CD cheat sheet

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Fixed Fields

i = spoken recording
j = music recording

When more than one situation applies, prefer in order given below.

s = single date on item.  Only 1 date on recording.  No previous editions (e.g., not previously released as LP, etc.
r = multiple dates on item. Use when recording has been previously released.
p = multiple dates on item.  Use when coding a date of recording different from publication date.
t = multiple dates on item.  Use when recording has different publication and copyright ("p" or "c") dates.  Example: c2010, p2009.

Use Date 2 only if DtSt is "r," "p," or "t." Do not use Date 2 if DtSt is "s."

Date 1 = publication or copyright date of this release
Date 2 = additional date (e.g., date of previous release, date of recording, date of copyright if different from publication date).

Code for the predominant language of a recording with spoken or sung content.  The Lang code should always correspond to the language given in the 1st 041 $d field, if present.
zxx = Use when there is no spoken or sung content (e.g. purely instrumental recording) - do not use zxx in 041 $d

Code for state, province, or country appropriate to the place of publication given in 260 $a

Use when the sound recording contains additional content, usually either video or computer file content. 

Common situations include: Enhanced CDs, CD/DVD combos, CDs with music videos in MPEG (or another video format) contained in the disc.  In such cases, follow guidelines for coding fixed field elements for videorecordings and/or computer files.  This may entail including an additional 007 field as well (e.g., for a recording with a "bonus" DVD audio recording).

See the new formats sound recordings pdf for more.

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Variable Fields


Typical 007 for stereo sound recording (copy and paste as needed): s ǂb d ǂd f ǂe s ǂf n ǂg g ǂh n ǂi n ǂj m ǂk m ǂl n ǂm e ǂn u
$a s = sound recording
$b d = disc
$d f = 1.4 m. per sec.
$e Choose:

m = Monaural

s = Stereophonic

u = unknown

z = Other (i.e. SACD, DVD-audio)

It's perfectly fine to code based on when the item was recorded, e.g.: most post-1970 recordings are usually in stereo., while recordings from before ca. 1950 are usually mono. unless artificially re-engineered (e.g. Robert Parker's stereo "recreations" of 1920s-1930s jazz recordings).

$f  n = not applicable
$g g = dimensions: 4 3/4 in.
$m e = Digital recording
$n Choose:

d = DDD, DAD

e = AAD, ADD

u = unknown

Use to record UPC/EAN ("barcode") numbers on containers.

1st indicator
1 = UPC code.  These are always 12 digits, grouped 1/5/5/1, usually found on N. American releases.  On older CDs (1980s), the final (check) digit is sometimes missing.
3 = EAC code. These are always 13 digits, grouped 1/6/6, usually found on European releases.

2nd indicator
[blank] = No information given.  This is the most common value, and acceptable.
0 = Indicates no difference between code as scanned with bar-code reader vs. code as it appears on item ("eye-readable").
1 = Less common.  Indicates a difference between scanned code and eye-readable.  Usually found in CDs from the 1980s with 11-digit UPC codes omitting the final (check) digit.  The complete code appears when scanned with a barcode reader.  Check digit also can be determined by using this online tool if you're a fanatic.

Use to record label name and label number. Take from any available source.  Record variants if they are present.  Explain complicated numbering in a 500 note.

1st indicator
0 = Issue number.  Virtually all CDs will use this number.

2nd indicator
2 = Note, no added entry.  Preferred when numbering is straightforward.  0 (no note, no added entry) commonly used when numbering expalined in 500 note.

$a - Numbering.  Take from label.  Add multiple 028s for variant numberings found elsewhere (e.g. on packaging.

Sequential numbering (i.e., for multi-disc sets) can be handled thus: 32514--32520.  In the OCLC database, this will index the range of numbers from 32514 through 32520, inclusive.  Note, however, that our local III system does not parse numbering recorded this way in the same fashion.  If it's important to provide access to each number locally, they need to be recorded in separate 028 notes.

$b -   This will generally match the 260 $b.


Multi-disc set.  Number on box: C4K 69874.  Numbers on individual discs: CK 69875, CK 69876, CK 69877, CK 69878.
Record numbering as: 028 00 $a C4K 69874 (CK 69875--CK 69878) $b Columbia/Legacy
(N.B.: OCLC will index this string so all 5 numbers are searchable.) 
If helpful, include an explanatory note: 
500      Columbia/Legacy: C4K 69874 (on discs: CK 69875--CK 69878).

Do not use when there is only one language present.  E.g., the recording contains songs with English words, the texts of the songs are printed only in English, and the liner notes are also only in English.  In such a case, record the language in the fixed field Lang, with no 041.

