Wikipedia:Naming conventions (music)
|This guideline documents an English Wikipedia naming convention. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.|
This page contains naming conventions for music-related articles, covering both classical musical works and popular bands, albums and songs.
Compositions (classical music)
Common names and nicknames
- As a general rule, when naming articles about pieces of classical music, use the most common form of the name. Do not include nicknames except when the work is almost exclusively known by its nickname (for example, Franz Schubert's Trout Quintet) – nicknames can vary from country to country and age to age, so what is familiar in one part of the world may be completely unfamiliar elsewhere.
- If the name of the piece is shared by another piece or pieces, include the composer's surname in parentheses following the name of the piece. For example Concerto for Orchestra (Bartók), Concerto for Orchestra (Lutosławski); Violin Concerto (Beethoven), Violin Concerto (Berg).
- An extra level of disambiguation may be required if one composer has written several works with the same title (this is particularly true of works with generic titles like "Symphony" or "String Quartet"). The title should refer to the work in whatever way is most common in other publications. If this method is insufficient for describing one piece individually, the following methods should be used in order until the title is unique:
- Cardinal (or series) number: Symphony No. 7 (Sibelius), Symphony No. 40 (Mozart), Symphony No. 1 (Mahler) – A period follows the "No".
- Opus number: String Quartets, Op. 76 (Haydn)
- Key: Prelude in C-sharp minor (Rachmaninoff) – The key letter is uppercase, the word sharp or flat is lowercase and follows the letter with a hyphen, and the word minor or major is lowercase and follows with a space.
- Catalogue number: Violin sonata in A major (HWV 361) (see Opus number for an indication of which composers these might apply to). Try to avoid catalogue numbers if possible, however, as they are unfamiliar to most people. In particular, be wary of using Köchel (K) numbers for Mozart, as some pieces are given different numbers in different editions of the catalogue.
Articles in series
- Article titles for compositions in the same, or similar forms, should always be precise and consistent, per WP:NAMINGCRITERIA. Examples of this kind of series are the Bach cello suites, Beethoven piano concertos, Dvořák symphonies etc. Normally the series will be numbered, e.g. Symphony No. 1 (Mahler), Piano Concerto No. 21 (Mozart) etc., though on occasion they may be differentiated by opus number, such as the string quartets of Haydn (e.g. String Quartets, Op. 20 (Haydn)) or Chopin nocturnes (e.g. Nocturnes, Op. 9 (Chopin)), or by catalogue number, such as the Bach cantatas (e.g. Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51), or by some other well-established method, including a prevalent non-generic name such as Eine kleine Nachtmusik, which should have a redirect from the systematic name. In all cases, current scholarly practice should be followed. (Numbering schemes or title forms that are not generally accepted should be avoided, and they should not be invented.)
- If the name of the piece is unique to that one piece, then the title should be the name of the piece alone. For example, Enigma Variations, War Requiem, Piano Phase. Note that what we mean by a unique name here is a unique descriptive name, and not names that are unique only because of opus number, catalogue number or key.
- Always consider making redirects to the article from other plausible names to aid searching, and avoid people creating duplicate articles. For example, if you create Piano Trio No. 1 (Schubert), consider making redirects to it from Piano Trio in B-flat major (Schubert) and Piano Trio, D. 898 (Schubert).
Bands, albums and songs
Capitalization of band names should be consistent with the guidelines for trademarks.
Capitalization of song titles and album titles should be consistent with the guidelines for composition titles; in particular, capitalize the first and last word and all other words except:
- coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)
- prepositions shorter than five letters (in, to, over)
- articles (an, a, the)
- the word to when used to form an infinitive.
Note that short verbs (Is, Are, and Do) and pronouns (Me, It, and His) are capitalized.
When necessary, disambiguation should be done using "(band)", "(album)", or "(song)" (such as Queen (band) or Off the Wall (album)). Use further disambiguation only when needed (for example X (American band), X (Australian band)). Unless multiple albums of the same name exist, they do not need to be disambiguated any further. For example, Down to Earth (Ozzy Osbourne album) is fine, because there are many other albums named Down to Earth, but Off the Wall (Michael Jackson album) is unnecessary. Disambiguate albums and songs by artist and not by year unless the artist releases multiple albums with the same name. When a track is not strictly a song (in other words a composition without lyrics, or an instrumental that is not a cover of a song), disambiguation should be done using "(composition)" or "(instrumental)".