Well, I can see how you may think quotaion marks next to track numbers
are redundant, however in my experience this is not the case.
A track number should signify a numbered program on the original or
transferred media. If you are always working with media where the titles
are clearly written or understood by listening, I can see how you may
think it is redundant. When you start dealing with one of a kind and
non-commercial recordings, different punctuation markings can signify
how much info you have about a given tune or program. For example if
they are singing words but you cant understand the title or hook line
but you can understand other lyrics it is nice to list those in a
finding aid, DB, label etc. in hopes someone can eventually tell you the
actual title. We typically put those lyrics we can understand in brackets.
1. [ Introduced him to my loved one and while they were waltzing]
It gives _that_ _track_ a title but does not imply it is the title of
the song. If the song is instrumental we may simply write for example
2. Bluegrass instrumental
No punctuation here as it simply describes what is on the track.
Sometimes if we hear an instrumental and we think we know the song but
aren't completely sure . We will describe the song then put brackets and
a question mark signifying our best guess of the title.
3. Instrumental [Tennessee Waltz?]
We also use parenthesis for subtitles etc
4. "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud Loud Music)"
This is how we do this here and it seems to be a pretty good system that
keep processers, archivists and patrons from getting confused, gives us
a chance to move on with our workflow instead of obsessing about a song
title, and clues researchers that we may need their input and/or
expertise. I would be interested in hearing about other systems to
differentiate between these things as well as flaws you may see in this
John A. Loy
Southern Folklife Collection