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Score Call Numbers in the Music Library: Outline

How to read M call numbers, M call number browsing, class M outline, and guides for specific genres of music

Overview

The Dickinson classification system for scores and printed music is based on ten broad classes. All numbers are treated as decimals (for example, 1, 11, 2, 210, 21, 21019, 22).

The top-level divisions and common classes within each are listed in the outline below.

Class M Outline

0

Works for various mediums

 

 

Historical Editions/Denkmäler

01

 

Facsimiles

04

 

Complete works of a composer

05

 

Jazz (instrumental transcriptions)

08

 

 

 

1

Keyboard

 

 

Piano/harpsichord

11

 

Piano duos, trios, etc.

12

 

Organ

15

 

 

 

2

Bowed strings

 

 

Violin & piano

21

 

Viola & piano

22

 

Cello & piano

23

 

Double bass & piano

24

 

 

 

3

Winds

 

 

Flute or recorder & piano

31

 

Oboe or English horn & piano

32

 

Clarinet & piano

33

 

Bassoon & piano

34

 

Horn & piano

35

 

Trumpet & piano

36

 

Trombone & piano

37

 

 

 

4

Percussion; plucked strings; miscellaneous

 

 

Harp

41

 

Guitar

43

 

Mandolin

44

 

Lute

45

 

Percussion solo

46

 

Musique concrète

48

 

 

 

5

Chamber ensembles, fewer than 10 performers

 

 

Bowed string ensembles

52

 

Wind ensembles

53

 

Plucked string with percussion

54

 

Percussion ensembles

546

 

Bowed string & wind ensembles

55

 

Indeterminate & unspecified combinations

58

 

 

 

6

Large instrumental ensembles

 

 

Full orchestra

61

 

String orchestra

62

 

Band

63

 

Chamber orchestra/large chamber ensembles

65

 

Concertos

661 to 6646

 

Piano concertos

661

 

Violin concertos

6621

 

Concerti grossi

665

 

Double, triple, etc., concertos

666

 

 

 

7

Solo voices; folk music

 

 

Misc. collections; pop/rock piano/vocal/guitar

7

 

Voice solo & 1 instrument, secular

71

 

Folk music

74

 

Voice solo & 1 instrument, sacred

75

 

 

 

8

Choral ensembles

 

 

Secular choral works

81

 

Sacred choral works

85

 

Sacred choral works, unaccompanied; motets

860

 

Liturgical works; masses

87

 

Hymns

88

 

 

 

9

Dramatic ensembles

 

 

Operas

91

 

Opera vocal scores

91=01

 

Musicals/Musical theater

933

 

Ballets

95

 

Incidental music

97

More Details

The Dickinson classification system in use at UB has evolved over time to include new instruments and combinations. There are not a lot of libraries that use this system, and versions at different libraries have diverged. For a more detailed history, please see

Bradley, Carol June. The Dickinson Classification: A Cataloguing & Classification Manual for Music ; Including a Reprint of the George Sherman Dickinson CLASSIFICATION OF MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS. Carlisle, Pa.: Carlisle Books, 1968. MUSIC ML111.B78.

(Library staff or LIS students: you can access a full working copy of the schedule that UB uses for internal staff below. This is NOT a guide to the collection for UB users, but may be of historical or professional interest.)

Associate Librarian/Archivist

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John Bewley
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