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Historical Music Recordings Collection



I. Purpose:
To preserve for scholarly use historically and artistically significant music recordings. To support the instructional and research programs of the School of Music by documenting the history of performance practice and the historical development of recording technology. More broadly, to provide primary sources on specific cultures and historical periods for instruction and research in a variety of disciplines, including American Studies, History, Theater / Dance, Radio - Television - Film, Anthropology, and language area studies.

II. General Collection Guidelines:

A. Languages: No languages are excluded.

B. Chronological Guidelines: In terms of content the recordings include all historical periods from early to contemporary.

C. Geographical Guidelines: In terms of content no countries are excluded.

D. Treatment of Subject: All types of music are collected as is oral history related to music. Some recordings are selected to show the singular and unique; others are representative. Recordings produced privately, commercially, and by learned societies, governmental, and educational agencies are collected.

E. Types of Material: No formats are excluded. Acoustic recordings (1877 - 1925) are primarily cylinders and discs, with electrical recordings dating from about 1925 to 1948. Representative examples of all formats, including piano rolls, early long playing records (1948), and early forms of magnetic tape, etc., will be obtained to provide materials for research in the history of recorded sound. Motion pictures and videotapes will be acquired.

F. Date of Issue: Collecting is limited by the invention of sound recording in 1877; original recordings produced from that date will be collected. Musical reissues will not normally be located in the Historical Music Recordings Collection.

G. Other General Considerations: Acquisition is primarily by donation, with all offered collections reviewed on their individual merits. As appropriate collections become available for purchase special funds may be sought. Appropriate hardware, also obtained through gifts as available, is added to the archives in order that all recordings may be played.

Similar materials as housed in the Center for American History, the Benson Latin American Collection, and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. See those Collection statements for further clarification.

Recordings in all these locations are supplemented by print and non-print materials in the Fine Arts Library, the Undergraduate Library Audio Visual Library, and the other collections mentioned. Duplicates and items deselected from the Undergraduate Audio Visual Library and the Fine Arts Library may be housed in the Historical Music Recordings Collection.

The Performance Library, a unit of the School of Music, provides multiple copies of performance pieces for the ensembles, choirs, and other music groups in the School, but is not open for broader use.

The Fine Arts Library maintains a compact disc collection, and a videocassette collection some of which may circulate. A phonodisc collection was added to the Fine Arts Library's holdings in 1994.

III. Observations and Qualifications by Subject and LC Class:

Not appropriate in the case of this collection. Cataloged items have been given acquisition numbers and are not classified in a subject schema. Additional access is provided through the Reigler-Deutsch Index and other finding lists.

Classical Music: Includes the recorded compositions of major composers in the Western tradition. Emphasis is placed on recordings demonstration performance practice and interpretations of outstanding artistic quality to provide material for stylistic analysis.

Traditional Music: Including folk music. Field recordings which have been issued commercially are of great importance.

Popular Music: Primarily recorded music of North American popular culture, including jazz, musicals and representative works of a given genre or of an outstanding composer or performer, collected for serious historical study.


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