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RDS@UF: Copy Cataloging of Music Audio Recordings

Resource Description Services department procedures and policies

Last Updated January 2023 by Sam Fraleigh

Copy Cataloging of Music Audio Recordings


An Explanation of Terms Used in This Document

There are a number of terms used in music cataloging that are not used for other formats. Hopefully this brief explanation will help.

Each of the following terms represents information used to construct the authorized access points for titles of Western classical works.

Authorized access point (AAP): the AAP replaced the uniform title of AACR2. It is a standardized title, or access point, of a work or expression (using RDA WEMI terminology). The use of standardized access points for musical works is much more common in music cataloging than in cataloging of other formats. There are clear rules for constructing such AAPs and many AAPs have been established in authority records, usually in the form 700 1 _ $a Name of composer. $t title of work, $m medium of performance, $n numbering, $r musical key. The subfields “m”, “n” and “r” are only used when the name consists of a type of composition (See below).

Preferred title: The title as it would appear in the 245 field.

Medium of performance: To put it as simply as possible, the medium of performance is a list of the musical instruments, individual human voices as well as instrumental or vocal ensembles needed to express a work in performance. Medium of performance is recorded in the 382 field and also in authorized access points (AAPs) that consist of a type of composition. An example of medium of performance expressed via the 382 and the AAP for a piano concerto whose title on the disc label appears as: Piano Concerto, op. 30 in D minor would be entered as below:

382 0 1 $b piano $n 1 $a orchestra $e 1 $r 1 $t 1 $2 lcmpt

An example of a 240 or a 700 composer/title combination would be:

240 0 0 $a Concertos, $m piano, orchestra, $n BWV 1056, $r F minor OR

700 1 _ $a Bach, Johann Sebastian, $d 1685-1750. $t Concertos, $m piano, orchestra, $n BWV 1056, $r F minor.

Note that the 245 might be something like:

245 1 0 $a Piano Concerto in F minor. BWV 1056

The Library of Congress maintains a controlled vocabulary for medium of performance terms that can be downloaded or viewed on line as a PDF file.

Type of Composition : The Music Library Association maintains a controlled vocabulary of types of compositions. Type of composition refers to standard forms that composers have used. Some common examples of type of composition are: a symphony, a sonata, an opera, a string quartet, a fugue.

Note that in the example under medium of performance, Piano Concerto, op. 30 in D minor, the type of composition appears in the $a of the 240 and in the $t of the 700.

Numbering schemes for ordering the chronological sequence of the compositions of composers: The most commonly used numbering schemes are: A) opus numbers, for example, Symphony No. 7, op. 48;  B) a simple numerical designation such as Symphony No. 7 and  C) thematic catalogues. Thematic catalogues usually appear after the death of a composer and require years of scholarship to establish the correct sequence of a composer’s works. Each thematic catalogue has a unique code consisting of letters taken from the compiler’s or the composer’s name or the title of the catalogue. For example, J. S. Bach’s thematic catalogue numbering is always followed by BWV, which is an abbreviation of the catalogue's title. An example of this would be Bach’s Mass in B minor, BWV 221. All three of these numbering schemes may be included in both the authorized access points and the preferred title.

007 (Required) – (Must add if not present) See OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards, 007 coding for sound recordings.

Numerical identifiers of the manifestation

024 Other standard identifier (Required, add if not present): EAN (13 digit) is the most commonly encountered. Ensure that first indicator reflects the type of numerical identifier entered. Use 1st indicator “3” for EAN. Older discs often have 12 digit UPC numbers. The 1st indicator 1 is used for these.

028 (Required, add if not present) Publisher or distributor number; primarily used for “Other music publisher number”, 1st indicator 3.

Fields pertaining to Language: 1) Sung or spoken text, 2) Text presented separately (e.g., librettos), 3) Language of accompanying text (i.e., program notes)

Three fields are needed when recording information about language: the fixed field “Lang”, the 041 (uses MARC language codes) and the 546 (language note using human readable text.) The 546 need only be added once, but is repeatable.

Other Variable Fields

041 Required, (Required, add if not present) / Lang fixed field coding This field is used more frequently in the cataloging of audio recordings than for print monographs.

  • Instrumental music: If the recorded works are entirely instrumental:
  1. Lang fixed field: use the code “zxx”.
  2. 041: If there are program notes (usually these are present in a case insert or a larger accompanying booklet.), add 041 $g for each language of the supplementary material. It is very common for program notes to be in two or more different languages, especially discs from European distributors.
  • Vocal music: If the recorded work, or works, consist entirely or predominantly of vocal music:
    1.  Lang fixed field: code for the predominant language of the sung text. If there are multiple sung languages present, code with “mul”.
    2. 041:
      • Each sung language is coded in a separate $d. Add in the 546 field also.
      • If the text of the vocal work is supplied in accompanying material, it should be coded in the 041. For opera librettos and the text of all other vocal music use $e for each language. Use $n for the language of the original if translations are provided in accompanying material.
      • Other information in the accompanying material (such as historical, biographical or technical) should be supplied in an 041 $g

Here is an example of a 041 on the bib record of a recording of Richard Strauss’ opera, Der Rosenkavalier. The original language of the libretto is German and the recorded performance is in German. There is a booklet with the original libretto in German + a translation of the libretto to English and French. There is also supplementary information (sometimes called program notes) about the composer and the work itself in German, English and French. Note that the first indicator is coded 1 because the libretto and other information were translated from German. You can find the meaning of various subfields used in the 041 by consulting OCLC’s Bibliographic Formats and Standards for the 041

041 1_ $d ger $e ger $e eng $e fre $n ger $g ger $g eng $g fre $m ger

Breakdown of the above 041: $d ger = language of sung text; $e ger $e eng $e fre = libretto provided in original German with English and French translations; $n ger = original language of libretto ; $g ger $g eng $g fre = supplementary information in German, English and French ; $m ger = Original language of supplementary information.

Note that it is not always possible to ascertain with certainty which was the original language of accompanying material; hence, the $m is often omitted.

The “Lang” fixed field is coded “ger”.

Below are examples of the notes that would be added.

546 __ Sung in German.

500 __ $a Booklet with libretto in German with English and French translations and program notes in German with English and French translations (43 pages) laid in container.


546 __ Sung in German.

546 __ $a Booklet with libretto in German with English and French translations and program notes in German with English and French translations.

500 __ $a Booklet (43 pages) laid in container. (Not required)

240 (Required, when applicable) Much more common for music resources of all types. Also more complicated to construct because there is a specific structure required. – Best added by department’s music cataloger when missing.

How to tell when a 240 is needed:

  • If a musical recording is a compilation of multiple works of different types of composition by only one composer, a 240 is usually required.

Example: 245 1 0 $a Symphony No. 3: $b Academic Overture, Variations on a theme by Handel.

240 0 0 $a Works. $k Selections


240 0 0 $a Instrumental music. $k Selections

  • If a compilation includes music by one or more composers AND all of the pieces are of just one type of musical composition, a 240 may be needed.

Example: 245 1 0 $a Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4; $b Brahms’ Violin Concerto and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto.

240 0 0 $ Concertos. $k Selections

  • If either of these scenarios are encountered and a 240 is not present, refer to music cataloger.

246 Used for parallel titles which are commonly found on classical music recordings. Cataloger should include all parallel titles. – Add all parallel titles if not present.

Also note that if these parallel titles are not present in the 245, they should also be added to that field as well.

When the 245 contains the multiple titles (even if not parallel titles), add a 246 for each of the titles after the first listed.

300 Physical description Add information if not present.

1 audio disc (71 min. 45 sec.) ; $c 4 3/4 in. + $e 1 booklet (“number” pages) –  The $e is often omitted by catalogers. Add, however, if 20 pages or more.

306 (no indicators) Duration (Required, add if not present):  Can be for entire disc or the preferred method is to do a separate 306 for each piece if not too time consuming. Always entered in the form hhmmss. Retain zeros.

For example: an opera recording that is 2 hours, 31 minutes and 34 seconds long would be entered: 306 _ _ 023134

33X fields are always the same for music CDs(Required by OCLC).

336 performed music $b prm $2 rdacontent

337 audio $b s $2 rdamedia

338 audio disc $b sd $2 rdacarrier

34X fields: Technical information – (If record is RDA or lacks a 538 field, add)

For the most part these will be the same for all music recording on CD format. The 344 for sound reproduction will, however, vary depending on whether the recording is stereo, mono or multichannel.

340  $b 4 3/4 in. – Add if not present.

344  $c 1.4 m/s – Add if not present.

344  digital $2 rdatr – Add if not present.

344  $b optical $2 rdarm – Add if not present.

344  $g stereo $2 rdacpc (this field will very, based on how the sound was captured, e.g. mono, surround, etc. – Add if not present.

347  audio file $2 rdarm – Add if not present.

347  $b CD audio – Add if not present.

382 – This is the field dedicated to entering medium of performance. (Required, should always be present in records following RDA rules; not required, but preferred, in records following AACR2 rules)

The 382 field uses a strictly controlled vocabulary and specific structure. There should be one 382 field for each piece or at least each piece that has a different medium of performance. The term “lcmpt” stands for Library of Congress medium of performance terms, a controlled vocabulary for musical instruments from all over the world.

This field should reflect the actual medium of performance. What is meant by actual is best illustrated by an example. Suppose Bach wrote a concerto for violin and chamber orchestra, but someone transcribed the violin part for the viola so that the piece recorded is for viola and chamber orchestra. The 382 should reflect the actual instruments used so that the 382 would be:

382 0 1 $b viola $n 1 $a chamber orchestra $e 1 $r 1 $t 1 $2 lcmpt

If the 382(s) is not present, copy catalogers should consult with the music cataloger.

505 (Preferred if not too time consuming. Not required for copy cataloging) Preferred form is fully formatted, i.e. use of $t / $r.

508 (Not required for copy catalogers) Creation/Production credits.

511 (Required,  add if not present) Performer note; all major performers such as conductors and soloists with an indication of type of performer, e.g. cellist, conductor,  also names of chamber music groups should be included such as  Kronos Quartet, Budapest Trio, etc.

518 (Required when available) -- Date/Time and Place of an Event Note. The structured format is preferred. Example of formatted note: 518 _ _ $o Recorded  $a January 13, 2019 $p Festspielhaus, Baden-Baden, Germany.– Add if not present

538 (Not required of copy catalogers but preferred in AACR2 records) Technical details (the 34X fields cover the technical aspects of the recording, but it is optional to add a note that is more easily read by people.)

546 (Required when applicable, add if not present and a 041 is present.) Language Note – Always add if there is a 041 field present.

700 1 _ OR 710 2 _ (Required, add if not present) Add for instrumentalists, singers, (including prominently featured soloists with larger vocal groups), conductors, choral groups, orchestras & smaller instrumental ensembles. This would also cover arrangers of the music, librettists when the work consists of vocal music, etc. It is not general practice to add 700 fields for individual musicians who are part of a named ensemble. For example the Kronos Quartet, which is a string quartet with 4 performers, should be listed in the 511 and a 710, but the individual musicians making up the quartet would not receive individual 700 fields.

700 1 _ composer/ title (Required) This is a 700 field that includes the name of the composer as it appears in the name authority (if one exists) + the title of a composition, and, when applicable, medium of performance, numbering and the key of the piece + the term "Arranged" in a $o if the work has been transcribed for different instruments, a smaller orchestra or reduced for piano. A separate field is required for each titled work on the music disc.

The basic structure of the 700 is:

700 1_$a composer’s name. $t title of expression or type of composition (May consist of only the type of composition, e.g., Concertos, Sonatas, Serenades), $m medium of expression, $n numbering, $r musical key of work (e.g. D minor)

For example: 700 1_ $a Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, $d 1756-1791. $t Concertos, $m piano, orchestra, $n K. 466, $r D minor

As mentioned above, the $o Arranged is added for works that have been altered significantly by someone other than the composer. For example, Bach wrote his keyboard concertos for harpsichord; however, it is common practice to perform versions of these concertos with different instruments, such as the violin. Below is an example of one of Bach’s keyboard concertos that has been arranged for violin and string orchestra.

Example: $a Bach, Johann Sebastian, $d 1685-1750. $t Concertos, $m harpsichord, string orchestra, $n BWV 1052, $r D minor; $o arranged.

Notice the medium of performance in the $m is harpsichord, not violin; however, because the 382 reflects the actual medium of performance, in this instance it would be:

382 0 1 $b violin $n 1 $a string orchestra $e 1 $2 lcmpt.

Many catalogers omit the composer/title 700 field when there is only a single work on the disc. In that case the 100 + the 240 (structured according to the same rules as the 700 above) + the 245 would take its place. If the only work on a music CD is the Bach Concerto n. 1 in D minor, this would be correct:

100 1 _ $a Bach, Johann Sebastian, $d 1685-1750, $e composer.

240 0 0 $a Concertos, $m harpsichord, string orchestra, $n BWV 1052, $r D minor; $o arranged.

245 1 0 $a Concerto No. 1 in D minor / $c J. S. Bach ; Itzhak Perlman, violin ; Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Orchestra ; conducted by Neville Marriner.

The average copy cataloger will not likely know enough to construct one of these headings from scratch. Best to pass on a record requiring the addition of these fields to the music cataloger in the department. However, you should be able to check fields already present for accuracy and, at least, partially control the headings.

If the title of a composition does not constitute a type of composition, then just the title is normally included in the 700 composer/title field. For example, if one of the pieces on a music CD is Pavane pour une infante défunte by Maurice Ravel, the 700 field would be:

700 1 _ $a Ravel, Maurice, $d 1875-1937. $t Pavane pour une infante défunte.

650 (Not required, but subject headings are almost always added) If there are no subject headings consult the music cataloger.

655 _7 (At least one is required) There is a large controlled vocabulary of genre terms for music from around the world with an emphasis on art music from different cultures is maintained by the Library of Congess. A list of these genre terms is available here.  Refer to music cataloger if no genre terms are present.

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