Purpose or Scope of Collection
- A. Curricular, research, programmatic needs
The music collection consists of scores and recordings in all formats. The term “music” will be used consistently to indicate both printed and recorded material, unless otherwise stated.
The music collection contains music appropriate to study, instruction and research in a broad range of fields within music. Undergraduate degrees (B.M.) are offered in composition and theory, music education, music therapy, music performance, jazz studies, and combinations thereof; a B.A. degree is granted to liberal arts majors with a strong emphasis in music. Masters’ degrees (M.M. or M.A.) are offered in music performance, education, theory, composition, and musicology. The D.M.A. is granted for musical performance, including conducting.
The collection must provide resources sufficient to meet the majority of music faculty and student needs. Thus, a broad range of materials at varying levels must be maintained. In keeping with the School of Music curriculum, most library resources focus on Western classical traditions, jazz and ethnomusicology.
To meet the needs of the School of Music is the first priority. To that end, the collection contains music for the entire range of single instruments, ensembles of varying sizes, larger ensembles such as band, orchestra and string orchestra, operas, sacred and secular vocal music, choral music, historical sets, and complete works of various composers. Various formats are required: scores and parts for chamber music, full and vocal scores for operas, oratorios, musicals, and other large vocal works, and full or miniature scores (without parts) for larger instrumental ensembles. Multiple editions of standard works, both in score and recording, are collected when possible.
Users outside the School of Music include area professionals, faculty and students from other MSU colleges and departments, faculty and students from other institutions, and residents of Michigan, and ILL borrowers under most circumstances (recordings are not lent for ILL).
- B. History of the collection/existing strengths and emphases
The School of Music became an official department of Michigan State in 1926. Funding inadequacies, especially for recordings, severely hampered the collection until about the mid-1980s, when the Libraries allocated funding for recordings and increased overall budgets. The collection has grown faster since about 1980 than in the previous years combined.
The collection is strong in secular vocal music, vocal scores of operas, woodwind quintets, early music, and contemporary music, especially electronic. Symphonic scores and piano literature are extensive. Purchase of new repertoire in one or more editions is critical to maintaining the collection. Purchase of new copies and/or editions of existing repertoire is constantly required to reflect scholarly developments, replace worn or missing copies, and provide choices of editor and publisher. Recordings by more than one performer or ensemble are needed for standard repertoire, when available.
Weaknesses in the collection were historically most notable in the collected editions and historical sets, primarily in the works of the 19th Century (although, in some cases, these complete works were not yet available). Collected editions and sets are the most expensive portions of the collection, and are usually on standing order, thus requiring the commitment of large sums for years in advance. However, they are the backbone of scholarship. New publishing ventures are started for different composers each year; older sets are revised with new scholarship. Even though it means cutting into other funds, the complete works and monuments must continue to expand.
Facsimile editions, although expensive, are scores of vital importance for scholarly pursuits. Additional facsimiles have been and continue to be purchased. These, as well as complete works, are essential for doctoral students and faculty in particular.
Additional jazz and ethnomusicological resources will continue to be added. Printed European folk music is adequate but newer resources are of moderate importance; additional printed folk/indigenous music and recordings for all cultures will be a moderate priority.