What is a "Soundtrack"

So if I understand you @reosarevok, the work types of these, as they’re desribed are:
Soundtrack to 2001 = soundtrack
Unchained Melody = song
A Clockwork Orange = soundtrack

OK, how about an album of songs from various bands, but that were written specifically for a movie? Something like Spawn or Batman & Robin? The release would be Soundtrack for sure, but what about the Work types for the songs? I mean, they were created for and were using in the movie, and there’s no master work for them to be a part of.

@reosarevok, this is my interpretation of what you’ve said, as per the difference between Work type and Release type.

Work type “soundtrack” = full musical score of some other (non-MB) entity, be it film, tv show, video game, etc. Part of a score doesn’t count, similiar to how part of an “opera” is not type=opera.

Release type “soundtrack” = Release in support of some other (non-MB) entity, be it film, tv show, video game, etc. Whether or not the recordings on the release are of works with type=soundtrack is irrelevant. A soundtrack release has to be said to be the soundtrack of something as in: “Release X is the soundtrack of Y”.

If they’re songs, they’re songs, IMO. If we had multiple options, then we could argue whether to set them as Soundtrack as well (I wouldn’t), but as it is, the most relevant type is surely Song.


I agree. I’m just pointing out a corner case.

Yeah, I can see your point there. What I don’t like about using a very restrictive definition of “soundtrack” is that it comes down to basically a marketing decision. Reosarevok stated [the soundtrack compilation case] as “this RG is not a soundtrack to anything nor intended as such.” Where does that intent lie: in the composition, in the recording, in the marketing?

Among others, the original Blade Runner soundtrack consisted of “jazz-inspired, orchestrated renditions of the major tracks from the film, but not the original score tracks.” yet I assume we consider that to be a soundtrack.

I might have been better to state it as “a compilation of soundtrack music”.

Compare to the Back to the Future soundtrack which has music from three different movies.

Sorry to revive this old thread, I didn’t want to create another topic, but is this right? I’ve read this whole discussion and I still don’t understand if Single + Soundtrack is correct or not.

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IMO, the edit you link is correct to remove “Soundtrack.”

The single is not “the soundtrack” – it is a single taken from the soundtrack, which is noted in the single/EP which was taken from: relationship.

I think reosaravok said it pretty plainly:

It would be nice if the documentation clarified this. As it is, the Release Group / Type page limits the Soundtrack type to musical scores only, so it doesn’t even differentiate “pop” soundtracks. For that, you have to go to Style / Specific types of releases / Soundtrack, and glean it from the statement "Film scores (which showcase the background music of a film/show) should not be merged with pop soundtracks". I might work on a revision to this and submit to the wiki.


Oh, I understand it now. It is a common mistake here though. I’ve been using Soundtrack for singles for a long time. Might have to revise a lot of these edits. What about this case? It was an EP released to promote the actual soundtrack, but only track 1 is included on the final soundtrack.

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I’ve taken a stab at the definition of “Soundtrack” on the Release Group/Type page. Please have a look:

Release Group/Type - MusicBrainz Wiki

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Keep in mind, what I said was just my opinion. I hope to have feedback on my proposed edit on the wiki.

However, based on what I said, if my edit is accepted, the Wakanda EP would not be considered a soundtrack.

Maybe change your link to a view link, instead of edit link, which is quite of worrying for the page. :slight_smile:

Hmm, my edits don’t even seem to be there anymore.

Okay, figured out what I did wrong. My edit is there now, and I fixed the link so it’s not an “edit” link.

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Was there ever a consensus on this? I think parts of a soundtrack not being counted as soundtrack does make sense, and should be mentioned in the wiki.

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Not that I’ve seen. I proposed a documentation revision, but it didn’t get much attention. Since your post reminded me of it, I just added a revised proposal based on feedback. Hopefully more opinions will surface.


The whole confusion was caused by the work type guidelines about Soundtracks. It has nothing to do with the RG secondary type Soundtrack. The style leader said if a single is taken from a soundtrack, it should have the Soundtrack secondary type, but the work type for that single is just a song, not a soundtrack.


Several editors do not seem to want to acknowledge this guidance in Edit #106437396 - MusicBrainz

Hence my attempt to get a conversation going to develop a clearer definition.

Would be interesting to read what was written…as in please link/quote