General policies and principles for the Library's collections are stated in the General Collection Development Policy.  

Purpose of the Collection

The music collection’s primary purpose is to support instruction and research for the Department of Music. In addition, it supports interdisciplinary studies centering on music in other departments and units throughout the university.

Academic Department Description

The Department of Music offers courses of study through the doctoral level in composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, performance, and theory. The performance curriculum includes emphases in conducting, keyboard (piano), collaborative piano, strings, voice, woodwinds, and brass to the master’s level, and emphases in conducting, keyboard, strings, and voice to the doctoral level.

Subject Parameters

In addition to media, collecting activity comprises the Library of Congress classifications M, ML, and MT, which represent music scores and books on the history, literature, and study of music. Books that focus primarily on another subject and secondarily on music are in the scope of other collections.



Subject areas reflect and support the curriculum, performance, and research interests of the Music Department’s faculty and graduate students. Currently, the major areas of collecting activity are (1) music and music cultures of the Western tradition in Europe and the United States from the seventeenth century to the present, and (2) the music traditions of diverse world cultures, with a strong emphasis on Mexico, India, Eastern Europe, the Far East, and the Middle East. Contemporary music and composition, including computer music, are strongly emphasized.


Music literature within the scope of the collection as outlined above is collected primarily in English, and selectively in French, German, Italian, and Czech; music literature in Arabic is occasionally accepted into the collection. Vocal works (both scores and media) and texts that accompany scores and media are collected in all languages.

Publication dates

Emphasis is on current publications. Older publications, especially music scores, are acquired selectively to fill gaps in the collection.

Types of Materials Collected

Collecting activity includes books, journals, scores, electronic databases, and media. Scholarly monographs, especially those published by university presses, are strongly emphasized. Composers’ complete critical editions are collected selectively. For orchestral works and large choral works, full scores or study scores are collected; for concertos, piano reduction scores are emphasized; for operas, piano-vocal scores are emphasized and full scores are collected selectively; for chamber music scores, the corresponding parts sets are collected if they are available. For each score acquired, a recording of the same musical work is generally purchased if one is available and if the work is not already represented in the recording collection (including subscription audio databases).

Systemwide Resources

UCSB collections supporting the Music Department benefit heavily from the library’s participation in serials and research databases that are licensed by UC’s California Digital Library and funded by the UC campuses.

Related Collection Development Policies

Because of the strongly interdisciplinary nature of UCSB’s Music Department, the program is served by the collections of other subjects across all disciplines. Particularly important are:

Subject librarian: Kyra Folk-Farber
Policy Last Updated: June 2015