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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Organising your music collection.

It’s been a hectic few months that’s for sure.  What with starting a new job and selling my house, I have been up to my neck in work and various chores.  But, now we are getting closer to the moving date, I have been packing and organising my music collection.

A big part of this is making sure everything is packed in a way so that it won’t get damaged.  I have had to ensure the boxes are thick enough to protect the CD jewel cases and tall enough so I can store my vinyl correctly.  It has been interesting finding some gems that I forgot I owned and enjoying seeing my complete collection of certain artists as I pack them securely in their boxes.

Once I move I will have to think of a way to store and display my collection in a suitable way.  Over the years it has kind of grown out of the various shelves and became jumbled and now I need to impose some order upon it again.  My father recently helped my brother build some bespoke shelves for his music collection and maybe that is something he’d be willing to do again.

Now the old question.  Do I display everything alphabetically and risk having Mozart being bed fellows with Madonna (I‘m not sure how either would feel about this arrangement)?  Or Seasick Steve and Sepultura next to each other vying for the dubious honour of most outlandish guitar sound.  Or even Will Smith with his modern rap style nestled next to Winston Churchill and his traditional English language during his war time speeches, each mildly offended by the other.  Or do I do it (as now) by genre and have my blues, jazz and metal collections all sitting in their own respective niches?  Never the musical twain shall meet on the shelves, as is often the case in real life. 

If I do it this way I get into another dilema. Is Gary Moore filed under blues or rock?  He has done both styles in his career.  Would you class a classical film soundtrack as classical or soundtrack?  Is Aretha Franklin soul or gospel when both styles are covered, often on the same album? And so the questions go on.

A part of me relishes the idea of sitting on the floor in my new study over the coming months as the seasons move from autumn to winter.  I’ll brew up a nice cup of tea, have a plate of biscuits and play various albums and songs as I organise my vast music collection.  There is something comforting in this task, although I’m sure it may be frustrating at times.

The funny thing is, in time I hope to build an extension on the house I’ve just bought  and have a proper study with built-in shelves and CD racking.  And then I’ll have to do it all over again.  I hope by that time Mozart and Madonna will have resolved their differences and will know if they’re willing to be shelf mates or not.


  1. OH COME ON! if they were next to each Mozart would be trying get his leg over and borrow money. good luck in your new home.EE

  2. Evil Edna said something sort of funny up there indeed! :)
    I just harked back to one of my fav. books and took this from an online site as a suggestion:
    "Nick Hornby describes the main character in High Fidelity organizing his records autobiographically, as in the order in which he got them. It’s described ass “the ultimate” because of the memories and soul-searching that are required to achieve it." I
    know you. This will appeal to you in some fashion. What do you say? As you believe that music is your life, you will remember where to put each record and CD handily if you do it autobiographically, and it will be meaningful! Very.
    xox jean

  3. Thanks EE.

    That's not a bad idea jean, although I'm not sure i'd be able to remember quite when I bought every album I own. But getting them to a close enough time frame may well be enough.

  4. I love this blog post! I opted for genre and then sections within it Rock, then soft rock, heavy rock, blues rock but I totally empathize with the dilemma! Everyone assumes that my music collection is alphabetic. Absolutely not! Enjoy it anyway, as I do when I peruse my collection. x

  5. Welcome back Music Monkey. This is always a dilemma for me and it's happening again now as my CD collection is fast outgrowing its current storage. I have always filed my vinyl and CDs by a sort of favourite artist/genre fashion. The precise method is known only to me, but I always seem to remember where everything is.
    My MP3 collection on hard disk is filed under surname followed by first name as in most music shops. Whatever protocol you adopt, good luck with it.