Cataloging: Music Scores

Purpose: To provide a procedural overview and reference resource for the cataloging and processing of music scores at Fogler Library.

NOTE: This page will undergo a major overhaul when RDA is implemented. Until then, RDA and Music Basics: Sound Recordings (00:58:14) is a presentation on the basics of cataloging music scores in RDA presented by ALCTS in 2011.

MARC Quick Reference

Field Description Example Reference
028 Publisher Number 028 22 RS-2202-7 OCLC
041 Language 041 1_ eng $a fre [use when 2 or more languages present] OCLC
045 Time Period of Content 045 __ x8x8 [for 1980s] OCLC
047 Form of Musical Composition 047 __ bl $a jz [for blues and jazz] OCLC
048 Number of Instruments, Voices 048 __ sa02 $a sb01 $a sc01 [for string quartet] OCLC
300 Physical Description 300 __ 1 score (4 p.) : b ill. ; c 35 cm. OCLC

Note Fields, Ordering of

From AACR2, Section 5.7B: “Make notes as set out in the following subrules and in the order given there.  However, give a particular note first when it has been decided that note is of primary importance.”

  1. Form of composition and medium of performance (5.7B1)
  2. Language (5.7B2) — See also MARC 546
  3. Source of title proper (5.7B3)
  4. Variations in title (5.7B4)
  5. Parallel titles and other title information (5.7B5)
  6. Statements of responsibility (5.7B6)
  7. Edition and history (5.7B7)
  8. Notation (5.7B8)
  9. Publication, distribution, etc. (5.7B9)
  10. Duration of performance and physical description (5.7B10)
  11. Accompanying material (5.7B11)
  12. Series (5.7B12)
  13. Dissertations (5.7B13) — See also MARC 502
  14. Audience (5.7B14)
  15. Other formats (5.7B16)
  16. Contents (5.7B18) — See also MARC 505
  17. Publishers’ numbers and plate numbers (5.7B19)
  18. Copy being described, library’s holdings, etc. (5.7B20) — See also MARC 59x
  19. “With” notes (5.7B21) — See also MARC 501

MARC 5xx Note Fields Reference (OCLC)

Subject Headings

When applying subject headings to music scores, consider the form of the composition, the medium of the performance and, if applicable, topicality.  For example:

Variations (Organ) [Form qualified by medium]
Symphonies. [Form, medium implied]
Songs with piano. [Form and medium]
World War, 1914-1918–Songs and music. [Topical, with form subdivision]

When cataloging certain sheet music collections, headings describing graphic content are also applied.  See the Maine Music Box Cataloging Procedures page for details.

For further information on subject headings, see:

Call Numbers

From an undated internal procedures document, ca. 1990s

LC Classification considers the original form of the work.  e.g.,

  • Sonata for horn and piano = M256
  • Sonata for horn and piano, orig. for bassoon and piano = M259
  • Concerto arranged for horn and piano, orig. for horn and orchestra = M1029
  • Sonata for horn and piano, orig. for horn and string orchestra = M1129
  • Sonata for horn and piano, orig. for horn and band = M1257

Cutter for Composer and Title

  • Check shelflist index to match composer cutter (varies according to classification).  Do not default to 050.  Local practice takes precedence.
  • Tchaikovsky will often have LC .C4 cutter, based on old form of name Chaikovskii.  Change to .T4.
  • 2nd (title) Cutter: prefer opus number or thematic index number when available.  Otherwise, use title.  Note: always base title cutter on 240 uniform title, not 245.
  • Smiraglia’s order of preference for title cutters (c.f. “Shelflisting Music,” MLA Technical Report 9 (1981)):
    1. Opus or thematic index number: op.23 ; RV 559
    2. Serial number. E.g., “concerto no. 2” = no.2
    3. Key: Bb maj.
    4. Date of composition: (1918) (Note parens)
    5. Work number for title: .T6
    6. No second element.
  • Differentiate between editions of a work by date or editor/publisher, not by composer/title cutter as in literature.

Folio Prestamp

Rules for Folio designation differ from those of the larger collection.  Determination is based on LC Classification:

M: Scores 36 cm. and larger are designated Folio
ML (Music literature) and MT (Music instruction and study) follow regular folio rules for all LC classed materials where 30 cm. and larger = Folio designation

Exporting Catalog Records for Music Scores

Use the following codes for exporting records from OCLC to URSUS or for creating new records in Millenium:

Mat type = o (scores)
I-Type = 13 (scores)

Sample command line for export:

Physical Processing of Multi-Part Music Scores

  1. Individual parts are treated as separate item records. Type of part is designated in the Volume field (e.g., cello, violin 1, violin 2, etc.)
  2. Each music part has an individual barcode affixed.
  3. Parts are kept in pocket of folder created in-house.
  4. Labels are created for each part.
  5. Inventory label created using larger portion of label sheet. Label should read: XX parts in pocket. XX parts total.
  6. Adhere “XX parts in pocket. XX parts total.” label to back of folder near the main barcode.

Additional Music Cataloging Resources

Return to Technical Services Table of Contents.