Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Music Scores and Recordings

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

  • A. Anticipated Future Trends

    The Fine Arts—Music collection will continue to be the most significant collection of music in central Michigan and will one of the most approachable for patrons outside the University.

    The likelihood of a new music building, incorporating space for a separate music library, is no longer under consideration for the foreseeable future. However, should this come about, all music materials would be moved to the new area. Collection development policies would probably not be affected, but management of the unit and its components would likely change.

    Enrollment in the College of Music continues to increase, as does the number of faculty. Meeting the needs of our primary constituents is vital; needs of other users are considered as they fit the collection policies.

    The Community Music School has been extremely successful. Although the students are often too young to use our collections, the CMS faculty seeks appropriate teaching material, and many of the students will become library users in the future.

    The music collection became more visible with its move to the Main Library in 1994; as a result, there has been a significant increase in use of materials by non-music personnel. This is particularly true of the American-focussed IAH classes and is likely to continue.

    Western classical traditions will remain the strength of the College of Music and the Fine Arts-Music Library. In addition, classical or composed traditions outside the mainstream will be increasingly studied (for example, the music of the Orthodox Church or Chinese classical music) and will require resources.

    Ethnomusicology and jazz are important and recent areas of emphasis as majors within the College of Music. In addition, ethnomusicological emphases are being incorporated into standard music classes. Both areas will continue to require resources.

    Musicals and excerpts of musicals are collected at a fairly high level, especially given the number of popular/jazz/theater majors interested in show tunes and ballads. Film music is collected to a lesser degree.

    Current popular music such as rap, hip hop, rock, etc.,  is not being collected  unless a faculty member specifically requests it. This more ephemerally popular music has not yet become a part of the music curriculum. This could change but the ready availability of this material through internet and other sources seems to made it less necessary to collect it in the academic setting.

    All instrumental majors are required to participate in at least one chamber group each year. These, plus the major “standing” faculty and student groups and the “ad hoc” groups which students form on their own, put heavy pressure on the chamber music collection. Constant replacement of parts is necessary, as is expansion of the repertoire. Scores and parts, where available, are acquired for most chamber music up to 9 individual parts. The collection will not include individual parts for ensembles above 9 parts.

    Programs in graduate choral, band and orchestral conducting are extremely strong, and will continue to require both new and replacement scores and recordings.

    Listening equipment has been upgraded and will continue to need periodic repair and replacement.  The number of listening stations and headphones has been reduced although the equipment (particular the turntables) is still used. The rise of streamed services has meant some reduction in use of physical recordings but these still have an important role to play for students, faculty and community users alike.

    Records are no longer being purchased, but the many donations of records from patrons have added thousands of titles to our holdings. Since many records will not be re-released on CD, and our budget would prohibit most duplication in the newer format, donations of records continue to be an important means of enhancing our recorded music collections. Donations of CDs are also welcome and will continue to allow expansion of our collection beyond our purchasing capabilities.

    Faculty involvement is important. Faculty and student requests in alignment with collection development policies are honored, if the material is in print. Also, asking two or three faculty members per year to provide a list of repertoire has proven successful in expanding the practical teaching and performance collections.

    The Music Manuscript Collection will continue to solicit and accept new donations, particularly from individuals associated with MSU in past or present. Minimal preservation and cataloging will be done as the items are accepted; University Archives and Historical Collections is now housing the Music Manuscript Collections, but close contact is maintained for indexing the collections and assisting with their use. 

  • B. Relationship with Other Resources
    • On-campus or Format Collections
      • Fine Arts—Music literature
      • Fine Arts—Art book and journal collections
      • Special Collections (scores of rare works, manuscripts, Gospel songbooks, popular music; MSU Archives and Historical Collections: for MSU-related composers’ works and archives)
      • College of Music departmental collections (parts for band and orchestra; choral library) - these are not available to the general public
    • Regional
      • University of Michigan (scores, recordings)
      • Detroit Public Library (popular music, choral octavos)
      • Local public libraries (recorded popular music in particular)
      • CIC, CRL member institutions (primarily scores, as few circulate recordings through ILL; some digitized recordings available)
      • Other Michigan college and university libraries (primarily scores or in-house listening)
      • Library of Michigan (some scores but not a large collection)
    • C. Other policy statements
      • Music literature
      • Digital/Vincent Voice Library (some Vincent Voice Library tapes are relevant)
      • Special Collections
      • Area selectors
      • Subject selectors in art, psychology, theology, performance medicine, performing arts, languages
Michigan State University