How to handle incorrect composer credits in Works?

What’s the right style when Release A credits composer X as composer of work W, and then Release B says that, no, in fact Composer Y composed that work W? Then backs it up with research?

Case in point: Work 21f580e, the Aria “Non posso disperar”. One Release, Schirmer’s “Twenty-Four Italian Songs and Arias for Medium Low Voice”, includes a recording of this Work, and credits the composer as S. De Luca. The composer credit is based on an older book, Parisotti’s “Arie Antiche”.

However, in another Release, “26 Italian Songs and Arias”, editor John Glenn Paton did research, and finds that Parisotti was wrong, the actual composer was Giovanni Battista Bononcini (1670-1747).

So, both Releases make claims about the same music composition, and those claims are different. They can’t both be right. But both claims were actually made by Releases.

What do we put in the Composer Relationship on a work: our best information about what is true, or an accurate recording of what was credited, even if mistaken? And if two different recordings make different mistaken claims, what do we do about a Relationship between each recording and the Work entity?

This conundrum reminds me of Wikipedia’s “Verifiabiilty, not truth” policy choice.

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As far as I know, we always try to fix mistakes.
So if there’s a typo on a release, or the track order has been printed incorrectly, we’ll fix it (unless there’s evidence that the artist intended for things to be printed this way).

So in this case I would maybe make an annotation on the edited release, maybe even the recording/work, and go with the credits that seem the most accurate. Which are the most accurate in this particular case, I’ll leave up to you!


In this case, I would use the corrected information (Bononcini) for composition relationship and use others (De Luca) for previous attribution relationship. See Artist-Work relationship types.

I second @aerozol on annotations, especially if it is a grey area.


I wasn’t familiar with the previous attribution relationship. It should work well here.

You should use the correct data for the relationships, but the track artist should remain as credited on the release I believe. An annotation can be useful to prevent someone from ‘correcting’ it.