The ANSCR Classification System for Sound Recordings

ANSCR categories

The Alpha-Numeric System for Classification of Recordings (ANSCR) is composed of over fifty major categories into which all sound recordings are organized.

A Music Appreciation: History and Commentary
B Operas: Complete and Highlights
C Choral Music
D Vocal Music
(E) Orchestral music
EA Orchestral music: General Orchestral
EB Orchestral music: Ballet Music
EC Orchestral music: Concertos
ES Orchestral music: Symphonies
F Chamber Music
(G) Solo Instrumental Music 
GG Solo Instrumental Music: Guitar
GO Solo Instrumental Music: Organ
GP Solo Instrumental Music: Piano
GS Solo Instrumental Music: Stringed Instruments
GV Solo Instrumental Music: Violin
GW Solo Instrumental Music: Wind Instruments
GX Solo Instrumental Music: Percussion Instruments
H Band Music
J Electronic, Mechanical Music
K Musical Shows and Operettas: Complete and Excerpts
L Soundtrack Music: Motion Pictures and Television
MA Popular Music
MB Blues/Rhythm and Blues/Soul
MC Country/Western
MD Big Band
MG Contemporary Christian/Gospel
MJ Jazz
ML Latin Pop
MM Heavy Metal
MN New Age
MP Rap/Hip-Hop
MR Rock, Rhythm and Blues, etc.
MW Pop World Music
N Wedding Music
P Folk and Ethnic Music (National)
Q Folk and Ethnic Music (International)
R Holiday Music
RC Christmas Music
* S Varieties and Humor
* SR Varieties and Humor: Radio Transcriptions
* ST Varieties and Humor: Television Transcriptions
* T Plays
* U Poetry
* V Prose (Fiction)
* VN Prose (Nonfiction)
* W Documentary: History and Commentary
* X Instructional or Informational Spoken Recordings
Y Sounds and Special Effects
(Z) Children's Recordings 
* ZI Children's Recordings: Instructional
ZM Children's Recordings: Music
ZR Children's Recordings: Holiday Music
ZRC Children's Recordings: Christmas Music
* ZS Children's Recordings: Spoken
* ZU Children's Recordings: Poetry

* Please note: Skokie Public Library no longer uses ANSCR for these categories; they are now either classified in fiction or with the Dewey Decimal Classification system.

ANSCR call number composition

ANSCR call number composition consists of four lines of information (called terms); each  is explained below.
Term One
Letter or letters representing one of the ANSCR categories
Term Two
Based on the ANSCR category specified in Term One, Term Two will be the first four consecutive letters of the composer's surname, performer's surname, author's surname, title, or topic
Term Three
Initial letters of the first three significant words of the title, or the first three consecutive letters of a one-word title
Term Four
First letter of the performer's surname (or production company if a children's recording) followed by the last two digits of the recording company's production number

ANSCR call number examples

In the following examples, the description of a sound recording is shown on the left and the resultant ANSCR call number is shown on the right. Recording descriptions include the ANSCR call number coding in parentheses following each item of information.

Example 1:

Term One:   Opera (B) B
Term Two:   Puccini (PUCC) PUCC
Term Three:   Manon Lescaut (ML) ML
Term Four:   Renata Tebaldi, Decca 1317 (T17) T17

Example 2:

Term One:   Orchestral music: Symphonies (ES) ES
Term Two:   Beethoven (BEET) BEET
Term Three:   Symphony No. 9 (9) 9
Term Four:   Eugene Ormandy, Columbia MS 7016 (O16) O16

Example 3:

Term One:   Musical Shows and Operettas (K) K
Term Two:   Oklahoma (OKLA) OKLA
Term Three:   Oklahoma (OKL) OKL
Term Four:   Shirley Jones, Capitol SK 595 (J95) J95

Example 4:

Term One:   Popular Music (MA) MA
Term Two:   Ella Fitzgerald (FITZ) FITZ
Term Three:   Ella Sings Cole Porter (ESC) ESC
Term Four:   Ella Fitzgerald, Verve 64049 (F49) F49

Example 5:

Term One:   Children's Recordings: Music (ZM) ZM
Term Two:   Sharon, Lois, & Bram (SHAR) SHAR
Term Three:   Singing 'n Swinging (SS) SS
Term Four:   Elephant Records, Elephant 0303 (E03) E03