In Directions in Music Cataloging, ten of the field’s top theoreticians and practitioners address the issues that are affecting the discovery and use of music in libraries today. Anyone who uses music in a library—be it a teacher, researcher, student, or casual amateur—relies on the work of music catalogers, and because these catalogers work with printed and recorded materials in a wide variety of formats, they have driven many innovations in providing access to library materials. As technology continues to transform the discovery and use of music, they are exploring ways to describe and provide access to music resources in a digital age. It is a time of flux in the field of music cataloging, and never has so much change come so quickly
The roots of today’s issues lie in the past, and the first part of the volume opens with two articles by Richard P. Smiraglia that establish the context of modern music cataloging through research conducted in the early 1980s. The second part explores cataloging theory in its current state of transition, and the concluding part looks to the future by considering the application of emerging standards. The volume closes with a remembrance of A. Ralph Papakhian (1948–2010), the most prominent music cataloger of the past thirty years—a figure who initiated many of the developments covered in the volume and who served as a teacher and mentor for all of the contributors.