Music Discovery Requirements

III.B Expressions and Manifestations: Format, Content and Carriers

Music as a discipline depends on the use of information in different formats, including scores, sound recordings, videos, and texts. In FRBR and IFLA-LRM terminology, content type (score, audio, video) is usually an expression-level attribute, while carrier type is a manifestation-level attribute. These content types, particularly recordings, exist in many different carriers, including physical carriers such as compact disc, LP, audio cassette, videocassette and videodisc, along with digital files encoded using formats such as MP3, MPEG, and WAV. Users need to be able to find, identify, and select the form of information they need, as well as explore the relationships between these resources and understand their context. They need facets and limits that enable selection of content types, such as sound recording or video recording, as well as selection of a specific carrier, such as audio cassette, compact disc, LP, digital audio, DVD, digital video, etc. Therefore, systems must allow a single record to be assigned multiple content types/carriers, or for content types/carriers to be grouped together for patron interfaces. For example, an item must be able to be both a “sound recording” and a “CD.” Allowing multiple content types/carriers also is important for packages with accompanying material, such as score/CD combinations. The display should facilitate easy identification of an item’s content type/carrier. Icons are frequently useful for this task.

RDA content type/media type/carrier type fields (encoded in MARC 336, 337, and 338) could be used to create displays and search data. However, RDA carrier type "audio disc" is insufficient for distinguishing CDs from LPs, and additional RDA elements such as “sound characteristic” or “digital file characteristic” are necessary to distinguish the specific carrier for recorded audio.[1] For MARC data, Leader/06, 006/00, and 007 will generally be a better source of this information; use these codes to power searching, displays, and limits/facets for formats and subformats. Content types "spoken word" and "performed music" (coded in MARC 336) do provide data to distinguish between these two kinds of sound recordings.

RDA’s instructions for creating an authorized access point for an expression of a musical work (RDA 6.28.3) direct catalogers to add a term indicating content type (notated music/performed music), but implementation is stalled and uncertain.[2] If implemented, this data might be useful for keyword searching or to create a clickable sublink of the access point string. It would be important, however, not to lose the ability to collocate all expressions of the work, regardless of content type. In addition, other coded fields and MARC 33x already provide the ability to distinguish the content type.

Recommendation: Distinguishing format is crucial to finding music materials. Users need to be able to distinguish both content type (score vs. audio recording vs. video recording) and particular carriers (CD, LP, cassette, etc.). Carefully evaluate the available data and the discovery system’s capabilities in order to choose the best method(s) for distinguishing both content type and carrier. For MARC data, see Appendix B for detailed content and carrier mapping.

Index and Display (Bibliographic/Descriptive Metadata):

MARC: Leader/06 (Type of Record); 006/00 (Form of material); 007 (Physical Description Fixed Field). Use this coded data to create icons or labels indicating material type. See Appendix B for detailed content and carrier MARC mapping.

MARC: 344 Sound Characteristics

MARC: 347 Digital File Characteristics

Dublin Core: format

EBUCore: hasMedium; hasFormat (relevant subproperties: “Audio format,” “container format,” “encoding format,” “file format,” “video format”); hasAudioEncodingFormat; hasContainerFormat

MODS: typeOfResource, typeOfResource + form or internetMediaType

PBCore: pbcoreInstantiation (instantiationMediaType, instantiationPhysical, instantiationDigital)

BIBFRAME 2.0: Classes: bf:Audio, bf:NotatedMusic, bf:Content, bf:Media, bf:Carrier, bf:SoundCharacteristic (Subclasses: bf:RecordingMethod, bf:RecordingMedium, bf:PlayingSpeed, bf:GrooveCharacteristics, bf:TrackConfig, bf:TapeConfigbf:PlaybackChannel, bf:PlaybackCharacteristic), bf:DigitalCharacteristic (Subclasses: bf:FileType, bf:EncodingFormat, bf:EncodedBitrate), bf:AppliedMaterial, bf:BaseMaterial; Properties: bf:carrier; bf:content, bf:appliedMaterial, bf:baseMaterial, bf:soundCharacteristic, bf:digitalCharaceteristic, bf:media

Facets/Limits (Bibliographic/Descriptive Metadata):

MARC: Leader/06, 006/00, 007 (Use this coded data to create facets/limits in the vernacular.) (Allow selection of both a general content type (printed music, audio recording, video recording) as well as more specific carriers (CD, LP, audio cassette, streaming audio, DVD, VHS, etc.)) (See Appendix B for detailed content and carrier MARC mapping.)

Dublin Core: format

EBUCore: hasMedium; hasFormat (subproperties: “Audio format,” “container format,” “encoding format,” “file format,” “video format”); hasAudioEncodingFormat; hasContainerFormat

MODS: typeOfResource; typeOfResource+form; internetMediaType

PBCore: pbcoreInstantiation (instantiationMediaType, instantiationPhysical, instantiationDigital)

BIBFRAME 2.0: bf:Audio, bf:NotatedMusic, bf:Content, bf:Media, bf:Carrier, bf:SoundCharacteristic (Subclasses: bf:RecordingMethod, bf:RecordingMedium, bf:PlayingSpeed, bf:GrooveCharacteristics, bf:TrackConfig, bf:TapeConfig

Related MARC Authority Fields:

MARC: 100 $h; 130 $h (assess data for presence before implementing)


[1] The Music Library Association’s Best Practices for Music Cataloging alternative 300 field examples include a MARC 300 $b with differentiating information, e.g. “CD audio, stereo” but direct that “these alternative 300 encodings should only be used in systems where the 34x fields do not adequately display to the user.” Supplements to Best Practices for Music Cataloging, version 1.5, 4/12/2016. Supplement 1. 2. Examples.

[2] LC-PCC PS 6.28.3 states LC practice is to not add another characteristic, and PCC Practice is “pending outcome of report/recommendations from the PCC Access Point for Expression Task Group.” That group’s January 2013 report recommends “allowing $h for content type in access points for musical expressions, if not for other expressions” and states that “more specific guidelines should be offered.” However, no movement seems to have happened as of January 2017.