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Music : BCM Classification System

Everything you need to know about music resources and how to find them in the ECU library

British Catalogue of Music (BCM)

The ECU Library has a dedicated area for the music scores and sound recording collection. The printed music scores are arranged using the British Catalogue of Music Classification Scheme, or BCM and are arranged by  instrument and music genre within the instrument. This means that all vocal music, piano sontata, big band charts etc. are all shelved together.

Composer family names complete the last three letters of the code.

If you would like to browse the scores in your own area of repertoire, the BCM system is very useful in organising like music on the shelves. Just check the shelf label to guide you in the right direction.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list, but is broadly-representative.


Brahms Sonata for violin and piano in D minor, op. 108

Violin - Solo with Piano - Sonata

S - P - E BRA

Guitar Tutor by Charles Gregory

Guitar - Tutorial


BCM Shelf Codes

BCM Shelving Scheme

End Codes to indicate genre, type of music
C Vocal music /AC Tutors
CC Opera /AD Studies
CM Musicals /AF Exercises
D Choral music /AY Collection or Anthology
DC Oratorios E Sonatas
DE Cantatas G Suites
DG Masses /HM Ballet music
DH Motets, Anthems or Hymns /HX or /HJ Jazz
E Choral music with instruments other than keyboard /HHW Blues
EZ Choral music unaccompanied JZ Miscellaneous
F Choral music for female voices K Arrangements
G Choral music for male voices NQ Septets
J Unison vocal works NR Quintets
JFDW Children's songs NS Quartets
KDW/AY Collections of popular music pre-1950s NT Trios
KDW/GB Collections of rock vocal music NU Duets
KDW/JR Film music P Solos with piano or other keyboard accompaniment
KFTDW Classical vocal music for high voice PL Solos with second instrument other than keyboard
KFVDW Classical vocal music for medium voice PM Unaccompanied solo
KFXDW Classical vocal music for low voice    
L Instrumental music (General and unspecified)    
M Orchestral music    
N Chamber music    
PHX Jazz    
Q Piano    
R Organ    
RPV Electric organ    
S Violin    
SQ Viola    
SR Cello (Violoncello)    
SS Double bass    
TQ Harp    
TS Guitar    
V Woodwind    
VR Flute    
VS Recorder    
VT Oboe    
VU Saxophone    
VV Clarinet    
VW Bassoon    
WS Trumpet    
WT Horn    
WU Trombone    
WV Tuba    
X Percussion instruments    
Z Non-European music