Ha! David! Thank you for the excellent explanation.  I left out the other information you noted because I understood all that stuff (matrix, etc). This is from an edison cylinder (which one I dont currently have in front of me).
On this same subject, I was wondering if ARSC has any standards for cylinder discography (cylinderography?) notation? I see they have subcommittees on both cylinders and discography related topics 
Thanks again

David Lewis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi all, I am new to reading discographies and was wondering if there are certain discographical "standards" for notation and structure of an entry.  For example a title  entry such as:
LA TRAVIATA (Giuseppe Verdi / Francesco M. Piave), II/ 5: Duetto (Germont) "Pura siccome un angelo" <1>
I can figure a few things out "La Traviata" is the title, Verdi wrote the music, Piave wrote the (words?) what does II/5 mean and the rest? what does <1> mean?  
"Generally accepted" standards do not exist yet for discography. Many may disagree with this statement, but the wide variety of approaches to 
discographical data seen everywhere bears this out. Most discographers prefer to have the method fit the means depending on what they are working
with. For now, that is probably still neccessary to some degree, due to the variant types of information that individual reserachers have access to
given the project under consideration.  
Brian Rust style discography, or some varient of it, is used most commonly of the examples I've seen. Here is a rough summary:
ARTIST                                                                    LOCATION/DATE
Personnel listing
Matrix number - take            Title (composers)            Label/Issue No.
In your rather unusual case, Piave is the librettist/lyricist. The opera La Traviata is the metawork from which this excerpt is drawn,
but the Duetto "Pura siccome un angelo" is the selection derived from it and recorded here. "II/5"means that it comes from Act II, Scene 5
of "La Traviata." "Germont" is the name of a character in the opera. I have no idea what the "<1>" signifies, unless it is a take number.
For an Artist entry:
Premier (mV4) [John H. Bieling (T), Billy Murray (T), Steve C. Porter (Bar), William F. Hooley (Bs)], (O)
This is odd. "(mV4)" is used in place of the word "Quartet" to signify a male vocal quartet. The artist is the Premier Quartet,
and the designations after the name refer to the vocal ranges involved (2 tenors, a baritone and a bass.) The "(O)" means that
the accompaniment is provided by an Orchestra.
One thing lacking from this entry, as it is provided here, is any information about the record itself. If there is no matrix, label
or issue number then it kind of defeats the purpose of discography. I can tell you that the piece in question was recorded in
1913 or earlier, as John Bieling retired from recording that year owing to a vocal injury. This group of singers recorded for many
labels under several names.

David N. Lewis
Assistant Classical Editor
All Media Guide
1168 Oak Valley Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
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