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Classical Sound Recordings


099 Classification
1XX Main Entry
245 Title
       Parallel Title Information
       245|c Statement of Responsibility
246 Added Title Entries
500 Notes
505 Contents Notes
511 Performer Notes
      Order of Performers
6XX Subject Headings
7XX Added Entries
       Composers/Uniform Titles


099 Classification

E.g. an item which has as its first piece a short choral work (5 min.) followed by three full-length clarinet concertos (60 min.) will be classified in ORCHE not VOC.

E.g. a work with 5 vocal + 10 instrumental pieces  will be classified in CHAMB.

  • Classical performers performing popular music can be classified in POP, especially when cutter will be for performer rather than composer, e.g.

245 |a Magic : |b Kiri Te Kanawa sings Michel Legrand
099 |a POP TEK not CLA VOC LEG

  • Class Benjamin Britten's Young person's guide to the orchestra in J CLA if there is a narrator; class in CLA ORCHE, if there is no narrator, i.e., a concert piece. Similarily, class Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker in J CLA if there is added narration, otherwise class in CLA  ORCHE.
  • Classical music with nature sounds (often arranged for synthesizer) will be classified in INSTR. 
  • For Classical Christmas music, see Sound Recordings Overview, Christmas.
  • For collections of popular and classical music, examine the entire item to determine a predominance of type, add 500 note if necessary for clarification, e.g.

500 |aIncludes popular and classical music.
500 |a”Classical crossover”—AMG online.

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1XX Main Entry

  • Follow RDA 6.28.1 for choice of main entry/authorized access point for works of Classical music.
  • For collections by a single composer or collections with unit entry (i.e. no collective title), main entry/authorized access point should be determined in consultation with RDA 6.28.2.
  • See also 1XX Non-Classical Sound Recordings and Sound Recordings Overview for detailed EPL policies.

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245 Title


Collective Title

  • A Collective title from any part of the CD or packaging is preferable to a unit title, see RDA 6.14.2 Preferred Title for a Musical Work, e.g.:


100 1  |aMoog, Joseph,|d1987-
245 10|aPiano sonatas|h[sound recording] /|cTchaikovsky, Scharwenka.
500      |aTitle from container spine.


Unit Entries - No Collective Title

  • When there is no collective title available, use the first unit entry as the title, e.g.

100 1  |aEhnes, James|d1976-
245 10|aViolin concerto|h[sound recording] /|cKhachaturian. String quartet no. 7 ; String quartet no. 9 / Shostakovich.

  • If there is no collective title available and all of the works are by the same composer, use the first unit entry as the title and list the remaining unit entries in subfield b separated by semi-colons, e.g.

100 1  |aShostakovich, Dmitriĭ Dmitrievich,|d1906-1975
245 10|aString quartet no. 1|h[sound recording] ;|bString quartet no. 2 ; String quartet no. 3 /|cShostakovich.


Lengthy Unit Entries

  • "Abridge a long title only if it can be abridged without loss of essential information. Use a mark of omission (...) to indicate as such. Never omit any of the first five words" (RDA Recording Titles). List the remaining works in 505, e.g.

Façade [only title listed on label]
100 |a Walton
245 |a Façade |h[sound recording] /|cWalton.
505 |a [item contains 12 selections including Walton’s Façade]
700 12 |aWalton…|t Façade


Parallel title information

  • Use judgement when recording complicated parallel title information. Consider abridging the title or using (rarely) a slash rather than an equals sign (which forces subfield b MARC coding) between parallel title information which consists of a single word, e.g.

245 |a Concerto no. 15 for piano/Klavier & orchestra, K. 450, B-flat major … |h [sound recording] ; |b …


245 |a Concerto no. 15 for piano |h [sound recording] = |b Klavier & orchestra, K. 450, B-flat major = B-dur = si bel majeur ; Concerto …

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245 |c Statement of Responsibility

  •  "Record a statement of responsibility naming more than one person, family or corporate body as a single statement whether those persons, etc., perform the same function or different functions" (RDA Statement Naming More Than One Person, Etc.), e.g.

|cDuke Ellington and his orchestra

  • Record statements of responsibility as seen but do use the option for omitting multiple names if appropriate: "If a single statement of responsibility names more than 3 persons, families or corporate bodies performing the same function (or with the same degree of responsibility), omit any but the first of each group of such persons, families or bodies" (RDA, e.g.

