Cataloging of Popular & Traditional Music Sound Recordings



This checklist will focus on the two media types catalogers are most likely to encounter: audio discs (CD audio primarily) and audiocassettes. RDA also addresses reel-to-reel tape, tape cartridges, piano rolls, and sound recordings on motion picture film, which are not covered here.

The checklist is in MARC 21 order. The checklist emphasizes descriptive/access elements that differ from standard book cataloging or are otherwise unique to sound recording cataloging. For description/access areas not addressed here--e.g. parallel titles, capitalization--refer to RDA, the LC-PCC Policy Statements, and our Local Workflow under Tools in the RDA Toolkit. Requirements ("PCC core") are keyed to the current PCC RDA BSR policies.

The cataloger is responsible for deciding whether the sound recording is accompanying material or the primary resource. For example, if the cataloger decides that the printed resource is primary and the sound recording is accompanying material, the cataloger should apply LC PCC PS 3.1.4 Accompanying Material (and not apply this checklist).

NOTE. Many of the records used in the examples have elements that usefully apply to multiple rules. In order to limit redundancy and to provide context, the examples illustrating a given rule may be fuller than is absolutely necessary and will not be repeated to illustrate a later rule. References from earlier and later rules will be made to the appropriate examples.


For additional information, refer to OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards.

Make a new record:

  1. For a different edition.
  2. For a different format (CD vs. cassette)
  3. When there are technical differences (300 ‡b), e.g. stereo vs. mono. Size differences (300 ‡c), e.g. CD vs. mini-CD.
  4. If information in the publisher number [028] on the physical resource differs from the information in the 028 of the cataloging copy. However, the absence of the 028 field in the record when the publisher number is on the physical resource (or vice versa) does not require a separate record--all other things being equal.

If the decision is to catalog the sound recording as primary, it may still be necessary to account for other materials issued with the recording as accompanying material. In most cases the accompanying material will be recorded in 300 ‡e, in an additional 300 field, or in a 500 note. Refer to LC PCC PS 3.14 Accompanying Material for options and examples, as well as the subsequent pages in this document.


Non-Music Sound Recordings Checklist [Local documentation]

Best Practices for Music Cataloging (BPMC) Using RDA and MARC21, v1.7 (April 11, 2017), prepared by the Bibliographic Control Committee of the Music Library Association: see Original RDA Toolkit for access. See the Music Library Association website for Supplements to Best Practices for Music Cataloging Using RDA and MARC21.

Music Library Association RDA Metadata Guidance: A Companion for Use with the Music Library Association Best Practices in the RDA Toolkit.

Provisional Best Practices for Using LCMPT (Music Library Association)

PCC BIBCO Standard Record (BSR) Metadata Application Profile

PCC Task Group on Relationship Designators Final Report

OCLC Bibliographic Formats & Standards [cited as BFAS in the checklist]