Missing work "Key" option, A sharp major

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f076ed34d30> #<Tag:0x00007f076ed34bc8>


I am adding some music from Beatport, and when I realised it conveniently lists the BPM and Key for music, I decided to add it to the work entries I had created. Unfortunately, for the fourth work/track musicbrainz will not let me set the key to A sharp major.

Beatport specifically says that this work is in “A♯ maj”. You can see it in the listing here:

For the time being, I just added it as an annotation.

Edit: @yvanzo found that the Keys are automatically determined.

Unfortunately I can’t make a new post for another 14 hours because I am a new user, so I need to write my reply here: If the Key and BPM is automatically generated, should I remove it and the BPM from the works I added?


If my understanding is correct, A♯ major is the same as B♭ major, which is selectable.


I hesitate going against what the artist indicated; isn’t there a possibility if you use a differently tempered scale or something, that A♯ major could be different than B♭ major?


Yes! Those keys (A♯, B♯, C♭, D♭, E♯, F♭, G♯) are definitely missing.


Feel free to add them if you feel they’re needed - needs to be done from the DB directly anyway :confused:


Ok, I created and self-assigned STYLE-962.


To be forthright, I don’t actually know if the work in question is untempered or if the writer just likes to be different and use an A♯ major scale where most others would write in B♭ major. I’m not musically minded enough to be able to recognise the difference anyway.


Oh, I did not open your link! The recording seems to be equally tempered. It is not clear whether the key notation is due to artist intent or to Beatport. Can you check that B♭ major is allowed in Beatport?


Indeed it’s not clear in this case whether that ‘key signature’ is the artist’s intent. In principle it could be intended to be A-sharp even with equal temperament, though I’m not sure how one would hear the difference. At any rate there are a number of romantic piano pieces written in D-flat major (as distinct from C-sharp).


I don’t know enough about Beatport, I just came across the release and decided to import it.

I would say that even though Beatport does not have any ‘B♭ major’ key songs, I think it’s possible that that could be an option. If you look at how they indicate keys for the track search:


There are a number of indexes that have no songs in that key; notably, index 2, 12, 15 through 18, and anything greater than 33 return no results. One of these index numbers could be assigned to ‘B♭ major’ right?

Here is the table I made if you want to look for yourself:

Index Key Number of Songs
1 A♭ minor 1
3 B♭ minor 1
4 F minor 154434
5 C minor 451273
6 G minor 398046
7 D minor 671556
8 A minor 1430684
9 E minor 330711
10 B minor 380144
11 F♯ minor 248801
13 B major 95897
14 F♯ major 84712
19 F major 386259
20 C major 297181
21 G major 182946
22 D major 230497
23 A major 417390
24 E major 137857
25 A♯ major 263518
26 A♯ minor 365161
27 C♯ major 58592
28 C♯ minor 153850
29 D♯ major 138644
30 D♯ minor 285814
31 G♯ major 75650
32 G♯ minor 150547
33 G♭ major 1


Are those keys algorithmically determined from the audio files? And if so, I wonder if they constitute sufficient evidence to enter the key in MusicBrainz?

From the list it looks like there is a policy to use A-sharp in preference to B-flat, maybe with one exception. But I suppose it could be somehow to do with the genres represented.


Indeed, they are, and seemingly not with the most reliable algorithm, thus it is probably not worth entering it in MusicBrainz.


Yes. Nowadays nominal tonality is often defined from reading scale ascending; so what (would earlier have, and even now) is conceived and notated in (lowered) B-flat is automagically set to its (raised) enharmonic approxivalent (because popsters generally do not use traditional notation, thus are not subject to accidentals). There are, for instance, several electronic tuners with raised steps only.


IMHO yes, because Beatport auto-detected keys are not reliable, and BPMs don’t belong to the work. BPM will be supported as recording attribute any time soon (although it’s overdue).


Fixed. BPM and Key info removed.

Huh, it did let me post. Strange, its been less than 14 hours. :shrug: