Spanish artist names (y su or y Su)


Guideline is not really clear about how to handle “Su” or equivalent

I m saying cases in capital or some in not:

Should it be handled like:

  1. French/Hungarian: y su orchestra / y sus Cachimbos (part describing the type also in lower cases)
  2. English: y Su Orchestra / y Sus Cachimbos
  3. Other: y su Orchestra / y sus Cachimbos
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Similar question for english where “The” is sometimes with capital and sometimes not.

ex: Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens

If The is part of the band name, I would say it can be The instead of the.
I have seen both cases, don’t have the examples in mind now.

But here su seems like her or his.
I feel that her/his should be lower case but I don’t know English style by heart.

Guideline is not really clear about how to handle “Su” or equivalent.

I agree that the Spanish guidelines are not very clear about this. If we go by the English equivalents (his/hers/theirs), those words are capitalized (i.e. not required to be lowercase) in the English guidelines. Because of that, I have been leaving “Su” in uppercase and making it uppercase whenever I see inconsistencies, however having this be more explicit would be nice.

For English, you would capitalize His/Her/Their in the artist name. Spanish has different capitalization rules, though.

I’ve never seen “Sus” capitalized.

We generally only capitalize proper nouns for titles, but this is an artist name, so that’s why that example is fully capitalized.

Man. Being a native, I couldn’t possibly have said less. BRB.

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Alright, seems like you only capitalize proper nouns inside band names. Here the pseudonym is technically not “Cachimbos”, but “Sus Cachimbos”. That’s why it’s been written in capital letters. I’m not sure that’s right though, only artist intent can say.

Otherwise no, not even the words “orquesta” or “sus” are in capital letters. Only pseudonyms and names (be it first or last names) are. (Edit: I just noticed the word “Conjunto” seems to be capitalized. I guess it’s because it’s in the place of a proper noun?)

This is hard because the RAE doesn’t have anything on bands it seems, but these rules seem to follow the document. In case of doubt, more research is adviced.

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Yes, in Spanish you don’t capitalize articles unless they come after a stop or are otherwise in the beginning of a sentence.

We do capitalize the pronoun “Él” when referring to God, but that varies because, for example, I don’t follow a religion and I don’t capitalize it. (“el” is an article and “él” is a pronoun)


If a clarification is needed, once a consensus is found on this matter, please don’t forget to submit suggested changes: Style/Language/Spanish - MusicBrainz Wiki

Latin and languages based on it (Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish) share the main basis rule for Titles about not capitalizing any word except 1st word + proper names.

It would seems legit to apply the same to Artist names:

  • Pete Rodríguez y su conjunto
  • Galileo y su banda
  • Biper y sus amigos

But it could create issues when common words are not used in their literal meaning

  • Beto y sus canarios or Beto y sus Canarios
  • Bill Haley y sus cometas or Bill Haley y sus Cometas

Based on those examples I would be in favor to add a sentence for those languages similar to the hungarian one:
Capitalize all words in the name of a musical ensemble except for articles, conjunctions and the part of the phrase describing the type of the ensemble (együttes, zenekar, vonósnégyes etc.): Kispál és a Borz, Fonó zenekar, Magyar Rádió és Televízió szimfonikus zenekara.

What do you think?

Regarding english I ended up doing this:

  • “His/Her” capitalized as for Titles
  • “The” lowercased as for Titles but uppercased if used in a multi artist credit if “The” is part of the band name
    • Academy of St Martin in the Fields
    • Johnny and the Hurricanes
    • Nico & The Velvet Underground (2 separated artists)
  • Then I take time before editing existing ones with a “&” inside as there is no clear consensus, for example in MBz:
    • The Mamas & the Papas
    • Bob Marley & The Wailers

PS: You can use search by artist typing “y su”, “& the”, “et son”,… if you want to see different examples

It seems the reset password function is not working anymore on the wiki page. It says email sent but nothing received (tried on 3 different days, gmail adress and nothing in spam folder)
Any hints?

Funnily enough, both of these would be perfectly sensible names - with the first implying “Beto and his band from the Canary Islands”, and the second “Beto and his band, the Canaries” :slight_smile: