Also may refer to Music Score Cataloging Basics OLAC/MOUG Conference

Table of Contents

Recent changes

Added references to Core standards throughout document. Core is the minimum we expect in a record. At points where we expect fields additional to Core, we noted the exceptions. (Primarily in the Notes (5XX) section. Worked on clarifying the &xx and Uniform title sections.


Examining the piece.

  • A score is defined by AACR2 as a series of staves on which all the different instrumental or vocal parts of a music work are written, one under the other in a vertical alignment, so that the parts may be read simultaneously. If that is not what you are looking at, you have the wrong procedures.
  • All newly received music needs to having a binding decision slip filled out by Music Librarian. If yours does not, put on the binding decision shelf.
  • The Chief Source of Information for scores is the Title Page. Use a monographic style title page when present but always prefer the title source with the fullest information.
  • When searching OCLC, you may use the use /sco as a limit.
  • Before you decide to use a record, examine the bibliographic information carefully.


The MARC Fields for Scores

====Fixed Field==== code fully. For specific codes see Bib Formats and Standards Fixed Field section

Accm (Accompanying Matter)

  • Code for performing instructions, prefaces, historical notes, etc.: d libretto/text [use if significant enough to be in bibliographic description]

BLvl (Bibliographic Level)

  • Use m unless part of a series.

Comp (Form of Composition)

  • Code for the whole work, not for individual movements. If mu (multiple forms, (more than one code applies)) is used, then an 047 must be used to list the forms. Use uu when items whose form and genre are unstated or unknown or whose subject headings reflect only the medium of performance (i.e., Horn music). Use zz for genres (i.e., Incidental music) or forms specified on the item but not on the Comp list in the format manual.

Ctrl (Type of control)

  • leave blank.

Ctry (Country of publication)

  • Code for the location of the publisher of the item.


  • Consider LCRI 1.4F6 when inputting dates: "Ignore copyright renewal dates for works first copyrighted before 1978. If copyright dates vary, give the latest date for works copyrighted after 1977." (Use same rule for dates in call numbers) Consult Bib formats and Standards for more info.

Desc (Descriptive cataloging form)

  • Code a for AACR2.

DtSt (type of date)

  • Consult Bib Formats and Standards if necessary. Coordinate with Dates.

Elvl (Encoding Level)

  • Use I for copy/edit cataloging.

Fmus (Format of music)

  • Use a for full score, b for miniscore, c for reduced for piano, ; (voice) ; e (condensed) ; g (close) ; z (solo inst. music)


  • Use if item is a microform, braille, photocopy, etc. (consult Bib Formats for more info.)


  • Use the code that represents the predominant language of a sung or spoken text in a score. If a score has no sung or spoken text, use N/A. Use und for humming, and other texts that are wordless or consist of nonsense syllables. If there are accompanying materials with a score, code for predominant language here and in field 041 ‡a. Then give other language details necessary in the 041.

Ltxt (Literary text for sound recordings)

  • Use n for scores.

Mrec (Modified record)

  • Leave blank.

Srce (Source)

  • Use d for non-LC cataloging.


  • Use c for printed scores. Use d for manuscript scores.


MARC RECORD Variable Fields

010 REQUIRED IF APPLICABLE Library of Congress Control Number.


ISMN - REQUIRED if applicableFirst indicator 2 indicates it is an ISMN.The ISMN consists of the letter M followed by 8 numbers and 1 check digit. An ISMN usually appears on an item preceded by the initials ISMN separated by a hyphen or a space. Enter without a hyphen or space.

028 Publisher Number -- REQUIRED, IF APPLICABLE

Ind. 1: Code 2 for plate numbers, Code 3 for publisher numbers. A plate number will appear on every page of the score itself, most often at the bottom. A publisher number will appear on the cover, the title page, or the first page of music, but not repeatedly on the score's pages.Ind. 2: Use 0.

When multiple 028 fields are called for, the first one(s) should be the plate number(s), followed by 028 fields for the publisher number(s). Make a parallel 500 note for each 028.

|a = pub/plate number : DO NOT include number designation (No., Nr.)|b = publisher name - use shortened form of the trade name

Language Code -- REQUIRED IF APPLICABLE Initially, consider only the work itself and not the accompanying materials. If the work is in one language with no translation, no 041 is needed (the code in the Lang fixed field is enough). However, if there is a translation of the vocal text printed as text, consider this a translation and use 1 in indicator 1.

1st Ind: 0 = not translation (DO NOT consider notes)1st Ind: 1 = has/is trans

  • If score includes translation - put all lang codes in |a; make a |h for the original. Repeat |h as necessary

Subfield a = language of musical text intended to be sung;Subfield g = language of accompanying material;Subfield h = language from which translated

045 Time Period of Content -- OPTIONAL If present, let stand if correct 1st Ind: 0 = single dt ; 1=multi ; 2=range

|a = time period code by century|b = formatted YYYYMMDDHH time period

047 Form of musical composition code -- REQUIRED IF APPLICABLE Use only when the Comp fixed field is mu. Consult format manual for list of codes.

If an arrangement, code for the work in hand, not for the original version. Consult format manual for list of codes and usage instructions. Bib Formats

There are no codes form many forms people consider to be “forms of composition”

Local LC Call Number

A call number is mandatory. Use LC Classification (Schedule M). Check call number section for further instructions.


Main Entry (1xx)

REQUIRED IF APPLICABLE May refer to rules 21.18 to 21.22

1. Single composer: enter under composer.

2. Arrangements ["rewritten for a medium of performance different from that for which the work was originally intended; simplified" -- AACR2] : Enter under composer ; AE for arranger

[NOTE: popular music & jazz is rarely considered to be arranged because it is not created as a written medium - meant to be performed exactly as a composer intended]

3. Adaptations ["distinct alteration of another work; paraphrases parts of works or the general style; may be based on other music (i.e. variations)" -- AACR2] : Enter under adaptor ; name/title AE for related work(s)

4. Multiple composers : Collections With Collective Title : Enter under title ; AE for editors/compilers if appropriate ; name/title AE for composers/works if appropriate

For Form of Heading: Follow standard procedure for checking composer's name in LCAF. If no authorized version is found, check OCLC for DLC cataloging; consistent use of heading in member cataloging.




May refer to AACR2 Chapt. 25. Uniform titles are always used when specific musical works with generic titles are present. For a Mozart Piano concerto it’s customary to use a collective uniform title such as Concertos, piano, orchestra, as well as a separate composer (title added entry for each concerto).

For Title Mozart’s Requiem: Use Uniform Title (Requiem, K626, D minor) under a Mozart heading.

See Appendix of this document for complete info on Music Uniform titles.

See Types of Compositions for use in Music Uniform Titles Yale Uniform Title Info



  • Title Proper (245 |a) ; Other Title/Parallel (245 |b)
  • Generic Titles (name of a 'type' of composition - i.e. sonata, symphony, quartet)
  • Include other identifying elements (medium, numbering, key, date of composition) as part of Title Proper

|a Symphony no. 3, A major, op. 56

  • Distinctive Titles (unique titles not requiring other elements to identify the work)

Names of types of compositions which are adjectivally modified are considered distinct, remaining identifying elements [judging by typography, layout, etc.] should be considered 'Other title information' |b

|a Easter fresco : |b for soprano, flute, horn, harp, and piano|a Sinfonia mazedonia : |b Nr. 4, für grosses Orchester|a Little suite : |b for 5 cellos (1956)

  • Collections With Collective Title (may be 1 or 1+ composers) : List collective title in |a ; add |b if appropriate
  • Collections Without Collective Titles (generally by 1 composer) : List all works in 245 |a (generally not more than a few (2-5-) ; separate each work with _;_ . Use |b for other/parallel title info. at the 1st instance it applies, then continue to separate works by semicolons.

245 00 Gavotta ; Mazurka ; Serenata ; Pas-de-quatre / |c Missael Dominigues

Parallel Titles (245 |b)

a) Often some title elements are repeated or partially repeated in other languages. "...transcribe the statements so that all elements in one language are together. Treat the first group of elements in one language as part of the title proper..." [5.1B1 LCRI]

b) If the elements are only partially repeated then use the statements that match the title proper & omit the other statements


OCLC Tagging - Unusual Subfields

a) |n [Number of part/section of a work] is used for indicating sequencing for a part or section of a larger work. [i.e. Part two ; Supplement 3, etc]. This DOES NOT include musical serial, opus or thematic catalog numbers.

245 10 Tabulatura nova. |n 3e partie / |c Samuel Scheidt.

b) |p [Name of part/section of a work]. NOTE: |p CAN'T follow |b,|c, or |h - must preceed or don't use |p

245 14 Der Ring des Nibelungen. |p Götterdämmerung / |c Richard Wagner ; dieser Opernführer wurde verfasst und herausgegeben von Kurt Pahlen unter Mitarbeit von Rosmarie König.


Statement of Responsibility (245 |c)

1. May include composer, lyricist, editor, etc. Include statements of arrangements, versions [vocal score with piano; edited and arranged by ...]

  • Variant form of title – Required if applicable
  • Just like usage for print material.
  • Use without initial article and without end punctuation.

Ind. 1: 1Ind. 2: Use 1 for parallel title in another language, 0 for portion of title, and usually blank or 3 for any other. Consult format manual for usage instructions.


Edition Statement (250)


The edition statement may include information about vocal range and/or transposition if that information is not already included in field 245. "Records data about the production history of a specific physical manifestation" -- Smiraglia ; NOT about the work itself. Must explicitly state edition, [Rev. ed. ; 2nd ed. ; New edition]

DO NOT CONFUSE: statements of responsibility [Busoni edition] ; publisher's numbers [ Edition Peters] ; musical version/arrangement [ Piano edition ] ; musical presentation [ Vocal score]

DO INCLUDE VOICE RANGES: if song or collection has a statement designating a voice range, not grammatically linked to the title, etc. ; transcribe as an edition statment

245 10 Complete songs. |v Vol. 1 / |c Franz Schubert. 250 High voice


Musical Presentation (254)


  • Transcribe the statement from the item. The statement describes the particular format of the edition in hand, which may differ from the format of another edition of the same work (e.g., a string quartet published as a score, study score, score and parts, or a set of parts).
  • Word or phrase which describes the physical format of the score or score and parts. [ Study score ; Conductor's score ;Partitur ; Parts ; Miniature score] - must appear on the score - is not constructed by the cataloger.
  • However, you should treat statements that indicate an arrangement or edition of a musical work (e.g., vocal score, version with orchestra accompaniment, Klavierauszug) as subsequent statements of responsibility (field 245 subfield ‡c), regardless of whether a name appears in conjunction with the statement.

Both indicators blank ; only |a


Publisher info.


If another cataloging agency has included conjectural or supplied dates here and in the fixed field Dates, let them stand.

1. Dates: If you can't find a publication date, check for a copyright date - it may appear on the first or last page of the music. You can also use a printing date to guess about pub. date.

a. Popular Music: often have copyright dates for each piece in a collection - you may have to check the range of dates and guess from there.b. You must supply at least an approximate date of publicationYou may have more than one place, publisher, manufacturer

Example:260 Milwaukee, WI : |b H. Leonard Pub. Corp., |c c1983 |g (1985 printing)260 Leipzig : |b Edition Peters ; |a Frankfurt ; |a New York : |b C. F. Peters [distributor], |c c1984.


300 Physical Description


Extent of Item (300 $a): Record number of physical units, using one of these terms:

  • Score, condensed score, close score, miniature score, piano [or other] conductor part, vocal score, piano score, chorus score, with number of pages in parentheses, + the number of parts (if any)

Ex.: 1 score (27 p.)Ex.: 1 score (38 p.) + 3 parts

  • Part - music for one of the ensemble members (vocal or inst.)
  • Note: a "score" must contain the music for at least two or more instruments aligned vertically in separate staves on the page. Music for solo instruments is not a "score" and is given as the number of pages or volumes of music:

Ex.: 12 p. of music" ; "2 v. of music

Sometimes a publication contains only the individual parts without the full score, in which case the number of parts is stated ["4 parts"]

Scores and Parts (300 |a)

a) When there is only 1 part, include the pagination1 score (10 p.) + 1 part (4 p.)

b) Both scores and parts may have volume desiginations:1 score (2 v.) + 2 parts (2 v.)

c) You may have only parts:5 parts.

d) The piano part may be a score:1 score (12 p.) + 2 parts

e) If you have a set of orchestral parts with multiple copies for each instrument (i.e. 4 copies of Violin I) just note the number of unique parts1 score (79 p.) + 5 parts [for symphony for string orch.]parts for vln, vla, vc, db

Illustrative Matter (300 |b)

Dimensions (300 |c)

If dimensions of score & parts differ - give each separately1 score (vii, 32 p.) : |b ill. ; |c 28 cm. + |a 4 parts ; |c 32 cm.

Accompanying Material (300 |e)

1 score (30 p.) + 4 parts ; |c 24 cm. + |e 1 booklet

Series (4xx)

Required if applicable Follow standard practice.

Don't confuse statements such as "Edition Peters Nr. 2453" as a series – That is a publisher's number (028) and make a note

Look at series Authority record to determine series treatment. This will say if it is collected or cataloged separately. Check local authority file for local decisions.


500 Notes: (*core requirements)

  • Form of composition and medium of performance (Add this note if not obvious from rest of description)
  • For piano solo

500 For bassoon, horn, and violin

  • Language (Add this note if complex or not obvious from rest of description)

546 Songs sung in German, French, and English

  • Source of title proper (Add if title is not from title page)

Caption title

  • Publisher Number(s)

Not required. This info is required in the 028.


Contents note (505)

Content notes are obligatory when there are distinctively named multiple works/ movements in a score. However, a 505 is not necessary if all separate works are listed in field 245. 505 is required for separate volumes with different titles. It is particularly useful to use contents notes in song collections, popular music, or for works with many movements with distinctive titles (Suites, etc.)

Contents (Formatted) (505 0b)

a. Individual titles are separated by a space-dash-space

b. Titles sharing Statement of Responsibility separated by space-;-space

c. Multipart/volume items sep Larger designated from individual title by period-space ; volumes by space-dash-space

d. If you have a collection of works where all the pieces are in the same musical form named elsewhere in the title area, you need only give Numbering, Key, etc. in the contents note.

505 0b Partita no. 4 in D major, BWV 828 / Johann Sebastian Bach -- Three sonatas. E minor, K. 233 ; B minor, K. 27 ; F minor, K. 239 / Domenico Scarlatti


Order of Notes:

  • Form of composition and medium of performance (500)
  • Text (language of sung or spoken text) (500)
  • Source of title proper (500)
  • Variations in title (500)
  • Parallel titles and other title information (500)
  • Statements of responsibility (500)
  • Duration of performance (500, 306)
  • Edition and history (500, 503, 533, 534)
  • Notation (500)
  • Publication, distribuation, etc. (500, 533)
  • Accompanying material (500, 504)
  • Series (500)
  • Dissertation note (500, 502)
  • Audience (500)
  • Publishers' numbers & plate numbers (500)
  • Copy described & library's holdings (59x)



6XX Subject added entries


Current practice is to include at least one LC subject heading for form (i.e., Sonata) or genre (i.e., Jazz) and at least one subject heading for instrument or voice (i.e., Horn music). If an arrangement, subject headings should reflect the item in hand, not the original version.


Typical Sub-Divisions

1. Principal distinction: subject headings for musical works (whether a score or sound recording) are gen. form headings & given in the PLURAL form.

[Works (books) about a form are in the singular]

  • Arranged by Medium: Instr/Vocal : within each by ensemble & often subarranged by Form/Type of composition

EX. Sonatas (Piano) ; Symphonies (Band) ; Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices)

  • By Topic of music: Christmas music, Political songs
  • Free-floating:

Arranged: used on medium/form heading: describes ensemble arranged for, not from[NOTE: not subfielded]

  • Period subdivision (|y) : used on music compositions

[ex. Jazz |y 1961-1970]

  • Music compositions (|x)

Cadenzas -Vocal scores with pianoExcerpts -PartsExcerpts, Arranged -Scores -Instrumental settings -Scores and partsTeaching pieces -Solo with piano

  • Musical instruments (|x)
  • Music for a group of cellos

Violincello ensembles, ArrangedMusic for one celloVioloncello music.

