What if a group changes name?


In the local news today: The Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart chose to change their name to “Gaechinger Cantorey”. How can I enter that change? Is it an alias? Or should the new name become the main name and the old name would be an alias?

Der Joesse

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You can set at least two aliases, one for the former name with correct end date, and, one for the new name with same begin date.

Then for releases groups, releases, tracks and recordings, use Artist Credits (AC) to make sure the same name as on physical material is displayed. Like in same example.

Then for all kinds of relationships, you can also use AC. Here an example where both lyrics and music are credited to AC pen names.

Then for main artist name, IMO keep the current one, which may still be more famous.
When the new name gets more famous, it can be changed later, while keeping all correct AC in place.


I would use the new name claiming “artist intent”. The artist wants to use the new name now, not the old one, so we should respect and reflect that.


This! It would be nice if we’d get consensus on that.

For example,

has been renamed to „Hesperion XXI“ in 2000. I consider it silly to wait until 2025…

I entered an edit to rename that one a couple days ago :slight_smile:

… and it’s applied (FWIW, will the onebox in my post above change to the new name, making it sound like I am mad?).

I think that the position put forth in the old annotation to Hesperion was somewhat defensible: keep the old name, until the new name has gained enough notoriety. I don’t share this opinion, though, especially not in the extreme interpretation (“let’s wait until there are more albums credited to the new name than to the old one”). For artists that have a long history already, this just would not do.

The main motivation would be to make artists easy to find under the name most familiar to people, but aliases are the solution for that.

That annotation was added in 2008, way before we were able to have “credited artists” for releases. In that context, it made more sense: changing it to XXI would have changed the credit for all releases, including all the older ones released as XX. Now, that reasoning doesn’t really make much sense anymore, and definitely not in such a strict way.


I prefer not to jump the gun when an artist changes name, especially if they themselves are as jumpy as e.g. Sean Combs or, formerly, Prince.

Though as always, common sense should be applied.

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It makes sense this way, but without this historical knowledge I really wouldn’t go against explicit wishes…

I’ve always been more of a fan of separate but linked artists when it comes to name changes. The AC system is nice, but also relatively fragile; if an artist is incorrectly renamed, reverting that is easy, but if ACs are incorrectly “renamed”, there’s no quick fix - every AR would need to be fixed separately.
In the case of an established artist, that could be thousands of ARs.
To me, the fact that a name change would add ACs to a potentially huge number of ARs seems like an abuse of the AC system, while having separate artist entries (with performs-as links) fits in nicely with established patterns. I don’t see it as hugely different from an artist performing under different names in the same time period - and we tend to have separate entries for those cases (due to artist intent).

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You [quote=“Zastai, post:10, topic:37345”]
every AR would need to be fixed separately.

If you go to the artist aliases tab, there you can rename wrong AC and it will change the thousands of relationships using it, not only the tracks or releases.
If it does not, it is a bug. :slight_smile:

Yes. But is there protection against renames that end up becoming a “merge” with an existing different AC? If not, that would be hard to repair. Admittedly, I’ve never tried to do that, so perhaps safeguards are in place.

Not particularly, other than it never being an autoedit (like any other batch AC edit). So yeah, if it goes through, it’s indeed quite hard to fix.

It won’t. If you rename an Artist (either be editing the Artist or by merging it into another Artist) all non-specifically-AC’d ARs will change with it. So if you add Artist “{Foo Bar} recorded {Baz Xyz}” and then merge Foo Bar into Bar Foo, the AR will now say “{Bar Foo} recorded {Baz Xyz}” - unless you did “{Foo Bar}:AC{Foo Bar} recorded {Baz Xyz}” to begin with.

Are you really sure of this @Freso?
It is a bug, if so, I have edited and merged artists by counting on AC to not change.
Even same name as artist name is AC in my opinion and is not changed unless you explicitly check the rename checkbox.

Feel free to verify this with some of your merges. I thought it would be the other way too, but that’s not how it actually does things in my experience.

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I think @jesus2099 is right here. As a current example, see edit #33215776 (adds a Wikidata URL relationship without an explicit credit), edit #38629571 (merges into other artist), edit #39830237 (removes relationship credit).

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Wow @chirlu I did not know that even URL relationships had AC.
Sure @Freso I will certainly carefully watch my upcoming merges or renames. I will also try to check some past ones out, to see if they need a fix.
Thank you both. :slight_smile:

Renames most definitely also rename non-ACd relationships (when I’ve renamed a composer to use, say, a Cyrillic name, the composition rels have changed as well). I’m not sure how this is done with merges though.

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But you had checked the rename checkbox(es), haven’t you?
Or it renamed without asked for?