Best Practices for Using LCMPT Version 1.4 and LCGFT Version 1.2 now available

The Vocabularies Subcommittee (Cataloging and Metadata Committee, Music Library Association) is pleased to announce the release of Best Practices for Using LCMPT v.1.4 (July 8, 2019) and Best Practices for Using LCGFT for Music Resources v.1.2 (July 8, 2019). Current MLA best practices as well as superseded versions for historical interest may be found at If you have the BPs bookmarked, please make sure your link takes you to the current version.

LCMPT v.1.4

In addition to organizational and style changes, including a table of contents, version 1.4 of the BPs for LCMPT is significantly expanded. Added sections and examples include:

  • MARC coding: alternative instruments, hymns and similar vocal works, vocal range abbreviations, use of $3
  • Partial medium of performance statements: use case for choice to omit field 382
  • Band and wind ensemble: new section
  • Number of hands: added examples
  • Entirely unspecified medium: new section
  • Visuals and Mixed media: new section, including discussion of video recordings. (Note: Discussion at the VS meeting at MLA 2019 indicated that differentiating between these LCMPT terms may warrant a separate project to address the scope notes in LCMPT.)
  • Operas and other dramatic works: use case for choice to omit field 382
  • Percussion: “typically nonmusical objects” example moved here
  • Voice characteristics: new section, with recommendation generally not to record gender if vocal range (soprano, alto, etc.) is the only information on the resource
  • Medium not in LCMPT: new section, and link to SACO Music Funnel information
  • Movements that may be performed separately: new section
  • Material accompanying a manifestation: new section

LCGFT v.1.2

In addition to organizational and style changes, including a table of contents, topics with new or expanded sections or examples in version 1.2 of the BPs for LCGFT for music resources include: sound recordings, chamber music, excerpts, neither art/folk, moving images capturing musical works or performances, operas and arias, lead sheets and fakebooks, compilations, and program music. Guidance for use of LCGFT term “Sound recordings” was revised.

Send your suggestions

Nearly all of the additions reflect suggestions from practicing catalogers. We encourage submissions to the suggestion box, and we monitor MLA-L, MOUG-L, and other email lists for threads where catalogers grapple with constructing medium of performance statements in MARC 382 or applying LC Genre/Form terms for music. We hope the new version provides relevant guidance, and we welcome and encourage your ongoing comments and questions.