What On Earth Is ANSCR?

Believe it or not ANSCAR is a real term and not a made up word!

The term ANSCAR is actually, as you probably guessed; an acronym for what is essentially library lingo!

ANSCAR stands for “The Alpha Numeric System for Collections of Recordings.”

And the word is actually pronounced as if it were spelled “answer”  — just ignore that “A!”

And if you’re a music fan you should read on because ANSCAR is the system our library uses to file music on CD.

And despite the fact that digital music is exceptionally popular today CDs are still around, we still add them to our collection on a regular basis and they still circulate with furious intensity!

People do love music! (And the library staff does too!)

So if you’re in the library and you love music – you should check out some of our CDs!

The basic gist of the CD classification system is that there are 42 one or two letter prefix codes for the call numbers of music CDs in public library land; and after the prefix code you find the first four letters of the artist, composer or group.

So if you’re looking for the Abbey Road CD by The Beatles you would find that CD is filed thus: MR BEAT AR. Now, there would also be some numbers and letters after the AR so the full ANSCAR code for the Abbey Road CD is this: MR BEAT AR B62.

To break down the ANSCR code for Abbey Road:

The prefix code MR stands for “Rock, Rhythm & Blues.” *1(The entire ANSCAR classification scheme is listed below!)

The next four letters are the first four of the group’s name or the name of the artist – BEAT, of course, stands for Beatles.

The second set of letters in the code –  “AR” consists of the first letter in each of the first two words, or three words, of the title – in this case the title only has two words so the “A” is the first letter of Abbey and the “R” is the first letter of Road.

The third set of letters, which is actually just one letter – “B,” is the first letter in the name of the group or the last name of the artist – thus the “B” is the first letter in the name Beatles.*2

And the final two numbers seen right after the “B” – the “62” are the last two numbers of the record company assigned catalog number of the CD.  You can find these numbers on the disc itself – and the whole catalog number for this CD version of Abbey Road is: CDP 7 46446 2.

A few more examples of ANSCR classification codes for CDs the library owns are:

Sinatra with Love by Frank Sinatra – MA SINA SWL S 02 (MA stands for Popular Music)

Peaches & Cream: Dances & Marches by John Phillips Sousa – H SOUS PC C05 (H is for brass Band Music)

Birth of Cool by The Miles Davis Quartet – MJ DAVI BOC D27 (MJ stands for Jazz)

Out Among The Stars by Johnny Cash – MC CASH OAS C32 (MC stands for Country & Western Music)

So that is the basic lowdown on how the music compact discs are shelved in our library!

On a related note, if you’re ever looking for a music title you can’t find ask the staff! We’ll either request it from another library if our copy is out or see if we can’t purchase a copy for our collection.

And if you love music – you should also check out the new Freegal Music Service that allows all patrons to download and keep three free songs per week! You can download and keep the songs on a tablet, smartphone or computer.

If you’re using a tablet or smartphone look for the Freegal Music app in your app store.

And if you’re using a PC click on the following link to visit the Freegal Music Services website and log in (with your library card number an PIN)


And on another musical note, our Digital Literacy Service staff is going to be hosting a new music program this fall called “Music Old & New & Open Mic Too.”

Our new program will feature tips on how you can use modern technology to enjoy music today as well as a short presentation and will highlight traditional hands on music including: traditional American folk music, blues, country and even a bit of rock n ’roll too.

We’ll feature a discussion section when all attendees will be encouraged to share suggestions as to great songs, artists and albums they enjoy and would recommend to others (and, with the recommenders permission, we will be posting those music suggestions on our blog so we can all access the information later & remember what was suggested!).

We’ll have a staff lead sing-along and close with an open mic session when anyone who wants to sing a song old or new will have the opportunity to do so. The first program is scheduled for Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 6 p.m. Join us!

And that is the library music update for today!

Have a great day!



*1: Here’s the entire ANSCAR Classification Scheme:

A          Music Appreciation: History & Commentary

B             Operas: Complete & 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 & Operettas

L             Soundtrack Music: Motion Pictures & Television

M           Popular Music

MA         Pop Music

MC         Country/Western

MG         Contemporary Christian/Gospel

MJ          Jazz

ML         Latin Pop Music

MN        New Age

MR         Rock, Rhythm and Blues, etc.

P             Folk and Ethnic Music (National)

Q            Folk and Ethnic Music (International)

R             Holiday Music

S             Varieties & Humor

T             Plays

U            Poetry

Y             Sounds & Special Effects

Z             Children’s Recordings

ZI            Children’s Recordings: Instructional

ZM         Children’s Recordings: Music

ZR           Children’s Recordings: Holiday

ZS           Children’s Recordings: Spoken


*2: For classical recordings the letter in that fourth set of letters/numbers may be the first one in the name of the production company or the title of the piece.


ANSCR Classification Summary. Alvin Sherman Library, and Information Technology Center. NOVA Southwestern University. Online. Accessed August 6, 2014, http://www.nova.edu/library/help/misc/anscr.html

The ANSCR Classification System for Sound Recordings. Cal State University Library. Online. Accessed August 6, 2014, http://web.calstatela.edu/library/guides/anscr_class.htm#Examples

4 thoughts on “What On Earth Is ANSCR?”

  1. Hi there I am so happy I found your webpage, I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Aol for something else,
    Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a tremendous post and a
    all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I
    will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.

  2. Singapore immigration have to be equity in asking question particularly we blacks that came from third world countries,we’re underdeveloped country subsequently do not
    count on us to have all your basic requirements earlier than allowing
    us to enter.

  3. Selon Gartner , les budgets marketing B2C et B2B représentent 10 % du chiffre d’affaires des entreprises, en croissance de 9 % en 2012 32 En général,
    cela signifie que le point de vente permet d’augmenter son efficacité et de déployer des method de
    Marketing sur un seule point de ventes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s