Music Cataloging at Yale Music Subject Cataloging

A comparison of music uniform titles and music subject headings

See also Comparison of uniform title/subject heading combinations

The basics || Initial element: Choice of term
Medium of performance: Name of instrument : Standard chamber combinations : Order of instruments : Number of instruments/voices : Medium of performance with two elements : with three or more elements : When to omit medium of performance
Arrangements || Language || Selections



The Basics

Uniform titles
Subject headings
The uniform title is based on the composer's title, using AACR2rev Chapter 25. The subject heading is formulated by using LCSH and the Subject Cataloging Manual.
One work has only one unique title for it. One work may require more than one subject heading to completely describe the work.
A uniform title is unique to one work; it cannot be assigned to another work. A subject heading may be assigned to as many works as it applies.
Initial Element
See also Types of composition and LC subject headings
Uniform titles
Subject headings
Generic titles: Using the term the composer used, follow AACR2, Chapter 25 and consult the list of type of compositions for use in music uniform titles for the term to use in the uniform title; giving it in the plural if the composer wrote more than one of that type. Use the term for the type of composition when it is found in LCSH. It will usually be given in the plural form.
Uniform titles beginning with "Trio(s)," "Quartet(s)," "Quintet(s)," etc. are not modified by name of the instrument family. Subject headings beginning with "Trios," "Quartets," "Quintets," etc. are modified by name of instrument family when applicable.
Choice of term
The term in the uniform title may or may not be the same as used in the subject heading.
Uniform titles
Subject headings
Symphonies                                                               same as Symphonies
Canons                                                                not same as Canons, fugues, etc.
The vocal types "Songs," "Cantatas," "Choruses," etc. are not given designation of secular or sacred use. The vocal subject headings "Songs," "Solo cantatas," "Cantatas," "Choruses," "Part songs," etc. can be given designation of secular or sacred use. See also Subject Headings for Vocal Music
Some terms used in uniform titles are not used as subject headings
Uniform titles
Subject headings
"Duet(s)" is used when it is the composer's title. "Duets" is used as a subject heading only for works for unspecified instrument(s) or for secular vocal duets.
"Sonata(s)" is used when it is the composer's title, regardless of the number of instruments*:


Sonata, m flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon   

*An exception to this is for a 17th- or 18th-century work for 2 treble instruments and continuo. Even when the composer gave it the title "Sonata," the initial element will be "Trio sonata(s)"

"Sonatas" as a subject heading is used for works for one to two instruments only. Works given the title "Sonata" that are for more than two instruments are assigned medium of performance subject headings:

Woodwind quartets (Bassoon, clarinet, flute, oboe)   
Some terms that are types of compositions in uniform titles:
Preludes, m piano
Fantasies, m flute   
are not used as subject headings because they do not appear in LCSH:
Piano music.       
Flute music.   
Medium of Performance
Uniform titles
Subject headings
Some terms that are types of compositions in uniform titles:
Toccatas, m harpsichord   
cannot be qualified by instrumentation as a subject heading:
Toccatas.
Harpsichord music.   
Name of instrument
Uniform titles
Subject headings
Chamber orchestra is designated as "orchestra" Chamber orchestra can be specifically named.
The terms "alto," "tenor," "bass," or "contrabass" are not given for instruments such as flute, clarinet, bassoon, recorder, saxophone, etc.:
Pieces, m flute, n op. 59
Eight pieces for bass flute or alto flute or C flute or piccolo (1997), op. 59




Divertimento, m flutes (3), n op. 91
Divertissment for two flutes and bass flute (or clarinet), op. 91

The terms "alto," "tenor," "bass," "contrabass," or "contra     " are given for instruments such as flute, clarinet, bassoon, and trombone in subject headings for works for one or two solo instruments.
Bass flute music.
Alto flute music.
Flute music.
Piccolo music.

In works for three or more instruments, the generic term "flute," "clarinet," or "bassoon" is used:
Woodwind trios (Flutes (3))
Woodwind trios (Clarinet, flutes (2))

The terms "alto," "tenor," "bass," or "contrabass" are not used for recorder, saxophone, viol, etc.

