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Cataloging and Classifying Scores

Scores are a special breed of monograph, and require their own special cataloging procedures.
Tags: Cataloging, Copy cataloging


  1. Fixed field:
    1. Type: c for scores
  1. Lang: N/A for instrumental scores; if the score has a libretto (lyrics), enter the three-letter code for the appropriate language
  1. Comp: Form of composition. See the OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards section on Comp for a list of two-letter codes detailing the type of composition in the score. In the example above, “or” is for Oratorios.
  1. FMus: Format of music. Use the one-letter code for the type of score—a for full orchestral score, b for miniature score, etc. The score itself may indicate what kind it is on the title page.  Otherwise, read the description of the different types in the OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards section on FMus to determine the form in hand.
  1. Part: Use if there are music parts present with the score (vocal part, 2nd piano part, etc.) or if it is clear from the score that parts exist.
  1. TrAr: Transposition and arrangement. If the music has been transposed (changed to a different pitch) and/or arranged (i.e., orchestral music rewritten for piano), enter the appropriate value here from the OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards.
  1. Variable fields   
    1. 028: Publisher’s number for music. This is usually preceded by the first 2 letters of the publisher’s name. It is most commonly found on the front cover of the score or on the title page, if there is one.  A form of publisher’s number, the plate number, will appear on the bottom of all the pages of the score, often with the copyright date or date of publication.  If the score contains a collection of different musical pieces, each piece may have a different plate number.  The first and second indicators show whether the number is a publisher’s number or a plate number.  The publisher name may be given in the subfield ‡b.

Ex.:     028 3 0   BA 5038a ‡b Barenreiter [publisher’s  number]

Ex.:     028 2 0    4535 ‡b C.F. Peters   [plate number]

                                    The 028 field is repeatable.

  1. 041: Language.  Use if the text of the score is multilingual or has been translated.  Use also for language of any critical notes or biographical material. The first language in the 041 field must match the Lang: in the fixed field.
  1. 047: Form of musical composition.  Use if the value entered into the fixed field Comp is “mu” for multiple formats. An example would be a score which contains both blues and jazz:

Ex.:  047        bl ‡a jz

See the OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards for a list of composition codes.

  1. 048: Number of performers or instruments. See the OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards for the codes to be used.

Ex.: 048     ‡b va [soprano soloist] ‡b vd [tenor soloist] ‡b vf [bass soloist] ‡a ca05 [chorus of 5 kinds of voices, not actual number of singers] ‡a ka [piano]