There are 3 versions of Beethoven’s Fidelio in the authority file: 1805, 1806, and 1814.
They have authorized access points in the form:
Beethoven, Ludwig van, ǂd 1770-1827. ǂt Fidelio ǂn (1805)

Subfield $n is defined as “number of part/section of a work.”  (
The MARC authority format includes the example

1#$wnnaa$aHindemith, Paul,$d1895-1963.$tSonata,$mpiano, 4 hands$n(1938)
[Parenthetical date in music titles is a part/section of a work.]


1#$aHindemith, Paul,$d1895-1963.$tVierhaendige Sonata fuer zwei Klaviere, 1938
[Date is not a part/section number.]

It only serves to muddy the water since it uses a pre-AACR2 heading and the bracketed notes say that the same date is a part/section of the work in one case and not a part/section in the other case.  The AAP for the work includes no date.

The MARC bibliographic format ( includes “or a date used to distinguish one work from another” in the definition of $n.  What is the justification for this treatment?  It includes very different types of data in the same subfield, and it treats the same type of data (date of a work) differently depending on the genre of the title.  “Date added parenthetically to a title to distinguish between identical titles entered under the same name is not separately subfield coded” is noted in the authority format under subfield $f (Date of a work), which seems more like a date of manifestation.  The dates for Fidelio seem to be dates of expressions (RDA 6.10), which the RDA to MARC Authority Mapping maps to subfield $f, but subfield $s (Version) seems like a better match.

Considering everything else that has been turned on its head, why is this still being done?

John Hostage
Senior Continuing Resources Cataloger
Harvard Library--Information and Technical Services
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Harvard Law School Library
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