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Hit the Ground Running! RDA Training for Music Catalogers: New Resources in 2014

A guide to the RDA Preconference at the Music Library Association 2013 meeting.

Best Practices

February 21, 2014

The MLA Bibliographic Control Committee is pleased to announce the availability of the official version 1.0 of Best Practices for Music Cataloging Using RDA and MARC21. 

This resource is available on the BCC website at:

Also available are a list of the changes between the draft version and this first published version:

The BCC RDA Music Implementation Task Force has been working tirelessly on this document.  Over the past year, they have integrated public comments on the first draft and created complete RDA examples for inclusion with the document. The Task Force is chaired by Casey Mullin, with members: Mary Huismann, Damian Iseminger, Nancy Lorimer, Daniel Paradis, Ray Schmidt, and Hermine Vermeij.  Congratulations to all of you, and thank you for all your hard work! 

Beth Iseminger

Chair, Music Library Association, Bibliographic Control Committee

Types of Compositions

March 7, 2014

As was announced at the MLA meeting in Atlanta, “Types of Compositions for Use in Music Uniform Titles” has been revised, and the new version is called “Types of Composition for Use in Authorized Access Points for Music: A Manual for Use with RDA.”  It is posted at

Ongoing maintenance of the new version will transition to the Authorities Subcommittee of MLA’s Bibliographic Control Committee, and the document will ultimately move to the BCC website.


The original “Types” document was created in 1992, and has been relied on by music catalogers ever since, as a source for determining whether the title of a musical work is a generic type or a distinctive title. This is an important decision, because it affects cataloging practice for making additions to titles, and for choosing the language of the title.

With the arrival of RDA, the Types document needed to be updated. The distinction between generic type and distinctive title still matters in RDA as it did with AACR2, but the instructions differ in a few key ways for creating authorized access points for musical works. The biggest change has to do with terms that have cognate forms in other languages, and a number of entries in the list were added or updated to reflect RDA practice.

The preface and principles of the list were also revised, as well as notes within the list, where these referred to AACR2 and LCRIs. Where there were equivalents in RDA, the LC-PCC PSs, or Best Practices for Music Cataloging, these were added to the document.

The revised document was prepared by Mickey Koth, Beth Iseminger, and Ray Schmidt, with valuable feedback from Chuck Herrold, Phyllis Jones, Morris Levy, Mark Scharff, and members of the Authorities Subcommittee. The AACR2 version of the document, which includes earlier principles of the list, as well as a history of its origins and maintenance over the years, will continue to be accessible at

Questions about the new document may be directed to Ray Schmidt, Authorities Subcommittee Chair,