Style / Titles

Status: This is an official style guideline.

When entering a new release into MusicBrainz, the titles should be normalized by following these guidelines.

This page provides a summary of the important guidelines, please follow the links to the full guidelines when you need more information.

Contents

Guideline summary

Follow the appropriate Capitalization Standard

Album and song titles are often found in upper‐case on the back cover of CDs. For example, the album Songs of Love and Hate is written as “SONGS OF LOVE AND HATE” on the cover. This is usually the choice of a graphic designer, not the artist. So, instead of copying the title from the cover, we follow certain rules to capitalize a title. The rules are different for each language.

Please see Style/Language for more information.

Expand abbreviations

Abbreviations in titles (but not acronyms) should generally be expanded. Probably the most common abbreviations used in titles are “Vol.” and “Pt.”; these should always be expanded to “Volume” and “Part”. The main exceptions to this guideline are “feat.” for “featuring” and “vs.” for “versus”.

See Abbreviations for more information.

Use parentheses for extra information

Additional information which is not part of the name of a song or album should be in parentheses. You often see this with alternate versions of tracks, or when an artist is featured on a track.

See Extra title information.

Use a colon (:) to separate subtitles

Use a colon (:) to separate any subtitles. If there is an alternative dividing punctuation mark such as the question mark (?) or exclamation point (!), use that mark instead of the colon.

See Subtitles.

Use a slash (/) to separate multiple titles

If two releases are re‐released on one CD, or if two songs share the same track, the title should be split as follows: “This Is the Modern World / All Mod Cons”.

See Multiple titles and Split releases.

Use a comma (,) to separate words such as “Volume” or “Part” from the title itself

When a release or track is part of a series, separate the volume or part name from the title with a comma, like this: “The Red Weed, Part 1”.

If the title already ends with an alternative punctuation mark, such as a question mark (?) or an exclamation point (!), use that mark instead of the comma.

See Series numbers, Part numbers and Volume numbers.

Do NOT use (feat. Artist) if an artist is featured on a recording

This was the old advice prior to the launch of NGS. The guideline has been changed to use the new Artist Credit support.

See Featured artists for the full guideline.

Format designations in titles

If a release includes a designation such as EP or E.P., 7", CD, LP, single, etc. as part of its title, include it in the Release Title. If a format designation is not explicitly part of the title, it should not be added.

Exceptions and corner cases

Sometimes it isn’t clear how these guidelines should be applied to a particular release, these cases may be discussed by the StyleCouncil. Decisions of the StyleCouncil concerning particular releases, series or corner cases should be followed. Currently there are two of these guidelines:

Style
Overview
Title Style
Entities
Relationships
Classical
Special Cases/Misc.
Languages