Writers of recordings

I have noticed that there are far many more recordings than works. Having said that I need to get the writers of a song. Through works I managed but is it possible to get the writers of recordings since there are many more songs listed there?

No, the “work” entity is the one that represents the song as it’s written (the sheet music in my personal head-canon.) So it stores the songwriting and publishing information.
The “recording” entity represents a particular recording of the song and so stores the performance information.

The reason there’s so many more recordings than works is: An editor is pretty much forced to create or link recordings whenever they add a release. Adding or linking the underlying works is optional and many never get around to doing it.

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That is what I got from what I was reading as well but unfortunately I think the definition doesn’t add. If one looks at Janet Jackson’s Recordings for example one can find the song 2nite, 70’s Love Groove and many other songs which are not found in Works at all. Can you kindly explain the reason if there is a reason?

Because no one has added them yet.

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Thanks…at least I am not going crazy! :slight_smile: I think Dbpedia might have that kind of data

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Here are the resources I use for creating works:


iswcnet takes some getting use to and if you use it you need to remember it may not include all what is on the package, it just lists the copyright holder. Its query engine is very bad, “The” is left off the front of most works or placed on the rear without a comma, you need to use a space where there is an apostrophe, comma, and some other characters, it is UTF8 only. Its takes getting use to but, but has most of the ISWC codes and in many cases the performers listed.

Adding works can take a lot of research, just because it looks the same it may not be the correct author.

One last thing, you cannot link to iswcnet for a verification note, you can only cut and paste from it.


Lots of places have the information. We could even have the information if someone ever took the time to add it.
Feel free to add the information, then we would have it for sure.

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This is why the simplest thing usually is to create works from booklet info when adding a release.

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Or sometimes no one has yet linked recordings to existing works (if they are covers).

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Look at the databases from music rights collection societies listed in the below.

Getting the correct writer is the important thing and many of these databases use the IPI (Interested Party Information) number.
IF you can get the writers ipi number you can more easily search the iswc database and find all other works they wrote.
So for bands if you can find the main writer’s ipi number you can more easily add the rest of the songs they wrote.
Note there can be some errors and sometimes they give multiple ipi numbers for the same person.


and find all other works under that number they wrote

There many people who have multiple numbers.
John Smith has a number, but so does John J. Smith, Johnathan James Smith, and JJ Smith.

Of course, this should always be true. There should always be more recordings than works, because each work could have any number of recordings, but with rare exceptions, recordings will only have one work.

The same would be true of recordings and tracks on releases, since each recording could be included in any number of releases.

But yes, what other people have said about adding or linking works is true. I’d look for an existing work before creating a new one, but you can always add them.

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