Proposed text for definition of "Soundtrack" on Release Group /Type documentation

I’m open to something different. That’s just what seemed to me to be the prevailing opinion in the discussion.

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I’ll second what @aerozol said above

also adding that I’ve seen singles released as part of a soundtrack, but they don’t appear on an album. I could imagine it’s fairly common with video games, as they can receive updates which have new music, but not enough for an album.


Related ticket:

This film was famous for its pop music sound track of the era. All written for the film. The first track, Don’t You (Forget About Me), became a large hit for Simple Minds. I find it a little strange that MB has no way of noting this at a work level. None of these tracks has anyway to note their use at a Work or Recording level. If you stopped the single from being a soundtrack then nothing links it to a film any more.

I feel there is a little too much focus on a “score” and forgetting that much more can make up the “soundtrack” of a film - and songs like this are very important to that soundtrack.

Or swap that to higher sellers like The Bodyguard and I Will Always Love You, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Everything I do I Do it For You. etc etc Huge Soundtrack Singles that would not exist if not for the film. (this list is long)

If we didn’t have singles released specifically for promotion of films then we would not have any of the classic singles associated to James Bond.

Currently the database is missing the ability to really let us explore music as used in film.

Shutting down the “Soundtrack Single” seems wrong to me. A single released to promote a film should be noted in the same way as an album released to promote that same film. And often that single will see far more than the album and do much to promote the film.

I could write for ages on this subject… so you are lucky I deleted half this post :rofl:


I agree. This is why I added “…or the collection of recordings…” to the first paragraph.

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Friendly reminder that the style leader was refering to works, not RGs in this reply.


A soundtrack release is an album of the actual recorded music featured in a movie, TV series, stage show, video game, or other medium. This might be the musical score, or a collection of recordings that were used in the medium, or both. Video game CDs with audio tracks should be classified as soundtracks because the musical properties of the CDs are more interesting to MusicBrainz than their data properties.

The MusicBrainz project does not generally consider the following to be soundtracks:

  • a single or EP taken from a complete soundtrack release (unless the single/EP is explicitly marked as “soundtrack”).
  • re-recordings, or cover performances of music from a soundtrack release.
  • a compilation of individual recordings from various soundtrack releases.

The association of a Single/EP with its originating soundtrack should be established using the “single/EP which was taken from…” relationship.


Thanks for the revised proposal.

I don’t know whether this can be generalized that easily. For example, OSTs to Korean TV series (K-dramas) often release the individual tracks as parts (e.g., 재벌집 막내아들 OST Part 3 - 벅스, 괜찮아 사랑이야 (SBS 수목드라마) OST - Part.8 / 오렌지캬라멜(Orange Caramel)), both of these have the 앨범 종류 (album type) set to “OST”. Nonetheless, I’m not sure if it qualifies as a soundtrack release group when adding these singles to MusicBrainz (Release group “재벌집 막내아들 OST Part 3” by 서다현 - MusicBrainz). The actual soundtrack would probably be this one, the singles are then taken from the various artists release group.

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So there are several comments saying what’s wrong with my proposed text, but no suggested changes to improve it. I’m trying to start a conversation that will result in a clearer definition that clarifies the ambiguities/inaccuracies of the current one.

In my view, a soundtrack is the complete score or collection of recordings etc. not part of it.

Singles from the soundtrack are simply singles that happen to be released from soundtrack album, not a ‘normal’ one. Why does it need to be more than this?

That’s the point of the part below (I just realized I used the word “release” where it was confusing. I hope changing it to “single/EP” makes more sense):

I think it would be clearer if the word ‘complete was included:

A soundtrack is the complete musical score or collection of recordings…

Ok, done. I was a little concerned that someday, somewhere, someone would say “What does ‘complete’ mean?” Many, maybe most, soundtrack albums don’t include every second of music that was in the movie (see the bootleg “score” releases of much of Hans Zimmer’s stuff).

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It’s common for a label to intentionally release a soundtrack in separate parts (e.g., Vol. 1, Vol. 2…), and it would be the intention of the label that these are a soundtrack to a specific thing. Therefore, I don’t think adding “complete” is an accurate discriminator.

What’s been said by the Style Leader is more along the lines of,

A compilation of various recordings from unrelated soundtracks would not itself be a soundtrack - just a compilation.


A good point, but my request was to emphasise that there’s just one and it’s the whole thing and parts of it (e.g. singles ) can’t be treated as soundtracks.

open to alternative words…

Do you have an example

My reason for suggesting to include the word complete is that the text without it doesn’t convey to me the basic concept of what a soundtrack is. That’s my opinion as someone not previously involved in debate.

How about “published” instead of “complete?”

I’ve found a few video game soundtracks that come in volumes. Haven’t found any from movies (also found a bunch of stuff that shouldn’t be marked as soundtracks).

Here’s a search:
Search results - MusicBrainz

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and the majority of Japanese anime.

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isn’t published a state of the album? eg released / unreleased. what about “entire”?