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13 Pages


  • cours magistral
  • expression écrite - matière potentielle : contest
Analysis by Chris Lockley and Ingle Kwon OzymandiasPercy Bysshe Shelley
  • traveller from an antique landwho
  • nothing beside remains
  • nothing as thespace around the ruins
  • egotistical ruler
  • nature itselfbecause nature
  • ruins emphasizesdesolation



Published by
Reads 21
Language English


For the Authority Control Interest Group, LITA/ALCTS
June 27, 2010

by Geraldine Ostrove
Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division

This presentation will view the music aspects of the genre/form initiative from two
perspectives, as a discrete project with its own set of characteristics and requirements, and at the
same time as a prototype for the retrospective implementation of the genre/form initiative, in
particular of subject areas with huge quantities of terms in LCSH. [2]
The larger topics I’ll take up are:
• facets
• carrier terms
• medium of performance
• interrelationships between the thesaurus and some other aspects of cataloging;
• some additional vocabulary issues we’ve been working on.
First, some background. The music project is among the genre/form projects whose
entire subject access vocabulary is already in LCSH. So, while there are aspects of this project
that are unique to music, it is also a prototype for other disciplines that rely as comprehensively
on LCSH as music does. The broad issues we encounter in music that enable our specific
situations to be generalized include principles of vocabulary formulation; inter-relationships
between the thesaurus, LCSH, and other sources of controlled relevant vocabulary; treatment of
ACIG, June, 27, 2010 Page 1carrier terms, and headings with language qualifiers. [4] We will eventually join the fray over
how to bring out place as related to resources. And although time period hasn’t come up yet, it
will when we take up the chronological subdivisions headings for musical works often include.
[5] At this stage the scope of the music project is limited to terms assigned to musical works.
We estimate there are about 16,000 LCSH headings in this category. There are other genre/form
terms used in the field of music, and normally the term “music” means the entire discipline of
music, not just to scores and sound recordings. But where the thesaurus is concerned, I will use
the word “music” to refer to musical works unless I clearly state that I’m referring to something
Early on LC approached the Music Library Association about the prospect of
collaborating with us in the development of the music part of the genre/form thesaurus. The
genre/form initiative is of sufficiently compelling importance to music, and the amount of work
involved sufficiently demanding, that LC neither should, nor can we do it alone. Eventually,
MLA appointed a genre/form task force, headed by Beth Flood Iseminger, whom many of you
know, and LC formed a music genre/form project group, which I head. The two groups began
their official collaboration early in 2009. In June of 2009 the MLA task force sent us their
review and commentary on two lengthy lists of LCSH terms we had posted on our genre/form
Web site, one of terms of the genre/form type that have been assigned to musical works, and the
second of terms for medium of performance, which is where the terms for instruments and types
of singing voice are. I’ll have more to say about medium of performance later.
[6] Though we find we have a long way to go, given the scope of the music project, so far
we’ve accomplished quite a bit.
ACIG, June, 27, 2010 Page 2• We have a list of over 1,000 terms that we agree should be in the thesaurus. MLA is
currently arranging those terms into hierarchies. [7]
• We agree that many headings in LCSH we presently assign to music should be cancelled.
These include, first, headings containing only medium of performance terms; those terms
will be transferred to the new medium facet. Second, also to cancel are compound
headings with a medium and a genre/form term, which should be deconstructed into
separate medium and genre vocabularies, then post-coordinated in searches. [8]
• We agree that our current headings for musical settings of individual psalms are
unsuitable and should be abandoned entirely. These headings are the formulations like
rdPsalms (Music)—23 Psalm. In their place, we think that psalm settings should all have
the same genre term, Psalms (Music) (or perhaps an equivalent to be decided on later),
and an access point in a 730 field for the related text. [9]
• We also agree that form subdivisions for musical format, subdivisions like --Scores and
parts and --Vocal scores with organ, can no longer occupy a secondary position. Many
of the headings to which they are now assigned will no longer be valid in the thesaurus
context, or the resource won’t be assigned a genre/form term to attach them to.
Consequently, those subdivisions will have to be headings that can be post-coordinated.
• We have only just begun working on medium of performance vocabulary, roughly 850
terms so far, which will be removed from headings for musical works. We will review
and refine that list. Medium needs a new place in bibliographic records. Possible places
are a revised 048 field, where the terms would be coded, and the new 382 field, added to
accommodate RDA, where the terms themselves would appear. In my slides, where
medium is shown in a MARC context, I will use the 382 field. [10]
ACIG, June, 27, 2010 Page 3• Another of our mutual decisions concerns genre/form-type headings now tagged 150 that
are qualified by language. Libraries that adopt RDA will not need headings like these
because the language of the resource will be provided elsewhere. So for those libraries,
genre/form headings qualified by language can be cancelled because the genre/form term
alone will suffice.
Finally, our collaboration with MLA has prompted us to do a bit of LCSH clean-up. The
LC music project group decided we ought to do as much of that as we can as we go along.
With this background, I will now get to specific aspects of the music project.
I’ll start with – a term: “facets.” Questions about it come up right away: Whose
definition of facets are we using? What do we mean ourselves, each of us, by that term? What
should we usefully be applying faceting to? Don't we need to be in agreement about the answers
to these questions if we are going to use the terms facets and facetting?
[12] Rather than try to answer these questions on behalf of all of us, I’ll explain how I’ll use
the term. It’s to refer only to very broad categories. The perspective of the Policy and Standards
Division is that the genre/form thesaurus itself represents a bibliographic facet of library
resources. At this level, other facets could be LCSH, the names of those responsible for the
intellectual or creative content of resources, and what time period the resources cover or come
from. For the most part at this very general level, facets are mutually exclusive.
Musical works fit well into the structure of faceting at this level. The thesaurus will
contain terms that describe what musical resources are. LCSH will contain terms for what
resources in the field of music are about.
ACIG, June, 27, 2010 Page 4 There are other primary bibliographic attributes of music: the name of the resource,
which is often the composer and title of it. But the most important attribute from our perspective
today is medium of performance. Medium of performance is an inherent characteristic of music;
it is the instruments, voices, and other such requirements for which works are written or arranged.
[13] As we work our way downward into greater detail for music, we sometimes find the term
“facets” used with regard to the vocabulary in the thesaurus itself. This is the point where in our
view the term “facets” ceases to apply. Instead, to distinguish the various categories of terms in
the thesaurus, I prefer the word “hierarchies.” Hierarchies represent the pragmatic deployment
of terms into useful broad categories that reflect the primary relationships of the terms to each
other. Sometimes a term can belong to more than one hierarchy.
Carrier Terms
Questions have arisen about whether carrier terms belong in the thesaurus. The Policy
and Standards Division has tentatively decided that the genre/form thesaurus should be limited to
terms applicable, in the F R B R sense, at the work and expression level, and not include
vocabulary for manifestations and items. [15] We are beginning to explore the implications of
that decision, and toward that end will be collecting as much vocabulary as we can for extent
types, to use the RDA term for this category of vocabulary, in all disciplines. That will enable us
to get solid information not only to enable us to select and organize the controlled vocabulary,
but to gain a better understanding of how this vocabulary is used. Music carriers beyond those
for written music cannot be identified solely with musical works. So the music project will need
to operate in the wider, non-music community when we take these up.
ACIG, June, 27, 2010 Page 5 Though terms for “isness” that describe both content and carrier now belong in the 655
field of MARC bibliographic records, many of you will remember that the former 755 field,
Added Entry – Physical characteristics, was made obsolete in 1995, and the terms formerly put
there subsequently put in the 655 field, called Index Term – Genre/Form. The feeling was that it
wasn’t always clear which of the two fields certain controlled terms belonged in, so it was
preferable not to have to parse the meaning of those terms so finely.
[16] Some of the vocabulary coming into the thesaurus from other fields or disciplines
combines both attributes, content and carrier, in a single term. This is the opposite of how LCSH
terms for music are formulated. [17] For music, carrier information has never been part of main
subject headings. Instead, carrier appears in the general material designation, in the physical
description, and in subdivisions. Putting carrier terms elsewhere from main subject headings has
enabled the basic subject headings assigned to musical works to be usable for all music resources,
whether written or performed. To music users, the work Don Giovanni is an opera by Mozart
irrespective of how the library resource delivers it up.
[18] From that perspective, I see as “hybrids” some of the individual terms that have recently
been added to LCSH as 155 genre/form terms because they combine content and carrier. Take,
for example, a term like Televised operas. That kind of formulation could lead in the field of
music to terms like “Notated salsas” and “Recorded sonatas.” Do we want to go in that direction?
I don’t think so. What would be the analogous vocabulary for other fields, such as literature?
Carrier terms, it seems, represent an issue much bigger than simply whether they are a
different kettle of fish from content terms indicating "isness,” because they force us to come to
grips with the very nature of the vocabulary in the thesaurus.
ACIG, June, 27, 2010 Page 6 The final point I want to make about carrier terms is that if carrier and extent terms are
not to be in the thesaurus, they will still need a place to reside as a controlled, searchable
vocabulary, something RDA doesn’t provide. Should that place be LCSH or somewhere else?
Medium of Performance
No musical work lacks a medium of performance, even if, as in one famous piece, the
medium is silence. Early on, we recognized that medium of performance vocabulary doesn't
belong in the thesaurus because it applies to something else besides what the thesaurus is
intended to cover. As a result, LC subject headings containing medium of performance will no
longer be assigned to musical works. Medium will be in the medium facet, and, as LCSH genre
terms, these current subject headings will instead become invalid for that use or be cancelled
However -- music catalogers are now faced with the imperative of finding another place
in bibliographic records to put medium. For that, let me step back for a moment. Medium of
performance is more important to the characterization of music than any term for the nature of
the music that the thesaurus might contain. There are two reasons for this. First, many musical
works won’t be assigned a thesaurus term. It needs to be understood that thesaurus vocabulary is
