Lots of question from a beginner

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Hi everyone !
After using MB for a long time, I thought it was time to start contributing. I tried reading as much documentation as possible, especially the classical guidelines as classical is my main interest, but I still have some questions about various topics. I apologize if there are obvious questions.

First, I’m wondering about this opera : https://musicbrainz.org/work/7697b2ec-036a-419a-9dc6-5b49465ba49f
Each scene is a separate work, which doesn’t seem to follow the guidelines ("Note: In opera, “scenes” are instructions about who appears on
stage (e.g. “Don Giovanni. Zerlina”), and/or what should take place
(e.g. “Kurwenal enters boisterously through the curtains”). A scene is
not an independent work in an opera. Furthermore, scenes can change
completely independent of the music, sometimes several times during a
single number. In general you should not create “scene works” as a
container for numbers. ).
What would be the correct way to structure this work ? My understanding is that there should be one work per act, and then one work per tableau as part of the acts. Am I correct ? (the fact that there is only one recording of this work in the database probably explain that works follow the tracklist).

Then, some questions about cover art.

A lot of labels now offer pdf booklets on their website, e.g. Kairos, hyperion, chandos etc…
What is the proper way to add theses to the database ? Is it even a good idea ? For example the booklet of https://musicbrainz.org/release/ec915739-6e65-4a7a-b18c-61265a34d053 is available at https://www.kairos-music.com/sites/default/files/downloads/0013222KAI.pdf : can this be considered as artwork of the CD release ? Or only of the digital release ? Nowadays most recordings have a physical and a digital release at the same time, both virtually identical, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a separate digital release on musicbrainz (except when it differs from the physical one).

Also, I wondered if there is a simple way or a tool to download all the artwork of a release, rather than opening each picture and saving it.

Finally, I made (perhaps too hastily) my first edit on this release group : https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/ca80411f-58aa-36d9-8952-631754158841
I would be very grateful if someone could check if I made any mistake, and tell me if further improvements could be made.

I love musicbrainz and the way it is organized, and I hope to contribute actively. I suppose it isn’t that hard when you are used to it, but as a new member it feels like a huge amount of information to integrate.

Thanks in advance for your answers !


The pdf booklet you link to is clearly a scan of the cd booklet, so I would add that to a cd release, but if there is a digital release it could be added there too. If the pdf has a different format that doesn’t reflect the physical release, I wouldn’t add it there. Do note though that not all labels like their own pdf’s on other sites. I believe hyperion asks people not to, so I wouldn’t add theirs.

About your edit: please add performers to the release artist and to relationships, but don’t put them in the release title. We used to do that before we had a proper way to handle these artists. See the relevant guideline. Various Artists isn’t much use to anyone, so I would avoid using that special purpose artist unless really necessary.

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Thanks for your answer. About my edit, note that I didn’t add the release, I modified it. You should go to “open edits” if you want to see what I did. The performer in the title and various artists were already there, I corrected it.
The booklet I linked isn’t a scan strictly speaking, more like the file used to print the booklet. And yes, there is a note in hyperion booklets to not share it, so you’re probably right. I guess it must be dealt with case per case.

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Yes. Fixing operas is a lot of effort, and requires some familiarity with the opera - so it’s not happened very often.

Welcome to MusicBrainz, @Heurtebise.

Thank you for your contribution and for the great care you obviously took to make good edits.

Congratulations, this looks like these were difficult edits, especially changing Various artists to a set of Artist credits. If I am reading the edits correctly, then you have interpreted the classical style guide very well, and this edit looks good. If I’m not reading the edits correctly, then maybe after this edit is voted in, you will want to make some corrections. That’s fine. In any case, it’s clear that these edits are moving MusicBrainz in a good direction.

Good work! Thank you!


Thanks !
I don’t think I’m done on this one, there is still a lot of information not present in the database. It’s not completely clear to me at which level each information should be added. Here’s my understanding, correct me if I’m wrong :

  • The recording date, place, and the recording enginneer should be set for each recording.
  • The performer should be linked to each recording, with the instrument
  • The recording artist should be the performer (or main performers), whereas the track artist should be the composer (this sounds a bit strange to me, but the guidelines seem clear)
  • Producer, distribution, design : ?
    I’ll also have to create the works that don’t exist yet, I’ll dig into that later.

I’m pretty confident there is a place to specify the instrument used for the recording (for organs for example), but I didn’t find this yet.

I prefer making sure everything is ok before making edits, sorry for the ton of questions.

[quote=“Heurtebise, post:7, topic:5501”]

  • The recording date, place, and the recording engineer should be set for each recording.[/quote]
    Yes, as long as there is no doubt that all these relationships apply to all tracks. If the packaging simply says: recorded by Joe the Plumber, Joe Sixpack and Jane Doe, it’s best to add these to the release.

