Music Cataloging at Yale MARC Tagging

USMARC relator codes used in music cataloging


A relator code is a three-character code that identifies the relationship of a main, series, subject, or added entry to the work.  These codes are used subfield 4 in the following USMARC fields:
100, 110, 111
600, 610, 611
700, 710, 711
800, 810, 811

The codes are those used for music cataloging and those that LC uses for sound recordings (as noted in an e-mail message to MLA-L on Jan. 19, 1991). Other codes that may be used in cataloging music materials are also included. For the full list of relator codes and their definitions, see MARC Code List: Relator Codes--Term Sequence

This subfield is repeatable. Multiple codes may be used as needed. For example, use 4 cmp 4 itr for a person who is both the composer and the pianist for a work represented in the bibliographic record.


act Actor
adp Adapter: A person who (1) reworks [emphasis added] a musical composition, usually for a different medium, or (2) rewrites novels or stories for motion pictures or other audiovisual medium.
arr Arranger: A person who transcribes [emphasis added] a musical composition, usually for a different medium from that of the original; in an arrangement in which the musical substance remains essentially unchanged.
aud Author of dialog
aus Author of screenplay
aut Author
chr Choreographer
cmp Composer: A person or organization who creates a musical work, usually a piece of music in manuscript or printed form.
cnd Conductor: A person who directs a performing group (orchestra, chorus, opera, etc.) [not the same a drt Director]
com Compiler: A person or organization who produces a work or publication by selecting and putting together material from the works of various persons or bodies.
cst Costume designer
dnc Dancer
drt Director
edt Editor: A person or organization who prepares for publication a work not primarily his/her own, such as by elucidating text, adding introductory or other critical matter, or technically directing an editorial staff.
flm Film editor
itr Instrumentalist: A person or organization who principally plays an instrument in a musical or dramatic presentation or entertainment.
lbt Librettist: The writer of the text of an opera, oratorio, etc.
lyr Lyricist: The writer of the text of a song.
mcp Music copyist: A person who transcribes or copies musical notation
msd Musical director: A person responsible for basic music decisions about a production, including coordinating the work of the composer, the sound editor, and sound mixers, selecting musicians, and organizing and/or conducting sound for rehearsals and performances
mus Musician: A person or organization who performs music or contributes to the musical content of a work when it is not possible or desirable to identify the function more precisely
nrt Narrator: The speaker who relates the particulars of an act, occurrence, or course of events. (Also, the speaker in a musical work with spoken words)
prf Performer: A person who exhibits musical or acting skills in a musical or dramatic presentation or entertainment, if specific codes for those functions (act, dnc, itr, voc, etc.) are not used. If specific codes are used, prf is used for a person whose principal skill is not known or specified. (Use cnd for a conductor and voc for a singer)
pro Producer
rce Recording engineer A person or organization who supervises the technical aspects of a sound or video recording session
rcd Recordist: A person or organization who uses a recording device to capture sounds and/or video during a recording session, including field recordings of natural sounds, folkloric events, music, etc.
sce Scenarist
sng Singer: A person or organization who uses his/her/their voice with or without instrumental accompaniment to produce music. A performance may or may not include actual words
trl Translator: A person who renders a text from one language into another, or from an older form of a language into the modern form.
voc Vocalist: A person or organization who principally exhibits singing skills in a musical or dramatic presentation or entertainment
wam Writer of accompanying material: A person or organization who writes significant material which accompanies a sound recording or other audiovisual material

Note: LC is not using the "itr" for instrumentalist or "voc" for vocalist.
Note that LC is not using relator codes in bibliographic records for sound recordings for such persons as authors of screenplay (aus), compilers (com), composers (cmp), directors (drt), editors (edt), instrumentalists (itr), producers (pro), vocalists (voc), or writers of materials accompanying a sound recording (wam).


[Return to Music Cataloging at Yale] Comments to Mickey Koth Yale University Music Library
Last revised March 5, 2013.