Genre/form index term (MARC 655)

Music Cataloging at Yale MARC tagging

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

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

Use in conjunction with MLA's Best practices for using LCGFT for music resources (version 1.2, July 8, 2019), Commonly used music terms in the Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms (LCGFT), and Instructions for PCC catalogers in Descriptive Cataloging Manual (DCM) Z1.

See also Mapping of Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) and form subdivisions to their corresponding LCGFT and LCDGT terms

Indicators and subfields for 655 field

General instructions:

LCGFT does not use medium of performance, as LCSH does. Medium of performance is brought out in the 382 field using LCMPT:

  • LCSH:
    • 650 _0 Sonatas (Piano)
  • LCGFT and LCMPT:
    • 382 01 piano ‡n 1 ‡s 1 ‡2 lcmpt
    • 655 _7 Sonatas. ‡2 lcgft

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 used in a bibliographic record for a chamber work.
  • "Sonatas" is a narrower term under "Art music," so both terms would not be used in a bibliographic record 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 resource:

  • "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.

Some terms in LCFT and LCSH are the same:

  • Aleatory music
  • Ayres
  • Circus music
  • Interludes (Music)
  • Overtures
  • Part songs
  • Polkabilly music
  • Scherzos
  • Sonatas

Other terms are slightly different:

  • Monologues (Music) (LCGFT)
  • Monologues with music (LCSH)
  • Variations (Music) (LCGFT)
  • Variations (LCSH)
  • Villanelle (Part songs) (LCGFT)
  • Villanelle (Songs) (LCSH)

Some terms are very different:

  • Canons (Music) (LCGFT) and
  • Fugues (LCGFT)
  • Canons, fugues, etc. (LCSH)
  • Medleys (Music) (LCGFT)
  • Potpourris (LCSH)
  • Studies (Music) (LCGFT)
  • [subject heading for instrument] ‡v Studies and exercises (LCSH)

Some terms are confusingly similar:

  • Music theater (LCSH)
    • for musical works, often small in scale and primarily of the 20th century, that combine elements of music, drama, and sometimes dance in unconventional ways that result in works distinct from traditional forms
  • Musical theater (LCGFT)
    • for musical compositions that are often small-scale, date primarily from the 20th century, and combine elements of music, drama, and sometimes dance, in unconventional ways
    • "Musical theater" is also an LC subject heading for works about music in the theater

Some terms in LCGFT are not in LCSH:

  • Bagatelles (Music)
  • Concert etudes
  • Fantasias (Music)
  • Preludes (Music)

Some terms in LCSH are not in LCGFT:

  • Secular oratorios (LCGFT has only "Oratorios")
  • Trios, Quartets, Quintets, etc.
Indicators and subfields for 655 field
1st blank: type of heading = basic
2nd 7: Source specified in subfield ‡2
‡a Form of work: a term expressing the class or genre of the work.
     ° Multiple forms of work from the same source vocabulary are recorded in separate 655 fields.
‡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 (Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms)

655 _7 Art music. ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Chamber music. ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Scores. ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Parts (Music) ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Fantasias (Music) ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Drinking songs ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Microtonal music. ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Nocturnes (Music) ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Organ masses ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Preludes (Music) ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Romances (Music) ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Ragtime music. ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Sarabandes (Music) ‡2 lcgft

655 _7 Arrangements (Music) ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Vocal scores. ‡2 lcgft
655 _7 Piano scores. ‡2 lcgft