Evaluating Authorized Access Point Instructions for Musical Works at

31 July 2015

Evaluating Authorized Access Point Instructions for Musical Works at


Submitted by Damian Iseminger, Chair, JSC Music Working Group

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26 Responses to Evaluating Authorized Access Point Instructions for Musical Works at

  1. John Myers says:

    I’m way out of my depth here, but the issues of dealing with pasticcios and of adaptations of works cause me to consider two points:
    1) Are there wider principles from which to draw regarding aggregate works (oh, aggregates, again)? How does a pasticcio differ from a compilation album or a medley with respect to how it should be cataloged? (Pasticcio seems to fall somewhere on a spectrum with compilation album and medley being the endpoints.) How are aggregates of music works in this context different from the aggregate library of works we identify as Bible in the context of sacred scripture?

    2) From contemporary music, what is the place of “jukebox musicals” with respect to both pasticcios and adaptations of musical works?

    (These may be adequately addressed in the Discussion paper, for those who know how to recognize them. )

  2. Chair says:

    Question #1: Does the JSC agree with the Music Working Group’s analysis of the instruction? Should the Music Working Group pursue revision of taking into account the issues raised above?

    Please reply to this post to answer question 1

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      There is no perfect solution here. If the instructions for constructing AAPs continue to favor naming a single creator, then catalogers need guidance for selecting the appropriate creator when the work is of shared responsibility. As the Music WG has noted, this certainly can differ based on cultural context.

      I would note that musical works with text are not necessarily “collaborative” works (with the creator of the text and the creator of the music working together). It is common for a composer to set preexisting words to music. It is my long-standing opinion that catalogers should not be spending time differentiating such things, however — and currently the same set of instructions applies to both situations. I believe this still should be the case.

      AAPs are compromises, and I believe that the long-term vision for RDA will be to move such instructions into application profiles. Is is worth spending the time and effort to revise 6.28 now?

      • Diane Napert says:

        It is true the instructions in favor Western art music. However, even if the instructions were revised would AAPs using the AAP for the creator of primary responsibility along with the preferred title of the work be created? Because of this, my opinion would be to spend minimal time and effort to revise. I am not opposed to creating an exception, I am just weighing the effort vs its potential use

  3. Chair says:

    Question #2: Does the JSC agree that this paragraph is needed in

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      I’m having trouble with this one. According to New Grove Online, a pasticcio is “An opera made up of various pieces from different composers or sources and adapted to a new or existing libretto.” Likewise, a ballad opera is “A distinctively English form in which spoken dialogue alternates with songs set to traditional or popular melodies and sung by the actors themselves.”

      So, these are always compilations/aggregate works. However, in some (rare?) cases the music is all by the same composer. This appears to be the main distinction that the WG is asking about adding to

      For me, this raises the question of what actually falls in to the current “original composition” category at New Grove Online says the following about Muzio Scaevola, the single example provided for that instruction now: “Opera in three acts by Filippo Amadei, Giovanni Bononcini and George Frideric Handel to a libretto by Paolo Antonio Rolli, adapted from Silvio Stampiglia’s libretto as revised for Vienna (1710); London, King’s Theatre, 15 April 1721.”

      As noted in my response to Question #1 above, I don’t often believe that it’s useful for catalogers to also have to play the role of musicologist. To make the distinction between and now, the cataloger must determine “if the music of the pasticcio was especially composed for it.” If we’re looking to simplify/clarify things here, this is where I would recommend starting.

      So, I think that pasticcios (etc.) are always compilations that make up a new work. I do not think that the distinction between individual work and aggregate works is particularly useful here (consistent with my observations on other MusicWG proposals).

  4. Chair says:

    Question #3: Does the JSC agree with this analysis? Does the JSC want the Music Working Group to pursue revisions based on maintaining or removing this exceptional practice?

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      A collection of excerpts from a pasticcio is problematic, no matter how you look at it.

      For example, take a look at OCLC #62737959.
      The title is: The favourite songs in the opera call’d Elpidia.
      A note clarifies the responsibilities — at least a bit: The pasticcio Elpidia contains arias by Vinci and Orlandini and recitatives by Handel.

      Instinctively, I want to provide an AAP for this that builds on the AAP for the complete pasticcio and then adds “Selections”. [True, this approach wasn’t authorized under AACR2, and isn’t an option in RDA currently.] Of course, I recognize that is generally the alternative for selections from a larger work, so I would be happy with the main instruction to provide individual access points for each of the excerpts, with using Selections as the alternative. Note, however, if the main instruction is to provide individual access points, they would be named by different creators as appropriate.

      I don’t think I agree with the WG’s analysis that RDA does not (generally) support the “concept of excerpts from a compilation”. Compilations are works, and unless specifically excluded in the instructions, I assume that everything in 6.27 and 6.28 apply to individual works and to compilations. (I do agree that this problem currently exists for pasticcios, however.)

