Discography is the study and cataloging of published sound recordings, often by specified artists or within identified musical genres. The exact information included varies depending on the type and scope of the discography, but a discography entry for a specific recording will often list such details as the names of the artists involved, the time and place of the recording, the title of the piece performed, release dates, chart positions, and sales figures.
A discography can also refer to the recordings catalogue of an individual artist, group, or orchestra. This is distinct from a sessionography, which is a catalogue of recording sessions, rather than a catalogue of the records, in whatever medium, that are made from those recordings. The two are sometimes confused, especially in jazz, as specific release dates for jazz records are often difficult to ascertain, and session dates are substituted as a means of organizing an artist's catalogue.
The term "discography" was popularized in the 1930s by collectors of jazz records. Jazz fans did research and self-published discographies about when jazz records were made and what musicians were on the records, as record companies did not commonly include that information on or with the records at that time. Two early jazz discographies were Rhythm on Record by Hilton Schleman and Hot Discography by Charles Delaunay.
A compilation of an artist's music videos or video releases can be referred to as a "videography".
Notable books of discography
- Andrews, Frank - Columbia 10" records, 1904-30. [London] : City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society, 1985
- Arnold, Claude Graveley - The Orchestra on Record, 1896-1926: An Encyclopedia of Orchestral Recordings Made by the Acoustical Process, Greenwood Press 1997
- Brooks, Tim - Little Wonder Records, The New Amberola Phonograph Company 1999
- Connor, D. Russell and Hicks, Warren W. - BG On The Record; A bio-discography of Benny Goodman, Arlington House 1969
- Cuscuna, Michael; Michel Ruppli (2001). The Blue Note Label. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31826-3.
- Dethlefson, Ronald - Edison Blue Amberol Recordings 1912-1914, (2nd Edition) Stationery X-Press 1997
- Dixon, Robert M.W., John Godrich and Howard W. Rye: Blues & Gospel Records 1890-1943, 4th ed., Clarendon Press 1997
- Fagan, Ted and Moran, William - The Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Records vol. 1, Greenwood Press 1983
- Fagan, Ted and Moran, William - The Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Records vol. 2, Greenwood Press 1986
- Fancourt, Les and Bob McGrath - The Blues Discography 1943-1970, Eyeball Productions 2006
- Flower, John - Moonlight Serenade; A bio-discography of the Glenn Miller civilian band, Arlington House 1972
- Jepsen, Jorgen Grunnet - Jazz Records, 1942-196x, Karl Emil Knudsen 1963-1970
- Jones, Mark - Bristol Folk: a Discographical History of Bristol folk music in the 1960s and 1970s, Bristol Folk Publications 2009
- Jones, Mark - The Famous Charisma Discography, The Record Press 2010
- Jones, Mark - The Saydisc and Village Thing Discography, The Record Press 2010
- Johnson, Richard J. - Elsie Carlisle, a discography, published privately 1994
- Kiner, Larry F. - The Al Jolson Discography, Greenwood Press 1983
- Koenigsberg, Allen - Edison Cylinder Records 1889-1912, (2nd Edition) APM Press 1987
- Laird, Ross - Tantalizing Tingles A Discography of Early Ragtime, Jazz, and Novelty Syncopated Piano Recordings, 1889-1934, Greenwood Press 1995
- Laird, Ross - Moanin'Low; A discography of female popular vocal recordings 1920-1933, Greenwood Press 1996
- Laird, Ross - Brunswick records: a discography of recordings, 1916-1931, Greenwood Press, 2001.
- Laird, Ross & Rust, Brian - Discography of OKeh Records, 1918-1934. By Ross Laird and Brian Rust. Praeger, 2004
- Millar, Jack - Discography of Billie Holiday to 1999, Fine and Mellow published 1998 by The Billie Holiday Publishers
- Moses, Julian Morton - American Celebrity Recordings 1900-1925, Monarch Record Enterprises, 1993
- Ruppli, Michel - Atlantic Records, Greenwood Press 1979
- Ruppli, Michel - The Savoy Labels, Greenwood Press 1980
- Ruppli, Michel & Porter, Bob - The Prestige Label, Greenwood Press 1980
- Ruppli, Michel - The Chess Labels, Greenwood Press 1983
- Ruppli, Michel - The King Labels, Greenwood Press 1985
- Ruppli, Michel - The Clef/Verve Labels, Greenwood Press 1986
- Ruppli, Michel - The Aladdin/Imperial Labels, Greenwood Press 1991
- Ruppli, Michel & Novitsky, Ed - The Mercury Labels, Greenwood Press 1993
- Ruppli, Michel - The Decca Labels, Greenwood Press 1996
- Ruppli, Michel & Novitsky, Ed - The MGM Labels, Greenwood Press 1998
- Ruppli, Michel, Daniels, Bill & Novitsky, Ed - The Capitol Label Discography, Names & Numbers, 2007
- Russell, Tony - Country Music Records; A discography, 1921-1942, Oxford University Press, 2004
- Rust, Brian - The Victor Master Book Vol. 2, published by the author, 1969
- Rust, Brian - The American Dance Band Discography, Arlington House 1975
- Rust, Brian - London Musical Shows On Record 1897 - 1976, General Gramophone Publications 1977
- Rust, Brian - British Music Hall On Record, General Gramophone Publications 1979
- Rust, Brian and Forbes, Sandy - British Dance Bands On Record 1911 to 1945, General Gramophone Publications 1987
- Rust, Brian and Debus, Allen G. - The Complete Entertainment Discography from 1897 to 1942, (2nd Edition) Da Capo Press 1989
- Rust, Brian & Brooks, Tim - The Columbia Master Book Discography, Greenwood Press, 1999.
- Rust, Brian - Jazz and Ragtime Records (1897 - 1942), (6th Edition) Mainspring Press 2003
- Smith, Russell & Burgis, Peter - Peter Dawson; The world's most popular baritone (with complete song title discography), Currency Press 2001
- Sutton, Allan - Cakewalks, Rags and Novelties; The International Ragtime Discography (1894 - 1930), Mainspring Press 2004
- Gamba, Marco; Visintini, Nicola (2000). Iron Maiden Companion (1st ed.). Moving Media & Arts. ISBN 0-9671819-6-8.