Character position definition and scope:

Up to six one-character alphabetic codes (recorded in alphabetical order) indicate the contents of program notes and other accompanying material for sound recordings, music manuscripts, or notated music.  Generally, a specific code is used only if a significant part of the accompanying material is the type of material represented by the code.

If fewer than six codes are assigned, the codes are left justified and each unused position contains a # (blank).  If more than six codes are appropriate, only the six most important are recorded.  Six fill characters ( |||||| ) are used when no attempt has been made to code these character positions.

Record requirements for National-level records:  Mandatory; for Minimal-level records:  Optional.

Guidelines for applying content designators:




No accompanying matter


Discography  Accompanying matter contains a discography or other bibliography of recorded sound.




Thematic index


Libretto or text


Biography of composer or author  Accompanying matter contains significant biographical information on a composer or author.


Biography of performer or history of ensemble


Technical and/or historical information on instruments


Technical information on music


Historical information


Ethnological information  Accompanying matter contains significant ethnological information that relates to the musical part of the item.


Instructional materials


Music  Accompanying matter contains a score or other music format than that of the main item.




No attempt to code


See:  Examples

Content designator history:

Code n (Not applicable) is obsolete.  This code was made obsolete in 1980 because the codes defined for these character positions apply to both sound recordings and music scores.  [USMARC only]

Code j (Historical information other than music) is obsolete.  This code was made obsolete in 1980 when code i was redefined to include any historical information.  [USMARC only]

008/24-27  Accompanying matter  [redefined, 1997]  [CAN/MARC only]

j - Historical information other than music  [obsolete, 1997]

l - Biography of arranger or transcriber  [obsolete, 1997]

008/28  Government publication  [redefined, 1997]  [CAN/MARC only]:  The defined codes were:  # (Not a government publication), a (Autonomous or semi-autonomous components of sovereign federations), c (Multilocal), f (Federal/national), i (International intergovernmental bodies), l (Local jurisdictions), m (Multistate), o (Government publication - level undetermined), s (State, provincial, territorial, dependent, etc. jurisdiction), u (Unknown if item is a government publication), and z (Other type of government publication).

008/29  Undefined  [obsolete]  [CAN/MARC only]

See also:

006 and 008:  Music

006 and 008:  Cross Reference Tables by Type of Material

006/01-17:  Character Positions by Type of Material

006  Fixed-Length Data Elements - Additional Material Characteristics

008/00-39:  Character Positions by Type of Material

008  Fixed-Length Data Elements