I used to think the purpose of cataloging was to clarify identification and facilitate discourse. For example, the Latin names for plants have saved me many a time when a plant's common name was shared among multiple species. But when I tried to find a Mozart composition based on a Köchel number, my beliefs about cataloging got turned upside down as things got more complicated rather than less.
What the ***K?
Although I’m sure the toccata,
when cataloged five-sixty-five,
sounds no less sublime played
on the organ of Saint John the Divine,
hearing thousand and seven BWV
only makes me feel numb
while I tingle ear to ear
at Bach Cello Suite Number One.
Does K five-hundred-fifty-one
chunking sterilely off the tongue
make the heart dance as celestially
as Jupiter, Symphony Forty-one?
As the scholars Köchelly catalog away
by K-one, -six, or even newer Ks,
this humble listener’s to poetically stick with
the harmonious, memorable, Eine kleine Nachtmusik.