Compiled by Joshua A. Henry*


For the second Domain Analysis Clinic (DAC2: The Phenomena of Music for Classification), a group of researchers and IKOS fellows gathered for two days to identify and fill specific gaps in the music domain. During this time, we concluded that genre/form is a key phenomenon in the classification of music. One of our main objectives was to identify classifiable phenomena of music that can be used as a facet of the phenomenon-based Basic Concepts Classification (BCC), created by Rick Szostak, who was also a researcher at DAC2. In order to start this process, we decided to look at classifications of musical genre/form that already exist. The Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT)( is a thesaurus that was developed between 2007-2015. Terms continue to be added, changed, and deleted. The music node of the thesaurus was released in 2015, and it is highly used in the United States music cataloging community. We decided that the music hierarchy in the LCGFT was a good place to start for concepts to be used in BCC, but it was first necessary to separate out the musical terms from LCGFT. Although an alphabetical list could have been created, we thought it would be more beneficial to create a hierarchical list in order to show the structure of the thesaurus and the relationship between terms. Despite all the terms not being sorted alphabetically in the list, each level of the hierarchy is in alphabetical order. The list shows preferred terms in bold, and narrower terms are nested under their broader terms. Cross references, i.e., use for (UF), are shown in brackets to the right of the preferred term, and multiple UFs are separated by a semi-colon. Scope notes are shown below the preferred term in a smaller font. Broader terms outside of the music hierarchy appear after a dash to the right of the preferred term, and multiple broader terms are separated by a semi-colon. Related terms are shown after a dash to the right of broader terms. The sound recordings hierarchy appears at the end of the list since these terms are tangential to the music hierarchy. The list was compiled in December 2019, and does not yet include any musical terms that have been added to LCGFT since then.

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*Joshua A. Henry is Associate Fellow, IKOS and Assistant Professor I, Librarian, Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ.


IKOS Version 1.0. Published 23 July 2020.

©2020 Institute for Knowledge Organization and Structure, Inc. All rights reserved.

Dublin Core Metadata:

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<meta name=”DC.Title” content=”LCGFT Music Terms.”>
<meta name=”DC.Creator” content=”Joshua A. Henry”>

<meta name=”DC.Creator” content=”Library of Congress.”>
<meta name=”DC.Subject” content=”music form and genre terms”>
<meta name=”DC.Publisher” content=”Institute for Knowledge Organization and Structure,
<meta name=”DC.Relation” content=” Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT)”>
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<meta name=”DC.Date” content=”2020″>