  • Methods
  • Orchestra studies
  • Studies and exercises
  • May also qualify by popular genre

Ex. Piano music (Jazz) ; Guitar music (Blues) ; Piano -- Methods (Jazz)

  • May use name/title subject (600 |t) with subdiv. |x Musical settings for literary works upon which a musical work is based.
  • Instruments in Descending Pitch Order

flutesoboes /woodwindsclarinetsbassoonswindshornstrumpets brassestrombonestubaspercussionviolinsviolas stringsvioloncellosdouble basses

Added Entries (7xx)

Always add an AE for Arrangers, editors, and librettists

Title AE

“include an analytical added entry for the second work when a publication containing two works is entered under the first. Analytical added entries for classical music may be made as in full cataloging when controlled access is important.”



Make a 740 for individual titles in the 505. If composers differ, create a 700 with a t subfield. For Classical music make sure you use the Uniform Title.

1. Give added entries in the following order;

Personal name (700 _0)Personal name/title (700 _2)Corporate name (710 _0)Corporate name/title (710 _2)Uniform title (730 __)Title (740 __)Series (8xx __)

2. If librettist is named in the description - make AE

Arrangers: make AEAdaptations: AE for original composer; if adapt a specific work make name/title AE

3. Analytic Added Entries (name/title)

a) If 3+ indep. works - name/titile AE for eachb) For works that form a group for which a collective Uniform Title, naming a type would be appropriate.(i.e. Piano music. |k Selections ; Waltzes, |m piano. ; Preludes, |m organ. |k Selections]NOTE: Make group UT where possible. Make indiv. AE for rest.c) If have 2+ consec. numbered parts/excerpts - make 1 AE[Quartets, |m strings, |n no. 7-11]d) If have 3+ non-consec. numbered parts/excerpts - make 1 AE with |k Selections[National airs with variations, |n op. 105. |k Selections]

4. Title Added Entries

a. Don't make an AE for titles not sufficiently distinctive by themselves to be a useful access point.EX. Symphony no. 1 in C major ; Piano music ; Requiemb. Collections w/out collective title : make title AE for each distinctive title named in 245c. Follow rules for titles with numbers:make AE for titles with numerals ; number spelled out in language of rest of title ; and, if title begins with a number - make AE for title w/out the numberd. If have collection of music from a movie - make 730 for the film title with qualifier (Motion picture)


Cutter Numbers and Shelflisting for Music Scores

1. Two cutters are almost always required, one for the composer and one for the work in hand. In addition, various serial numbers may be applied. Order of preference:

1.Opus number or thematic catalog number2.Other distinguishing numbers (i.e., "no. 4")3.Key4.Date of composition

M23 is specifically for Sonatas so the instruction is to not include another cutter for Sonata as title. You use the numbering in lieu of the second cutter.

M23S145 (Samarco, John Phillip)No. 2 (Sonatas, piano, no, 21)1991

Numbers where it is correct to cutter by title rather than composer

M1508ML50.2ML 50.7

2. Assign class number before cuttering. If the class number equals the form (i.e., string quartets, concertos, etc.), a second cutter is not needed.

3. First Cutter: Check the local Composer Cutter List. If not present, create one from the LC cuttering sheet. Two digits are common, more may be added as needed. It is best to create two-digit cutters to allow for depth extension in the future.

EXAMPLE: Dodgson = .D 6 3| | \o d leave room for expansionDebussy = .D 4 3| | \e b lower number;less space needed for new entries

4. Second Cutter: Second cutter is taken from the uniform title whether it is the main entry or not. Unless situation is extraordinary, second cutter should only have one number of expansion. In instances of collected works, preference is given to publisher over editor for the second cutter. No second cutter is needed when using distinctive numbers in the call number.

5. Rest of call number should consist of whatever else information from the uniform title is necessary to create a distinctive number, for example: the key, the opus number, a thematic index number, or the editor's name (cuttered). The call number should conclude with the publication date of the edition in hand.

