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Preferred Titles in Music

Qualifiers in Preferred Titles

Any kind of preferred title (form, distinctive, or collective) may have qualifiers added at the end in order to distinguish one kind of edition from another. Five qualifiers are encountered frequently in the catalog.

  • "Selections"
  • "Arranged"
  • "Vocal score" or "Chorus score"
  • "Libretto" or "Text"
  • Language(s) of translation(s) from the original language


"Selections": Indicates that the edition or recording contains only a portion of the work(s) described in the first part of the preferred title.

Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827.
Piano music. Selections
  • Used for a collection of two or more solo piano works by Beethoven, in various forms, but not including all of the piano works.
Schumann, Robert, 1810-1856.
Dichterliebe. Selections
  • Used for a collection of two or more songs form the sixteen-song cycle Dichterliebe, but not containing the complete cycle.


"Arranged":  The music has been aranged for a different medium of performance, or a different purpose than originally intended by the composer. One of the most frequent uses of "arranged" in preferred titles is with editions of works for instrumental soloist(s) and orchestra, with the orchestral accompaniment arranged for a keyboard instrument.

Brahms, Johannes, 1833-1897.
Concertos, piano, orchestra, no. 1, op. 15, D minor; Arranged
  • Used for an edition for solo piano with orchestra arranged for accompanying piano.
Joplin, Scott, 1868-1917.
Entertainer; Arranged
  • Used for an edition for other than piano of Joplin's ragtime piano work.


"Vocal score": For a work originally composed for voice(s) and instrumental ensemble (usually an orchestra), the music for accompanying instruments is arranged for a keyboard instrument. Commonly used for editions of operas, oratorios, etc., intended for study and rehearsal use by the singers.

Bizet, Georges, 1838-1875.
Carmen. Vocal score
  • Used for an edition of the complete music of the opera, but with the orchestra music arranged for piano.


"Chorus score": Similar to "Vocal score," but only the chorus parts (no solo voices) are printed, and the accompaniment is arranged for piano, or is omitted entirely.

Kodaly, Zoltan, 1882-1967.
Psalmus hungaricus. Chorus score
  • Used for an edition that prints only the chorus music for this work originally composed for tenor solo, chorus, and orchestra.


"Libretto" : The edition includes only the words of a large vocal work such as a opera or oratorio (i.e., the music is not printed).

Bizet, Georges, 1838-1875.
Carmen. Libretto
  • Used for a book that includes the words only of the opera.


"Text" or "Texts": The edition includes the words only of smaller vocal works, such as a song, song cycle, or song collection.

Schubert, Franz, 1797-1828.
Songs. Texts
  • Used for a book that contains the words only of all the songs of Schubert.


Language(s) of translation(s): The name of the language is added for an edition of a vocal work that includes a translation of the text to a language other than the original one.

Bizet, Georges, 1838-1875.
Carmen. Vocal score. English
  • Used for an edition for voices and piano of the complete opera, with text only in English, or in the original French and an English translation provided.
Bizet, Georges, 1838-1875.
Carmen. Libretto. English
  • Used for a book containing the text of the complete opera in English translation, with or without the original French text.