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Uniform Titles for Music

Michelle Koth

In a library catalog, uniform titles function to bring together, under one unique heading, all variant manifestations of a musical work. They help to collocate various forms of music, such as printed music, sound recordings, arrangements, and translations, and aid in distinguishing between different musical works with similar or identical titles. Establishing music uniform titles may be the most complex and difficult aspect of music cataloging, even for the cataloger with a strong background in music.

Uniform Titles for Music explains the concept and practice of uniform titles for musical works by a single composer and works of unknown or collective authorship, and it provides a step-by-step approach to establishing uniform titles. Michelle Koth explains the concept of a "type of composition," the process by which a title is determined to be generic or distinctive, and what further elements may be needed to uniquely identify a work represented by a uniform title. Several chapters are devoted to defining and explaining these further elements, such as medium of performance, identifying numbers, and key. The chapters closely follow the structure of Anglo American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed. (AACR2), Chapter 25, with some re-ordering to allow the reader to progress from generic uniform titles to distinctive titles. Three appendixes provide a list of composers' thematic index numbers, a comparison of uniform titles for music and Library of Congress subject headings, and a bibliography of resources for authority work. Uniform Titles for Music is aimed at all levels of music cataloger, from the fresh out of library school beginner to the experienced cataloger who wants a refresher.
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Scarecrow Press / Musc Library Association
Pages: 292Size: 5 3/4 x 8 1/2
978-0-8108-5281-5 • Paperback • March 2008 • $61.00 • (£42.95)
Michelle Koth is catalog librarian at the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library at Yale University and is a contributor to Retrospective Conversion: History, Approaches, Considerations (Brian Schottlaender, ed., 1992).
Uniform Titles in Music is an excellent guide for those learning the cataloging of music as differentiated from book cataloging, and a refresher for those honing their skills. The printed format employs bold font for some highlighted text, and displays other sections in brief columns; its fonts are easily read.
.; American Reference Books Annual, June 2008

Koth's extensive work in the field has allowed her to produce this long-awaited tome.... An excellent reference source.... Finely written, Koth's text is accurate and easy to read. She is to be commended greatly for this work.... She has done impeccable work of the highest quality.... Whether a beginning or seasoned cataloger, this work is a necessity for anyone in the field.... Everything needed to form uniform titles can be found in the book, and it is of great value in quickly answering complex issues that often come up.
G. Dale Vargason; Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, March 2009

A useful tool for catalogers of all different ability levels to construct music uniform titles....This book does an excellent job of bringing together discussion and examples relating to music uniform title construction into one location. It can (and perhaps should) be viewed as a vital resource for both primarily non-music catalogers and advanced music catalogers alike.
Technical Services Quarterly