Head, Music and Media

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Program Description

The Department of Music has forty-nine faculty members. Nine are full-time tenure track, six are non-tenured full-time, thirty-two are part-time, and two are visiting professors. Each year the department teaches well over 2000 students, including music majors, music minors, double majors, and a large number of non-majors. The department awards the B.A in music history and theory, the B.F.A. in music composition, performance, and musical theater, the M.A. in musicology, music theory, and composition, and the M.F.A. in performance. Instruction in performance is taught on all levels, and in addition to music ensembles, courses are offered in music history and literature, music theory, harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, music analysis, composition, and various special topics such as opera, Broadway musicals, popular music analysis, the business of music, ethnomusicology, and history of jazz.

Subject Resource Guide


The primary aim of the collection is to support the teaching, performance and research needs of students and faculty in the undergraduate and graduate academic programs in music history and literature, music theory and analysis, musicology, music composition, and vocal and instrumental performance. The collections also serve as a university-wide resource for the many Tulane academic departments whose subjects are related to music, including Art, Dance, Theatre, History, American Studies, African & Diaspora Studies, Asian Studies, Jewish Studies, Religious Studies, Sociology, Women's Studies, Anthropology, Philosophy, Psychology, Education, Architecture, Communication, English and all foreign language departments. In addition, the collections serve WTUL, Tulane's radio station, and the widespread interest in all types of music in the city at large. Emphasis is on the research needs of the music faculty and those subjects relevant to the curriculum of the Department of Music. Scholarly publications, works of general interest, and selected popular works are collected. The collections focus on the Western classical music tradition beginning c. 1000 AD, but all types of music are covered, including popular, jazz, musicals, and music from cultures of the entire world. In addition to courses for music majors, many courses are offered each semester to the general student body, attracting a large number of non-major students who also make use of the collection. Ideally, any composition a student might wish to study or perform is represented by a quality score and sound recording.


The music library collects books, periodicals, scores, sound recordings, video recordings, and electronic formats. Books Collected are monographs, monographic series, and reference works such as indexes and abstracts, encyclopedias, bibliographies, handbooks, discographies, research guides, catalogs, and directories. Single copies are by far the rule. Successive editions are routinely acquired. Generally excluded are juvenile literature, most popular biographies, non-Tulane dissertations, and reprints when the original is held. Textbooks are also generally excluded, though exceptions are sometimes made in the areas of music history and literature, and music theory and analysis. Periodicals Titles are collected that deal with music history and literature, music theory and analysis, performance, popular music, sound recordings, and music libraries and librarianship. Scores Historical sets, scholarly anthologies, and critical editions of composer complete works are collected as far as is possible. There is extensive coverage of standard repertoire, appropriate anthologies and collections, and individual works of significant composers. For the most important composers and works, multiple editions are appropriate, with special attention given to new critical editions. A core collection of solo and chamber music for performance purposes is maintained; chamber ensemble parts for up to four performers are collected, with otherwise preference given to study scores. Fakebooks and lead sheets are selectively purchased. Orchestral and choral parts are not collected, nor is music for amateur groups (church choirs, glee-clubs, etc.). Sound recordings and video recordings The collection's aim is to represent music throughout the world and throughout history. Ideally, the music library will have a score of every work represented on a sound recording, and vice versa. In the selection of recordings, the quality of performance is an essential consideration, and the collection serves as a history of music performance. DAT tapes are collected of the Music Department's recorded music faculty and student recitals, as well as the department's "Music at Midday" weekly series. Spoken word recordings generally are not collected, nor are recordings of ephemeral current popular music unless they are relevant to a music class. Video recordings are actively collected of various types of music, including orchestral works, solo performances and chamber music, operas, ballets, musical theater, historical/biographical documentaries, and world music. Electronic formats Materials in electronic formats (Internet, CD-ROM, online, etc.) have an increasingly important presence in the collection. Their selection by the library is based on content, according to the same criteria used for conventional books, scores, and recordings.


