Collection Development Policy



Selector and Liaison: Gisele Schierhorst

March 2016

Mission of the Music Library: to support the teaching, performance and research activities of the Music Department’s faculty and students.




1. Location of materials Music materials are housed in the Music Library and the Music Library Audio Center.  Some music materials are located in the Special Collections department of the Melville Library.

2. Estimate of holdings:

Books: 23,895

Printed music:  45,899

Serials: 216

Microforms:  7,714

LPs: 26,337

CDs: 15,080

Video recordings: 750

DVDs: 330


Slides: 220

Music Dept. CDs: 700

Photographs: 35




Purpose: to provide the materials necessary for the Music Department’s curriculum and related endeavors.  The Music Department offers a B.A. in Music; an M.A. in music history, theory or composition; an M.A. and D.M.A. in music performance; and a Ph.D. in music history, theory or composition.  There are undergraduate minors in theory and ethnomusicology.  In addition, the collection is used by large numbers of students enrolled in introductory music history and theory courses. The collection supports the Department’s Pre-College and Adult Chamber Music programs, interdisciplinary research by faculty and students in the humanities and social sciences, and the needs of the university community as a whole.  Local performance organizations such as Ridotto, Long Island Baroque and North Shore Pro Musica have also come to rely on the Music Library’s holdings in planning concert season repertoire.



History and Special Strengths of the Collection:   The Music Library was established as a separate library public services unit in 1975.  From 1975 to 1978, the year in which the Ph.D. program in music history began, the collection of books and printed music grew from an estimated 16,000 volumes to 31,000 volumes, and the Music Audio Center’s collection of sound recordings increased from 8,000 to 10,000.  Growth of the collections was helped by supplemental funding for acquisitions provided by the Academic Vice Provost, and donations of LPs by community members Ralph Satz and Paul Baumgarten.  The print collection was further augmented by the purchase of the Theodore Chanler Collection. Strengths of the collection reflect the Music Department’s commitment to the history of western European music, including the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary eras.  With ethnomusicologists joining the teaching faculty, the Music Library’s holdings have increased to accommodate research interests in music of Eastern Europe, Latin America and Central Asia. When a new jazz faculty member joined the Music Department, recordings and jazz charts and parts were purchased for the purposes of study and performance.  The Departments’s Jazz Ensemble, led by music faculty member and trombonist Ray Anderson, has influenced the development of the Music Library’s collections as well, with requests for materials as well as donations from its library.



The Music Library has over 200 current subscriptions to journals and other serials devoted to all aspects of musicology and the study of vocal and instrumental music, as well as bibliographical and discographical reference works. Online full-text access to some of the content of these journals is now available through the Libraries’ subscriptions to retrospective databases such as JSTOR, WilsonSelectPlus, and ProjectMuse.  The Music Library subscribes yearly to the online version of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, to the DRAM (Database of Recorded American Music), the Naxos Online Music Library, and to the following research databases:  International Index to Music Periodicals Full-Text (IIMP); Music Index; Repertoire International de Litterature Musicale (RILM); Repertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM), and Repertoire International de la Presse Musicale (RIPM).



Purchases of new music scores and parts are made regularly throughout the fiscal year from Harrassowitz (based in Wiesbaden, Gernany), Sheet Music Plus (of the Juilliard Bookstore (of New York City), Sheet Music Plus (of Emeryville, California) and JWPepper (located in Paoli, Pennsylvania).  Harrassowitz sells European imprints, and JWPepper sells North American domestic imprints.  The Music Library maintains standing orders for the complete works of individual composers, historical sets, and monuments of music as well.  Music books, including university press publications are obtained principally from Yankee Book Peddler (based in Contoocook, New Hampshire). Nearly all of the Music Library’s collections have also evolved substantially over the years as the result of the immediate needs of teaching faculty, which are processed at the beginning of each semester as “rush reserve,” requests.   In the areas of twentieth and twenty-first century music, the Music Library’s collection development decisions are guided in part by a list of composers compiled in consultation with the teaching faculty of the Department of Music (see Appendix).



