Video Essays, Books, and Articles about music?

Soo, I feel as an “Open Music Encyclopedia”, we’re missing an important feature: the ability to link to further reading/information. I feel this is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll still make a case for it. Sorry in advance for the book… :sweat_smile:


Mostly videos as they’re easier to share online, and I haven’t read too many books or articles about music. I do think both should also be included though, as well as documentaries.
(brief summaries underneath)

  • Works:
  • Recordings:
  • Releases/Release Groups:
  • Genres:
    • PergProductions’ series, “A Rough Guide to Metal Subgenres”:
      A ten-(plus?)-part video series exploring the history of metal and its many, many fusions and subgenres, all with a good dose of humor. (I highly recommend this series, btw~).
    • Adam Neely’s “Scotch Snaps in Hip-Hop”:
      A deep dive into how language influences the rhythm of rapped lyrics, especially modern rap and hip-hop, and the origin of the Scotch Snap.
  • Artists:
    • Polyphonic’s “The Band That Wasn’t The Beatles” (explained above)
    • Polyphonic’s “Steely Dan: More Than Just a Band”:
      Explores the perfectionism of the two main minds behind Steely Dan, and their extensive use of session musicians to get that perfect, polished sound.
  • Series/Franchise:
    • Scruffy’s “What Makes Mario Music so Catchy”:
      A look at what makes music from the Mario games so gosh-darn catchy. Could also/instead be linked to a Soundtrack work or two…
    • Sideways’ " Why the Soundtrack to Shrek is Actually Genius":
      A look at how the Shrek movie series used popular music in addition to a film score, and why it works to brilliantly improve the story. Could also link to the soundtrack works, but he does talk about a lot of the Shrek trilogy.

There’s more general and varied examples too, like “Why Pipe Organs Sound Scary” by Sideways, and “The Worst Jazz Solo of All Time” by Adam Neely (that second one sounds simple, but it’s really not :wink:), which might be good to include, but I can’t think of how. Also I’m certain there’s video essays and whatnot about Events, Places, and any of our other entity types, I just listed stuff I’m familiar with.


I can see two ways of implementing this new relationship:

  1. Work/Work-like entity: This would be preferable, imho, as it would also allow linking to articles and books (and maybe BookBrainz?) much more easily. It could also be a special type of Work or a whole new entity type if needed (see below).
  2. URL entity: This would possibly be easier to implement and understand, but would likely lack support for offline resources.

Either way, these relationships could be shown on a separate tab on whatever entities they’re attached to, allowing easy access without cluttering up the entity’s page. There they can be listed as links to the video/article, if applicable, along with a link to the MB work/entity, kind of like how we already handle URLs. For example:

For more information

  1. The Band That Wasn’t The Beatles [info] :arrow_up: :arrow_down:
  2. How The Beatles Wrote Love Songs [info] :arrow_up: :arrow_down:
  3. The Beatles: The Biography [info] :arrow_up: :arrow_down:
  4. …etc.

Something I’d also like to see is a way of voting on the order they’re shown (included in my example above), maybe using the ratio of upvotes to downvotes to allow less popular creators with good content (such as PergProductions linked above) a time to shine. Not really necessary, but it’d be nice.

I feel such a feature would take us from being a database of connections to an actual place to easily learn about your favorite music, or at least find resources to do so.

Thank you for your time~


Perhaps these could be integrated into CritiqueBrainz?

I am not a BookBrainz person, but there are some limited links between the two databases.

Audiobooks get linked to BookBrainz sources. Have a look at this random example: Prose “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” - MusicBrainz

No doubt there are better examples.

Trouble is, this is a strict example of a Paper Book linked to Audio Book reading that Paper Book.

I like your suggestion of a vague “further reading” link. The trick is finding a way to get connections based on subject which are loose enough to be useful, and not too strict to block links (like the daft rule not allowing links between a Soundtrack and a Wikidata page on the film).

The richest source of info is that vaguely related data


I wonder if we could set up more specific BB relationships to MB. For example, you could attach a 33⅓ book to its respective album or a biography to a musician.


Would these types of relationships count as reviews? Because review relationships are allowed on MB, though I’m not sure they’re allowed on Work entries; I’ve never tried. Could be as simple as allowing review relationships to works.


But should we be allowed to post a “review” that isn’t our own?
I’m not too familiar with the reviews and CritiqueBrainz, but isn’t it a place where a user uploads their own review?

I think it should be a clear difference between the entities of community reviews and external reviews or further reading, so I’m more on the external URL relationship camp in this one

Sorry about the delay in my reply, I got busy with other stuff~

I’m not too familiar with CritiqueBrainz, but I don’t think these should count as reviews… Most of my examples above are about the history behind and around their respective entities. I feel a review would be more talking about what the reviewer thought or felt about said entity, and less about the story behind it.

For example, I see at least three distinct groups:

  1. Interview: “Yeah, I was going through a rough patch with (something or other) at that time…”
  2. Video Essay/whatever: The songwriter was able to evoke a feeling of sheer helplessness because of his own experiences with (something or other)
  3. Review/Critique: The Band did a really good job evoking the feeling of sheer helplessness in their recording, through their use of the guitar, and…

(maybe you can tell I don’t write much, lol)

Maybe there’s enough of a distinction there, maybe not… Either way, I feel all of these could belong under the “Further Reading” tab. They could all, of course, be added to CB, but as said, I’m not too familiar with the project. I will admit, some video essays I’ve seen do blur the line between 2 and 3.

I’m suggesting we create new relationships for my proposal though (as well as small changes to some currently existing ones).

That way we could, in theory, link one entity to multiple entities, an example being this interview I just added earlier today. In fact, this is about how my original idea would work; you can already link a URL entity to just about anything, I’m just proposing adding more relationship types and separating certain relationships to a separate page.

I’m not super familiar with BookBrainz myself, but since my first post, I have added a couple online news articles (the interview above included) about Five Iron Frenzy (also on BookBrainz) that I’ve been using for research, with “is about/is subject of” relationships to the band on BB.

After a brief look, it seems they might only be allowed on Release Groups… Though that’s how I found connecting interviews to Artists.


You are allowed to link reviews that aren’t your own in MusicBrainz, yes. You’re not allowed to post reviews that are not your own on CritiqueBrainz.


I’m leaning towards a lot of this being information that belongs in annotations, but I think some of this could also be codified as URL relationships, similar to reviews that others have pointed out. For literary sources, it could be URL relationships to #BookBrainz.

Of course, one doesn’t exclude the other. It could be both an URL relationship which would be fairly sparse information wise, and a more detailed explanation of the relationship could go into the annotation.


Didn’t know about that!
Thanks for the heads up!

So, like this?

I was actually wondering about annotations after my initial post…but I felt creating a more rigid data structure might be helpful in some cases. Now, I can’t think of any such cases off-hand… :sweat_smile:

Also, at the moment, you can’t add annotations to genres. It’d be very helpful to have links there to like, guides to subgenres, the history of the genre, and such.

I’d say yes, ideally with a bit more “meat” though. I’d probably do something more like Adam Neely has explored the history and mutations of The Girl from Panema in their video, [link|The Girl From Ipanema is a far weirder song than you thought]. myself.

Pretty sure @reosarevok et al have a lot of things planned for genres. They’re still a very new entity in MB (and still barely one at that!). :slight_smile: There are also a bunch of “genre” tickets – if you can’t find your specific ideas, please do add new tickets for them! (One ticket per idea/feature please.)


I don’t understand exactly what is this big topic about any more, @UltimateRiff.

Don’t you just want that the existing release group to URL has review relationship would be extended to recordings and works?

Or something like that?