[78-L] Monarch / Victor question [HA]

78-L Mail List 78-l at klickitat.78online.com
Tue May 6 10:47:15 PDT 2014

Some pages of Alan Kelly's French Gramophone Co. discography are viewable at Google Books, including numerical tables at pages xxix and xxx that show the full declensions of all these series. Page xxx shows the 3/8 prefixes that apply to French Gramophone and Zonophone issues, but the same patterns (I presume) should be valid across all marketing areas.


[Crossing fingers and hoping the Tinyurl address works.]

Like the "triplet" matrix system in use up to 1921, the numerical blocks may seem incredibly complicated at first but there is a definite logic to them once you wrap your head around them.

-H. Aherne [no more "HA" in the message body, I guess, until the list problems get sorted out]

On Tue, 5/6/14, 78-L Mail List <78-l at klickitat.78online.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [78-L] Monarch / Victor question--from Lennick, for Chris Zwarg
 To: "78-L Mail List" <78-l at klickitat.78online.com>
 Date: Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 10:29 AM
 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":
 1=Oriental, 2=Russian, 3=French, 4=German, 5=Italian, 
 6=Spanish, 7=Czech/Hungarian, 8=Scandinavian,
 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.
 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 
 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
 the others.
 This is because the serial part of the number
 (the last three digits) proceeds 
 and independently for each series, so we may encounter
 numbered 567, 5-0567, 1567, 2567,
 02567, 2-2567, 32567, 42567, etc., each with 
 DIFFERENT unrelated content recorded at
 DIFFERENT unrelated times and places. 
 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
 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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