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

Capitalization standards

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.

Extra title information

Additional information on a release or track name that is not part of its main title, but intended to distinguish it from different releases or tracks with the same main title (such as version/remix names or live recording info), should be entered in parentheses after the main title. Featured artists should not be entered like extra title information, but as part of the artist credits. See the featured artists guideline.

Titles and subtitles of mixes/versions are formatted according to the appropriate language's guidelines; the other parts of this extra information should be in lower case except for words that would normally be capitalised in the language.

For recordings, follow the same guidelines, with the exception of live performance data. For that, follow the specific guidelines for live recordings.

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.

Multiple titles / Splits

When a release is a re-release of two or more other releases, a track includes two or more songs, or a split release has different titles for each artist, the title should be split as " Title 1 / Title 2" (space, slash, space). For otherwise unnamed split releases, use "Artist 1 / Artist 2" as the title.

The artist credit for tracks and recordings with multiple artists, and for split releases and release groups, should similarly be "Artist 1 / Artist 2".

Series numbering

When a release or track is part of a series, separate the volume or part name from the title with a comma. 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.

Format designations

If a release includes a designation such as EP/E.P., 7", CD, LP or single 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 edge cases

Sometimes it isn’t clear how the guidelines should be applied in a particular edge case. Currently, there are special guidelines for one edge case:

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