Fixed Fields

Music Specific Fixed Fields for Sound Recordings

This sections contains information about York University Libraries specific practices for coding MARC fixed fields for sound recordings.

For detailed information go to the: MARC 21 Concise guide to Music specifc fixed fields (008)  



In Rainbows compact disc by Radiohead fixed fields

Descriptive Labels 


Without descriptive labels 


Field-Specific Information

Type of date (008 character positions 6-14)

OCLC input guide

Note that the date type “r” takes precedence over date type

Always record multiple dates if they are present.

Note that sound recordings are considered reissues when they are: issued with a new music publisher’s number ;issued on a new label; released in a new recording medium

An anthology that collects previously released material from numerous sources qualifies as a reissue.

See the excellent description of dates on sound recordings on the Yale website for further information

Language (008 character positions 35-37)

OCLC input guide

MARC Code list for Languages

Code for the language of the music, not for the text accompanying the sound recording, or the text of the container.

Code zxx for purely instrumental music.  

Form of Composition (008 character positions 18-19)

OCLC input guide

“Musics of all types tend to defy categorization. Discrete codes, classification numbers, and subject headings usually oversimplify unruly creativity (and don’t even necessarily agree on how to divide the subject). Don’t agnoize over precision in the use of the Form of Composition codes…” – J. Weitz

Format of music (008 character position 20) OCLC input guide

Always code n – Not applicable for sound recordings

Music parts (008 character position 21)

OCLC input guide

Always code n – Not applicable for sound recordings

Accompanying Matter (008 character positions 24-29)

OCLC input guide

This is optional, only code if significant. Always code “d” when texts are included.

Typical codes for sound recordings are:

d — Libretto or text

e — Biography of composer or author

f — Biography of performer or history of ensemble

g — Technical and/or historical information on instruments

h — Technical information on music

i — Historical information

Transposition and Arrangement (008 character position 33)

OCLC input guide

Always code n – Not applicable 

Further Resources

The Yale Library has an excellent guide to music Cataloguing. Yale Sound Recording Fixed Fields info

OCLC MARC Fixed Field Input Standards

Penn State Sound Recordings Fixed Field Cheat Sheet

NCSU Fixed Field Values chart

Questions or comments to:Stacy Allison-Cassin

Last updated on July 17, 2008

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