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DATE: December 16, 2005

NAME: Changes to accommodate IAML form/genre codes in field 047 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

SOURCE: Music Library Association, International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres

SUMMARY: This paper discusses the changes needed in order to incorporate IAML form and genre codes in MARC 21 fields 047 and how to code 008/18-19 if only IAML codes are used.

KEYWORDS: Field 047 (BD), Field 008/18-19 (BD), Form of Musical Composition (BD)

RELATED: 2005-08 (June 2005)


12/16/2005 - Made available to the MARC 21 community for discussion.

01/22/06 - Results of the MARC Advisory Committee discussion - Approved as amended. Changes to field 047 were approved except that the second indicator is defined instead of the first for Source of code (for consistency with field 048). Code "mu" in fields 008/18-19 is redefined to indicate that field 047 is used, either for multiple MARC codes or for non-MARC codes. Field 047 will be made repeatable.

03/07/06 - Results of LC/LAC/BL review - Approved

PROPOSAL 2006-01: Changes to accommodate IAML form/genre codes in Field 047


The music cataloging community has been divided for many years over the utility of using encoded data to represent musical forms and genres and medium of performance in the MARC 21 catalog record. Some view the encoded data as providing a level of precision and ease of retrieval not possible with subject and genre terms. Others view the small number of systems that have implemented indexing and retrieval of these codes as an indication that they are not worth developing. As a consequence of the lack of consensus, and with the Library of Congress not coding them, there has been little effort to revise or expand this repertoire of codes since the early 1990s. Recently, however, the development of alternative controlled vocabularies for form/genre and medium of performance has led to a renewed interest in encoded data.

The International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres (IAML) is currently maintaining lists of form and genre codes which are far more extensive than the relatively limited code sets currently available in MARC 21. For instance, despite the ever-increasing number of popular musical genres, catalogers are still limited to a single code, "rc" (Rock music), to represent a great deal of music that is patently not rock, including reggae and many types of world music. However, with the IAML code list, catalogers would have 16 codes from which to choose. Use of the IAML-maintained code lists would allow for greater precision and granularity in coding for both form/genre and medium of performance for those institutions that can afford to supply the information. The IAML codes for music forms/genres are listed in UNIMARC field 128, but are maintained and updated by IAML. There are more than 550 codes available in IAML in contrast to about 70 in MARC.

Proposal 2005-08: "Changes to Accommodate IAML Coded Data in Bibliographic Fields 008/18-19, 047 and 048," considered at the June 2005 MARBI meetings, outlined a method for incorporating the IAML form/genre and medium of performance codes into MARC 21 records by defining second indicator value 7 (Source of code in subfield $2) and subfield $2 (Source) to indicate the source of the code (in this case, IAML) for fields 047 (Form of musical composition code) and 048 (Number of musical instruments or voices code). MARBI approved the recommendation in 2005-08 for field 048. Because the three-character IAML code list for form/genre incorporates the existing MARC 21 two-character codes, there were questions about how to apply field 008/18-19 in relation to field 047. This proposal explores the coding of 008/18-19 when IAML codes are used in field 047 and the relationship between the code lists.


2.1 Use of 008/18-19 with 047. MARC codes are used in field 008/18-19, which only allows for two character positions. Because most of the IAML codes are three-characters they cannot be encoded in 008. Currently the format specifies use of field 047 only when there is more than one applicable form/genre code.

There are other similar situations in the MARC bibliographic format where a fixed length MARC code is used in 008, but another field is available when there is a need for codes from an alternative list or more than one MARC code that won't fit in a fixed length character position. Fields 041 (Language code) and 044 (Country of publishing/producing entity code) were expanded to accommodate other code lists. In both cases the format allows for coding from another list by using a subfield $2 to indicate the source of the code in conjunction with an indicator value. It specifies that in cases where only a code from a non-MARC list is used a fill character is encoded in the 008 character positions (35-38 and 15-17 respectively). A code from the MARC list may be used in the 008 as well as an alternative non-MARC code in the 041 or 044 if desired. To use this technique with field 047, subfield $2 for the code source and an indicator position with values blank and 7 will need to be added.

In the discussion of Proposal 2005-08 some participants felt that using fills would be ambiguous, since the MARC codes are incorporated into the IAML list and suggested that it might be preferable to consider them the same list. On the other hand, the existence of discrepancies between some of the MARC and IAML codes and the desirability of using similar techniques for similar situations in the format suggest that using fills in the 008 and specifying the list used in 047 is simpler and easier.

2.2 Relationship between MARC and IAML codes. There are a small number of discrepancies between the existing MARC 21 codes and the IAML codes. For instance, in some cases the MARC code was changed in IAML, e.g. Chaconnes is "ca" in MARC 21 and "chc" in IAML. In other cases the definition in IAML was revised to allow for more specific coding, e.g. "cn" is canons and rounds in MARC: rounds are coded "rde" in IAML; " dv" is divertimentos, serenades, cassations, divertissements and notturni in MARC, while serenades and cassations have separate codes in IAML.

With the large volume of legacy data and the likely large number of institutions that will not be inclined to adopt the expanded code list, it is proposed that the existing two-character code list be retained within the MARC 21 documentation and that the two lists be considered as separate ones. The IAML code (whether two- or three-character) may be used in field 047 with an indication of its source, and the MARC code may or may not be used in 008/18-19.

3 Changes in field 047 for Form of Musical Composition

3.1 Current definitions for Music format

047 Form of Musical Composition Code

3.2 Revised definition for field 047

Form of Musical Composition Code

Field 008/18-19 will be revised to indicate that non-MARC codes may be provided in field 047. If no MARC code is also indicated fill characters will be used.

3.3 Examples

008/18-19 rc
047 7# $argg $2[code for iaml]
[rgg is IAML code for reggae, more specific than the MARC code rc for rock music. ]

008/18-19 ||
047 7# $ablc$ablo$acly$arum$argg $2[code for iaml]
(For an album containing a historical overview of Caribbean musics: Cuban bolero, bolero, calypso, rumba, and reggae).

008/18-19 ||
047 7# $ahum $2[code for iaml]
(For a score of a humoresque).


In field 047 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format:

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