6. When uncertain, consult the LC Cataloging Manual or Smiraglia's Shelflisting Music.


Music Cataloging -- Uniform Titles

  • Uniform titles can be used to serve several purposes. They can bring together all catalog entries for a work when various manifestations of the work have appeared under various titles. Also identifies a work when the title by which it is known differs from the actual title and differentiates between two or more works published under identical titles.
  • Uniform titles are always used when specific musical works with generic titles are present. For a Mozart Piano concerto it’s customary to use a collective uniform title such as Concertos, piano or orchestra, as well as a separate composer (title added entry for each concerto).
  • Decide on main entry first. Uniform title often needs instrument(s) and key. Check OCLC authority file. See Appendix 1of this document for more info on Music Uniform titles.
  • See Types of Compositions for use in Music Uniform Titles


  • Search call number to try and locate uniform title.
  • Problems in music publishing which require use of a UT:
    • Publishers use of varying titles for the same work
    • Various manifestations of work (vocal score, excerpts. translations, etc.)
    • Work may have a popular title which differs from the original or titles on item.

For instance, see Beethoven: Title variations on "Moonlight Sonata."

Manifestations of Musical Works

  • Single unit intended to be performed as a whole
  • Set of works with a group title (not necessarily performed as a whole)

For example: Sonatas for violin & piano ; Madrigali guerri et amoroso, 8. livre

  • Group of works with a single opus number (composed as a distinct unit -- may be performed/published separately).

For example: Die frühen Streichquartette, op. 18

The Library of Congress does not use a Uniform Title (UT) in records where the UT exactly matches the title proper. This generally occurs when the UT is a distinctive, rather than generic (type of composition) title. However, you must first formulate the UT in order to determine if it should be used in the bibliographic record.


Formulating the Uniform Title

1. Determine the initial title element: word(s) that name the work exclusive of medium, key, serial/opus/thematic catalog number, date of composition, or adjective not part of original title.

UTs are based on the original title (original language) of the work/composer.

2. Distinctive Titles -- determine whether the language is correct. Use LCNAF; Grove's, OCLC. The need for additional elements (language, version, arranger, etc.) will require a UT even though the "base" is distinct.

SELECTIONS is reserved for 3 or more works.

3. Generic Titles -- UTs are formulated on a hierarchical basis, moving from the general to the specific

  • You can see the progression from a collection of complete works to the specific UT for a single work. [SEE Uniform Title Chart]
  • Generic initial title elements appear in English cognate, in a plural form -- except when the composer has only written one work of that type (i.e. a sonata for flute & piano where the composer only wrote one sonata -- not that she/he only wrote 1 flute sonata)
  • If the initial title element is a generic type of composition name, other identifying elements must be added to it.

4. Proscribed order of identifying elements:

a) Medium of performance (|m)

If implied by title not necessarily (symphony, etc.)List voices first, then keyboard1+ non-kybd, no voice -- list kybd 1st1 inst & kybd -- list inst 1st

May use standard grouping of ensembles (see AACR2 25.29C) (i.e. Quartets, strings) [SEE Instruments Handout]

b) Serial, opus, or theme cat # (|n)

c) Key (|r)


Additional elements:

a) Excerpts (name of part/section) (|p) - preceded by a period-space

b) Version (|s) - preceded by period-space : Vocal score ; chorus score ; Libretto ; Text(s)

c) Language (|l) ; precede by period-space (w/translation - orig. lang 2nd)

d) Selections (|k Selections) ; precede by period-space

e) Arrangements (|o arr.) - preceded by no space-;

f) Date of work (|f) - used by LC - publication date - last subfield; precede by period-space.


Examples of OCLC tagging of Uniform Titles

240 1st Indicator: card production : 0 = not print 1 = print, no Title Added Entry (TAE) 2 = not print, no TAE 3 = print, TAE 2nd Indicator: non-filing characters

700 1st Indicator: form of name 2nd Indicator type of AE 1 = related analytic 2 = analytic Use |t for initial analytic subfield. It appears directly after the composer heading:

700 1_ Gershwin, George, |d 1898-1937. |t Porgy and Bess. |k Selections; |o arr.100 1_ Brahms, Johannes, |d 1833-1897.240 1_ Stücke, |m piano, |n op. 18. |p Intermezzo, |r A major. |f 1987.700 1_ Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, |d 1756-1791. |t Zauberflöte. |s Vocal score. |l English & German. |k Selections.


Verifying Uniform Titles

1. LCNAF - on OCLC [4,3,1] of composer's name, then search group listings

2. "Best of MOUG" , then check LCNAF if necessary

3. "Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians" - list of composer's works

4. OCLC db - check for DLC cataloging ; then member copy

5. Thematic catalog for the composer

  • No labels