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Policy Last Updated: February 5, 2020

Subject: Music


The Collection Development policy is a used as a guide to shape relevant collections and to ensure consistency in collection development. The decision to purchase library materials is primarily the responsibility of the Liaison Librarian in consultation with faculty. This policy has been developed by Greg Sennema, Liaison Librarian for Music, in cooperation with various Music department faculty and the Dean of Music.


  • The collection supports teaching, study and research on a broad level for the Honours Bachelor of Music programs, with emphasis on performance, music education, music therapy, composition, music history and music theory
  • The collection provides comprehensive support for the Masters of Music programs in Music Therapy and in Community Music, as well as faculty research.


Books and Journals

  • Language: Books in English are preferred, with occasional purchases in French, German and Italian. Purchases in other languages are made on a very selective basis.
  • Place of Publication: primary emphasis is on North American and European publications
  • Chronological Period: works and music from the Middle Ages to the present day are acquired
  • Geographical Areas: no restrictions
  • Publishers: works from scholarly and academic publishers are emphasized

Types, formats, and readership of materials collected

Books and Journals

  • Materials with academic-level readership are selected
  • Electronic formats for reference works, collected essays and journals are preferred
  • Generally, single copies of books in print formats are selected
  • Proceedings of conferences, symposia and international congresses are selected as appropriate. Canadian and American theses are collected on a very selective basis.
  • Excluded types include textbooks, abridgements, study aids, limited editions, works by vanity presses, reprints and partial contents (e.g. single issues of journals, electronic versions of single chapters of books)


  • Individual scores are purchased in print; online collections are actively acquired
  • Scores are collected for their intrinsic value, regardless of the language of their texts or notes. Efforts are made to provide English translations of vocal texts.
  • Newly edited, high-quality scholarly and performing editions of standard works are collected
  • Facsimile editions of major works are collected
  • As appropriate, scores are purchased to match sound recordings used for teaching and research
  • If a score is available in several forms (e.g. print, electronic, miniature score, performing edition), careful consideration is given to usage
  • Popular and folk music scores are purchased selectively.
  • With the exception of vocal scores and certain notable works (e.g. Ravel’s orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition, Bach-Busoni editions), arrangements are not purchased

Sound recordings

  • The Compact Disc format is preferred for individual titles. Online collections are actively acquired.
  • LPs are no longer purchased
  • When possible, recordings are purchased to match the scores collection
  • Anthologies of new music from around the world are purchased
  • At least one version of all works by the master composers before 1900 are purchased. Several versions of important works are purchased.
  • Important works of contemporary composers are purchased
  • All recordings involving performance and/or composition by a past/present/future Laurier Faculty member are purchased


Subjects collected and collecting priorities

Collecting priority by subject

Subjects collected Classification Collecting priority
History and literature of music, including biography ML159 - ML161; ML410 - ML429  
Middle ages, renaissance ML169.8 - ML190 A
Baroque ML193 - ML194 A
Classical period ML195 A
Romantic period ML196 A
Twentieth and Twenty-First Century ML197 A
Music theory MT5.5 - MT7 A
Music therapy ML3919 - ML3921; ML128.M77; ML102.M83 A
Music and medicine RC489; RJ505; RM931 A
Psychology of music ML3830 - ML3838 A
Community music MT87 A
Music education MT1 - MT5 A
Opera ML48 - ML50.7 A
Motion picture music ML2075 A
Music and technology ML1091.8 - ML1093; ML74 A
Popular music ML3469 - ML3541 A
Jazz ML3506 - ML3509 B
Performance practice ML457 B
Vocal techniques MT820 - MT915 B
World music ML3544 - ML3770 B
General: includes programs, manuscripts, festivals ML1 - ML109 C
Musical aesthetics ML3845 - ML3877 C
Church music ML2881 - ML3275 C
Composition techniques MT40 - MT67; ML430 - ML448 C
Instrumental techniques MT170 - MT810 C
Music bibliography ML112.8 - ML158.6.S9 C
Music librarianship ML109 - ML112.5 C
Organology ML549,8 - ML649 C
Pedagogy MT9 - MT39 C

Related programs and support

Consortial purchases with the TriUniversity Group of Libraries (Guelph, Waterloo, Laurier), with the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and on a national level, are pursued.

Efforts are made to coordinate Music collections with those purchased by other departments/faculties at Laurier, including History (Music History) and music therapy (Martin Luther University College - Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy; Social Work).

Materials relating to popular music are purchased by Cultural Studies; some materials relating to film music are provided by English and Film Studies.

The University of Waterloo offers undergraduate programs in general music and church music through Conrad Grebel University College. The University of Guelph also offers undergraduate programs in general music.

Page Owner: Greg Sennema

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Last Updated: March 2, 2023 3:08pm