[78-L] Monarch / Victor question--from Lennick, for Chris Zwarg

78-L Mail List 78-l at klickitat.78online.com
Tue May 6 08:29:50 PDT 2014

I can't find Earl's comment on this matter but Christian Zwarg has asked me to 
forward the following.


Gramo cat. numbers from 1898 to 1929 consist of (from RIGHT to LEFT!)

I - a three-digit serial number
II - a digit indicating Genre (contrary to what Earl expressly and 
nonsensically claims!!!):
    (blank or zero)=band/orchestra,1=speech, 2=male vocal, 3=female vocal, 
4=vocal groups, 5 to 8=various instrumental solos and groups, 9=miscellaneous 
(I'm leaving out the finer subdivisions here which are quite complicated)
III - a digit indicating "Language", or rather "area of sale":
    (blank)=English, 1=Oriental, 2=Russian, 3=French, 4=German, 5=Italian, 
6=Spanish, 7=Czech/Hungarian, 8=Scandinavian, 9=Dutch
IV - various further digits indicating size (leading zero=12-inch), price 
category etc.
V - optionally, another hyphenated figure to indicate the multiple use of a 
number after a block was filled once

So, Earl's example 2-033000 is the first entry (000) in the second (2-) block 
of French (3xxxx) female vocal (3xxx) 12-inch (0...) discs.

The important thing to remember is that, e.g. among the French male vocal 
block, 2-32000 follows 32999, and 3-32000 follows 2-32999 (because 33000 and 
2-33000 are already in the FEMALE block so each "male" series comes to a 
natural end there). Earl's description of numbers simply proceeding numerically 
within each set of 10000 numbers allocated to one country is utterly 
misleading. There is no chronological relation whatever between numbers like


because though all of them are part of the German catalogue each of them 
belongs to a block defined by GENRE DIAMETER which proceeds independently from 
the others.

This is because the serial part of the number (the last three digits) proceeds 
separately and independently for each series, so we may encounter records 
numbered 567, 5-0567, 1567, 2567, 02567, 2-2567, 32567, 42567, etc., each with 
DIFFERENT unrelated content recorded at DIFFERENT unrelated times and places. 
This complicated system covers a much larger number of records than Victor's 
simple four- and five-digit cat. nrs. ever did during that period - the Gramo. 
Co.'s British and German catalogues alone are, each of them, larger than 
Victor's US output in terms of the number of titles offered, and yet they are 
only a small part of the total picture.



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