Music Cataloging with Library of Congress Vocabularies

This course will provide an introduction to Library of Congress controlled vocabularies frequently used in cataloging music resources (music scores, sound recordings and video recordings). These vocabularies include LC Subject Headings (LCSH), genre/form terms (LCGFT), medium of performance terms (LCGFT), demographic and group terms (LCDGT), as well as an introduction to non-LC vocabularies. 

This course will provide an overview of taxonomies and how they are utilized in MARC records, discussions on “is-ness” and “about-ness” with regards to controlled vocabularies, and case studies in not only Western art music but also 20th-21st century music, popular music, and some folk music traditions. This course is designed for librarians and library staff with a background in cataloging/metadata, a familiarity with MARC, and who are interested in learning more about controlled vocabularies used to describe music resources.

By completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the taxonomy of musical terms within a given controlled vocabulary and how to understand MARC subject authority records. 
  • Identify and distinguish between frequently used controlled vocabularies for music resources.
  • Find, identify, select, and retrieve appropriate terms from controlled vocabularies discussed in this course.
  • Assign appropriate controlled terms to bibliographic records for music scores, sound recordings, and video recordings encoded in MARC.

Leonard “Leo” Martin is the Resource Description Librarian for Unique Formats and Materials at University of Houston Libraries. Leo’s research interests include metadata description & access, and the development of modern musical microgenres. He is also an active member of the Music Library Association (MLA), Music OCLC Users Group (MOUG), and the Association of Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC). Leo received both his undergraduate degree in Music Education and master’s degree in Library Information and Science from the University of North Texas. He previously worked at the New England Conservatory of Music as their Catalog Librarian. 

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at ce@ala.org or at 312-280-5100.