Relationship for instrumentals/beats with lyrics added later?

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how would i represent the relationship between, for example, a producer’s beat and an artist’s song using that beat? i’ve been using the “based on” work-work relationship. is that okay to do? the reason i want to represent this is i think it would be interesting to see all the songs with the same beat.

to be clear, im mostly referring specifically to situations where the producer had no part in any of the creation process past selling/posting the beat/instrumental. i don’t know if that matters.

for example, an instrumental:

(Work “¶ιχєℓιզυєѕ¢єη¢є” - MusicBrainz)

and the song, posted a year later:


Revision of sounds appropriate to me.

Based on should not be used if the new Work is the same composition as the old Work.


this makes sense, thank you!

I would also think there would be a recording-recording relationship, but I don’t know if we’ve got an appropriate one yet… (maybe samples?)

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@UltimateRiff: i definitely agree. i don’t know which one would be appropriate either… “karaoke” would kind of fit but not perfectly. “samples” is a pretty good option too :smiley:

@yindesu: i just noticed “revision of” says this

Revisions are usually made only by the creator of the original work. Do not use this relationship to link to arrangements, completions, reconstructions or any other work by a third person.

and i don’t know if i’m that confident it fits this any better than “based on” for cases like these

This is literally a contradiction though. It’s a good example of a bad guideline. If revisions are only made by the original creator, then say it.

A revision is a very specific thing, which is usually done by the original composer… but is occasionally (rarely) done by others. E.g., IIRC some composers have had their students do revisions of their works for them. It doesn’t mean that revisions are only made by the original author, but in 99+% of cases they are.

The case of lyrics being added to an instrumental or a beat is definitely not a revision of the original work, but rather a case of “based on” (or maybe even more generically just “version of”).


According to the guidelines, no:

The new work must be a new composition, not just an arrangement or the same music with different or translated lyrics.

If non-classical works aren’t supposed to use any of the child relationships under “version of”, then maybe that should also be stated.

but the new work doesn’t have different lyrics, it has new lyrics when there weren’t any before. therefore, a new composition.

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I haven’t seen anyone use the word “composition” to refer to lyricists rather than composers in the context of music. Is that what the word means here?

vocals are definitely an instrument that has a composition; acapella(?) tracks can still have composers after all. i think it’s not really about the lyrics even though that is what i asked in the title haha, oops, but the vocals. there’s an entirely new instrument in the mix that the original composer had nothing to do with

In English you can “compose” lyrics, but MB would still credit that as “lyricist”.

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It seems like Relationship Type / Composer - MusicBrainz contradicts what you’re saying by clearly delineating that lyrics aren’t included in the definition of “composer”.

But supposing that MusicBrainz’s usage of “composition” does include lyrics in this case - then if we place the word “composition” with “lyrics”,

The new work must be a new composition, not just an arrangement or the same music with different or translated lyrics.

in other words,

The new work must be having new music or new lyrics, not just an arrangement or the same music with different or translated lyrics.

Then what is the point of the words after the comma? Obviously, there is no case where “the same music” would be “new music (composition)”. However, in what case would “different or translated lyrics” not be considered “new lyrics (composition)”?

What I mean is MB often has very specific meanings for terms that can be different to common English use.

MB - Writer = wrote words and\or music
MB - Lyricist = wrote words
MB - Composer = wrote music

MB is often different to the English Dictionary and spoken language. That is why they have the guidelines written for you to quote like that.