Style / Work

Status: This is an official style guideline.


Work types should only be used on works that specifically match the chosen type (not every work needs to have a work type!).

Disambiguation comment

Add disambiguation comments only when two (or more) works are similar enough to be confused, not just because they have the same name. For example, there’s not much use in adding “Scorpions song” to Blackout just because other artists have songs called Blackout. On the other hand, a translation of a work with the same name as the original might deserve a disambiguation to make it more obvious, like with Dreams come true (“Japanese version”) by BoA and the original Korean version.

Lyrics languages

Select any languages that are used for a significant part the work lyrics. Do not select a language just because a few words or a one-off line in said language are used in the lyrics (unless the lyrics are so short that this is a significant part of them).

For instrumental works, and works with vocals but no lyrics (such as scat singing), select the special language option “[No lyrics]”. For works with lyrics in made up languages, select “[Artificial (Other)]”.

“[Multiple languages]” is a legacy option dating back to a time where only one language could be selected, and should not be used.

For works comprised of separate part works, apply the guidelines to each part work as well as the parent work. For example, the parent work for a song cycle containing songs in French and songs in German should have languages “French” and “German”, but the work for each song in the cycle should only have “French” or “German” as appropriate. Per the "significant part" guideline above, if a language is only used for one short part of a large work, it might not even merit appearing on the parent work, but it should still be used for the relevant part work.

  • Amsterdam by Jacques Brel has language “French” (and each later translation has its appropriate language).
  • Hakuna matata from The Lion King has language “English”, despite the title words being in Swahili, since that's the only use of Swahili in an otherwise entirely English song.
  • Mi gente by J Balvin, Willy William & Beyoncé has languages “Spanish” and “English” (but not French, despite the lyrics containing one line in French).
  • Rachmaninov's Vocalise, op. 34 no. 14 has language “[No lyrics]”, despite having vocals, since the vocals are just sounds that are not intended to constitute lyrics.
  • Sigur 1 (or “Vaka”) by Sigur Rós has language “[Artificial (Other)]”, since the lyrics are in an invented language not in the language list.
  • Brian Eno's Music for Airports is instrumental, so it has language “[No lyrics]”.

See also

Title Style
Special Cases/Misc.