Works: "referred to in medleys" vs "part of"

If a Work consists of two different songs played back-to-back, is this parent Work a “medley of” other works, or does the parent Work have “parts”?

(In reverse, are those other songs “referred to in medleys” or are they “part of” the parent Work?)

I’d say it depends on how the larger work is typically (or intended by the artist to be) performed.

Medley would suggest a more or less seamless transition from one work to the next: essentially a new arrangement or composition that combines both original works into a new work that is performed as one unit.

But if there is a clear demarcation between the individual parts representing song A and song B then “parts” is appropriate (e.g., between movements of a symphony the performers will typically—not always—stop for a moment, people clear their throats, etc.)

I am sure there are gray areas.

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Logically, a medley work should be created later than its songs. And a parent work is created at the same time or before all its parts.

But here again there might be legitimate exceptions. We need examples to say. :thinking:

“Opening - Bombing Mission” from Final Fantasy VII:

  1. “Opening” plays from 0:00-1:09.
  2. “Bombing Mission” starts at 1:13 and continues looping.

The original recording featured both parts joined together, but there are plenty of recordings that only feature one or the other. Is this example a medley of 2 works, or a work with 2 parts?

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I would call it a recording of two works, unless there’s something significant about it to justify a new work.

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I don’t think there’s any question that this isn’t an “ordered sequence of one or more songs” or that this wasn’t “written with intent to have a specifically ordered sequence” from https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Work#Types_of_works. While there are many recordings that don’t feature both parts, there are far more that do. I’m just wondering where the line is drawn between “medley of” and “parts”.

I’m saying the recordings with both can be linked to both works. There doesn’t have to be a parent work that includes both. The parent work is probably the complete soundtrack.

Added: Even a medley doesn’t necessarily justify a separate work, unless it meets the criteria for an arrangement work. This is a case where I transitioned a recording from a medley work to a medley relationship with the two source works: https://beta.musicbrainz.org/edit/65704014

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If they are simply played one after the other, I’d say it’s definitely not a medley. A medley usually refers to a rearranged combination of multiple pre-existing songs.

IMO, in this case, the recording should be linked to two works, “Opening” and “Bombing Mission”. Those two works may then be parts of a greater work for the whole soundtrack.

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