Uncertainty about guidelines for Recording with both Japanese and English title

Do the guidelines really exist, if editors have to spend time on discussions like that?

Feel free to chip in, I find it quite entertaining (just as anything deeply rooted in speculation).

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I commented there. What guideline exactly do you mean supports this case? I don’t see any compelling reason not to use the Japanese title as the primary one.


I did not say it is supported by a guideline, although it is just as not unsupported (I will not not be rich, yeah). Style / Recording advises to use “most common track title” for recording title. For that recording, the most common is none.

Now, I am not making a case to support my edit. I am using it as a remark on how ridiculously useless the above guideline is when tracklist uses two languages to the same degree.

The real issue is not the guidelines of course. It is the ill-conceived information model they are trying to alleviate.

So your point is that the style guides currently don’t cover the case of multiple case pretty well. I agree on this.

There is some info on how to handle this for track listings in https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Release#Status , but not about how to handle this for recording titles.

But actually when guidelines are lacking we should have a discussion here and improve the guidelines. What I don’t get is why you instead choose to enter edits, where you say yourself there is no good argument to use one language over another, and rant about the guidelines. But what is your suggestion here? How would you handle this specific case and why and how should the guidelines reflect this decision?

On a side note: Actually I think recordings should not even have a single title but actually the title should just be what we currently call aliases, so multiple titles for different languages / scripts. This applies to many (maybe even all) other entities.


This seems a logical solution to me. The main title should always be in the original language of the creator of the recording. Aliases then handle translations. That fits the old “artist intent” rule best too.

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This is also an ideal use case for alternate track lists (for the release, not the recording of course)


What is the actual procedure and who makes the decision? Like issue → discussion → proposal → critique → voting / authoritative decision → ticket → change → profit.

I am asking about the procedure as something guaranteed to bring result if prerequisites are met.

  1. I tried to explain it here: commonality as recognizability.
  2. To make it a practical case. I was hoping to collect reasoned arguments on the issue. I was probably expecting too much, as the three editors who voted against did not bother with rationale.

This case cannot be handled until the guideline explicitly states the principles for naming. So far I was able to infer that there is the idea of commonality and track titles are the basis for it. Except this does not work in particular cases, it has more serious issues. It falls directly into the trap of closed-world assumption.

Proposals - MusicBrainz is the official documentation for how the Style guideline proposal pipeline currently works (linked as “How to propose style changes” in the footer of all Style guidelines). Does this answer your question?


Not everything that is logical is realistic. Everyone should abandon the idea that it is possible to find out “real” value of any informational item. This idea manifests itself in people using words like main, primary, default, original, intent. While in fact the first three relate mainly to presentation and the last two put editor on a very aspiring mission.

Classical logic long ago failed as a tool for knowledge representation. The principle of bivalence just doesn’t work here. If system aims to cope with reality, it should assume uncertainty by design. Let’s take “the original language of the creator of the recording” as example. It cannot be used as inference rule for something that is supposed to have value: the creator might be native bilingual or we might be not able to determine the language because we don’t know the creator at all.

The recording in question is actually a simple case as we know about it a lot, so there is enough information to make some decision (better yet, use adequate model that does not require decisions at all). There are more complex cases due to significant lack of information, which leads to the real question: what we need naming for?

There are at least two designations: presentation and identification.

Presentation is easy. It is obviously context-dependent. In case there is enough information about an agent which consumes an informational item, it is presented according to the agent’s intent: localized or even using some predefined template. In case the agent is opaque, something needs to be designated as default.

Now it might come as surprise to some, but identity does not assume name. Name is a language-level concept. The fact that something happened does not assign it a name. The fact that Japanese sound engineer Matsubayashi Masashi came to Bangkok and on 1991-03-19 recorded performances of some traditional Thai melodies by Benjarong Thanakoset and Chaloem Muangphresi does not create names for those recordings.

Were the corresponding sound artifacts named somehow? Probably. Do those names identify the recordings? Not really. The real identification is the above fact, which consists of several statements (semantic triples, actually). Each statement helps in building up identity.

So, do recordings need names? Ontologically and semantically, no. Because they don’t have them. But there is also presentational aspect, a large topic alone that I am not ready to discuss now.

Yep, thanks, that’s what I asked for.