Form of work (MARC 380)

Music Cataloging at Yale MARC tagging

Note: this page was created with music cataloging in mind.

See also 381: Other distinguishing characteristics of a work or expression | 382: Medium of performance | 383: Numeric designation of musical work | 384: Key

The 380 field is used in authority records for LCGFT indicating the class, form, genre, and/or other characteristics of the work being described.
For the use of LCGFT in bibliographic records in the 655 field, see Genre/form index term (MARC 655)

Use in conjunction with Recording form of work (RDA 6.3), MLA's Best practices for using LCGFT for music resources, and Commonly used music terms in the Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms (LCGFT)

Indicators and subfields for 655 field

General instructions:

  • Prefer a controlled vocabulary, such as LCGFT (Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms), LCSH (Library of Congress Subject Headings), etc.
  • Capitalize the first term in each subfield ‡a.
  • When terms are not from a controlled vocabulary, use the singular form.
  • Do not record in a 380 field types of composition terms that are:
    • medium of performance terms (e.g., Duet)
    • tempo markings (e.g., Allegro)
    • other generic terms that do not convey formal characteristics (e.g., Piece, Music)

Generally use the most specific appropriate term available. For example:

  • "Chamber music" is a narrower term under "Art music," so both terms would not be for a chamber work.
  • "Sonatas" is a narrower term under "Art music," so both terms would not be used for a sonata for a solo instrument.
  • "Waltzes (Music)" is a narrower term under "Dance music," so only "Waltzes (Music)" would be used when the work is a waltz and no other dance form is present.

However, use as many terms as are needed to adequately describe the work:

  • "Sonatas" and "Chamber music" for a sonata for a chamber group.
  • "Waltzes (Music)" and "Chamber music" for a waltz for a chamber group.
  • "Songs," "Cantatas," and "Sacred music" for a sacred cantata for solo voice.
Indicators and subfields for 380 field
1st blank
2nd blank
‡a Form of work: a term expressing the class or genre of the work.
  • Multiple forms of work from the same source vocabulary may be recorded in the same field in separate occurrences of subfield ‡a.
  •  Capitalize the first term in each ‡a
  •  Terms from different source vocabularies are recorded in separate 380 fields
  •  When terms do not come from a controlled vocabulary, use a singular form
‡2 Source of term: MARC code that identifies the source of the term in subfield ‡a when it is from a controlled list.
  • use ‡2 lcgft for LCGFT
  • use ‡2 lcsh for LCSH
From a controlled vocabulary:

Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms

380 __ Art music ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Dance music ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Masses ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Mazurkas (Music) ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Motets ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Operas ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Part songs ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Pastoral music ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Preludes (Music) ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Suites ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Variations (Music) ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Studies (Music) ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Requiems ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Requiems ‡a Excerpts ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Preludes (Music) ‡a Canons (Music) ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Tangos (Music) ‡a Art music ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Cantatas ‡a Sacred music ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Songs ‡a Art music ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Songs ‡a Gospel music ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Dramatic music ‡a Art music ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Ballets (Music) ‡a Art music ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Sonatas ‡a Excerpts ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Sonatas ‡a Excerpts ‡a Variations (Music) ‡2 lcgft

Library of Congress Subject Headings

380 __ Solo cantatas ‡2 lcsh
380 __ Magnificat (Music) ‡2 lcsh
380 __ Mixed media (Music) ‡2 lcsh

From more than one controlled vocabulary

n 2016011498
380 __ Sacred music ‡a Litanies (Music) ‡2 lcgft
380 __ Kyrie eleison (Music) ‡2 lcsh


sources: LC MARC 21 format for authority data and DCM Z1