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Collection Development @ SJSU Library

Collection Development Policy - Music & Dance

Last Updated: 2018

Programs Supported

The subject disciplines of music and dance are designed to support the undergraduate and graduate programs in the School of Music and Dance. The music curriculum encompasses music education, applied performance and the study of performance practices, composition, historical musicology, music theory, improvised music, electronic music, and music of world cultures. The dance curriculum emphasizes performance, production, theory and history of classical and contemporary dance traditions and experimental trends.

Since the establishment of the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies in 1985, there has been an increased emphasis on musicology, performance practice, and the history and analysis of music of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Beethoven Center has its own collection development policy and is not covered by this document.

San Jose State University offers Bachelors degrees (BA and BM) and a Master’s degree (MA) in music, and Bachelor’s degrees in dance (BA and BFA). Minors in music (General Studies and Music Technology) and dance are also offered. An interdepartmental BA in Creative Arts is available (with the School of Art and Design and the departments of Theater Arts and English).

The BA in music requires no specific concentrations, but students may choose emphases in either general studies or music technology. For the BM degree, students may concentrate on composition, music education, jazz studies, or performance. The MA in music requires a nine-unit core in music bibliography, music history, and musical systems. Required electives (5-6 units) are chosen from courses in style and performance practice, music in cultural context, and advanced conducting. Concentrations are available in Instrumental and Vocal Performance, Composition, Choral and Instrumental Conducting, Jazz Studies, Music Education, Music History, and Music Systems/Theory. The three plans leading to the awarding of the MA are: Plan A (with thesis or composition); Plan B (Performance without Document); Plan C (Performance with Document). The documents and/or theses are placed in the holdings of the University Library.

The music and dance collection serves as the basic resource for the implementation of the undergraduate and graduate programs for the University. The collection includes books, printed scores, and sound recordings as well as electronic and multi-media resources. 

Existing Resources

The University Library serves as the University’s main resource for Music and Dance.

The Goldberg Theater Collection, established in 2006 with a gift to the University Library from Gene and Mary Goldberg is comprised of books, sound recordings (CDs and LPs), and music scores devoted to musical theater. An endowment supports the growth of this collection.

The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, an Organized Research Unit of the College of Humanities and the Arts, is a special collection housed in the University Library. As a research and study center that focuses on the life and works of Ludwig van Beethoven, it collects many materials out of the scope of the University Library, including manuscripts, first and early editions of Beethoven’s music, graphic and ephemeral material, art objects, and a wide range of writings about Beethoven in all languages. The Beethoven Center has its own collection development policy.

The School of Music and Dance maintains a Music Resource Center that is primarily for the use of music faculty and students. The Resource Center’s holdings include sound recordings, music scores and performance parts, performance tapes, and some reference materials. The primary function of the Resource Center is to supplement and support the teaching program.



Some overlap exists between Music and Dance and other disciplines in the SJSU curriculum, including Theater Arts, Education, History, Humanities, Physics (acoustics of music), Biology (anatomy and physiology for dance majors), Anthropology (traditional music and dance of non-western cultures), Psychology (music therapy), Library and Information Science (music librarianship), and Religious Studies (Music and the religious experience).  Responsibility for acquisition of items in these areas of overlap is decided in consultation with librarians responsible for collection development in the fields noted above.


Materials Collected

A. Materials included. Standard inclusions are collected. Electronic resources are regarded as standard inclusions. Sound recordings (compact discs and other current media) and multi-media materials are generally not collection unless there is no equivalent via streaming audio databases. Although the Library maintains a collection of older media (primarily LPs), no additions are being made to these collections (either by purchase or donation). 

B. Materials excluded. Standard exclusions are not collected. Sheet music and sets of performance parts for large ensembles are generally not collected unless requested by School of Music faculty.

C. Special materials. Manuscript scores and other unpublished music or sound recordings are not collected unless they are the products of SJSU faculty or alumni.

D. Languages. Works that are written in English and/or translated into English are preferred. Classic texts on the history of music and musicology (e.g. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart) are purchased in the original languages when not available in an English translation. Sound recordings and libretti and scores of vocal works are purchased in their original languages; vocal scores with text transliterations from non-Roman to Roman alphabets are collected.

E. Geographical areas. Coverage includes all geographic areas, with local emphasis on works by the Music and Dance faculty.

F. Chronological periods. All periods of music history are collected.

G. Current/retrospective materials. Emphasis is on current materials, though reprints and retrospective materials may also be acquired, particularly for printed music. Reissues of older sound recordings in new media are only acquired through streaming audio collections.

H. Other factors. For printed music, the emphasis is on collected editions and study scores. Sound recordings are collected to support the curriculum and programs of the School of Music and Dance as well as to serve the University community. A representative collection of a variety of styles and genres of music is covered in streaming-media databases.    


Existing Collection 

The book collection is fairly strong in basic undergraduate sources for history, criticism, theory, and analysis of Western music, as well as books on instrumental and vocal techniques. The jazz collection (books, printed scores, sound recordings, and streaming collection databases) has also grown dramatically with the establishment of the Jazz Studies program. More materials have also been acquired to support courses in traditional music of non-Western cultures, electro-acoustic and computer music, but many gaps remain particularly in primary source materials (scores and recordings). The core collection for the dance program is less developed because of the relatively low number of materials published. The dance collection needs enhancement in books on dance, instructional and performance videotapes, and sound recordings, particularly in the areas of dance technique, folk dance, dance in film, and dance of world cultures. 

The printed music collection consists primarily of collected works editions (some non-circulating) and an older circulating collection of performance scores/parts and study scores. Some of the older editions are now available full-text in subscription databases, but only very selectively. 

The sound recording collection includes compact discs, LPs, and a few cassettes. The collection is strongest in Western classical music but has some gaps in complete works of major composers and representative works of less known composers and certain genres.


Electronic databases featuring journal articles in music and dance have increased substantially. The library currently provides access to Oxford Music Online (including the Grove Dictionaries and other reference sources), the Music Index, the International Index of Music Periodicals, the Index of Printed Music and Music in Print, and RILM and RIPM.    Popular music is represented in the online Encyclopedia of Popular Music while World Music is represented in the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. JSTOR Music Collection provides an archive of back issues of several of the core periodical titles.  The Beethoven Gateway serves as an online catalog for the resources of the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven studies. 


Streaming collections are represented by both streaming video and audio. Streaming video collections such as Music Online from Alexander Street Press, Opera in Video and Dance in Video, provide access to online music and dance performance videos.  Streaming audio collections have been greatly strengthened and represent a rich array of different genres and periods of music which include: American historical music, classical, contemporary, jazz, and world music.  The Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries collection serves as an online repository of the world's musical and aural traditions with more than 35,000 tracks of music, spoken word, and natural and human-made sounds. 


Evaluation of Collection

A. Academic Senate Policy

According to Academic Senate Library Policy S15-10, periodic evaluations of the print collection are required to maintain the high quality of the academic collection, with the primary goals of improving the effectiveness of browsing and providing space for new acquisitions. The objectives include relocating materials, and weeding duplicate materials and materials that support discontinued programs or are not longer relevant for current programs. Evaluation of the music and dance collection involves not only print materials (books and scores) but sound recordings and other media as well.

B. Future Evaluation Plans

Collection development will include areas which focus on replacement of essential music scores and growth of new areas of music which support the emergent curriculum of the department.  Streaming video and audio collections will continue to be strengthened and texts on dance technique, dance in film, and dance of world cultures, which together represent a gap in development, will also be enhanced.