I understand that and I made use of the field when I added the performers and instruments back in August. However my experience is that such free text fields are not a good idea as they lead to lower quality data. The data is not checked etc. I looked back at the entries I added in August and there are mistakes.
One track has Polymoog with a leading upper case ‘P’and another has lower case ‘p’. Obviously they should be the same text with a upper case ‘P’. If Polymoog was in the instrument list, this would not be possible. I would just pick Polymoog from the list.
So, we come back to the question of why Polymoog is not in the list of instruments?
I read the list of instruments Instrument List - MusicBrainz
And the How to Add Instruments - MusicBrainz. This hints at a concern to control the size of list of instruments
To ensure that the coverage of instruments in MusicBrainz remains reasonable and avoid a huge surge in the amount of instruments, the following guidelines are in place (but keep in mind exceptions can be made, so if you think your instrument still qualifies, do request it and explain why):
It appears that this concern is behind the approach of wanting to generalise specific instruments such as Polymoog into synthesiser or piano. I believe that this is not a valid concern. What is wrong with having a long list of instruments? The list of instruments is real world information and not something that MB should be attempting to refine or curate. MB doesn’t do it with artist names just prevents duplicates.
The entries In the liner notes are simple:
Ken Bickel: Polymoog
We should just accept Polymoog is a valid instrument and let it be used. If it is already in the list, then use it. If not, then simply add it. No analysis or refinement needed. Then the database accurately and precisely reflects the credits which is the primary aim of MB.
Instruments seem to be unnecessarily complicated. Perhaps I don’t understand the requirments and rationale that has created the complexity. The instructions How to Add Instruments - MusicBrainz do include some rationale, but the status is
This page has not been reviewed by our documentation team
Is the rationale and philosophy described anywhere else? Is it ‘official’?
Is there anyway contributors can provide input? I don’t think it’s correct.
The current list of instruments currently includes
So why not Polymoog?