|cRoger Colbourne [and six others]
Source of information reads: Roger Colbourne, Suzanne Bassett, Tony Billing, Helen McCormick, John McLennan, Andrew Nelson and Hugh Robertson

|cby Raymond Queneau [and 4 others]
Source of information reads: by Raymond Queneau, Italo Calvino, Paul Fournel, Jacques Jouet, Claude Berge & Harry Matthews

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246 Added Title Entries

  • Generally, do not provide an added title entry for the container title when both the container and label give unit listings and the unit listing from label has been recorded in 245. Exception: Make an added title entry 246 |i On container: … for those container titles which may be mistakenly identified as a collective or predominant title.
  • Provide 246's for useful alternative collective titles in English. Provide title added entries for all English collective and/or parallel titles, even if non-distinctive, e.g..

245 |a Sonates |h [sound recording] = |b Sonatas …
246 |a Sonatas |h [sound recording]

  • For classical sound recordings, do not provide title added entries for titles already being traced as uniform titles or for which there is a cross-reference in the uniform title authority record. Exception: if item consists of a single work, make 246(s) for variant forms of title appearing on item even though a uniform title is provided.
  • For variant titles, see Sound Recordings General, 246 Variant Title.

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336, 337, 338

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500 Notes

  • Make notes as required to explain or justify arrangements, instrumentation, etc. if information is readily available.
  • Names do not need to be noted if not being traced.

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505 Contents Notes

  • A 505 note is always provided to justify composer-title added entries.
  • A detailed 505 note is preferrable to uniform titles in original cataloguing in order to provide access through BiblioCommons.
  • Pieces may be grouped but use this device sparingly - the 505 has to be meaningful and support keyword access.

4 selections / Vivaldi
[12 waltzes] / Strauss

  • Use brackets if information provided could be mistaken as title information.
  • If title or uniform title(s) indicate that a work is complete, it is not necessary to provide a 505.

100 |a Beethoven
245 |a Piano concertos / |c Beethoven.
700 |a Beethoven…|tConcertos, piano, orchestra

  • It is not necessary to repeat titles given in 245. If the 245 is only a partial listing of titles, provide a partial contents note listing the remainder.

245 |a Coppelia |h [sound recording] : |b a ballet suite / |c Delibes. Faust waltz / Gounod.
Partial 505 to list additional piece not included in 245.

  • BUT do provide a complete contents listing in a 505 if necessary for clarification.

245 |a Bolero. (collective title)
Complete 505 lists all 12 pieces, including Bolero.

  • It is not necessary to record the playing time of individual selections; do not delete if present in derived records.
  • Generally, provide a 500/505 note to enhance access whenever possible.

500 |a Selections from H.M.S. Pinafore, Mikado, Yeomen of the Guard, Pirates of Penzance and Iolanthe.

Examples of Contents Notes:

  • One composer, e.g. 
    • Hyphens (--) are used to separate titles of unique works, e.g. Il Trovatore and Un Ballo in Maschera are different operas composed by Guiseppe Verdi
    • Periods (.) are used to separate a part of a work from the whole work, e.g. Tacea la Notte is an aria from Il Trovatore
    • Semi-colons (;) are used to separate other parts or unit titles of a work, e.g. D'amour sull'ali rosee is also an aria from Il Trovatore
  • More than one composer, e.g. 
    • Hyphens (--) are used to separate works by different composers, e.g. the above example has works by Puccini, Catalani, Cilea, Giordano, Leoncavallo, Mascagni & Zandonai
    • Periods (.) are used to separate a part of a work from the whole work, e.g. Donde Lieta is an aria from La Boheme
    • Semi-colons (;) are used to separate titles of different works, e.g. La Boheme, Suor Angelica, Turnadot are all operas
    • Forward slashes (/) are used to indicate the composer of the preceding work(s), e.g. La Boheme, Suor Angelica, Turnadot are operas composed by Puccini
    • Repeat a composer’s name when necessary to avoid confusion as to what constitutes the parts of a work

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505 Miscellaneous

  • When formatting the 505, follow ISBD and MARC coding rules, e.g. use a period to indicate a part of a work:

Messiah. Pifa.

  • Record the complete title of the work, including the opus no., key, etc. Normally the date of composition is not required (record only if required for identification of work). Recording the medium of performance is discretionary depending on the length of description or whether this information will be available elsewhere in the record (e.g. Uniform titles or 500 notes).
  • Generally record names of composers as surname with first name(s) represented as initials. But if surname only is given on item, or if Uniform titles are provided, record surnames only.
  • Titles recorded in the 505 should match what is actually performed on the item. If the complete work is performed, the title of the complete work is sufficient; i.e., do not record the separate parts or movements. But if only part of a large work is performed, the title(s) of the part(s) or movement(s) must be recorded.

