Despite having a lot of experience with the Classical Style Guide over many years of its evolution, I recently made a mistake by failing to include overall work title in track titles for a classical-style Release entry which I updated. And, I had taken the trouble to check the relevant CSG, https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Classical/Track/Title , but I still made the mistake.
So, of course, I blame the wording of Style Guide. It couldn’t be me that is sloppy, could it?
It says in that Style Guide:
“Titles on classical releases should mostly follow the printed information, with any changes required by the language-specific classical guidelines. Note that many classical releases have a less detailed tracklist at the back and a more detailed one in the booklet. When choosing titles, it’s generally better to follow the more detailed one, if available.” and “Do list [details…] if they are included as part of the titles on the release, but not otherwise; that information is already available at the work level, so it doesn’t need to be forced into the track titles if the release doesn’t include it…”
I missed the part lower down, where it says, “For groups of tracks that are marked as part of a full work (with e.g. a header), add the full work title (as listed on the release) to all tracks from the work….”. If I had found this text, I would not have made my mistake.
But I think this is poor writing in the Style/Classical/Track/Title guide. The initial paragraph says “No”, and the lower section says “Yes”. The initial paragraph should say “Mostly No, but Yes for inserting work titles”, and the lower section should say “Here is more about the Yes”.
The introduction now does a better job of summarising the rest of the Guide:
Titles on classical releases should mostly follow the printed information, with addition of overall work title to movement tracks, and any changes required by the language-specific classical guidelines. Note that many classical releases have a less detailed tracklist at the back and a more detailed one in the booklet. When choosing titles, it’s generally better to follow the more detailed one, if available. Don’t add extra work information (key, catalog number, etc.) that is not in the printed information to the track title; that detail is completed at the Work level.
I also moved the Work Title section to the top of the Guide. I changed the phrase “full work title” to “overall work title”, because I think “full work” might be open to misinterpretation in this context. I clarified the wording of the first paragraph of the Work Title section.
I do this proactively because I think this is how the MusicBrainz process now works: this is a Style Guide editorial improvement, not a rule change, so it is OK for Editors to “be bold” and edit the wiki. The leadership has a chance to accept, improve, or reject those changes before letting them into the official docs. If I am misunderstanding the documentation improvement process, I apologise, and please point me to the instructions for what I should have done.