Introduction to Music Cataloging

Music cataloging can be daunting for those just starting out or with limited experience with music materials. As a field, music is full of specialized vocabulary, and music cataloging makes use of MARC fields and subfields seldom or never used in other contexts.

Designed for those with basic cataloging knowledge but little experience cataloging music, this course will provide librarians with the fundamentals and ability to further hone their own skills. Topics covered will include the various formats of music and their applications, effective copy cataloging of music materials, an introduction to controlled vocabularies for music (including subject and genre headings), and format-specific guidance for score and audio cataloging.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Distinguish between various formats for music materials and their uses
  • Effectively search for and evaluate catalog records for copy cataloging music
  • Use controlled vocabularies for music cataloging
  • Apply descriptive cataloging standards for scores and musical sound recordings
  • Know where to look for further guidance

Course outline:

Week 1: Overview of formats and copy cataloging considerations

Week 2: Interpreting, verifying, and matching controlled vocabularies for music

Week 3: Cataloging scores

Week 4: Cataloging sound recordings

Please note that this course can also be purchased as a part of the Fundamentals of Music Cataloging eLearning Bundle.

Keith Knop is the head of the music cataloging section of the University of Georgia Libraries and is currently chair of the Content Standards Subcommittee of MLA's Cataloging and Metadata Committee. He has previously taught workshops on cataloging audio and video materials and has taught music cataloging for the University at Buffalo periodically since 2019. Prior to coming to UGA he was associate music cataloger at Florida State University's Warren D. Allen Music Library for ten years. In addition to the MLIS, he holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Florida State.