Collection Development Statement Music Books and Scores


. Purpose of Collection

  • To support the music curriculum;

  • To support faculty research to the extent possible with the existing budget;

  • To provide the ESU community with reading material and music apropos of their professional and recreational interests.

. User Population (Curricular and Program Needs)

  • Music majors requiring resource material for written papers and oral presentations;

  • Music majors giving recitals who need to review and select music for performance;

  • Non-music majors requiring resource material for general education courses;

  • Faculty requiring study scores and the literature of music for course preparation, performance, and  research and publishing;

  • Other students and faculty in the ESU community who wish to enhance their appreciation and knowledge of music and  performing skills.

History of Collection (Collection Characteristics)

In the mid-1960s, the chairman of the Music Department, B. A. Nugent, procured an extremely large federal grant to purchase music scores and books for the library.  Most of the funds were spent to acquire monuments of music, sets of composers' complete works, basic instrumental group and solo performing repertoires, and musicological research resources (including many classic treatises that were out of print).

In the early 1980s, the library adopted the policy of not acquiring any more performance scores or instrumental solos with piano accompaniment; it is a standardized practice among almost all universities that the music departments purchase performing scores with their budgets and retain them in their departmental score libraries.Our budget, staff resources, and shelving space would not allow us to procure, process, and maintain any more performance scores and individual parts.  Since that time, emphasis has been placed on acquiring recent book publications of music history, criticism, biography, performance techniques,  and public school music education.  Emphasis for music scores has been placed on acquiring continually published volumes in the above-mentioned monuments of music and sets of composer's complete works, study scores for basic works not contained therein, and collections of popular songs and Broadway show tunes.

Existing Strengths and Weaknesses

Our library probably has the most extensive collection in the state of performing music, popular songs, and monuments of music and editions of composers' complete works.  The book collection seems to be adequate to support the curriculum; the music faculty and NASM (accrediting agency) have expressed no concerns.  Of course, additional book purchasing funds would allow a larger and broader range of titles and subjects for curricular and research use.

Collecting Priorities (include retention strategies)

Books that support the teaching curriculum and reflect student and faculty interests are selected.  Requests from faculty members are given first priority.  New and recent books on music education should be sought out and ordered, since this is the current primary thrust of ESU's music department.  Since not as much emphasis is being placed on musicology and theory as in the past, only basic works on music history, composers, performance, and theory are selected. (If newly published works of composers and performers fall within the criteria of Rich Biography Fund expenditures, this fund can be used to enhance music fund purchases.)  A small percentage of books on popular music in various genres are selected to fulfill our mission to provide recreational reading.

Books on musicology, performance, history, and theory that are considered classics in the field (reprints of some will date back to the 15th century) should be retained.  Only recent books on music education should be retained, except for a few titles of earlier prominent educators and authors.  Probably an effort to obtain more recent elementary song textbooks should be made.  Earlier sets of textbooks should be retained as examples; and teachers and student teachers still use these to obtain songs that are not included in more recent textbooks.

The majority of music scores we receive each year are titles within our standing order subscriptions.  These comprise composers' complete works and collected works from the Recent Research in Music of the... series.  Otherwise, the library will purchase only study scores and anthologies; no sheet music or performing editions (score and parts) will be selected or added to the collection, with the exception of scores and parts received as part of the standing orders mentioned above. Piano-vocal editions of operas and other vocal works may be ordered/added. (The only individual music scores I have requested for many years are collections of  popular music and show tunes. Our library has a good representative collection of popular songs in various genres through the years, as well as selections from Broadway shows, and I have always thought that it is important to provide our students with this type of music as well as the classical genre. Our standing orders and present music score holdings fulfill 90% of the classical genre needs.)

Selection Process and Tools

. Particular vendors

  • Harrassowitz and A-R editions for most of the music scores on standing order
  • Theodore Front is good for providing other scores, especially collections of popular songs, also for other books on music that might be difficult through traditional book vendors
  • The catalog of Broude Bros., a vendor similar to Harrassowitz, should be checked every time a new one is published to ascertain which volumes of complete composers' works and other collections of music scores we receive on standing order have been published.  This will also indicate when a set has been completed.  (No catalog available online.)

. Specific Selection Guides

  • MENC (The National Association for Music Education) is the premier professional organization in music education, and their catalog online should be checked regularly.
  • Catalogs of certain popular music publishers, such as Hal Leonard, or  Warner,  are good ones to check occasionally for new collections of popular songs or Broadway show tunes
  • The catalog of Schirmer Trade Books should be checked regularly  Be aware, however, that these titles may not yet be published, which may not be indicated in the catalog.
  • Check the catalog of Harmonie Park Press occasionally
  • Citations or reviews of most monographs will eventually appear in standard selection periodicals, such as Choice, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal.

. Publishers to be Aware of in this Subject

(See items in the two sections above.)

I do receive requests from some faculty in the Music Department; since there has been turnover in the last few years, the requests vary with the faculty du jour.  Almost all of the requests are from the instrumental (not vocal) faculty.