When to use "Artist as credited" for Classical

I’ve never really made any use of the “artist as credited” box… but often the name MusicBrainz uses is nothing like the name on the cover. Am I supposed to be using it?

When the cover says Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky but MusicBrainz says Пётр Ильич Чайковский? I’m guessing no, or at least I haven’t in the past.

When the orchestra has changed names? I’ve used it for this occasionally (though only sometimes—it’s annoying duplicate data). Or when the orchestra is known by multiple names?

None of these are really anything intended by the artist, AFAIK.

But it’s really tempting when putting in a release done entirely by Russians to use that field because otherwise I’ve staring at 5 different names, all written in characters I can’t read…


“Artist as credited” is there for a reason and it makes sense to credit artists as credited on releases. I personally prefer using exactly the format as on the cover so if there’s only last name “Tchaikovsky” I won’t include more. Some editors have given feedback that I should extend it to full name but it feels silly when there’s more than 90 ways to type it. Should it be Peter, Pjotr or Pyotr? :confused:

“Artist as credited” is important especially with artists which have changed their name. There’s symphony orchestras which have included radio station or sponsor name but changed it later and also really weird translations to different languages. Without artist credits releases are harder to identify. Is my release the same as this because MB has release by “State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation” but my release is having “Orchestre symphonique de l’URSS”?


A post was split to a new topic: Benefit of cyrillic names

I generally use whatever is printed on the cover for the release artist (so, just surname if that’s what is there). I find using just surname on the tracks absolutely hideous though, so I add the first name there too (if there’s no first name printed for transliteration artists, I use the default for the appropriate language).


Artist aliases also have dates on them, so it seems ideally that case would be covered—of course, it’s hard to enter those dates without a bunch of research to find them. But it does mean entering them again is more duplicate data :frowning:

I think for the most part I haven’t entered the “credited as” names—and would never tag with them. Asking my music player to sort by artist and finding 6 different entries for Tchaikovsky (from all the different ways people transliterate his on different albums I own)—would not only have no value, it’d have negative value.

I agree it’d be silly to have only the last name. Not to mention, there are multiple composers named Bach, Mozart, etc. Putting just the last name in there would make a mess, for the vast majority of music players that don’t understand MBIDs.

But, if you’re already not putting what’s printed on the album, what’s the point? It’s not useful anymore to people who want exactly what was printed (I’m not sure if this matters to anyone in classical?). Seems like you should just not enter a credited as at all.

As a side note, entering artists aliases like this seems like something the site is designed to prevent. To enter an artist, you type the name in to the artist field, then select an entry from the drop-down list that appears. When you do so—it overwrites what you typed in, putting the canonical name of the artist. And it does so in the “credited as” field as well. When the site discards the 20 characters of transliterated Cyrillic I carefully typed in from the cover, clearly the site does not want them! Typing it once was already a pain. grumble.

We should store data sourced from releases on MB releases. Sometimes later releases might use the current name instead of the name used during the recording. See for example https://www.discogs.com/artist/805380 how many different aliases same artist can have.

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I’m all too familiar with that example, having just an 80s recording from them… I guess that makes sense. It could be useful in cases like that trying to sort through an artist and spot mistakes.

It’d be nice if when the search matches an artist alias, the site were to put that alias in to the credited as field. I wonder if we’d then get that result automatically most of the time.

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It strikes me that the UI would be tough to get right for that.

However, you could certainly save some typing if the “as credited” field let you pick from existing artist aliases as well as type a new one.


Everybody should use that field when they can.
You don’t have to tag with it, but MB is a database for everybody, and since Picard is versatile enough to let us choose whether to use it for tagging or not, it would be nice if we could try make it work for all usercases, not just ours :slight_smile:


The search results could include all proper aliases (artist name, legal name). I guess that it would not take much effort to implement.

[quote=“Hawke, post:9, topic:29723”]
It strikes me that the UI would be tough to get right for that.[/quote]

Currently, when you click on one of the artists in the search results, it already fills in the credited as field—with the “Name:” entry for the artist. Even if that looks nothing like what you were typing.

Doesn’t seem the UI should really be any different to have it fill in a different value that happens to be closer to what you were typing.

Especially if just clicking in the field did that (not having to re-type), that would definitely be an improvement.

