an    Anthems

bd    Ballads

bt     Ballets

bg    Bluegrass music

bl     Blues

cn    Canons and rounds

ct     Cantatas

cz    Canzonas

cr    Carols

ca    Chaconnes

cs    Chance compositions

cp    Chansons, polyphonic

cc    Chant, Christian

cb    Chants, Other

cl     Chorale preludes

ch    Chorales

cg    Concerti grossi

co    Concertos

cy    Country music

df     Dance forms

dv    Divertimentos, serenades, cassations, divertissements, and notturni

ft      Fantasias

fl      Flamenco

fm    Folk music

fg     Fugues

gm   Gospel music

hy    Hymns

jz     Jazz

md   Madrigals

mr    Marches

ms    Masses

mz    Mazurkas

mi     Minuets

mo    Motets

mp    Motion picture music

mu    Multiple forms

mc    Musical revues and comedies

nc     Nocturnes

nn     Not applicable

op    Operas

or     Oratorios

ov    Overtures

pt     Part-songs

ps    Passacaglias

pm   Passion music

pv    Pavans

po    Polonaises

pp    Popular music

pr     Preludes

pg    Program music

rg    Ragtime music

rq    Requiems

rp    Rhapsodies

ri     Ricercars

rc    Rock music

rd    Rondos

sd    Square dance music

sn    Sonatas

sg    Songs

st     Studies and exercises

su    Suites

sp    Symphonic poems

sy    Symphonies

tl     Teatro lirico

tc    Toccatas

ts    Trio-sonatas

uu   Unknown

vr    Variations

vi    Villancicos

wz   Waltzes

za    Zarzuelas

zz    Other


The form of composition code is a two-character alphabetic code that indicates the form of composition of printed and manuscript music, and musical sound recordings.  The form of composition code is based on the terminology in the work itself and is intended to provide a coded approach to the content of the work.  In addition to codes for forms, the list also includes codes for musical genres (e.g., Ragtime music).  The codes are based on Library of Congress subject headings.

Codes should be assigned when they apply to the item as a whole (e.g., if the item is a symphony and one of the movements is in sonata form, only the code for symphonies is recorded).  If more than one code is appropriate, the code "mu" (Multiple forms) is used in this element, with appropriate specific codes given optionally in field 047 (Form of Composition Code).


The OCLC default code indicated above is not a MARC 21 value.  All CONSER authenticated records must include an appropriate MARC 21 code as listed above.

Code definitions

Codes for which special information is needed for proper application are described below.  Other codes are described in music reference sources.  Non-music sound recordings do not have a form of composition and are coded "nn" (Not applicable).

cn  Canons and rounds.

Use code "cn" for canons and rounds (i.e., compositions employing strict imitation throughout).

cz  Canzonas.

Use code "cz" for instrumental music that is designated as a canzona.

df  Dance forms.

Use code "df" for music for individual dances except mazurkas, minuets, pavans, polonaises, and waltzes.

ft    Fantasias.

Use code "ft" for instrumental music designated as fantasia, fancies, fantasies, etc.

fl    Flamenco.

Use code "fl" as a generic term which refers to all the Flamenco styles, or "palos", and to other forms of song and dance coming from the folkloric tradition of Spanish gypsies.

fm  Folk music.

Use code "fm" for folk music including folk songs, etc.

nn  Not applicable.

Use code "nn" to indicate that the form of composition is not applicable to the item.  It is used for any item that is not printed or manuscript music, or a music sound recording (e.g., a nonmusic sound recording).

ps  Passacaglias.

Use code "ps" for all types of ostinato basses.

st   Studies and exercises.

Use code "st" only when the work is intended for teaching purposes (usually entitled Studies, Etudes, etc.).

tl   Teatro lirico.

Use code "tl" for a large number of more specific terms which describe Spanish and Spanish American theatre music:  "tonadilla escénica", "fiestas de música", "sainetes líricos", "entremeses cómico-lírico", etc.

uu  Unknown.

Use code "uu" to indicate that the form of composition of an item is unknown.  Code "uu" is used when the only indication given is the number of instruments and the medium of performance.  No structure or genre is given, although they may be implied or understood.

vi  Villancicos.

Use code "vi" to indicate a characteristic form of Spanish polyphony, religious or secular, from the 16th to 18th centuries.  Religious villancicos were usually sung in important ceremonies (including Christmas, when these songs were sometimes called "pastoradas").

za  Zarzuelas.

Use code "za" to indicate a term applicable to all musical plays taking that name, from the "fiestas de zarzuela" of the 17th/18th-centuries to the so-called "zarzuela moderna" ("modern zarzuela") from the mid 19th to the mid 20th-century.

zz  Other.

Use code "zz" to indicate a form of composition for which none of the other defined codes are appropriate (e.g., villancicos, incidental music, electronic music, etc.).

Related fields, etc.


008/18-19  006/01-02  (MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data)

See also:


Section E.  MARC 21 Format for Serials as Applied Within CONSER

CONSER Editing Guide:  Contents