Yes (with the same caveat as above). You can specify the instrument if you select the instrument relationship from the drop-down menu.

Yes. The interface isn’t very accommodating though. There may be a script for that, but it’s ok if you just leave the composer as recording artist.

Producer can be on the tracks or the release. Distribution, design etc apply to the entire release, so these should just be added to the release (I don’t think it’s possible to add these to tracks anyway).

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What you want is

If you mean a way to specify a specific organ rather than just “organ”, that’s not exactly possible as such, but the “performed instrument” relationship has an instrument credit option (so you can enter it as “organ [what organ]”.


It makes sense, thanks. I suppose this is also the place to specify “Baroque violin” or things like that ? The instrument doesn’t exist, and perhaps there is no need to consider it as a different instrument than the violin.

I have a couple more questions : Where exactly should I enter the recording date ? It seems each relationship has optional dates, so I’m not sure which one to choose.
Also, is “recorded by” the correct relationship type for recording engineers ?

This specific instrument has been requested, but I didn’t add it exactly because of what you said - it’s unclear if it really deserves to be its own instrument. In any case, yes, an instrument credit seems like a great choice in the meantime. By the way, if you find instruments we’re missing, you can always add a ticket to request them, like that one :slight_smile:

Ideally, everywhere… there’s a userscript that makes that relatively simple. But if you’re not using the userscript, it might be too much work, in which case I’d suggest either the recording-place relationship or the recording-work one as reasonable “main” places for the dates.



You would set it (begin date = end date) on recording‐work is a recording of relationship, on recording‐artist performed vocal(s)/instrument(s) relationship and on recording‐place/area recorded at relationship.

It is tedious to set all those dates manually (three fields per date and ×2 because begin = end), cf. Date fields should be a single field (MBS-1197).

There are a few shortcuts

  • I use EASY_DATE with which I copy the date one like 1977-06-24 (this date pattern) and then for each relationship I paste it Ctrl+v in begin field and then press c for copy to end field.
  • There is also Paste‐A‐Date which undersand more date formats but that does not copy begin→end.
  • There is another script by Loujine IIRC that sets multiple dates at once.
  • In my same SUPER MIND CONTROL TURBO script where I use EASY_DATE, there is a menu item that sets date on all checked recording‐work is a recording of relationships of the relationship editor.

For all those you need Greasemonkey or equivalent.


Thanks for the answers !
For dates, SUPER MIND CONTROL TURBO + Loujine’s script does the job very well.

I also have a Tonmeister / Recording Engineer / Ingénieur du son on a release. Should I use the general engineer type in doubt ? It seems to me that Tonmeister and Ingénieur du son are the equivalents of of Recording engineer, but I could be wrong (specifically, I don’t think there is a way to specify the difference between Sound and Recording engineer in french).

Edit : I think I found the answer in https://musicbrainz.org/relationship/0748fa55-56b5-4ad5-8ce8-15b97f82a0c2, I should just use Engineer.

Another question (sorry, the more I dig into details, the more questions I have) : How are areas added ? Sondelfingen has a Wikidata entry, but it doesn’t seem to be here : https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q2164299

Balance Engineer and Tonmeister are the same thing. See also this thread: Questions about producer and engineer relationship types

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Questions are good, keep at it :slight_smile: Areas are added by a specific, small subset of editors, and if you need one that’s missing, you should add an area request ticket.

Thanks ! It was handled really quickly.

On another matter, I’d like to add the 2014 remastered reissue of https://musicbrainz.org/release/b6c5ccee-07dc-459f-b239-763363112143. Since it was remastered, should I use the same recordings ? If yes, where should I put the remaster information ?

Yup! Recordings should be reused, and the release can be linked to the original as “remaster of” (and the mastering engineer linked on the release level).

Thanks ! I didn’t find the relationship for remaster credit, should I just use mastering ?

I found a number of recordings that I believe to be the same (same acoustID), how are theses handeled ?
I found the ISRC on the SCPP : http://www.scpp.fr/SCPP/Accueil/REPERTOIRE/Catalogue/Choix_catalogue/BasePhonogrammes/tabid/81/language/en-US/Default.aspx?Dec=00050025082462

I suppose they all should be merged into the most detailed one ?

Edit : forgot the link to the acoustID, here it is : https://acoustid.org/track/f6dc3b9e-4efa-4df5-b0e1-9497e6c1563e

Yeah, just mastering.

You can merge if you’re reasonably sure that they’re the same (acoustID can be wrong sometimes for something like a remix, but if you have more reasons to suspect they’re the same then it’s a good check too). It doesn’t matter much which one you merge them into because stuff like relationships will be transferred too, so mostly you want the one with the most correct title / artist (in this case, since it’s classical, the performer).

I’d double check the fingerprints first to make sure that there aren’t any big enough changes that would warrant a new recording.