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511 Performer Note

  • It is not necessary to begin the 511 note with phrase "Performed by".
  • Add to names of classical performers the medium in which they perform if readily available.

511 |a Sheila Miller, soprano ; Jean Scott, contralto ; Peter Paul, baritone ; London Symphony Orchestra, Yehudi Menuhin, conductor.

  • For operas only, soloists should be identified by role rather than voice range, e.g. Placido Domingo as Otello. Use also for oratorios where soloists are identified by role.
  • Use semi-colons to distinguish between functions, other than when listing a conductor after the orchestra.

511 |a Barbara Daniels, soprano ; National Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein, conductor.

  • Use commas or the word "or" when listing several performers performing the same function.

511 |a Claudio Arrau, Misha Dichter, Wibi Soerjadi, piano.
511 |a … ; London Symphony Orchestra (1st work) or Chicago Symphony Orchestra (2nd work), Claudio Abbado, conductor.

  • Generally use the English terms when recording the names of instruments, e.g. piano not pianoforte or fortepiano.

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511 Order of Performers

  • Generally enter performers in the following order: solo vocalists (indicate voice range or role as required) ; solo instrumentalists (indicate instrument played) ; choral groups ; instrumental groups (and when appropriate, each connected to the appropriate conductor by a comma). Accept the order as-is in vendor-supplied and derived records.

100 Kremer, Gidon [the prominent performer]
245 El tango [collective title]
511 Gidon Kremer, violin ; with other members of the Astor Quartet ; and guest artists: Milva, vocals ; …

100 Abbado, Claudio
245 [Collective title]
511 Claudio Abbado conducting the London Symphony Orchestra ; with Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano (2nd work).
511 Various performers, featuring Claudio Abbado, conductor.

245 [Title main entry]
511 Various performers, including Placido Domingo.

  • Rarely, but if necessary for clarification, add the work with which a performer is associated, in parentheses after the performer.

Mirella Frena, soprano ; and other soloists ; Chorus of the Vienna State Opera (1st work) ; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan, conductor.

  • Note that the performance statement in classical music is complete, i.e. all performers are accounted for (either explicitly or with a phrase such as "and other soloists", or "various choruses"). If an item lists performers that are not prominent and are not being traced, it is also acceptable to only note the obviously prominent performers in a 511 note which starts with the word “Featuring”, e.g.

511 Featuring Erich Kunzel conducting the Cincinnati Pops.

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6XX Subject Headings

  • In collections where uniform titles are not provided, use the minimum number of subject headings which can still adequately describe the item.
  • Check all the pieces on the item, identifying those pieces which can be accommodated by grouping the required subject headings into a broader, more general subject heading(s), and then, if necessary, provide specific subject heading(s) for the remainder.
  • The extent of reduction or grouping necessary will depend on the actual content and intent of the item. Use discretion as limiting the number of headings reduces access.

Examples of grouping:

Concertos (Piano)
Concertos (Violin)
650 |a Concertos
Concertos (String orchestra)
Concertos (Oboe and trumpet)
Concertos |v Excerpts
Symphonies |v Excerpts
650 |a Orchestral music
String orchestra music
Chamber orchestra music
Trios (Oboe, violin, violoncello)
Oboe and violin music
650 |a Chamber music
String quartets
Sextets (Pianos (2), violins (2), violas (2))
Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices) …
Choruses, Sacred (Mens voices) …
650 |a Choruses, Sacred
Choruses, Sacred (Childrens voices)
Songs (High voice) with piano
Songs (High voice), Unaccompanied
650 |a Songs (High voice)
Songs (High voice) with instrumental ensemble
Orchestral music
Piano music
650 |a Instrumental music
String quartets
Guitar music
Songs (High voice) with lute
Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices)
650 |a Vocal music
Operas |x Excerpts
Songs (Low voice), Unaccompanied

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6XX Miscellaneous

  • The connecting word "and" is used to connect the names of musical instruments in phrase headings for duet combinations; the word "with" indicates accompanying instruments or ensembles.
  • Geographical subdivisions are rarely used in classical music headings. Add only for early music collections or where the name of a place is specified in a title, thereby indicating the specific intent of the item is to showcase the music of a place, e.g.:

