Category Archives: organizing

THE RULES, Part 2 (of 37) Finding the Tunes

A friend of mine started reading my blog a few days ago and said, “Heavy stuff!” Hmm, this about a blog that has revealed that the creator makes bird noises? OK, something REALLY frivolous, then:
I arrange my CDs (and used to arrange my LPs, before they got moved around so often that they have no particular order) in this way:

  • Classical, by composer (and chronologically within the composer range)
  • Classical compilations, alphabetically by title
  • Pop, by artist (and chronologically within the artist range)
  • Pop compilation, by title

    Of course, these are RULES, so it’s never that simple.

  • Classical means that the composer is more prominent than the performer: Beethoven, Gershwin, Scott Joplin- all classical
  • Pop is defined as “everything else”. I know some folks put their music in categories: folk, jazz, heavy metal, whatever. My problem is that I don’t think the labels really MEAN anything. Recently, I was in a conversation about “punk”. Were the Ramones punk? Was the Clash, or were they too competent? I’ve read the definition of “emo”, e.g., and STILL don’t know what it is.
    Moreover:
    Bruce Springsteen won a Grammy for contemporary folk. Am I to put that album in one category and, say, “Born in the U.S.A.” in another?
    A more striking example is k.d. lang, who started off as a country artist and became a chanteuse. It’s much easier just to look under “L”.

    Besides, an alphabetical list generates a more interesting shelf read: Bill Miller (Native American/popular), Glenn Miller (big band), Roger Miller (country), Steve Miller (rock). “Shelf read”: a librarian must have written that.

    In the pop compilation category, I violate my own rules (but they’re MY rules, so I can do that), in the placement of tribute albums, mostly because I’m having an increasingly difficult time REMEMBERING what they’re called. So I’ve moved:

  • Common Threads from C to E (for Eagles)
  • Complete Stax/Volt Singles from C to S
  • Come Together (both of them, one country, one Motown) from C to B (for Beatles)
  • Enconium to from E to L (for Led Zeppelin)
  • For the Love of Harry from F to N (for Nilsson)
  • Till the Night is Gone from T to P (for Doc Pomus)
  • “Tribute to…” albums from T to the respective artists (M for Curtis Mayfield, V for Stevie Ray Vaughn, e.g.)
  • All the albums starting with “Concert for” under the next significant word (Bangladesh, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

    You may think this is anal. *I* think this may be anal. But I can FIND items in my collection, which is all a librarian can really want.