Question about a work : Sould a work with different credits be splitted?


I’d like some advice about this work:

The original work (T-802.073.494-6) involves only Rudolf Schenker and Klaus Meine.

But the work T-803.328.428-6 was done by many more people, as described by the relationships.

In my opinion, it should be splitted as the credits are not the same. What do you think ?

Thanks in advance.


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Yes, and all those other people should be removed from that work. Where did they come from?


It seems it comes from a work merge, maybe the merger did not feel the difference of version between the 2 works, or maybe the mixing was already done.

The first one is the original one, and the new work is a rearrangement made for MTV Unplugged, with accoustic guitard and additional instuments, and arrangers.

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If memory serves, the logic I used for that merge was that we normally don’t create new work entities for alternate arrangements of popular works. Usually arrangers for such works are credited on the recording level.
Perhaps I may have acted in error; there are a number of edge cases where normal courses of action aren’t feasible, and this may well have been one of them.


Thanks HibiscusKazeneko,

Error is part of humanity :smile:

So if there is no objection, and unless someone have a better way to do it, I’ll split the work(s) again, and keep in mind that relationships are prefered when it’s possible.


Shouldn’t there be only one work and shouldn’t the unplugged arrangers be linked to that recording?
It’s how it’s usually done.

Hi @jesus2099,

In strict terms, regarding the definition of an arrangement, I would agree with you.

But in this specific case, many songs were (in my opinion) not only rearranged, but written again.
I mean, they added up to 3 guitars to the original song, percussions, some piano instead of guitar, new guitar solos written, strings, background voices, to create a full unplugged work.

And it sounds like the band share that opinion, because they registered some new work, with some specific titles like “Born to Touch Your Feelings (Unplugged 2013)” instead of just “Born to Touch Your Feelings”, and additional composers, not just arrangers.

However, the booklet only says “arrangements by” witch does not pay real tribute to the work done… And this is why I’m so confused with that issue…

Anyway, I’ll go with the majority :slight_smile:

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I must add that there’s 22 or 23 works on GEMA where the “arrangers” are considered as composers, and only 10 or 12 duplicates with no ISWC where they are acting as arrangers

I still can’t understand why :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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This is just one view (so don’t give up on your view just because of this one):
Just about every performer makes changes to a Work - a classical soloist for example has to make many decisions around tempo, tone, phrasing, errors in the manuscript, volume, emotionality and performance traditions - some of which can be in direct opposition to the printed score that represents the Work.
I don’t see that as making a new Work
In a similar way I don’t see re-orchestrating or adding or subtracting instruments as a new Work but rather as arrangements.
I see that it is a lot of highly skilled artistry involved. And think that that artistry should be respected and acknowledged more widely.
But that broadening the definition of Work to include the adding of instruments would have just about every new performance eligible to be a new Work. Which would in turn pretty much remove the usefulness of the category “Work”.

(I think it was at the end of the Goldberg Variations, after providing 30+ variations on the basic theme that Bach wrote, “And so on”.
I am more than happy for people who compose or write the further variations to be credited as the creators of Works. :slightly_smiling_face: )


This is IMO more important source than GEMA.
And I don’t diminish the importance of arrange role compared with author.
Arrangement is very important for making good recordings, even more important than work author, IMO.


First, thanks all for your comments, I

Sure I won’t! But I got your point, based on the strict definition of an arrangment. My goal is to use the Musicbrainz best practices, and to reflect as much as possible the reality :slight_smile:

I’m fine to use the boocklet as main source. And you’re absolutely right, arrangements are usually what makes a regular song a great song!

Sounds like I own you appologies. I was the one acting in error. Ahhh, humanity ^^

Let’s go for arrangers links at recording level, that will make the job easier for sure :wink:


I’ve always found it a fairly arbitrary/arrogant distinction that arrangements of classical works merit new works, but “popular” ones do not.
It leads to having to duplicate ARs across recordings.
Not every re-recording/cover of a work warrants a new work, but major rearrangements do, in my opinion. After all, versions with changed/translated lyrics get new works too.


imho if there are substantial alterations to a work (popular) then it aught to be made another work. Something like a “unplugged” where instruments are “arranged” by someone (not unlike the classical ones) might warrant a new work.

Something to be said about classical works: not every single new arrangement should be made as a new work. Only the ones where the arrangement has been published so that others can replicate it to the letter

In “popular” works there is a lot more “on the go” arrangement and changes than in “classical”, you see this with jazz as well.
The idea behind classical “arranged, so new work” is that the changes should not only be substantial (ie, from piano to cello) but also documented, to facilitate reproduction.

Now if “because they registered some new work” actually checks out, then that means it has been “substantially altered” in such a way that might facilitate reproduction (e.g. someone making a cover of the unplugged version, explicitly notable contra the original) will mean it could be a new work in mb.


As @CatQuest said, the idea is mostly that classical arrangements are often clearly codified and repeated. If a popular music arrangement is published and can be re-recorded easily, there’s no reason not to add it, like this percussion arrangement of Born to Be Wild, which has a downloadable score:


Thanks @CatQuest and @reosarevok for clarification.

If I sum up, rearrangements with a new registered work can be added as a new work, but they must be easy to reproduce (scores).

If there’s any doubt, it’s better to keep the actual work and add relationships at recording level.

For my specific case, even if there’s a new work, I can’t find the scores anywhere, so for now, I’ll keep recordings relationships. Can be changed later anyway :slight_smile: