Revision of Instruction Language for Part of a Larger Part (

31 July 2015

Revision of Instruction Language for Part of a Larger Part (


Submitted by Damian Iseminger, Chair, JSC Music Working Group

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10 Responses to Revision of Instruction Language for Part of a Larger Part (

  1. John Myers says:

    As a non-music cataloger, let me ask the dumb question. We have a rule to use larger part + smaller part, then an exceptional situation to drop the larger part, and then an exception to the exceptional situation which reverts back to the basic rule. Is there a good reason for these gyrations? Why not just keep the basic rule alone, dropping the exception, and counter-exception?

  2. Kathy Glennan says:

    I think John has a good point here. The instruction as currently worded is focused on whether the larger part title is distinctive or not. That leads to the following:

    1. Is the larger part distinctive? If so, include it in the preferred title.
    2. Is the larger part indistinctive?
    …a. Basic instruction: Omit it.
    …b. Exception: include if needed for identification.

    What could happen instead:
    Basic instruction:
    1. Include the name of the larger part in the preferred title
    2. Exception: omit it if indistinctive and not needed for identification

  3. Kathy Glennan says:

    In the proposal, I think there are a few problematic uses of “title and/or designation”:

    1. In the new proposed “if” paragraph (indistinctive larger part title): “record only the title and/or designation of the smaller part”. Question: Is there a situation where the title of the part would be recorded, but its designation would not?

    2. In the proposed exception, the final sentence says “Separate the title and/or designation of the larger part from the title and/or designation of the smaller part…” Comment: The beginning of this sentence should just be “Separate the designation of the larger part…”. There’s nothing in this exception about the larger part’s title. The second use of “and/or” raises the same question as in my #1 above.

  4. Kathy Glennan says:

    In the 2nd paragraph of “issues requiring resolution”, the WG notes an existing contradiction. I suspect this particular problem could just be resolved by making “Omit the designation of the larger part if it is not distinctive.” a separate paragraph.

  5. Matthew Haugen says:

    I agree with Kathy and John’s simplification of this instruction.

  6. Steve Kelley says:

    I also agree with Kathy and John’s simplification of this instruction.

  7. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    It has never been clear to me why the Music instructions for part of a larger part do not simply follow the general instruction at, which in my opinion adequately covers the situation. True, it would produce a different result:’s preferred form “Cantiones sacrae. O vos omnes” would simply be “O vos omnes”, but is there a *music* reason why this would be bad? Why is it OK that the preferred title for the Tolkein work is “The two towers” and not “Lord of the rings. The two towers” but somehow the Pretorius work’s preferred title must be “Cantiones sacrae. O vos omnes” and not “O vos omnes”? I fail to see a music-related reason why this should be, other than “this is the way we’ve always done it” which is not a principled reason. It is unnecessarily confusing for the preferred titles of musical works of this type to be recorded in a different way from the preferred titles of all other works of this type.

    As for the distinction between distinctive and indistinctive titles of the larger part, that is adequately covered in as well. In my opinion there is no need for an exception for musical works; they should follow, like all other works. Tinkering with the wording to make it clearer is not necessary; what is necessary is removing the exception altogether.

  8. Matthew Haugen says:

    It took me a while to think through this but I agree with Bob. The larger work title “Opus musicum” is not included the preferred title of the part, but becomes part of the access point at (Praetorius, Hieronymus, 1560–1629. Opus musicum. Cantiones sacrae. O vos omnes) So why does the intermediate part “Cantiones sacrae” need to be included in the preferred title? The instructions about prescribed punctuation to separate the part titles also seems out of place in this part of RDA.

    The general instructions at don’t seem to explicitly address works with more than one level of hierarchy. But for example, a chapter titled “Helm’s deep” exists in several levels of part hierarchy: Lord of the rings. Two towers. Book three. Helm’s deep.
    It would seem strange to me for the preferred title of the part to include names of intermediate parts, as well as instructions about prescribed punctuation. Why isn’t this decision a question of access point formation at as it is for other parts within works?

    The preferred title of the chapter can just be “Helm’s deep” and the preferred title of “Book three” can just be “Book three” and it’s up to the authorized and variant access points to do the work of addressing non-distinctive and non-unique preferred titles, and achieving any desired hierarchical organization of parts for filing/collocation.
    I’m sure there are composers who have several masses, each of which has a part named “Credo,” which would need to be differentiated. But again, I think that decisions about qualifiers and subordination under intermediate part names is a question of the authorized and variant access points, not the preferred title. And here, there may be music-specific reasons to differ from authorized and variant access points for general works but that’s for a different proposal, I think.

  9. Diane Napert says:

    I’ve read through this and feel it is clearly written and would be useful for a person cataloging a part of a larger work. I ran into that situation all the time when cataloging 78s. I think knowing the larger work is important (the Credo example mentioned by Matthew, “O vos omnes” is part of other works) In addition, students come into music libraries asking for songs/arias for auditions. It is really helpful to know the larger work in these instances.
    As Kathy and others suggested it could be simplified, if so, all the better, but I don’t find it difficult as it stands
    Whether it belongs in a different section is another matter and I will leave that discussion to others with more experience in the layout of the larger RDA

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