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Reed Library’s Music Collection primarily supports the curriculum of SUNY Fredonia’s School of Music. Serving over 600 undergraduate and graduate students and nearly 100 faculty members, the Music Collection is the largest single subject collection in Reed Library. The collection contains over 14,000 books on music, covering such topics as music history, theory, education, therapy, conducting, performance studies, criticism and biography. Over 25,000 printed music scores and parts are available, including miniature study, full-size, and piano-vocal scores, as well as performance parts for ensembles up to and including nine players. Sound recordings number over 8,000 compact discs, 15,000 LPs, and several hundred cassettes of both music and spoken word recordings. Videocassettes and DVDs are available on many different aspects of music--from full-length operas to music pedagogy.


The overall development and maintenance of the Music Collection is the primary responsibility of the Music Librarian. Faculty members from the School of Music assist in this process by making materials’ requests specific to their areas of expertise. Decisions on music database requests and purchases are made by the Collection Development Committee.


The Music Collection, though extensive, is not at the level of a SUNY university center or research institution. The primary focus of the collection is to provide music materials relevant to the curricular needs of the School of Music students, while also taking into consideration the research needs of the music faculty. As the Music Collection is a specialized collection, the general collection development policy of not purchasing items owned by more than 2 SUNY Libraries will not apply in every circumstance. When the general policy is followed, it will be limited to items in the music circulating book collection only (see following sections for clarification).


Music Circulating Book Collection

The music circulating book collection is broad in its subject coverage, but is focused in several key areas: composer and performer biographies, general music history, music theory, music education, conducting, and music therapy. As music education is the largest subject area of the School of Music, music education books are purchased at a comprehensive level, as the budget allows. Important educational, biographical, historical and theoretical series are also purchased, such as the Oxford Music Education Series, Oxford Master Musicians Series, AMS Studies in Music, Cambridge Music Handbooks, Yale Music Theory Translation Series, and others.

Music Reference Book Collection

The music reference book collection, though not comprehensive, adequately serves the needs of the music students and faculty. Titles and series need to be purchased on a regular basis to keep the collection current and relevant, focusing on the following areas: dictionaries/encyclopedias, bibliographies of music literature, bibliographies of instruments and voice, composer research guides, composer thematic catalogues, and music education reference materials. Important music reference series include the Garland Composer Resource Manuals, the Greenwood Press Bio-Bibliographies in Music, and others.

Scores and Performance Parts Collection

Printed music scores and performance parts are the largest part of the Music Collection, supporting the performing and study needs of the students and faculty of the School of Music. Scores and parts are different from books in that they are considered musical repertoire (similar to literature in the regular books collection), and therefore are collected at a more comprehensive level. Multiple editions of standard instrumental and vocal repertoire are purchased (e.g., sonatas, concertos, symphonies, songs), and music is purchased in several different formats (e.g., full scores, vocal scores, miniature study scores, scores with parts). For important vocal works, multiple editions are purchased for the different vocal performance ranges (e.g., high voice, medium voice, low voice). Performance parts are collected for ensembles up to and including nine instruments. Where possible, repertoire purchased should have a corresponding recording available either from the sound recordings collection or one of the library's online music audio databases.

Sound Recordings Collection

The sound recordings collection is closely tied to the scores collection, as it consists of recorded performances of musical repertoire. Though the collection exists in multiple formats, only compact audio discs (CDs) are currently purchased. Like the scores collection, multiple performance versions of standard repertoire are purchased. The focus of purchases to this collection is new repertoire and current performers/ensembles. Where possible, there should be a sound recording of all standard repertoire that is part of the library's scores collection.

Video Recordings Collection

Video recordings are currently purchased in DVD format only, unless an item is available solely in VHS format (e.g., some pedagogical titles). The VHS collection is small, having been weeded of titles that were available in DVD format, and is not being developed. The focus of purchases for this collection is DVDs of current performances of standard musical repertoire (e.g., operas, orchestral and chamber music), conducting, vocal pedagogy and educational pedagogy.

updated 6/2015