Music Discovery Requirements

Executive Summary

This document explores discovery needs specific to and especially important for music materials, particularly scores and recordings. Music materials pose unique demands that must be considered for successful discovery. For example, most books are published only once; for musical works, however, multiple versions (for example, score, parts, and recordings of different performances, arrangements, and transcriptions) are the norm. These different versions also often have different titles (different download searchable pdf version of MDRII languages or grammatical formulations), making titles transcribed from items much less useful for finding and identifying musical works. Music materials also possess unique attributes not found in books, such as instruments/voices used to perform the music. Some of the unique needs posed by music materials can be solved simply by ensuring that needed fields are appropriately displayed and indexed in discovery interfaces. Other problems are more difficult to solve. This document discusses the issues outlined in the table of contents and when possible gives concrete recommendations for display and indexing. Two appendices compile technical details of the specific indexing recommendations in spreadsheets.

This document employs technical language, and the target audience is those creating or guiding the development of discovery interfaces that will include music materials. Developers of future recording and encoding standards will also benefit from reading this document and creating solutions to facilitate better discovery interfaces. The document identifies areas where deficient data creates particular problems for discovery. Those inputting or creating standards for data can use this document to identify areas where there is particular need for fuller, more consistent data. Given that most libraries will be dealing with large bodies of data encoded in MARC and recorded in RDA or AACR2, particular attention is paid to these standards, as well as looking to the future of BIBFRAME and linked data. The document also includes indexing recommendations for non-MARC metadata standards. As data recording and encoding changes, specific recommendations in this document will need revision in order to achieve and maintain this document’s underlying principles in an evolving environment.

Endorsed by the Music Library Association Board of Directors in October 2017.

Music Discovery Requirements Update Task Force

  • Nara Newcomer, University of Missouri-Kansas City (chair)
  • Anna Alfeld LoPrete, Indiana University
  • Rebecca Belford, Brown University
  • Chris Holden, Library of Congress
  • Keith Knop, University of Georgia
  • Nancy Lorimer, Stanford University
  • Karen Peters, Bates College
  • Patricia Sasser, Furman University (webmaster)