not needed for every musical work. Second, many end users won’t care what thesaurus term has
been assigned even if there is one because they are much more interested in music for a
particular medium. So the genre, form, type, or style of the music isn’t important, and those
users will skip the genre facet. Looking at the estimated 16,000 different LCSH headings for
musical works that have been identified, medium terms alone appear in far more of them than do
headings for form, type, genre, or style.
ACIG, June, 27, 2010 Page 7[20] The tasks of deconstructing headings that now contain medium of performance and
finding another place in the bibliographic record for that information are not the whole story.
We are now in the remarkable position of being able to completely rethink the presentation of
medium in bibliographic records for music. We can leave behind us the linear, restricted, and
often peculiar way medium has been provided in LCSH and, probably for the first time, ask
ourselves just what we want from medium information and how we would like the OPAC
interface to display it. [21] We can decide on how specific or how general we want the
statement of medium to be in particular situations, for example whether we want the entire
instrumentation of a large work to be given or just a general term like “orchestra.” We can even
look well forward in the direction of RDA, where medium will eventually be able to be captured
from authority data information for individual works and expressions and brought into
bibliographic records automatically, without our having to compose a medium statement each
[22] Another aspect of the liberation of medium of performance terminology from headings is
the matter of where medium terms will reside as a controlled, searchable vocabulary. It appears
that LCSH will be the place. All the names of instruments, families of instruments, types of
performance ensembles, many terms for vocal mediums, and even vocabulary for non-musical
objects used in musical works are already there.
Notice, though, that in the topical treatment of a medium term like “violin” the topical
term refers to a tangible object. That is not the same definition “violin” has in the medium of
performance facet, where the term refers to one of the performed parts in a musical work.
However, the syndetic relationships provided in LCSH are valid and useful for the same word in
both facets. Since most medium terms have synonyms, it is important that there be entry
ACIG, June, 27, 2010 Page 8vocabulary for searching medium of performance as such, as well as for searching medium terms
as topics.
[23] In LCSH, many of the headings with medium in them have been used topically, which is
shown by the addition of certain subdivisions to them. You all know that his phenomenon is not
unique to music. There are about 200 headings with medium of performance in them that have
been used topically in at least one such heading string. We haven’t begun to look at these strings
yet because I am still compiling a list of them. But here are two examples. First example, the
basic heading Piano music. It is now assigned to certain music for solo piano, its genre/form use.
There is no equivalent genre/form term that could go in the thesaurus. As part of a topical
heading string, typical formulations are Piano music—History and criticism and Piano music—
Bibliography. [24] Second example. Here is a string with a much more complex basic heading,
String quintets (Violins (2), violas (2), violoncello)—Analysis, appreciation.
It is hardly surprising that writers have written about music from the perspective of
medium of performance. Obviously, subject headings have to provide for retrieval of that
literature. In the thesaurus environment, where medium terms will probably continue to reside as
a controlled vocabulary in LCSH, some of these basic headings, like Piano music, can probably
remain there as is. But there will be some changes, too. For complicated constructions, as in the
second example, I suspect we will settle on a much less detailed topical heading, like String
quintets. This medium term can probably serve satisfactorily as a topical heading for literature
about all string quintets, whatever their specific instrumentation.
[23] Turning from headings to the subdivisions we now use in the topical strings we’ve
been examining, in some cases the string will be deconstructed so that form subdivisions like
“Bibliography” will become separate genre/form headings, available for post-coordination. And
ACIG, June, 27, 2010 Page 9since LCSH headings like Piano music will no longer have to do double duty as genre/form
terms as well as topical headings, we can probably also dispense with the general subdivision –
History and criticism, which turns out to be redundant when added to a term that is by this time
uniquely topical. [24] In strings where there is a topical subdivision like –Analysis, appreciation,
it will probably stay with the heading.
Other Vocabulary Issues
Of the numerous other vocabulary issues we’ve encountered, I will mention four today,
alignment of vocabulary in the thesaurus with RDA, aboutness in musical works, reconciling
different syntaxes for similar concepts in LCSH, and what we are calling “topical look-alikes.”
(Alignment of vocabulary in the thesaurus with RDA)
One of the vocabulary issues we are taking very seriously is alignment of music terms in
the thesaurus with RDA. Alignment comes up with regard to two areas in RDA. First, the terms
in LCSH that we think of as carrier terms. In RDA the analogous vocabulary is the terms for
extent of resources, certain physical attributes they have. For music on paper – what RDA calls
“notated music”-- most of the LCSH carrier terms are the free-floating musical format
subdivisions in instruction sheet H 1160 of the Subject Headings Manual.
The second place where alignment of LCSH and RDA vocabulary comes up is terms for
types of musical notation. The LC project group feels that terms for type of notation should be
in the thesaurus. We are preparing a table of those terms, including the ones in RDA, and will
send it to the MLA task force with an invitation to let us know what they think about types of
ACIG, June, 27, 2010 Page 10