Books Monographs, periodicals, librettos, indexes and abstracts, bibliographies and other standard reference sources and secondary literature of music are primarily purchased in print form. Digital databases and texts will be considered as well. Scores Critical editions, performance editions, and study editions are collected. These include full scores, miniature scores, vocal scores, variant editions, and facsimiles. Vocal works with instruments and solo instruments with orchestra should have both full scores and piano reductions. Print and digital formats are collected. Sound recordings and video recordings Compact discs, DVD and digital delivery services are actively collected. LPs, cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes and 78 rpm recordings are not collected. DVDs are preferred over videotapes because of their popularity and ease of use in the classroom and at listening stations.


English is preferred for monographs, reference and research books, and periodicals. A limited number of German, French, Italian, and Spanish titles are collected, and texts in other languages are collected as appropriate. Scores and sound recordings are purchased regardless of the origin of publication or the language in which introductory material is written. When possible, scores of vocal music are collected in editions with texts in the original language; when the texts are in a foreign language, editions including English translations are preferred. Carefully edited scores are purchased regardless of the language of the accompanying commentary. There are no language limitations for sound recordings, and performances in the original language are preferred.

Chronological Period

Although there are no chronological restrictions on the collection of music materials, emphasis is placed on music of the Medieval Period through the present.

Imprint Date

Monographs of the last three years are emphasized, with retrospective collecting (especially through donations) considered on a case-by-case basis. Variant score editions and desired sound recording performances are emphasized regardless of the issue date. Compact discs have made desirable the purchase of numerous highly regarded and remastered old recordings and historic performances. Out-of-print desired materials are sought to replace lost materials.

Geographical Considerations

Emphasis is on the classical music tradition of Europe and America, but broad coverage of world music (Latin American, African, Asian, Jewish, etc.) is maintained, with a focus on the Caribbean and Americans. Regional music–both New Orleans and Louisiana–are emphasized.

Cooperative Resources

The Howard-Tilton Memorial Library is one of 14 members of a cooperative consortium of southern research libraries called KUDZU, which includes a shared online catalog. Loan requests through this system receive priority processing and expedited two-day delivery. The library is also a member of the cooperative Center for Research Libraries (CRL) in Chicago, through which we may borrow a wide range of rare materials for our users. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty may borrow materials directly from the main library nearby at Loyola University of New Orleans through a reciprocal agreement called TU/LU. Graduate students and faculty may borrow materials at other New Orleans area academic libraries, and at other academic libraries throughout the state, through the LALINC consortium. For more information about cooperative borrowing privileges inquire at the library's Circulation Desk.

Supply Sources

An approval plan with Blackwell's Book Services sends monographs according to a profile established by the bibliographer for music; there also exist a number of standing orders for monographic series. Most scores are acquired from distributors, most frequently from Theodore Front Musical Literature and European American Retail Music. Numerous score standing orders for critical editions of composers' complete works are maintained with Harrassowitz, and several music score standing orders are with Theodore Front Musical Literature, Inc. Compact discs and video recordings are usually purchased from Music Library Service Company and Music Hunter; a standing order for compact discs is kept with New World Records. Evaluations of donations to the music library in all formats are based on the condition of the material, the uniqueness of the item to the collection, and the appropriateness of the donated material to the scope of the collection.

Endowed Funds

The Bryan Bell Fund and the Thomas A. Greene Memorial Fund are used for books and scores.

Selection Tools

For books, scores, and recordings, user input is an important factor in collection development. Faculty input is actively solicited, and requests by anyone are carefully considered. As far as possible, titles and recordings are acquired to meet the needs of all faculty and students. Books: Blackwell's Book Services provides slips for books that are covered in the music library's profile but are not sent for approval. Reviewed regularly are publisher catalogs and reviews and new publication listings in scholarly music journals (Notes, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Music & Letters, Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik, Opera Quarterly, American Music, Popular Music, etc.). Music scores: Vendor selection forms are provided by Theodore Front Musical Literature, Inc. and by European American Retail Music. Music in Print; OCLC; A Basic Music Library: Essential Scores and Sound Recordings; and subject bibliographies relating to specific repertoires or mediums of performance are basic tools. Ongoing collection analysis also leads to numerous orders of books, scores, and sound recordings. Sound recordings and video recordings: Reading reviews plays a large role in the selection of sound and video recordings. Reviews are found in numerous journals, with special attention given to Gramophone, Fanfare, and American Record Guide. Regarding the availability of recordings, Schwann Opus for classical music and Schwann Spectrum for popular music, jazz, etc. are essential catalogs.

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