Discography (from ancient Greek δίσκος "disc" and γράφειν "to write"; i.e. recording of records; also discography , discography and discography ) is a list of published sound carriers compiled according to specific criteria, often arranged chronologically .
Like the bibliography in literature , the discographies – which appeared much later – are intended to systematically list the released sound carriers ( singles , long -playing records , EPs , CDs or DVDs ) in order to provide interested parties with a complete overview. In this form they are an important part of an artist 's biography . Sorting criteria can be music title , singer , musician , band , composer , record label or a specific onebe music style .  Scientific - musicologically oriented discographies also contain further information such as the recording studios involved , recording dates, the catalog number of the music label, the list of names of the cast or accompaniment together with the musical instrument played , the matrix number , the takes used in the mix or the playing time in chronological order. It becomes difficult when unreleased recordings, radio and private recordings or even bootlegs are to be recorded. Gordon Stevenson demands this in his essay, which also offers a historical overview of discographies.  People who primarily deal with the creation of discographies are called discographers.
The primary sources of a discography are recordings from recording studios or record labels. Secondary sources are the liner notes . In the recording studio, the entire cast is recorded in a recording sheet .  In addition to the recording date, the recording protocol contains the specific recording period (required for billing the studio costs) as well as the names of the people involved and thus forms the decisive basis for later discographies. This recording protocol is the basis for later musicological evaluations. The first discography appears in the liner notes accompanying the phonogram. Record labels create catalogs of recorded music about their published repertoire, from which discographies can be derived.
Discographies are part of normality in the music industry , especially in the USA and Great Britain . The first discographies were created in 1935 for Charles Delaunay 's jazz .  His first discography appeared in March 1935 under the title "Discographie de Bix et Trumbauer",  was still selective and therefore lacked completeness. Delaunay's book was first published in the USA in 1943.  Around the same time as the first French jazz discography, an "Encyclopedia of Recorded Music" appeared in New York in 1936. [8th]In the second edition of the American edition of Delaunay's work, the author wrote that since 1936 discographic research had become a real science, to which specialists worldwide had devoted themselves.  In 1942 a periodical list was published for the first time in England under the name "Discography". D. Russell Connor, in his 1942 paper What is Discography: Its Goal and Methods?, required that the discographer also include electrical transcriptions , radio recordings , film scores , unreleased material, private recordings of concerts and other performances. The term discography became common worldwide from 1968, when the book "Bibliographies, Subject and National" by Robert L. Collison  was published. Discography techniques were agreed at a meeting of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections between November 17 and 19, 1971.
Published detailed discographies are still rather a rarity in Germany. The former Deutsche Musikphonothek published a “Deutsche Discographe” from 1964. This was continued from January 1970 by the record catalog published by the German Music Archive of the German Library.  Since June 1973 there has been a mandatory deposit of sheet music and sound carriers to the German Music Archive. A team led by Rainer E. Lotz has been working on a German national discography on a private initiative since 1991to put together. It is divided into cabaret, dance music, German vocal recordings/songs, voice recordings, ethnic recordings and Judaica. However, the compilation is limited to German shellac records with 78 min -1 (i.e. no LPs) in the period between 1890 and 1960.
Internationally, the following scheme of a discography has prevailed in terms of form and content:
Joe Turner With Vann 'Piano Man' Walls' Orchestra Taft Jordan (trumpet), Budd Johnson (alto saxophone), Freddie Mitchell (tenor saxophone), Arleem Kareem (baritone saxophone), Harry Van Walls (piano), Rector Bailey (guitar), Leonard Gaskin (bass), Connie Kay (drums), Joe Turner (vocals) Atlantic Recording Studios, New York City, January 20, 1952 die no. Title label catalogue 786 I'll Never Stop Loving You Atlantic 960 786- I'll Never Stop Loving You (alt. Take) Atlantic LP 8033 787 Sweet Sixteen Atlantic 960, EP 536, LP 8005, LP 8081; Atco SD 33-376 788 JT Blues unreleased 789 Don't You Cry Atlantic 970, LP 8033 790 Poor Lover's Blues unreleased
First, the discography contains precise information about the name of the artist, followed by the name of the recording studio and the place and date of the recording session. The matrix number is a recording studio's ordinal number under which the master (or mother) tape containing the final mixdown of a piece of music is registered. This is followed by the title of the piece of music and the catalog number under which the record label released the title. The example shows that "Atlantic 960" appears twice, so there are two titles that must have been released on a single. The single Sweet Sixteen / I'll Never Stop Loving Youactually appeared in March 1952, barely two months after the recording session. Some titles have only been released on EP or LP, while the JT Blues and the Poor Lover's Blues have remained unreleased.
Discographies largely fulfill the information needs of collectors and the interests of the music industry, for which they are a by-product of phonograms and catalogues. Discographies organize the musicological data and record the sound recording production as completely as possible. They can be created independently of the musical style, so it doesn't matter if it's a recording of Gustav Mahler's First Symphony by Eugene Ormandy & The Philadelphia Orchestra or the West End Blues by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five. Discographies are an indispensable tool in studying the development of pop music and jazz and an important basis for the collector's decision-making.
With regard to the musical style , discographies in book form can be distinguished:
A large number of discographies are available on the Internet, for example via Muddy Waters ,  by British band leader Jack Hylton  or via the record label Sun Records and its artists. 
For the methodology of discography in the field of classical music, see Martin Elste : Evaluating discographies of classical music. In: Phonographic bulletin. No.54 (July 1989), pp. 64-77.