I don’t mind putting in data I don’t personally care about when it’s not much more work—but when it’s a bunch more work, whoever cares about it is free to enter it. That seems to be the normal principal—I, for example, seem to care more about album art than a lot of folks (judging by the number of releases lacking art), so I go through the work of scanning & uploading them. Someone who doesn’t care is still encouraged to enter an album w/o art.

Putting in the credited as info is a fair bit more work:

  1. There no name completion via search. So you get to either (a) type the whole thing or (b) add it the artist w/o the credited as, open the now-linked artist page, switch to the aliases page, copy the alias you want, switch back to the tab you were on, click edit on the artist you just added, paste, and then edit it to match the album
  2. There is no matching against the database, so you have to be much more careful of typos as nothing will catch them.
  3. When you have to add that same person a second place, to link the artist you can just click in the field, and select the person from the history dropdown. This does not populate credited as. So hopefully you planned ahead and copied that again (of course, copying it from the page is hard, as its a link, and browsers make it hard to select link-text to copy—probably easiest to pull up the edit box for it, and copy from there).

Not to mention, when the album has “Tchaikovsky” on the front, “P. Tchaikovsky” on the spine, and “Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky” on the back… which would you like him credited as? [Different on the album artist and track artist, perhaps?] I don’t mean this as a rhetorical question, I honestly don’t know—because I have no idea what you’d find that data useful for.

[PS: Keep in mind 99% of what I touch here is classical.]


Entering data on MB is not your job (I assume :wink: ), so you obviously don’t have to do anything that you don’t have time or want to do, or can’t find the correct information for.
Your posts imply that you don’t use it on principle, which I disagree with. As I said, please use it when you can.

I haven’t had any trouble filling that field personally.


Just a tip: when it is empty it means that it will use the current artist name.

Um, as a noob to MusicBrains I’m a little confused about the very notion of “artist”. Both composers and performers are artists. Which are we supposed to enter when we contribute to the database? Should we have a separate sub-rubric for each (or is provision already made for that?) And what about performers themselves? Sub-rubrics for soloists of each particular instrument? Conductors?


[quote=“Stefan_F, post:16, topic:29723”]Which are we supposed to enter when we contribute to the database?

All of them. We’re interested in both composers and performers.

[quote=“Stefan_F, post:16, topic:29723”]Should we have a separate sub-rubric for each (or is provision already made for that?) And what about performers themselves? Sub-rubrics for soloists of each particular instrument? Conductors?

I’m not very sure what you mean with “sub-rubric”. A good example of how we store all the composer and performer info for classical can be found here:


I just used this feature today as an example with Lisa Lynne’s album Love & Peace - take a look at it here on her website. The album cover clearly states Lisa Lynne Franco as the artist, but today (and in MB) she is known as just Lisa Lynne (which is reflected with her more recent albums). I’m assuming that she changed her marital status, which sparked all the name changes. Even Wikipedia has her full “credited as” list here. Although even male artists can have name changes, like “the artists formerly known as Prince”, but that’s a whole different story.

I would say that MB is trying to properly document each album as it is released in time, the information is a snapshot in the past for all the data during the release. If there is a new release with different data, then this too should be correctly represented as another snapshot in time. MB only wants to have each artists (person) once in the database, but people can change over time. So when it comes to databases, garbage in - garbage out, we need to make sure it is as accurate as possible. Then we can always make the output (Picard) do what each user wants later, and if it doesn’t do it today, it will still have the possibility in the future.


That wasn’t what I was trying to say. I wouldn’t tag my files with it (e.g., I would tell Picard not to use it), on principal as you put it. I’m fine with it existing in MusicBrainz, but mostly haven’t entered it (as a matter of lazyness, not principal).

Also, I don’t know what people use it for (in the case of classical music), so I’m not sure which of the reasonably valid things to put in…

As a concrete example, the above: I tried to put in “credited as” a few places there. The front and the spine (where the release artists come from) only says Rimsky-Korsakov, so I put that as the “credited as” for the release artist. The back gives his full name, so I put that for the track artist (since that’s where the track listing is). I’m not sure how that’s useful (and morituri still created a directory named in Cyrillic…). I got lazy again by the time I put in all the ARs.

Not exactly related to this issue, but the composer name shouldn’t be on the album title there :slight_smile: Will change that!

The credits look good there. The relationship credits I generally don’t mind much for things like translations (since those might well be different in different releases of the album). I do try to set the credit when the name credited is an older name of the orchestra for example or a similar variation though :slight_smile: