The golden rule is this: the objective of these guidelines is to make it easy for people to find the work they are looking for. If you are in doubt, use the form most likely to be recognised by a general listener, while retaining as much information as possible to distinguish this work from others of similar names.
The general form is along the lines of the following example:
Piano Sonata no. 23 in F minor “Appassionata”, Op.57
Note the following features:
For single instruments, use the form Piano Sonata or Piano Concerto rather than Sonata for Piano or Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.
For single instruments accompanied by a keyboard, use Violin Sonata rather than Sonata for Violin and Piano.
For multiple instruments, list them in the following form: Concerto for Flute and Harp. You can assume that “Concerto” implies an orchestra unless there is additional information, such as:
Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra
Use “no.” with a small “n”, and with a space between the “.” and the number.
Use “major” or “minor” starting with a small letter. Do NOT omit the “major”. Use the form C sharp major or E flat major for sharps and flats.
A descriptive name (if any):
For works which are mainly known by their form rather than by their name (such as symphonies, concerti and sonatas), put the form first and embed the name in double quotes, thus:
Symphony no. 3 in E flat major “Eroica”, Op.55
For works which are mainly known by their name rather than by their form (such as operas, songs, film music or tone poems), put the name first. If there is a form, you may append it, separated by a comma, thus:
Don Giovanni, opera, K527
Use the language most likely to be recognised by an audience in English: for example, an English audience is likely to understand Moonlight Sonata rather than the original Mondschein, but is likely to understand Eine kleine Nachtmusik rather than A little music of the night. (This would be different in France, where you would use Une petite musique de nuit). Clearly, there is a judgement to be made. If you feel the need to put in both languages, put the original first, followed in parentheses by the translation into your language, thus:
Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus spoke Zarathustra), tone poem, Op.30
The catalogue number
For “Opus”, use the form Op.36, i.e. capital “O”, small “p”, full stop followed by the number without a space. Where there are secondary numbers, you can use:
For Mozart, use K (without a full stop or space) for numbers which are only present in Köchel version 1 or vserion 6 or are the same in versions 1 and 6. For works which have different numbers in the two editions, use the form K25 (K37).
For other composers, the best form varies according to convention for each composer, so for Bach, use the form BWV1043, or for Schubert, use D.987. Look at what's already in the database to try to follow a consistent convention for each.
Please put in part works using the style main work: part work, for example:
La Forza del Destino: overture
Symphony no. 5 in C sharp minor: 4th movement (Adagietto)
Rigoletto: La donna è mobile
For a part of an opera, please use the work type “Orchestral” for an overture or other orchestral interlude, and “Opera aria/scene” for arias, duets, choruses etc.