1st indicator - refers to the actual content of the recording, not to the content of liner notes, texts, librettos, etc.  Translations of liner notes, etc., indicated by use of $h (see below).
0 = Item is not a translation.
1 = Item is a translation

Example 1: Opera sung in French.  Originally composed in Italian.

$d - unless Lang field is zxx.  Multiple $d codes required when multiple languages are present in recording.
$e - code for language of libretto or text (i.e., printed version of sung or spoken text(s)).  Do not use $e for liner notes.
$g - code for language of liner notes or other accompanying material.
$h - code of original language.  Can follow any other subfield to indicate original language of text represented by that subfield.

Example 2:  Recording of an opera, sung in Italian.  Text of the opera printed in Italian, with English, French, and German translations.  Program notes originally in German, with English and French translations.

Lang coding: ita
041 coding: $d ita $e eng $e fre $e ger $e ita $h ita $g eng $g fre $g ger $h ger

Example 3: Recording of a French pop band, with complete lyrics and extensive notes, all in French.

Lang coding: fre
041: None

Example 4: Recording of a symphony (no words).  Liner notes in English and German.

Lang: zxx
041: $g eng $g ger

Code as you would for books, i.e., when there is a geographic component (usually identified through subject headings) to the content.  See LC's MARC Code List for Geographic Areas for specific codes.

Example: CD 12345


Most common situations:
  1. One work, one composer. 100 = composer's name.
  2. Multiple works, one composer. 100 = composer's name.
  3. Multiple works, multiple composers, collective title, 3 or fewer performers listed on chief source. 100 or 110 = Principal performer. 
  4. Multiple works, multiple composers, collective title, more than 3 performers. No 100/110.  Enter under title.
  5. Multiple works, multiple composers, no collective title. 100 for composer of first work.
  6. Popular (including jazz, blues, etc.) music. 100 or 110 = principal performer. 
    Primary exception: cover recordings of another artist's work, e.g., Paul Anka sings Jimi Hendrix.  In this case, the 100 = Hendrix, with Anka given in a 700 field.


Rules for music uniform titles are too complicated for any sane, rational human being to create without a lifetime of study and aggravation.  However, here are some general principles that may be helpful.

  1. Middlebury uses 240s for all classical CDs, even in those situations not called for by AACR2 (e.g., when the 245 $a = 240.  Normally the 240 is not necessary in such situations, but Middlebury will include it for classical CDs.)
  2. Popular music CDs will generally not include a 240. 
    Primary exception: cover recordings of another artist's work, e.g., Paul Anka sings the songs of Jimi Hendrix.  In this case, the 100 = Hendrix, the 240 = $a Songs. $k Selections and Anka is covered in a 700.

$a - Title proper and $b - Other title information
The chief source for the title is generally the disc label.  However, if the label only lists individual pieces/songs, but there is a "collective title" found elsewhere on the item (usually the container - which includes the front of the booklet), then the collective title may be used instead.  The source of the title should be give as a note, e.g.: 500 Title from container.

  1. Opus numbers, serial numbers, key, date of composition, and instrumenation are given as part of the title proper only if the title is the name of a "type" of music.    Types are generally generic sounding terms such as "symphony," "concerto," "sonata," etc. 
  2. However, if the "type" is qualified by an adjective, or if the term is not a type, the opus number, etc., should be considered part of $b (other title information).  These are called "distinctive" titles.
    Rule interpretation:LCRI 25.27A: All modifiers other than medium or numeral make the phrase a distinctive title--no matter how common sounding it is.
  3. If there is no collective title, transcribe all individual titles in the 245.  The first title (or the distinctive portion of the first title) goes in the $a.  Remaining titles go in $b.

Example 1: 
Symphony no. 1 in E major, op. 5 for chamber orchestra composed by John Doe --> 245 10 $aSymphony no. 1 in E major, op. 5 for chamber orchestra $h [sound recording] / $c composed by John Doe.

Example 2:
Mini concerto no. 5, G major, for piano and orchestra by John Doe --> 245 10 $a Mini concerto $h [sound recording] : $b no. 5, G major, for piano and orchestra / $c by John Doe.

Example 3:
No collective title. 

Printed on CD: 

John Doe
Li'l piece for orchestra
Symphony no. 1
Li'l symphony no. 3

245 10 $a Li'l piece $h [sound recording] : $b for orchestra ; Symphony no. 1 ; Li'l symphony : no. 3 / $c John Doe.

$c - Statement of Responsibility
For classical recordings, generally only composer names are transcribed in the $c.  Performer names are not transcribed here for classical music, even if the performer qualifies for main entry under the cataloging rules.

