Thursday, February 9, 2012

Draft 2

A group spearheaded by the Music Library Association’s Emerging Technologies and Services committee is creating “Music Discovery Requirements” document which details the specialized needs of music materials for discovery interfaces of all kinds.  An initial draft of this document was shared via MLA-L (a distribution list for music librarians and those interested in music librarianship) in fall 2011.  We have now revised the document based on the comments received and have posted a second draft, which we are publicizing more broadly.

We invite your comments, thoughts, and suggestions.

The document and its three accompanying spreadsheets are available at the following links:

You may add your comments using the blog’s commenting feature, or send them directly to Nara Newcomer,

We request your comments by March 16, 2012.  This is the final comment period.  The next version issued will be the final document.


  1. I didn't find comments from Draft 1 here, so I apologize for redundancy or for raising questions that have already been answered.

    General comment--I like the document's approach of rationalizing outcomes before getting to the nuts-and-bolts of how to get there.

    While I think the document is OK in concentrating on music and recordings and not books, how are we going to ensure some consistency when books are about a particular musical work?

    Indexing the 38X fields -- is there a concern with redundancy with same-similar terms from elsewhere?

    Musical sharp and flat--can/should the pound sign be part of the mix, since many older databases probably have it in lieu of the sharp, at least in descriptive fields?

    The discussion of key/range under Works left out 250 entirely. While that might seem a purely expression field, it's quite possible to have a range statement in the 250 that is in fact applicable to the musical work.

    The level of concern shows with entries for librettists and lyricists reflects our current environment, where we are content to allow context to express the person's relationship to the work. With librettists, at any rate, the way of the future is to explicitly name that person's work, which means combining the name with some title or another. Lyricists are tougher, since it's hard to say that in an active collaboration, the words would represent a discrete "work" in the sense that a Heine poem would when set by Schubert or Schumann.

    In the section on authority records, another argument in favor of involving them in the discovery process is the likelihood that many of the attributes we want to offer as searches or limits will optimally be recorded in work records *rather than* bibliographic records.

  2. Two quick editorial comments:
    1. I think that it would be better to be explicit in identifying the MARC bibliographic fields as such. Someone turning to a particular entry and looking at the "index and display" recommendations will not necessarily realize that only the bib. format is being referenced.
    2. I noticed one place where the new 264 field was omitted as a source of data (only the 260 equivalent was given). This was on p. 20, under III.C.Edition. The entire document should be checked to ensure that the future use of this field is appropriately addressed.

  3. Additional (somewhat random) comments:
    1. Revise the final sentence of the Executive Summary: what exactly "should need fewer revisions."?
    2. Update discussion of Medium of Performance (top of p. 10) to refer to the accepted MARBI Proposal 2012-01 on Medium of Performance instead of the previous MARBI Discussion Paper.
    3. Under Musical key/range (p. 11), 3rd paragraph: I do not believe that the "natural sign" is in the MARC character set, and the need to use it in cataloging is limited in any case. Consider updating the sentence that includes this term.
    4. Under Topical Subjects (p. 17, Related Authority Fields): I do not believe that the 370 field indicates any kind of subject relationship to the 1XX.
    5. Under Identifying Numbers (p. 22, Related Authority Fields): Add 024. While I don't think I've ever seen an 020 or an 024 in a NAR, if the 020 is included in this list, the 024 should be as well.
    6. Under Medium of Performance (p. 24): consider referencing the 382 field, or just skip mentioning any fields and just refer back to II.E.
    7. Typo, p. 26: correct "sStatement" to "Statement"

  4. In Appendix A, make it clear that the MARC references are to fields in the Bibliographic Format. Consider making recommendations for what to index in the Authority Format to support narrative under II.G.

    Note: in II.G, the statement is made that the 370-377 fields "have been defined in both bibliographic and authority formats." This is not accurate. Only the 377 has been defined in both the bib. and auth. formats to date.