Each item in the Music Library has a unique Call Number, which has 2 functions:
In the Library of Congress Classification System, “M” designates music as subject. But when we have a whole library full of “M” items, we need to make it more specific! Print materials will have one of 3 broad subjects: M=sheet music/scores, ML= literature about music, MT=music instruction & study
Line 2 is for the general topic and is always a whole number. 410 means it’s a biography.
Line 3 gets more specific and tells us the book is about Benjamin Britten, since .B853 is his code. In this line, the number is a decimal, so .B853 (Britten) would come before .B88 (Bruckner).
Line 4 is based on the author of the book, Neil Powell, and is also treated as a decimal number.
Line 5 is the year of publication. Sometimes this is in the 4th line, while other times it’s just left out.
With each line of the call number, you get closer to the book itself. There are 210 shelves of music literature (ML), 64 shelves of biographies (410), 20 of them about Benjamin Britten, and only 1 written by Neil Powell. If he’d written more than one, then the year of publication would narrow it to the correct one.
Call numbers for recordings work very much the same way.
MCD tells you the format: MCD means a CD, MDV means a DVD, MD means an LP, etc.
1704 tells you this is vocal music
.P75 is for Vilém Přibyl (the singer)
E94 is for Evening Songs, the title of the CD
2019 tells you when it was produced.
M = sheet music/scores
ML = literature about music
MT = music instruction & study
MCD = CD
MDV = DVD
MD = LP
Library of Congress Classification Outline
UMich Libguide on LoC Call Numbers