is the study and listing of the details concerning sound recordings, often by specified artists or within identified musical genres. The exact information included varies depending on the type and scope of the discography, but a discography entry for a specific recording will often list such details as the names of the artists involved, the time and place of the recording, the title of the piece performed, release dates, chart positions, and sales figures.
A discography can also refer to the recordings catalogue of an individual artist, group, or orchestra. This is distinct from a sessionography, which is a catalogue of recording sessions, rather than a catalogue of the records, in whatever medium, that are made from those recordings. The two are sometimes confused, especially in jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...
, as specific release dates
In the music industry, a release is usually a term referring to the creative output from an artist available for sale or distribution; a broad term covering the many different formats music can be released in, and different forms of pieces .The word can also refer to the event at which an album or...
for jazz records are often difficult to ascertain, and session dates are substituted as a means of organizing an artist's catalogue.
The term "discography" was popularized in the 1930s by collectors of jazz records. Jazz fans did research and self published discographies about when jazz records were made and what musicians were on the records, as record companies did not commonly include that information on or with the records at that time. Two early jazz discographies were Rhythm on Record
by Hilton Schleman
Hilton Schleman was an English author and wrote several book collections on jazz music.Schleman was a record company publicity man. His book Rhythm on Record: A Complete Survey and Register of All the Principal Recorded Dance Music from 1906-36 and a Who's Who of the Artists Concerned in the Making...
and Hot Discography
by Charles Delaunay
Charles Delaunay was a French author, jazz expert, co-founder and long-term leader of the Hot Club de France....
A compilation of an artist's music video
A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings...
s or video
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...
releases can be referred to as a "videography".
Notable books of discography
- Andrews, Frank - Columbia 10" records, 1904-30. [London] : City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society, 1985
- Arnold, Claude Graveley - The Orchestra on Record, 1896-1926: An Encyclopedia of Orchestral Recordings Made by the Acoustical Process, Greenwood Press 1997
- Brooks, Tim - Little Wonder Records, The New Amberola Phonograph Company 1999
- Connor, D. Russell and Hicks, Warren W. - BG On The Record; A bio-discography of Benny Goodman, Arlington House 1969
- Dethlefson, Ronald - Edison Blue Amberol Recordings 1912-1914, (2nd Edition) Stationery X-Press 1997
- Dixon, Robert M.W., John Godrich and Howard W. Rye: Blues & Gospel Records 1890-1943, 4th ed., Clarendon Press 1997
- Fagan, Ted and Moran, William - The Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Records vol. 1, Greenwood Press 1983
- Fagan, Ted and Moran, William - The Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Records vol. 2, Greenwood Press 1986
- Fancourt, Les and Bob McGrath - The Blues Discography 1943-1970, Eyeball Productions 2006
- Flower, John - Moonlight Serenade; A bio-discography of the Glenn Miller civilian band, Arlington House 1972
- Jepsen, Jorgen Grunnet - Jazz Records, 1942-196x, Karl Emil Knudsen 1963-1970
- Jones, Mark - Bristol Folk: a Discographical History of Bristol folk music in the 1960s and 1970s, Bristol Folk Publications 2009
- Jones, Mark - The Famous Charisma Discography, The Record Press 2010
- Jones, Mark - The Saydisc and Village Thing Discography, The Record Press 2010
- Johnson, Richard J. - Elsie Carlisle, a discography, published privately 1994
- Kiner, Larry F. - The Al Jolson Discography, Greenwood Press 1983
- Koenigsberg, Allen - Edison Cylinder Records 1889-1912, (2nd Edition) APM Press 1987
- Laird, Ross - Tantalizing Tingles A Discography of Early Ragtime, Jazz, and Novelty Syncopated Piano Recordings, 1889-1934, Greenwood Press 1995
- Laird, Ross - Moanin'Low; A discography of female popular vocal recordings 1920-1933, Greenwood Press 1996
- Laird, Ross - Brunswick records: a discography of recordings, 1916-1931, Greenwood Press, 2001.
- Laird, Ross & Rust, Brian - Discography of OKeh Records, 1918-1934. By Ross Laird and Brian Rust. Praeger, 2004
- Millar, Jack - Discography of Billie Holiday to 1999, Fine and Mellow published 1998 by The Billie Holiday Publishers
- Moses, Julian Morton - American Celebrity Recordings 1900-1925, Monarch Record Enterprises, 1993
- Ruppli, Michel - Atlantic Records, Greenwood Press 1979
- Ruppli, Michel - The Savoy Labels, Greenwood Press 1980
- Ruppli, Michel & Porter, Bob - The Prestige Label, Greenwood Press 1980
- Ruppli, Michel - The Chess Labels, Greenwood Press 1983
- Ruppli, Michel - The King Labels, Greenwood Press 1985
- Ruppli, Michel - The Clef/Verve Labels, Greenwood Press 1986
- Ruppli, Michel - The Aladdin/Imperial Labels, Greenwood Press 1991
- Ruppli, Michel & Novitsky, Ed - The Mercury Labels, Greenwood Press 1993
- Ruppli, Michel - The Decca Labels, Greenwood Press 1996
- Ruppli, Michel & Novitsky, Ed - The MGM Labels, Greenwood Press 1998
- Ruppli, Michel, Daniels, Bill & Novitsky, Ed - The Capitol Label Discography, Names & Numbers, 2007
- Russell, Tony - Country Music Records; A discography, 1921-1942, Oxford University Press, 2004
- Rust, Brian
Brian Rust , was an English jazz discographer.Brian Arthur Lovell Rust was born in London, and collected records from the age of five. He worked in the BBC's record library from 1945 to 1960, and supervised broadcasting selections...
- The Victor Master Book Vol. 2, published by the author, 1969
- Rust, Brian - The American Dance Band Discography, Arlington House 1975
- Rust, Brian - London Musical Shows On Record 1897 - 1976, General Gramophone Publications 1977
- Rust, Brian - British Music Hall On Record, General Gramophone Publications 1979
- Rust, Brian and Forbes, Sandy - British Dance Bands On Record 1911 to 1945, General Gramophone Publications 1987
- Rust, Brian and Debus, Allen G.
Allen George Debus was an American historian of science, known primarily for his work on the history of chemistry and alchemy. In 1991 he was honored at the University of Chicago with an academic conference held in his name. Paul H...
- The Complete Entertainment Discography from 1897 to 1942, (2nd Edition) Da Capo Press 1989
- Rust, Brian & Brooks, Tim - The Columbia Master Book Discography, Greenwood Press, 1999.
- Rust, Brian - Jazz and Ragtime Records (1897 - 1942), (6th Edition) Mainspring Press 2003
- Smith, Russell & Burgis, Peter - Peter Dawson; The world's most popular baritone (with complete song title discography), Currency Press 2001
- Sutton, Allan - Cakewalks, Rags and Novelties; The International Ragtime Discography (1894 - 1930), Mainspring Press 2004