245 10|aRussian piano music|h[sound recording]
650   0|aMusic|zRussia (Federation)

245 10|aSpanish guitar music|h[sound recording]
650   0|aMusic|zSpain

  • Chronological subdivisions are rarely added. Use |y century for collections which have been compiled only to showcase the music of a specific time period, e.g. Renaissance.
  • Chamber music vs instrumental ensembles:

    • Both the subject headings 'Chamber music' and 'Instrumental ensembles' are used for music in which there is one performer to a part.
    • The subject heading 'Instrumental ensembles' is used for single compositions for 10 or more solo instruments, and for collections of compositions for a varying number of solo instruments. When used for an accompanying ensemble, the term 'instrumental ensemble' stands for two or more solo instruments.
    • The subject heading 'Chamber music' is most often used for miscellaneous collections of chamber music of identified types (eg. trios, quartets, sextets, etc.). It is never used for single compositions. It is sometimes used in collections of early music when it is necessary to add a geographic subdivision (even though 'Instrumental ensembles' would be the more correct heading).
  • In a collection of pieces which are of specific types/genres/mediums originating from larger compositional forms such as operas, oratorios, incidental music, etc., subject headings for these larger forms are usually not required.
  • The term “, Arranged” is a free-floating qualifier with headings for arranged instrumental music to indicate that the medium of performance specified represents an arrangement and not the original instrumentation (See SHM H 1160 section 2).
  • This heading “, Arranged” may be added to headings for larger vocal forms, e.g., Operas, Arranged. Each such heading music be established, i.e., submitted to LC for approval.
  • Do not add for the following vocal forms:
  • Headings usually qualified by type of chorus, e.g., Requiems (Men’s voices) although the heading Requiems, Arranged is an established heading.
  • Headings for solo singers or for one singer to a part, e.g., Songs, Vocal trios.
  • A heading of the type Songs (High voice) with orchestra, Arranged is trying to pack too much into one pre-coordinated heading and it is unclear to what the term Arranged applies. Instead Songs (High voice) with piano and Piano music, Arranged are both permitted.
  • Special provision is provided for excerpts: When a heading with the qualifier “, Arranged” could be modified by the free-floating subdivision – Excerpts, use instead the free-floating subdivision – Excerpts, Arranged, e.g. , Concertos (Piano) – Excerpts, Arranged, Oratorios  – Excerpts, Arranged.
  • The subdivision |v Excerpts is only used under headings for form or type of composition, eg. Sonatas (Piano) |v Excerpts. It is not used with medium of performance or genre headings. Do not use Piano music |v Excerpts. See SHM 1160.
  • The term “—Excerpts” is used for forms or types of composition not genre headings identifying medium of performance, e.g.

Symphonies – Excerpts NOT Orchestral music – Excerpts
Cantatas, Sacred – Excerpts NOT Songs (High voice) with piano

  • Generally, the subdivision |v Musical settings is used only for large-scale works. If used, justify the use of the subject heading with a note in the bibliographic record, e.g.

500 |aThe 1st work, for chorus and orchestra, is set to poems of Emily Dickinson.

  • LC uses the subject heading Sonata to represent one or two instruments only (Trio sonatas = 3). If more than 3 instruments, use a subject heading to indicate a chamber work, eg. quartets.
  • If a concerto is arranged for something other than a solo instrument (or small ensemble) plus orchestra (or large ensemble), the subject heading Concertos is no longer valid. Use subject headings that are applicable to the instruments featured, e.g.

100 1  |aBach, Johan Sebastian,|d1685-1750.
245 10|aConcertos|h[sound recording]/|cBach.
511 0  |aXuefei Yang, guitar ; Elias String Quartet.
650   0|aQuintets (Guitar, violins (2), viola, cello), Arranged.

  • Note that "vocalise" means a voice without words, eg. humming.
  • The word `Sinfonia' has various meanings. It may be synonymous with Overture (ie,. a short work performed before a larger work), or it may be a Symphony.
  • For order of instruments in phrase headings, see Subject Headings, Music Headings.

