System Abbreviations

by G.E. Hewitt

Page generated on Sat, Dec 01, 2018


Here is a glossary of the system conventions used for the artist discographies published on this website. A description is provided for each term, although some are used for a specific artist and do not apply to all pages. Instrument abbreviations are found on a separate page.


I. Media Types
The lowercase abbreviations (acetate, disc, download) do not contain physical media for commercial sale. Open reel tapes and 8-track cartridges are not reported in this discography, although some LP albums also exist on those formats and with identical programming. The "download" format does not specify a file type or resolution, although such details are reported in the notes of some issues of this type.

1. acetate
Performance exists on an acetate recording, not usually for commercial sale.
2. disc
Performance exists on either a 12- or 16-inch transcription disc for airplay purposes.
3. 78
Performance issued on a 78 rpm disc. There is a UK variant of this format in use for Margaret Whiting singles that were issued in the United Kingdom with different programming.
4. 78/45
Performance issued on both a 78 rpm disc and a 45 rpm single. There is a UK variant of this format (as above).
5. 45
Performance issued on a 45 rpm single. There is a UK variant of this format (as above).
6. 45/CD Single
Performance issued on both a 45 rpm and Compact Disc single.
7. CD Single
Performance issued on a Compact Disc single.
8. Jukebox Single
Performance issued on a 33⅓ rpm single for a commercial establishment.
9. Jukebox EP
Performance issued on a 33⅓ rpm Extended Play disc for a commercial establishment.
10. EP
More than two performances issued on a 45 rpm or Compact Disc for an 'Extended Play' release.
11. 78 Album
Performance issued on a 78 rpm disc that is packaged within an album.
12. 78 Album/45 Box/10” LP
Performance issued on a 78 rpm disc, a 45 rpm single and a 10-inch Long Play record, and packaged as an album or in a boxed set.
13. 45 Box
Performance issued on a 45 rpm single and packaged in a boxed set.
14. EP Album/10” LP
Performance issued on a 45 rpm Extended Play disc and a 10-inch Long Play record, and packaged as an album.
15. 10” LP
Performance issued on a 10-inch Long Play record album or compilation.
16. LP
Performance issued on a 12-inch Long Play record album or compilation. May contain 1 or 2 discs.
17. LP/CS
Performance issued on a 12-inch Long Play record and cassette tape.
18. LP/CS/CD
Performance issued on a 12-inch Long Play record, cassette tape and Compact Disc.
19. LP/CD/download
Performance issued on a 12-inch Long Play record, Compact Disc and as a digital file download.
20. LP/SACD/download
Performance issued on a 12-inch Long Play record, Super Audio CD and as a digital file download.
21. CS
Performance issued on a cassette tape compilation.
22. CS/CD
Performance issued on cassette and Compact Disc.
23. CD
Performance issued on a Compact Disc album or compilation. May contain 1 or 2 discs.
24. CD/download
Performance issued on a Compact Disc and as a digital file download.
25. HDCD
Performance issued on a High Definition Compatible Digital disc.
26. SHM-CD
Performance issued on a Super High Material CD.
27. LP Box
Performance issued in a 12-inch Long Play boxed set that contains 3 or more discs.
28. CS/CD Box
Performance issued in both a cassette and Compact Disc boxed set.
29. CD Box
Performance issued in a Compact Disc boxed set that contains 3 or more discs.
30. VHS
Performance issued on a Video Home System videotape.
31. DVD
Performance issued on a Digital Video Disc.
32. DVD Box
Performance issued in a Digital Video Disc boxed set.
33. download
Performance issued as a digital file download.


II. Recording Session Types

1. Studio
Recordings produced for commercial purposes.
2. Promo
Recordings produced for promotional or demonstration purposes.
3. Private Session
Recordings produced at a private session.
4. Radio
Recordings produced for broadcast purposes.
5. Television
Performances filmed before or during a television broadcast.
6. Live
Broadcasts recorded in front of a live audience, or performances recorded live in concert.
7. Opry
Broadcasts recorded at (or for) the Grand Ole Opry.
8. Godfrey
Broadcasts recorded at (or for) Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, or Arthur Godfrey And Friends.
9. Celebrity Club
Broadcasts recorded at (or for) the Continental Celebrity Club.
10. Philip Morris
Broadcasts recorded at (or for) the Philip Morris Follies of 1946.
11. Barry Wood
Broadcasts recorded at (or for) the Barry Wood Show.
12. Pabst
Broadcasts recorded at (or for) the Eddie Cantor Pabst Show.
13. Club 15
Broadcasts recorded at (or for) Bob Crosby’s Club 15.
14. Guest Star
Broadcasts recorded at (or for) Guest Star Radio.
15. Bob Hope
Broadcasts recorded at (or for) the Bob Hope Show.
16. Jack Smith
Performances recorded at (or for) broadcasts hosted by Jack Smith.
17. AFRS
Broadcasts recorded for Armed Forces radio shows.


III. Performance Take Types

1. master (no abbreviation is displayed)
The superior take of a performance that is usually selected by the producer or recording engineer for a commercial release. Most studio recordings are of this type.
2. mono
This master was recorded onto multi-track tape, although a stereo mix is not available and the performance is only heard in mono. Masters recorded in mono DO NOT bear this description.
3. composite
This master was created by combining two or more direct-to-disk recordings, or by splicing together multiple tape recordings.
4. splice
This master was created by combining two tape recordings.
5. edit
This is an abridged version of a master recording, usually created for promotional purposes.
6. rejected
This master was deemed unsatisfactory for some reason. The performance is usually recorded again at a later session.
7. lost
This master is missing or destroyed.
8. overdub
This master features primary vocals overdubbed into a backing track, or new instruments recorded into an original track.
9. overdub/mono
This master features primary vocals overdubbed into a backing track using multi-track tape, although a stereo mix is not available.
10. overdub/edit
This master features new instruments recorded into an abridged performance of an original track.
11. overdub/alt
This performance features instrumental tracks that differ from the official version of the overdub.
12. remix
This is a remix of an original recording, usually made by incorporating new elements through the use of a computer synthesizer and editing software.
13. mashup
Similar to a remix, this is a newly synthesized master that is made by combining two or more original recordings.
14. alt
This is a different attempt, or take, of a studio recording. Alternate takes are held as backup copies of a performance, and are sometimes released by accident. In most cases, alternate takes are not as refined as master recordings, although they are not always the earlier attempt of a performance.
15. rhl
This is a rehearsal or warm-up take.
16. rhl/mono
This rehearsal take was recorded onto multi-track tape, although a stereo mix is not available.
17. fs
This is a false start; usually a breakdown that occurs shortly after the recording begins.
18. bd
Also known as a long false start, this type of breakdown can occur during any length of a performance.
19. inc
This is an incomplete performance.
20. backing tr
This is an instrumental backing track, sometimes with chorus, that is usually prepared so that an artist is free to record the vocal performance at a later date.
21. underdub
This master take is missing secondary elements that were overdubbed to create a master recording. An underdub should not be confused with an alternate take.
22. pro
This is a promotional recording, not usually for commercial sale.
23. demo
This is a demonstration recording, not usually for commercial sale.
24. demo/lost
This demonstration recording is missing or destroyed.
25. rt
This is a radio transcription or live broadcast that was recorded to disk for airplay or archival purposes.
26. film
This performance was recorded on film before or during a television broadcast.
27. film/lost
The film of this televised performance is missing or destroyed.
28. live
This performance was recorded live in concert, or broadcast in front of a live studio audience.