Simplification of the Medium of Performance Instructions (6.15)

31 July 2015

Simplification of the Medium of Performance Instructions (6.15)



Submitted by Damian Iseminger, Chair, JSC Music Working Group

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9 Responses to Simplification of the Medium of Performance Instructions (6.15)

  1. Kathy Glennan says:

    Comments on Option A
    Title is incorrect — it should read “Music Intended for One Performer to a Part”

    I do not agree with moving the exception for continuo to — this is not necessarily realized with “one performer to a part”.

    I have a similar problem with moving the exception for percussion here as well. This is more complex, but it certainly is possible to have multiple parts and multiple performers for percussion — but in some cases the player could switch parts as needed (player one is “bass drum” for the 1st half, but player two plays “bass drum” in the 2nd half). Because of this complexity, I think the exception, as it currently is phrased, is better in

    The alternative in should be rephrased to indicate that this only applies to ensembles with one performer to a part — I think. The corollary of this alternative is at Are both needed? Should the alternative in just be changed to a regular paragraph that refers to
    It might be worth retitling this as “One or More Solo Instruments and/or Voices with Accompanying Ensemble or Ensembles. If this is done, then the language of the instruction would also need to be changed to match.

    • Gayle Porter says:

      I agree with Kathy’s retitling idea that using the word “with” instead of “and” under would be best, as I think the former ties the phrase together better than the latter.

  2. Kathy Glennan says:

    Comments on Option B
    Guidance is needed so catalogers know when to supply these numbers. It could be as simple as saying “if considered important for identification and access”.

    Should the a)-d) list be separate elements? Otherwise, only numbers are recorded, without being associated with a given term. If I have a work for 2 pianos (8 performers, 16 hands), I would record the following:
    piano —
    4 —
    16 —
    8 —
    In the alternative, I think “each instrument and voice of the ensemble” should be “each instrument and/or voice of the ensemble”.
    The lack of an example here makes the revision hard to understand.

    I’m concerned that instructions are lacking for the situations where part of the medium of performance is known, but part is unspecified.

  3. Kathy Glennan says:

    Preference for Option A vs. Option B

    I would really like to hear from CC:DA on their preferences here. Music catalogers will likely know how to deal with this, including how to find the supporting documentation that assists with applying these instructions. But what about generalist catalogers who occasionally encounter music? Which level of guidance do you prefer?

    Personally, I’m leaning toward Option A.

    • Robert L. Maxwell says:

      Option A is certainly the more conservative, but I wonder, if we’re going to do this at all, maybe we should go all the way and do option B. On the other hand, you’re quite right, the instructions are probably most important to generalist catalogers who need to know what to do (music catalogers aren’t going to be consulting this all the time, they already know what to do). I’m not sure generalist catalogers will know what to do with option A either, though.

      Remember this is for recording the element, not the access point. As a generalist cataloger with a fair amount of experience with music, I myself could not use RDA as it is written now to know how to record this element in a 382 field. I have to go to the MLA best practices document and even then it doesn’t seem to be totally clear. But that’s the document I’d be trying to follow to record this field in NACO and BIBCO records. I wouldn’t be trying to interpret what RDA says and then blindly put something in a 382 field in my MARC record. So even as it is now RDA isn’t sufficient for generalist catalogers.

      • Steve Kelley says:

        I’m kind of leaning toward Option B (then again, I’m not a music cataloger and this won’t affect me much personally). I know it’s more radical, but it appears to allow for greater flexibility and seems like a more principled approach.

    • Gayle Porter says:

      I have cataloged very little music in my career, so I come from a more generalist point of view.
      I do like the more specific guidance and also the examples in Option A, but I am torn between the two options. It is a worthy goal to look forward to BIBFRAME, and to revise the rules accordingly to prepare for it. Bob’s point about using the MLA Best Practices document is most certainly valid especially if we chose option B. As an aside, I prefer the labels in Option B, as they reflect common language usage i.e. “Unspecified” as opposed to ” in determinate” (from option A).

  4. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    Does any of this affect the rather complex instructions for creating authorized access points for musical works in or (e.g, the order in which the medium of performance terms are added)?

  5. Diane Napert says:

    I prefer Option A, which gives more guidance, I think this would help with consistency
    Examples and links to MLA best practices (since there are some now in RDA) would still be needed
    Other documentation, OCLC’s Formats and Standards and Mickey’s Yale website (examples with MARC coding) remain useful as well

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