      So, generally I think I’m in favor of removing this exceptional practice for pasticcios. However, I’m not in favor of continually referring to pasticcios as compilations. The act of selecting and compiling preexisting musical works (and occasionally writing additional material for the pasticcio to complete it) makes this a new work.

      • Diane Napert says:

        Re Question 2: I agree that simplification would be useful. I think this is difficult material, especially for someone who does not catalog solely music
        If the instructions are kept as is the additional paragraph suggested could be useful for clarification
        It seems easier to discern if works are old or new, written by one composer or many, than to know if composers collaborated or not.
        I find the following sentence at the end of the paragraph difficult: “The treatment of these titles in access points is also determined by whether the work is collaborative or a compilation by different persons” since reference to compilations has already been made in the first sentence of the paragraph

  5. Chair says:

    Question #4: Does the JSC agree with this analysis? Does the JSC want the Music Working Group to pursue revisions based on maintaining or removing this exceptional practice?

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      I think the practice should continue: name the excerpt (which in most cases was preexisting) by the name of its composer. You could always create a VAP to name the excerpt as part of the pasticcio.

      Not surprisingly, given my comments above, I do not agree with the overall approach from the WG to consider pasticcios compilations….

  6. Chair says:

    Question #5: Does the JSC agree that a paragraph should be added to 6.28.1 for choreographic movement?

  7. Chair says:

    Question #6: Does the JSC agree that the above text should be added to Should general guidance on adaptations also be added to 6.2.2?

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      Adaptations are new works; the current instructions should suffice.

      If the additional paragraph is thought useful, the link to the Glossary does not match RDA style — I think this only occurs in scope statements.

      In addition, the same kind of change would need to be proposed for the general instructions in Chapter 6, as the WG notes.

      I do not think that any of this is needed.

  8. Chair says:

    Question #7: Does the JSC agree that guidance for adaptors of musical works is appropriate in

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      I really don’t like this repetition. I think the details should reside in one place, rather than being repeated essentially verbatim. A reference from to would be fine with me.

      If new text is needed in for musical adaptations, I would prefer to see a summary statement, along the lines of what’s in the 2nd Glossary definition for “adaptation”.

      If there’s a need to further explain the creative role for musical adaptations in 19.2.1 to include the suggested lettered list, then I think should be simplified as well.

  9. Kathy Glennan says:

    Question #8: Does the JSC agree that changes should be made to paragraphs 1 and 2 of using language already present at

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      Generally agree, although the term “musical” should be inserted before work at least once (in the “if” clause), and possibly also in the “then” clause.

    • Diane Napert says:

      I think the wording (repeated from is clearer
      I wonder if there is a way for items repeated in different sections of RDA to be updated simultaneously? Otherwise, one has to remember where all the repetitions occur when there is an update. If there is, I would leave “musical” off, if not I would include it in the “if” and “then” as Kathy notes

  10. Kathy Glennan says:

    Question #9: Should remain at its current location, should it be moved to an exception at, or should it be moved to an exception at

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      I have never cared for this instruction. It’s not very principled. If a musical work has new text & a new title, the AAP isn’t based on the new title? This seems like a substantial change to me — I really think this should be treated as a new work.

      Here’s what New Grove Online says about Gay Rosalinda, one of the examples in the current instruction: “Produced in London’s West End in 1945, this show was based upon Johann Strauss II’s operetta Die Fledermaus (1874), as had been a 1911 revival entitled Nightbirds, staged at London’s Lyric Theatre and the 1942 Broadway show, Rosalinda. With the 1911 libretto by Gladys Unger and lyrics by Arthur Anderson, Gay Rosalinda opened at the Palace Theatre on 8 March 1945 and enjoyed a moderately successful run. While the plot was typical of operetta, with its trite tale of mistaken identities and secret love, the sweeping romanticism of Strauss’ music that had enraptured audiences for generations was expectedly effective. There have been countless revivals of the show in its original form, including a production that opened at the London Coliseum on 16 April 1959 and starred John Heddle Nash, Victoria Elliott, Alexander Young, Marion Studholme and Rowland Jones. It has also been staged under titles such as Champagne, Sec, The Merry Countess and A Wonderful Night.”

      If this instruction needs to be kept, it certainly should be labeled as an exceptional practice. My instinct is that this would be more appropriate as an exception to, since what has changed is the text.

  11. Kathy Glennan says:

    Question #10: Does the JSC agree that the above text is needed in

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      Sort of.

      I think if anything is added, it would belong in, rather than

      Any new wording should use the general phrasing already present in, so I would suggest the following for the 1st sentence:

      Do not consider music and incidental music for a dramatic work, film, etc. to be a part of a work.

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