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7XX Added Entries



  • Make 7XX's for all prominent performers listed on chief source of information; also consider prominent performers listed elsewhere, e.g. container.
  • Also consider making 7XXs for performers performing a unique function, e.g. soloists, choruses, conductors, orchestras, who may not be listed on chief source of information; use discretion, i.e. do not make 7XXs for performers not prominently named and/or who are making only a minor contribution to the overall performance.
  • If there is no prominent listing on the label/container use the phrase "various soloists [choruses, etc.]” in the 511 field.
  • When providing added entries for soloists performing in an opera or oratorio, choose the soloists according to prominence on the item, also consider the role played by the soloist in the opera/oratorio. If various listings of soloists are given, choose the list which is given most prominence on the item; this is often the container (front) as the soloists listed elsewhere are often given only in alphabetic or "in order of performance" order.
  • When a composer is also performing on a recording, add a 700 for the individual's name by itself as well as part of a uniform title if not already a 100, e.g.

245 Bernstein Conducts Bernstein|h[sound recording]
700 Bernstein, Leonard,|d1918-1990.

  • If both the chorus and the orchestra of an opera company or an opera house participate in a performance of the opera and both are named on the label or container, make only a single added entry under the heading for the parent company, e.g.

Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra and Bolshoi Theatre Chorus named on recording; added entry under the heading for the Bolshoi Theatre.

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Composers/Uniform Titles

  • A detailed 505 note is preferrable to uniform titles in original cataloguing in order to provide improved access for customers via BiblioCommons.
  • See also Name Authority Procedures, Uniform Titles for Classical Music.
  • Provide 7XX entries for all persons responsible for composition, e.g. composers, joint composers, original composer of an adapted work, arrangers, librettists, etc.
  • Provide 7XX for the librettist(s)/lyricist(s) of a single complete opera or operetta. Do not trace librettist(s)/lyricist(s) for a work that consists only of excerpts from an opera/operetta. Do not trace librettist/lyricist for complete, or excerpts from, oratorios.
  • Provide 7XX for joint composer of a work (uniform title being used for first named composer of work).

100 |a Strauss, Johann, |d 1825-1899
700 |a Strauss, Josef, |d 1827-1870 [joint composer]
700 12 |a Strauss, Johann,|d1825-1899.|tPizzicato-Polka

  • Provide 7XX for the original composer of an adapted work

100 |a Britten, Benjamin, |d 1913-1976
700 |a Bridge, Frank, |d 1879-1941
700 12 |aBritten, Benjamin,|d1913-1976.|tVariations on a theme of Frank Bridge

  • Provide 7XX for an arranger or the person who finished or completed a work.


Uniform title 7XX's are made for:

  • Each complete work, e.g. Mozart ... Nozze di Figaro
  • Each selection from a larger work, e.g. Mozart ... Nozze di Figaro. Ouverture
  • Group:
  • 3 or more selections from a larger work -- NEED TO VERIFY THIS --e.g. Mozart ... Nozze di Figaro. Selections
  • 3 or more works of the same type, e.g. Mozart ... Operas. Selections
  • 3 or more works of the same broad or specific medium, e.g. Mozart ... Vocal music. Selections


Uniform titles for items with a single composer

  • Provide individual uniform titles for the works of a single composer. Group (as above), e.g.

245 |a Dies Klaviersonaten / |c Beethoven.
700 |a Beethoven … |t Sonatas, piano. Selections.

  • If there are an incredible number of works by a single composer and it is obvious that all works cannot easily be grouped by medium or type, use the more general uniform title, e.g.

700 |a Composer.|tWorks.|kSelections


Uniform titles for items with more than one composer

  • Provide individual uniform titles for each composer as required.

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7XX Miscellaneous

  • When it is determined that uniform titles will be used for an item, the uniform title for the first piece listed in the 245 (or 505 if 245 does not provide titles of pieces) will be placed in the first 700 position for analytical entries (2nd indicator = “2”).
  • Where an obvious short work precedes the main work on chief source of information, use classification to indicate the main work but uniform title / cutter will be for the short work, i.e. first item of the unit entry.
  • The uniform title indicates the original medium of performance; if arranged, i.e. the composition has been arranged for a different medium of performance, the qualifier |o arranged will be added to the uniform title for the original work. (For completely altered works, see RDA Note that the subject heading for the arranged work indicates what instruments are playing the work on the item in hand.

700 |a Chopin … |t Polonaises, |m piano, |n op. 40; |o arranged
650 |a Orchestral music, Arranged.

  • EPL will continue to use 'Arranged' for uniform titles of vocal works.
  • In items where little information is provided and where establishing obscure pieces is too time-consuming, make a 590 note in record if necessary for clarification.

590 |a Cataloguer’s note: No further analytical information provided.

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Last Revised: April 14, 2015