Collection Development Policy - Music Library


The Music Library exists primarily to support the course work and degree programs offered by BGSU's College of Musical Arts (CMA). Secondarily, the collections support the general music needs of the BGSU community. The Bill Schurk Sound Archives is an international, research collection that exists to collect, organize, and preserve sound recordings and print materials that document the history of recorded sound, particularly that designated "popular music." (A separate statement of collection intent is available for the Bill Schurk Sound Archives.)


The Head of the Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives (ML/BSSA) is responsible for the Music Library collection. The Head of the ML/BSSA and the Sound Recordings Archivist share responsibility for developing the ML/BSSA reference collection. (The ML/BSSA reference collection is described in a separate statement which is under development.)

Purpose and Program Description

The CMA is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). NASM accreditation visits occur approximately every ten years.

The CMA includes the following areas of study: Brass & Percussion, Composition, Jazz, Keyboard, Music Education, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Strings, Theory, Vocal Arts, and Woodwinds. Degrees offered include the Bachelor of Music, the Master of Music, and a Doctoral of Musical Arts. Undergraduate students may choose to major in music education, performance (all western instruments), composition, history, world music, and jazz studies. Undergraduate students may minor in jazz studies and recording techniques. Master's-level students may major in music education, performance, composition, theory, history, and ethnomusicology, with specializations in conducting and piano pedagogy.  Doctoral students may major in contemporary music with a specialization in composition or performance.

The CMA offers several general education courses. In addition, any BGSU student may take applied lessons. The CMA also offers courses that are required in other degree programs, such as music for elementary education majors.

Scope of Coverage

Most materials are collected at a level that will support course work toward the master's degree. As budgets permit, recently-composed music, both scores and recordings, is collected at the research level in support of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music and the composition degree programs.

Books generally are limited to English-language material. Books in languages other than English are collected selectively, usually at the recommendation of CMA faculty. Scores and audio-visual materials are collected in all languages, with western-European languages receiving emphasis. While the greatest emphasis is placed on western art music, every effort is made to provide materials to support the CMA's ethnomusicology programs. All time periods are covered.

Score approval plans have been established with Otto Harrassowitz, to provide coverage of European imprints, and with Theodore Front, to provide coverage of North American imprints. Both plans emphasize works by selected, twentieth-century composers and scholarly editions of historical compositions. The plan with Theodore Front has been established in conjunction with several other OhioLINK music libraries in an effort to provide greater statewide coverage of twentieth-century music published in North America than the collections could afford individually.

Types of Materials Collected

The Music Library collection includes books, journals, scores, score/parts sets, collected and monumental editions, sound recordings, and video recordings. Scores are collected for all western instruments. Score/parts sets generally are limited to ensembles of five or fewer performers; parts for ensembles of six to thirteen performers are purchased only when requested.

The preferred format for sound recordings is the compact disc. Cassettes and/or LPs are only purchased when compact discs are not available. (See gifts section for additional information on sound recordings.) The preferred format for video recordings is DVD. VHS tapes are collected only when DVDs are unavailable. Books consisting primarily of popular or low-level treatments of art music generally are excluded. Electronic text files generally are collected only when requested.


Gifts in any format are considered with the disclaimer that ML/BSSA staff will make final decisions on what is added to the collection. All materials are reviewed for condition and appropriateness to the collection.

Subjects Collected

Most materials collected for the Music Library fall into the Library of Congress M, ML, and MT classifications. Other classes are represented selectively, and include: Hymnology (BV); Dance (GV); Legal aspects of music (KF); Art (N); Literature (PN); Vocal physiology (RC); Recording industry (TK).

More recent emphases include music composed by women and various applications of critical theory to music. Every effort is made to collect materials to support study in these areas. Faculty research is supported whenever financially feasible.

Interdisciplinary Relationships

The Music Library collections are used by a variety of other subject areas, including Popular CultureAmerican Culture StudiesEnglishHistory, and Theatre.

Other Local and Regional Resources

The Music Library houses the Archives of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music. Established in 1987, the Archives of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music contains music both submitted to and performed at the CMA's New Music and Art Festival. At present, the collection contains more than 5100 scores and recordings of contemporary music, many in manuscript. The Music Library also houses the archives of the CMA Recording Studios.

The OhioLINK consortium provides a wealth of music resources to the state. Currently, only books and circulating scores are available for patron-initiated borrowing.

Updated: 06/05/2023 09:39AM