Example 4: 
Songs by Copland and Barber --> 245 10 $a Songs $h [sound recording] / $c by Copland and Barber.

Example 5:
Donizetti arias -- Joan Sutherland --> 245 10 $a Donizetti arias $h [sound recording].  OR, possibly, 245 10 $a Arias $h [sound recording] / $c Donizetti.

For popular recordings, the performer's name is usually transcribed as part of the $c.

Example 6
245 10 $a Purple rain $h [sound recording] / $c Prince.

$h - GMD
Sound recordings always include a $h [sound recording].  This is usually given immediately after the title proper($a).  It can also appear after$n and $p, which are usually included as part of the title proper.

Transcribe variants pertaining to a single title (i.e., one work on disc), a collective title, or a title proper (if multiple individual titles are transcribed in the 245).  Remember, for reasons too arcane to go into, the 246 does not end with a period.  The 740 usually does.  I don't make this stuff up.

Example 1: from above

245 10 $a Li'l piece $h [sound recording] : $b for orchestra ; Symphony no. 1 ; Li'l symphony : no. 3 / $c John Doe.

246 3_ $a Little piece

740 02 $a Li'l symphony.

740 02 $a Little symphony.

Example 2: also from above

245 10 $a Arias $h [sound recording] / $c Donizetti.

246 3   $a Donizetti arias

$b - Use the label name as the publisher as found on the chief source, not the name of the copyright holder, etc.  The spine is often helpful in figuring out what the label name is.  The name used in the 260 $b will also generally be the name used in the 028 $b. Example 1: on copyright statement: p2010 Sony Music Group.  On label: Columbia/Legacy 260  $a New York, NY : $b Columbia/Legacy, $c p2010. Sometimes there are joint publishers: e.g. Rhino and Warner Bros. --> $b Rhino : $b Warner Bros.
$c - Generally, use the "p" date (looks like ©, except there's a "p" inside the circle).  If the "p" date is obviously wrong (i.e., before 1982, when CDs were first commercially available in the US), give an estimated date of publication as well.  This happens frequently with reissues, especially early (1980s) reissues

c2008, p1971 --> $c [2008], p1971.

If there is no "p" date at all, give the copyright date (if present) as the estimated date of publication

Example 3:
c2010 --> $c [2010]

Example 4:
(on CD) p1976 (no other dates) --> $c [198-?], p1976.


Generally, in form:

Example 1$a 1 sound disc : $b digital ; $c 4 3/4 in.

Always check:

$a No. of discs matches item.  Many new sound recordings today are published in a variety of editions and come with additional content on extra discs, DVDs, or both.  In such cases, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if the item should be cataloged as a sound recording or a videorecording.  Look for clues in the packaging, marketing, primary anticipated use of the item, etc.  Usually prefer cataloging as a sound recording, noting the presence of the "bonus" DVD in a 300 $e, and adding an extra 007 and 006 for the video content.

$b If (and only if) the word "stereo" or "mono" is present anywhere on the item (and only if it is present), include the abbreviation "stereo." or "mono." in this subfield.  Be sure to code the 007 $e appropriately.

Example 2: $a 1 sound disc : $b digital, stereo. ; $c 4 3/4 in.

Example 3: $a 1 sound disc : $b digital ; $c 4 3/4 in. + $e 1 videodisc (sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.)

Durations should be recorded in the 300 $a field if there is 1 and only 1 work contained in the item, as is sometimes the case with symphonies, concerti, etc., and usually the case with operas.  In these situations, record the duration in the terms found on the item, i.e. 71' 56" --> 71 min., 56 sec. (not 1 hr., 11 min., 56 sec.).  If the duration of the single work is found by adding together durations of individual movements, round up to the nearest minute.

Example 4$a 1 sound disc (58 min., 40 sec.) : $b digital, stereo. ; $c 4 3/4 in.

Durations for recordings with multiple works (which includes the vast majority of popular discs) should be captured in the 505, if at all, not in the 300.


Field 440 is obsolete.  Convert to 490/830 combination.  Check the authority file for tracing practice.  If not established, give to TS to create an authority record.


500 Publisher/Label no.

If necessary, include this note (in addition to the 028 fields) to explain complex or multiple number found on an item.  If the numbering is simple, omit in favor of a simple 028 field.

500 Genre

Provide a brief description of the instrumentation and/or form if necessary and not obvious or stated elsewhere (e.g as part of 505

Example 1: 500 The 1st work for piano; the 2nd work for piano quintet.

Example 2: 500 Jazz, in part with vocals.

546 Language notes

Provide a language note for all vocal recordings in non-English languages.  Be sure to code the 041 and Lang field correspondingly.

