Beethoven Thesaurus - Content

Content of the Beethoven Thesaurus

In order to facilitate use by the largest audience possible, the Thesaurus terms were derived from Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and subdivisions whenever possible. Additional headings more specific to Beethoven studies were created when necessary to lead users to subjects that they cannot search with LCSHs. The category headings were generally based on Genre Terms: A Thesaurus for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloguing (1983), the list prepared by the Standards Committee of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries and the American Library Association. As needed, these Category terms were supplemented with music and Beethoven-related terms.

The Beethoven Thesaurus currently consists of eight hierarchies, listed below. Following each term are scope notes, instructions on usage, and lists of associated terms.

  • Categories [formerly titled “Book genres”]: Terms to describe the type or format of books or other literature being indexed (e.g. Academic dissertations; Iconographies; Bibliographies; etc.). These terms are used in Category searches and limits.
  • Documents: Terms that identify or describe Beethoven’s manuscripts, autograph scores not in Beethoven’s hand, and other documents of his life and work, as well as terms associated with study of those documents (such as Sketches; Conversation books; Correction lists; Watermarks; etc.) The "letters" subcategory includes letters written by Beethoven (on on his behalf), as well as letters to and about Beethoven.
  • Free-floaters: Terms used as subdivisions to Beethoven’s name that describe Beethoven as a person, such as his physical appearance and character traits, relationships with other people, views on musical and non-musical subjects, his own performance and compositional practices, and daily activities and events of his life (e.g. Alcohol use; Conducting; Guardianship; Travels; Views on critics; etc.).
  • Free-floaters supplemental: Terms used as subdivisions to names other than Beethoven, including individuals (e.g. Franz Liszt) and institutions (e.g. Beethoven-Haus) to identify specific activities, events, or ideas associated with the name.
  • Geographical subjects: Terms that may be used alone to identify locations where Beethoven lived and worked (such as Heiligenstadt) or as geographic subdivisions to topical headings (such as Travels--Prague; Romanticism--Literature--Germany; etc.).
  • Music terms:Terms that describe aspects of Beethoven’s musical compositions (such as Heroic style; Metronome markings; Key relationships; etc.) or approaches to study of these works (e.g. Analysis; Harmonic rhythm; Key relationships; etc.).
  • General topical subjects: Terms from fields external to the field of music, such as general history, medicine, psychology, sociology, philosophy, etc. (e.g. French Revolution; Economics--Vienna--1800, etc.).
  • Works list: Terms that classify Beethoven’s complete works by genre (such as Symphonies; Concertos; etc.) in an alphabetical listing of all works by Opus, WoO, Hess, or other thematic catalog numbers, with cross-references. The genre terms or opus numbers may also be used to search for editions of Beethoven’s works in the library's online catalog.