Since the early nineties, the process of ordering new library items has been carried out almost exclusively online, first through NOTIS, and now through the library’s Aleph Acquisitions module.  With the creation of online corporate accounts, new library purchases (or “firm,” orders) are made regularly with Amazon, Arkiv, and other vendors.  For “firm order,” purchases from JWPepper, and Harrassowitz, the orders are created online but printed out and mailed to these vendors.  YBP accepts our orders via e-mail facilitated by EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) protocol.  In our effort to collect retrospective and antiquarian music materials, the Music Library purchases regularly from OMI (Old Manuscripts and Incunabula).  This prestigious firm, based in New York City, is one of the world’s leading sources for music manuscript facsimiles and other publications.  Purchases of rare items and first editions have also been made from J & J Lubrano, which is based in Lloyd Harbor, New York.  The acquisition of microform sets has also been an important means of strengthening the collections and providing the historical depth necessary to support graduate and faculty research.  Primary Source Microfilm (based in Woodbridge, Connecticut) and Adam Matthew Publications (of Marlborough, Wiltshire, England) are two vendors from which we’ve purchased items in this format.  Over the years, the Music Library has acquired microforms of music manuscripts and early printed music, as well as dissertations, correspondence, periodicals and treatises.  Two microfilm sets of distinction consist of reproductions of the manuscripts, autographs and copies of the music of Georg Philipp Telemann, and J.S. Bach and his family, as currently held in the music collection of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.   Another important microform set features music written and published principally by European and North American women composers during the years 1780 and 1950.



The Music Library is not an orchestral library, and does not order orchestral parts.  Our printed holdings are concentrated in music books and study scores, as well as music for solo instruments and sets of parts for chamber ensembles.  However, we strive to respond to the changing needs of current faculty as well as the interests of new faculty.  Several years ago new funds were added to the Music Library’s allocation for the purchase of jazz charts and parts.  These materials were cataloged and added to the collection.  Scores and parts for large ensembles have also been purchased for performances by the Music Department’s Contemporary Chamber Players (CCP).



The Special Collections department houses the records of the Suffolk Symphonic Society (1966-1979),and the Performing Arts Foundation (1966-1982), and the papers, manuscripts and private libraries of composers Michael Edwards, Philip James, Isaac Nemiroff, Billy Jim Layton, Thomas Neumiller and Julius Levine.  Other music materials in Special Collections include scores that belonged to conductor Laszlo Halasz; a small collection of vocal scores of nineteenth-century French operas (some signed or inscribed), rare books and treatises on music, and a number of autographed scores.  Stony Brook acquired part of the library of the cellist Stefan Auber in 1986. (The New York Public Library also obtained part of his collection.)  Autographed scores from the Auber Collection are kept in Special Collections; the remainder of the collection is cataloged as part of the Music Library’s circulating collection.



The Music Library serves as the archive for recordings of Music Department ensemble performances and final master’s and doctoral recitals.  With the support of a New York State Preservation grant, the recordings have been preserved by an off-campus audio preservation agency.  The Bach Aria Festival recordings from this collection were digitized and cataloged.  It is the Music Library’s goal to ultimately provide both bibliographic and digital access to these recordings.



The goals for collecting sound recordings and video recordings correlate with those for printed materials.  The Music Library acquires recorded performances of works contained in the score collection whenever possible.  The Music Library’s collection of sound recordings (CDs, LPs and cassettes) include art music, jazz, popular music and world music.  Both western and non-western traditions are represented.  The videocassette and DVD collections consist of concerts, operas, ballets, master classes, feature films and documentaries from around the world.



Gifts are accepted at the discretion of the Head of the Music Library.  LP collections are no longer accepted due to space limitations. Gifts that are unique and appropriate to the collections may be added to the circulating collection.  More valuable items may be housed in the Music Library Cage or sent to the Special Collections Division.  Duplicate, items or gifts not in keeping with the Music Library’s collection development policy may be sent to the Melville Library’s ongoing Gift Sale.  Gifts in poor condition or not retained for other reasons may be left for patrons to take for free or discarded.




