Japanese release with official transliteration & editing existing releases

Hello. I have a release that is currently in the database which uses English as the script, but is a Japanese release with an official transliteration (f8263478-6c19-4c0f-b7be-0835f99e8b5c). I’m rather new and I would prefer to ask how one should proceed as I have a few other weird CDs like this one.

For an overview of this particular release: This is a performance of various classical Japanese compositions with a koto (an instrument) with some vocals (. . . I think that’s how to describe this? I don’t know much about classical music of any county tbh). the title on one side of the spine and the back reads “日本の伝統音楽●筝~江戸のバッハ”, which translates to “Japanese Traditional Music - Sō ~ The Bach of Edo” as far as my terrible Japanese can tell. The front cover, back, and opposite spine have the title “Sō: Japanese Traditional Music”, dropping the ‘Bach of Edo’ moniker. The back includes the name of the composition, composer, and the instrument (including vocals) with the performer’s name in Japanese prominently, then has an English transliteration next to it in a slightly more subdued font.

My question: the release in MusicBrainz uses the English title and the English track titles. It also uses the English transliterations for the credits (composer, performers). I would think that the tracks should:

  • use the Japanese title
  • add a ‘recording of’ relation for a work for the composition (this isn’t the only performance of these compositions)
  • add the official English transliteration as an alias
  • add the credits with the Japanese name for performers / vocalists with romanized aliases / sort.
  • set the script to Japanese for the release (or multi language?)

I just am not sure if one should edit the existing release (that I linked to, in this example) or if another release should be made, setting the originally added release as a pseudo-release for an English transliteration. Also, for this particular release, I am unsure if the English title should be used or the Japanese one (or if there should be two separate release / pseudo-release, and which one would be the pseudo, or if any pseudo should be added as this is all on the release). I also don’t know if an appropriate English translation and/or transliteration of the title should be added as an alias.

Other odd questions:

  • Should discids be added to the pseudo releases, or just an ‘official’ release?
  • If your source is a physical CD, should you just write that in the edit notes?

The album seems to transliterate 箏 to both ‘Koto’ (the kunyomi; on the back when crediting in latin script) and ‘Sō’ (onyomi; on the cover with latin script). From some glances at Jisho, I think ‘Sō’ would generally be used when written like ‘箏の琴’ (“Sō no Koto”, which refers to the same instrument 箏 (Koto) does). If a translation of the Japanese title as included, I would think I would want to follow the intent of the . . . whatever you call the person who compiles a various artist compilation or classical performance (or would this be the translator / localizer?), which would be referring to the instrument on the title as a Sō, despite this making it hard to figure out what a ‘Sō’ is without knowing what the kanji is on the spine, which refers to the instrument. Using the transliteration ‘Koto’ makes it easier to figure out the title is just referring to the instrument by doing a search online imo, but I didn’t release the album, so yeah. Sigh. Language is hard.

An old amazon link for this release: Amazon


The Japanese titles should be the primary ones (considered the primary language on the release, given the country it was issued in), but the current tracklisting can be kept as a pseudo-release.


I’ll help you clean this one up.

Edit: To clarify, since this discussion might come up in searches for other users. Japanese domestic release titles aren’t usually derived from front cover, if an alternative title (often Japanese) is prominent elsewhere. Labels and online retailers pretty much never use the English title on the cover over the one on the spine/booklet/obi on online listings.


I moved the Latin alphabet tracklisting to a pseudo-release, added credits from booklet and made the release follow Classical Style Guide (applies here, since the songs are credited to Japanese classical composers).


Wow, you work fast. Thank you! Looking over what you did should answer any other questions I had.


Hello, @MatchaTeaCookies . Welcome to MusicBrainz!

I have nothing to add to @finalsummer 's reply.

But I will say, I am glad to have another MusicBrainz contributor with Japanese language ability (I read a little Japanese myself). And I am really, really glad to see the care and diligence you show in how carefully you considered this Release entry and how you asked for guidance. I am looking forward to your contributions to MusicBrainz. Thank you!