Example 1: Sung in Latin (1st work) and German (remainder).

500 Title variants

Explain complicated, variant, or conflicting title statements given on the item, if necessary.  Also give "source of title" note here.

Example1: 500  At head of title: Robert Parker presents

Example2: 500  Title from container.

511 Participant/Performer

1st indicator = Generally 0

There are a wide variety of possibilities for recording performer names.  The main criteria is legibility for the user.

Example 1 (simplest & most common): 511 0  Marshall Moss, violin ; Neil Roberts, harpsichord.

Example 2: 511 0  Marshall Moss, violin (1st work) ; Neil Roberts, harpsichord (2nd work) ; John Doe, flute, Jane Doe, piano (3rd work).

Use when performers differ from work to work, but the description is still fairly straightforward.

Example 3: 511 0  In the 1st work: Marshall Moss, violin ; Neil Roberts, harpsichord ; Johnny Applessed, flute.  In the 2nd work: John Doe, flute ; Jane Doe, piano.  In the 3rd work: M. Moss, violin ; New York Philharmonic ; Zubin Mehta, conductor.

Use when the performers statement is a little more complex than might comfortably be handled using Example 2.

Example 4:

For the most complex statements -- e.g., when performer differs on every track, such as is the case with many compilations -- give this generic statement in the 511 field and include performer names in a contents (505) note.

511 0 Various performers. 

505 0   I'm in a rocking mood (Austin Faithful) -- The story (Derrick Morgan) -- Give it to him (The Hot Tops) -- I've been searching (Eric & The Loveletts) -- I'm the ruler (D. Morgan).

518 Date/Time/Place of Event

If stated on the item, give a concise statement of recording data.

Example 1:  Recorded Nov. 11, 1963, Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

Example 2:  Recorded 1992, Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany (1st work) and 1993, Vienna (2nd work).

Example 3:  Recorded 1942-1958 in various locations.

500 Previous editions/releases

If evident from the item, indicate previous editions or releases of the recording.  Be sure to code the DtSt/Date/028 fields correspondingly.

Example 1: 500  Originally released in 1963 as Blue Note BST-84023.

DtSt = r     Date 2 = 1963     028 00 $a BST-84023 $b Blue Note

Example 2: 500  Previously released recordings (p1995-p1999).

DtSt = r     Date 2 = 1995

Example 3: 500 Previously released recordings.

DtSt = r     Date 2 = 19uu (or, possibly "2uuu" or even "uuuu")

500 Compact disc note

Should always be present.

Example 1: 500  Compact disc.

Example 2: 500  Super audio compact disc.

Example 3: 500  Compact disc; "enhanced CD"--Container.

538 System details note

SACDs may also have a 538 if there is a statement relating to specific playback requirements on the container or disc.  A 538 is also used when the sound recording includes an accompanying DVD.  See New Sound Recording Formats (LC) for more detailed treatment of SACD and other newer formats.

Example 1: 538  Playable on all compact disc players.

Example 2: 538  DVD: NTSC; coded for region 1 playback; Dolby digital.

500 Booklet/Insert note

Provide a concise description of the accompanying booklet.  Sometimes when editing copy, these will be found described in the 300 '$e'.  Middlebury prefers to describe in a 500, with no 300 $e for the accompanying notes.  Generally, follow conventions of the 300 field for textual materials when describing the insert.  You only need to provide dimensions if the insert is oversize or folded down from a large sheet (ex. 4, below).

Example 1: Program notes by Leonard Feather (1 folded sheet : ports.) inserted in container.

Example 2: Program notes by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, biographical notes on the performers, and libretto in German with English and French translations (96 p. : ill., facsims., ports.) laid in container.

Sometimes the booklet has minimal content (e.g., list of songs and composers).  It is still useful to include a note indicating the presence of a booklet, just so we know it's there (in case it goes missing, etc.).  The generic term "credits" is useful to describe booklets that only contain a title list and/or recording data.

Example 3: Credits ([4] p.) inserted in container.

Example 4: Program notes (1 sheet : col. ill. ; 36 x 36 cm. folded to 12 x 12 cm.) inserted in container.

Don't forget to code the 041 appropriately!

505 Formatted contents note

There is an entire book dedicated to providing examples of sound recording contents notes.  Some guidelines:

  1. The information given in the 505 typically includes song titles, composers, durations.
  2. Sometimes performers are included (e.g., for compilations).
  3. Sometimes recordings have themes or headings that may also be included in the 505, or consist of mulitple volumes.
  4. Strive for legibility, and, when necessary, follow the conventions that you might find in monographs of edited volumes containing contributions from various authors. 
  5. Generally Middlebury does not include statements like "Disc 1" or "Disc 2" for multidisc sets, unless it adds substantially to the clarity of the information.
  6. Follow usual puncutation/capitalization conventions for textual materials.
  7. Middlebury does not generally use enhanced 505s for original cataloging, but we accept them in copy.