The terms used may be different
Keyboard music Keyboard instrument music
Standard chamber combinations
Uniform titles
Subject headings
There are seven standard chamber combinations:
° string trio (violin, viola, violoncello
° string quartet (2 violins, viola, violoncello)
° woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon)
° wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn)
° piano trio (piano, violin, violoncello)
° piano quartet (piano, violin, viola, violoncello)
° piano quintet (piano, 2 violins, viola, violoncello)
There are five standard chamber combinations used in subject headings:
° string trio (violin, viola, violoncello)
° string quartet (2 violins, viola, violoncello)
° piano trio (piano, violin, violoncello)
° piano quartet (piano, violin, viola, violoncello)
° piano quintet (piano, 2 violins, viola, violoncello)
Note that woodwind quartets and wind quintets are not used as standard chamber combinations for subject headings.
Order of instruments
Uniform titles
Subject headings
Add in score order, following 25.30B1:
° voices
° keyboard instrument, when there is more than one
    non-keyboard instrument
° all other instruments in score order
° continuo
Add in prescribed order, by the following categories, in alphabetical order within categories except for strings: (See also The order of instruments in subject headings)
° keyboard instruments
° wind instruments
° plectral instruments
° percussion and other instruments
° bowed string instruments (in score order)
° unspecified instruments
° continuo
Order of instruments when one is a keyboard instrument
Uniform titles
Subject headings
When the work is for one keyboard instrument and one other instrument, name the solo instrument first. When the keyboard or plectral instrument plays a chordal role, name the solo instrument first.
When the work is for one keyboard instrument and two or more other instruments, follow the order in 25.30B1. When the work is for one keyboard instrument and two or more other instruments, follow the prescribed order.
Number of instruments/voices
Uniform titles
Subject headings
Indicate the number of instruments when more than one only when it cannot be inferred from the uniform title. Always indicate the number of instruments when each is specified in the subject heading.
The number of vocal parts in choruses is not specified. The number of vocal parts in choruses may be indicated under certain circumstances. (See Those Darn Chorus Subject Headings! for more information)
Medium of performance with two elements
Uniform titles
Subject headings
When the work is for one keyboard instrument and one other instrument, name the solo instrument first. When the keyboard or plectral instrument plays a chordal role, name the solo instrument first.
When the work is for one keyboard instrument and two or more other instruments, follow the order in 25.30B1. When the work is for one keyboard instrument and two or more other instruments, follow the prescribed order.
Medium of performance with three or more elements
Uniform titles
Subject headings
The "rule of three" (use only three names of specific instruments, or instrument families) applies except when the first word of the title is Trio(s), Quartet(s), or Quintet(s) Up to nine instruments may be included in headings for specific forms when LCSH allows for the medium to be included or in headings such as Trios, etc., Brass trios, etc.
When the initial title element is "Trio(s)," "Quartet(s)," etc., and all the instruments are from the same instrument family, the initial title element is not to be qualified by the name of the instrument family:
Trios, m flute, oboe, clarinet [score order]
When the initial title element is "Trios," "Quartets," etc., and all the instruments are from the same instrument family, the initial element can be qualified by the name of the instrument family:
Woodwind trios (Clarinet, flute, oboe)[alphabetical order]
When the initial title element is other than "Trio(s)," "Quartet(s)," or "Quintet(s)," the rule of three may require grouping instruments by family name:
Septet, m piano, woodwinds, horn  
Each instrument is specified in subject headings for two to nine instruments, with no grouping by instrument family:

Septets (Piano, bassoons (2), flute, oboes (2), horn)     
Omit medium of performance when it is implied.
This is frequently the same for both uniform titles and subject headings, but may also differ.
Uniform titles
Subject headings
Symphonies (orchestra is implied)
Chorale preludes (organ is implied)
Concertos, violin, orchestra
Songs (voice and piano is implied)
Songs, m guitar acc. (voice is implied)
Symphonies (orchestra is implied)
Chorale preludes (organ is implied)
Concertos (Violin) (orchestral accompaniment is implied)
Songs (High voice) with piano
Songs (High voice with guitar
When the specific voice type is known, it is designated:
Romances, m soprano, orchestra     
Even when the specific voice type is known, give the vocal range only:
Songs (High voice) with orchestra   
Arrangements
Uniform titles
Subject headings
The uniform title is for the work in its original medium of performance. The subject heading is for the work in its arranged medium of performance.
Designation of arrangement can be added in o to all uniform titles. Designation of arrangement can be added to subject headings as the qualifier "Arranged" to headings for instrumental music only
Language
Uniform titles
Subject headings
Language is used only when a translation is involved. Language is frequently given in certain vocal music headings, even when there is no translation.
Selections
Uniform titles
Subject headings
"k Selections" is used with three or more unnumbered or non-consecutively numbered parts of one work by one composer. It can be added to any applicable uniform title, except the collective title "Selections." The subdivision "v Excerpts" can be used for one or more parts from one or more works by one or more composers. It is used only with form headings (Sonatas, Symphonies, etc.), but not with medium of performance headings (Trios, Quartets, Flute music, Orchestral music, etc.)


Comments to Mickey Koth Yale University Music Library
©Yale University Library Last revised March 28, 2012.