The Bibliographic Catalog

The catalog was created as a customized File Maker 15.0.3 database and follows the consolidated ISBD standard[1] and Spanish cataloging rules.[2] In addition to the prescriptive fields others were added to provide interesting information. The fields where the catalog departs from standard cataloging rules and/or practice include:

  • Publication
  • Physical description
  • Notes
  • Donor
  • Collection
  • Collection number

The Publication field contains the place, publisher, and year of publication. The publication date is frequently not given or does not appear on the roll. It can be difficult to find even in publishers’ catalogs. The date of composition, premiere, and/or sometimes even the production period of the publishers is used for an approximate publishing date.

The Physical Description indicates the number of rolls and the number of pitches for the piano player (65, 72, or 88). In this collection, we are dealing with 88-note rolls, as this number became standard from 1908 onwards after the Buffalo Convention. The last part of this field corresponds to the width of the roll in cm., for example, 1 rollo de pianola: 88 notas; 29 cm.

In the Notes field, the tempo or speed of the roll is indicated followed by Full Scale Themodist system, if applicable. The Themodist system allows for a different volume for separate voices in the melody and the accompaniment.

It is important to note the condition of the roll. If parts of the roll are broken or missing, the researcher will know whether the roll can be played or not. The paper may be perfect, but if the other parts of the roll are broken or missing, then it will not be possible to play it.

Instructions for the use of the roll are noted. Rolls belonging to Casa Victoria give instructions in three different languages (Spanish, English, and French) on the leader. Also, any seal or stamp on the box containing the roll or on the leader of the roll is also mentioned and explained. Many of the stamps that appear on the boxes belong to “Casa Tuero” or “Crédito Musical.” The price on the box is given and compared to the price in the publisher’s catalog, if available. The stamps for the payment of mechanical rights have also been highlighted and those that identify the titles of the pieces. Finally, the dates of composition and/or premiere, the place, and the theater when known are indicated.

The Donor name, Maria Jesús Casado García-Sampedro, appears in all the records. The Collection field records the collection accession number for the Archive of Recorded Sound, ARS0172.

The last field is the Collection number assigned to each roll: accession number (assigned to each roll as they came out of the boxes), followed by the first three letters of the composers’ surname in capital letters and the most significant part of the title of the piece in brackets. For example, “Dinah” by Harry Akst is “28/AKS (Dinah).”

Fig. no. 1. A record in File Maker 15 - Fig. nº 1. Ejemplo de un registro en File Maker 15.0.3
Fig. no. 1. A record in File Maker 15 - Fig. nº 1. Ejemplo de un registro en File Maker 15.0.3
Cataloged by Esther Burgos-Bordonau © - Realizado por Esther Burgos-Bordonau ©

Different sources were consulted for the rolls including the Spanish National Library’s catalog, where twelve records matched ones in the Archive of Recorded Sound collection. The publishers’ catalogs, dictionaries, encyclopedias, reference works, websites, and blogs also helped to check names, titles, genres, and musical styles.

However, the records shown in this exhibit follow the RDA cataloging rules, which tend to be the standardized system worldwide. Nonetheless, the Spanish version of this catalog, which follows the Spanish cataloging rules, together with the consolidated ISBD standard mentioned before, can be consulted here.

[1] Descripción bibliográfica internacional normalizada: ISBD. Ed preliminar consolidada. Madrid : ANABAD, D.L. 2010.

[2] Reglas de Catalogación. Edición nuevamente revisada, 7ª reimp. Madrid : Ministerio de Cultura, Subdirección General de Publicaciones, Información y Documentación, 2010.