Monday, April 18, 2005

Music Cataloging: The Bibliographic Control of Printed and Recorded Music in Libraries

Smiraglia, Richard P. Music Cataloging: The Bibliographic Control of Printed and Recorded Music in Libraries. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 1989.

Smiraglia’s 1989 volume is in his own words “a textbook designed to introduce the field of music cataloging to students of music librarianship, students of cataloging, and/or music librarians or general catalogers who find themselves in need of a basic explanation of the prevalent practices in the bibliographic control of music materials.” I found the text to be as Smiraglia described, and less useful as a reference tool than his 1997 volume Describing Music Materials. It is indeed a systematic study of the subject.

There are numerous examples of description and access in both AACR2 form and in the MARC format. After each example is an explanation of any unusual or idiosyncractic usages, that would perplex introductory catalogers. There are extensive sections related to subject analysis and classification schemes for music, as well as machine-readable cataloging and systems for automation. There is also a good treatment of uniform titles and their importance for arranging and filing music (both within the catalog and on the shelf). One of the primary strengths behind this textbook is its methodical manner it takes in introducing those with an introductory knowledge of bibliographic control to an application of a rules when dealing with music materials.


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