Resource review—the Schwann Catalogs
—Contributed by ETAF
Probably the best, most comprehensive set of catalogs of recorded
music. A web site where you can subscribe to music listings, look up
volumes of musical facts, and buy operatic, rare, and other kinds of
- Opus: An exhaustive list of recordings of
classical music, most in print, some out of print, sorted by
composer and collection, whose theme, "The Classical Music
Resource," is undoubtedly accurate. It's not the only such resource,
but it's one of the best.
- Artist: A guide to performers if classical music.
- Spectrum: "A guide to Jazz, Broadway, the world, and
- Popular: An anthology of popular music.
For a subscription fee, you can gain online access to the Catalogs:
- Contents of Opus and Spectrum
- Information on Out-of-Print listings.
- Search engine.
- Reviews, articles, interviews.
You can also purchase recordings from the Schwann Music Mart.
History of the Catalog
The inception and history of the Schwann Catalogs is one of the great
chapters in the story of American culture.
See the story of the catalog and its founder:
Systems for cataloging music
The Schwann Catalogs were prodigious users of systems for cataloging
music, especially classical music. As you pour through the pages of a
Schwann, you can readily see the vital role that composer classifying
systems played in the catalog's design and production. The Schwann catalogs
could not have been successful without them; they immeasurably enhanced the
value of the catalog for the music public.
Shwann's use of composer classifying systems serves as an outstanding
example of the value that composer classifying systems of any kind bring to
the public and to the world of music at large.
- Explore some of the composer classifying systems used by the Schwann
Catalog at The Muse Of Music's feature called Systems For Cataloging
Schwann catalogs may be obtained through the ETAF-Amazon Association.
Conditions in the book industry change rapidly and new editions may no
longer be printed. Old editions contain lots of information that may
still be of value; some may be available at Amazon from used book
You may also purchase Schwann catalogs from Schwann Online or at
many record stores.
Lately some quarters of the recording industry have fallen on hard times. As a result, some Schwann catalogs may no longer be in print, or you may have trouble
finding them in record stores.
The Classical music catalog has been
especially hard hit. If you have trouble locating a current catalog but
come on an old one in a used bookstore, record store, or library, keep in
mind that old catalogs contain lots of information that an audiophile will
find worth having. Many of the recordings in the old catalogs are
still on shelves or available online and some catalogs are still in print.