A couple common examples.

Example 1: Rockin' blue head (3:34) -- This is your cat (2:12) -- Bob's fabulous teeth (6:15).

Example 2: Carnival overture : op. 92 (9:32) -- Romance in F minor for violin and orchestra, op. 11 / arr. by Dvořák from his String quartet no. 5, op. 9 (11:27) -- Klid = Silent woods : for cello and orchestra, op. 68 no. 5 / arr. by Dvořák from his From the Bohemian forest : for piano four hands (6:20) -- Humoresque in G-flat major, op. 101 no. 7 / transcribed for violin, cello and orchestra by Oskar Morawetz (3:28) -- Rusalak. Act I. Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém = O moon high up in the deep sky (6:55) -- Psalm 149 : for chorus & orchestra, op. 79 : Sing unto the Lord a new song (9:00) -- Humoresque in E-flat minor op. 101, no. 1 (2:15) -- Gypsy melodies : op. 55. No. 4, Když mne stará matka = Songs my mother taught me ; No. 5, Struna naladěna = Tune thy strings (3:22) -- Trio in E minor for violin, cello and piano, op. 90 : "Dumky". No. 5, Allegro (3:53) -- Slavonic dance : in E minor, op. 72. No. 2 / transcribed for violin, cello and orchestra by Oskar Morawetz (5:01) -- Slavonic dance : in C major, op. 72. No. 7 (3:33).


Music subject headings are complex.  Strictly speaking, they are not actually "subject headings" at all (i.e., music is not usually "about" something).  However, historically, music subject headings have been recorded as subject headings rather than genre headings, though we often speak of music "genres" (popular music, reggae music, swing music, etc.).  Some guidelines:

1. Use genre subject headings where appropriate.  See Subject Headings manual H 1916.5 for details.

Rock music
Jazz music $y 1981-1990
Concertos (Piano)
Songs (High voice) with piano

2. Use medium of performance headings where appropriate for classical works (not dopopular, generally).  Many of these are established in the authority file, but a headings does not need to be established there to be valid.  See Subject Headings Manual H 1917.5 for details on how to construct medium of performance headings.

String quartets

Trios (Piano, flute, violin)
Woodwind sextets (Bassoon, English horn, Flutes (2), Oboes (2))

3. For music of particular ethnic or religious, etc., groups, regions of the world, and/or non-Western art music (e.g., Indian classical music, etc.) , usually use a combination of headings.  See Subject Headings Manual H 1917 for details.

Turks $v Music
Music $z Turkey
Songs, Turkish $z Turkey

4. Add other headings as appropriate.  See Subject Headings Manual H 2075 for more information on constructing these headings.

Protest songs
Love songs
Animals $v Songs and music
Seasons $v Songs and music

5. For local recordings of Middlebury performances add as appropriate:

610 20 Middlebury College $x Alumni and alumnae $x Performances

610 20 Middlebury College $x Faculty $x Performances


Uniform Titles - follow the instructions for Sound Recordings found in LCRI 21.7B.  Please note, however, that uniform titles for music can be ridiculously complicated.  If you need to trace works that are not already established in the authority file, please check the heading with a music cataloger.

Added performers - the following guidelines are intended to cover most situations.  However, "cataloger's judgment" is essential here.

  1. Trace all performers on classical/art music recordings.  If there are many (>10), try to record all names in a 511 note, and trace "important" names (i.e., names highlighted prominently on the item, Middlebury-related names, performers you know are well-known or sought-after, etc.) in 7XX fields.  Do not trace individual performers covered by named groups (i.e., trace "Emerson String Quartet," not the individual violinists, violist, and cellist names).
  2. Trace opera librettists, lyricists of musicals, poets whose words are set to music in art song recordings (along with the appropriate 6XX field, with $x Musical settings)
  3. Trace all performers on jazz recordings, subject to the same caveats, above.
  4. Do not trace individual performers in named rock/popular groups.
  5. For folk/ethnic/world recordings, trace the names of the ethnomusicologist or person who made the field recordings, if prominent on the item (e.g. Alan Lomax).
  6. Generally, do not trace names of producers, engineers, authors of program notes, etc.  Exceptions can be made if the notes are especially extensive, or the recording is a compilation of the work of a particular producer/enginer, etc. (e.g., "Back to mono (1958-1969)," devoted to the work of producer Phil Spector).

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