Types of materials collected:  Monographs, monographic series, periodicals, scores (study and full scores), performing parts for solo and chamber music, jazz ensemble charts and parts (upon request of performance teaching faculty), microforms (35 mm reels and fiches), facsimiles of manuscripts and early printed music, theses and dissertations (print, photocopies and microforms), compact discs, videocassettes, DVDs, software, interactive multimedia.

Types of materials excluded: orchestral parts, textbooks (however, upon request by teaching faculty, one or two copies of textbooks are purchased and placed on reserve), exercise or technique books (also with exceptions carried out at the request of performance teaching faculty), individual art songs or choral pieces, music for accordion and saxophone.  The sound recording collection does not include 78s, and LPs are no longer being collected due to space limitations (except those considered especially unique and/or valuable.)

Languages:  English, French, German, Italian and Latin are the principal languages of the print collection.  Materials in other languages are purchased upon request of teaching faculty.

Chronological Guidelines:  No restrictions, but emphasis is placed upon the following periods in the history of western classical music:  Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary eras.

Geographical guidelines:  Worldwide, although until recently the music of Europe and America was emphasized.  There are new emphases upon music of Eastern Europe and Latin America, as well as American folk music and jazz.




Acquisition Priorities for Music (scores, recordings) and Scholarly Studies of late 20th– and 21st-century Composers


Primary Priority (does not include older composers of renown such as Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Claude Debussy, etc.)

Adams, John

Berio, Luciano

Boulez, Pierre

Britten, Benjamin

Carter, Elliott

Crumb, George

Dallapiccola, Luigi

Gubaydulina (Gubaidulina), Sofiya

Ligeti, György

Pärt, Arvo

Penderecki, Krzysztof

Reich, Steve

Saariaho, Kaija

Schnittke, Alfred

Shostakovich, Dmitri

Stockhausen, Karlheinz

Takemitsu, Toru


Secondary Priority (representative scores and recordings of well-known pieces or repertory for specific instruments or voice), relevant important scholarly studies

Adams, John Luther

Adès, Thomas

Andriessen, Louis

Aperghis, Georges

Babbitt, Milton

Birtwistle, Harrison Paul

Bolcom, William

Brown, Earle

Chen Yi

Chernowyn, Chaya

Chin, Unsuk

Clyne, Anna

Daugherty, Michael

Davidovsky, Mario

Davies, Peter Maxwell

Dutilleux, Henri

Feldman, Morton

Ferneyhough, Brian

Frank, Gabriella

Garrop, Stacy

Glass, Philip

Golijov, Osvaldo

Gordon, Michael

Górecki, Henryk

Grisey, Gérard

Henze, Hans Werner

Kagel, Mauricio

Kim, Earl

Knussen, Oliver

Kurtág, György

Lachenmann, Helmut

Lang, David

Larsen, Libby

Mackey, Steve (Stony Brook connection)

Maderna, Bruno

Messiaen, Olivier

Murail, Tristan

Musgrave, Thea

Nono, Luigi  (Raise)

Nyman, Michael

Oliveros, Pauline (Recent works available on-line?)

Piazzola, Astor

Rzewski, Fred  (NB his recent works are made available publically on the Internet)

Rihm, Wolfgang

Riley, Terry

Rochberg, George

Rouse, Christopher

Scelsi, Giacinto

Schaeffer, Pierre

Schafer, R. Murray

Sciarrino, Salvatore

Shapey, Ralph

Shaw, Caroline (Pulitzer Prize 2013)

Sheng, Bright

Silvestrov, Valentyn

Still, William Grant

Stucky, Steven

Subotnik, Morton

Tan Dun

Tavener, John

Thomas, Augusta Reed

Tower, Joan

Van der Aa, Michel (Grawemeyer Award 2013)

Wolf, Julia

Wuorinen, Charles

Xenakis, Iannis

Zappa, Frank

Zorn, John

Zwilich, Ellen Taaffe