubious piece of information for me. We should better not rely on it, all the information should preferably also be given in the form of advanced relationships (such that the recording artist can be created automatically from that information).

Just out of interest: Why? What is so hard about implementing those multipoint relationships?

Thank you! I already seized the opportunity and re-added the “Berliner Saxophon Quartett” in the initial case. :slight_smile:

Our entire relationship structure (and database tables) are designed as “A relationship B”. To change that from 2 points to n points, we’d probably need to change a looot of stuff under the hood.

The relevant ticket, with some (old) talk:


I see. Thanks for the explanation!

Resurrecting this interesting thread as it seems relevant to a question I’ve hesitated over a few times recently. There is the marvellous script “Replace recording artists from a Release page” which transfers all performer relationships to artist credits. But I wonder if it is always OK to do this.

  • Should we care about the order of the artist credits for a recording? This came up in this edit, for example. I think the answer is probably not.
  • The recording artist field is supposed to be a ‘summary’ according to the CSG. But the script will put everything there, as in this edit of mine. Does this matter?

If the answer to either question is ‘yes’, it would be lovely to have an enhanced script that gave more control over what was transferred, but I don’t know quite how that would work.

Sometimes. For example, I would generally list a quartet on the recording artist even if all members are listed separately with relationships.

For example, I would generally list a quartet on the recording artist even if all members are listed separately with relationships.

Do you mean you would generally only list the quartet? Or would you be just as happy with Quartet + Member1 + Member2 + …?