The BOOK collection covers most areas of musical study, including biography, history and criticism, theory, composition, ethnomusicology, and music education. The reference collection of approximately 2000 volumes includes important music indexes, directories, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and bibliographies.


Scores are available in various formats to meet differing needs: full conductor’s scores, miniature scores for study purposes, vocal scores of operas and other dramatic vocal works, chamber scores and parts, as well as solo performance music. Composers’ complete works, monuments and historical sets are treated as reference materials available for consultation and study in the library. A large collection of song anthologies is also available.


Access to articles, in more than 100 PERIODICALS currently received, is available through Music and Performing Arts Online (IIMP & IIPA), Music Index Online , and RILM Abstracts as well as general online databases including Academic Search Premier, UT e-journals, or Expanded Academic ASAP, Ingenta. Use this link: Databases to access the full list of databases.

Sound Recordings

Sound Recordings (cassettes and compact discs) are available for study in the library and as supporting material for classroom presentation. Graduate Students may now check out compact discs. Please ask for a copy of the policy at the circulation desk. Videos of operas, master classes, jazz performance and instruction, and music history topics are also available.

Faculty and Graduate students may check out audio compact discs for a 3-day period. Graduate students are limited to 3 cds at any one time. Cassettes are located in storage and may be requested through the online catalog.

Multimedia Resources

Look for interactive MULTIMEDIA resources in the Music Library. These materials include electronic books and instruction relating to specific musical compositions:

  • A Hard Day’s Night, which includes the complete Beatles’
  • Beethoven’s Symphony, no. 9, op. 131
  • Dvorak’s From the New World (Symphony, no. 9)
  • Jazz: A Multimedia History based on Lewis Porter’s book,
    Jazz: From its Origins to the Present
  • Mozart’s String Quartet, C major, K. 465, the ‘Dissonant’
  • Schubert’s Quintet, A major, D. 667, the ‘Trout’ Quintet
  • Three Tone Poems by Richard Strauss: Don Juan, Death and
    Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel
  • Subotnick’s All My Hummingbirds Have Alibis and 5 Scenes
    from an Imaginary Ballet

Collection Policy

General Purpose

The Music Library is the university’s primary source for music and music literature. All M-class materials are housed in this branch except for a small reference collection in Reference and Instructional Services and a small collection of audio materials in the Media Center, both in Hodges Library.

The music collection supports instruction and research for 1) students and faculty in the School of Music, 2) service courses to undergraduates taking humanities electives, 3) departments such as theater, dance, art, architecture, history, religion, and cultural studies when music materials are needed for interdisciplinary study, and 4) music information needs of the university community and general public. The collection serves the gamut of needs from vocational to research.

Primary clientele include students in the B. A. with a music major, B. Mus. degree programs (music education, music theory/composition, organ, piano, piano pedagogy and literature, sacred music, strings, Suzuki string pedagogy, studio music and jazz, voice, woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments), M. A. in musicology or theory, and M. Mus. degree programs (accompanying, choral conducting, composition, instrumental conducting, jazz, music education, music theory, organ, piano, piano literature and pedagogy, sacred music, strings, voice, winds or percussion), or Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Subject Description

Music as a subject taught here and as a subject represented in the world of publishing and recording is very broad. Few areas of music are excluded outright from this collection, but those not included within the curricula, such as music therapy or instruction in guitar or harp, are treated very selectively.

Music literature includes general music (appreciation, listener’s guides), bibliography and reference, music history (by period, by genre, by country, biography, performance practice), ethnomusicology (non-Western folk, popular, and art music; Western folk and popular music), notation and music theory, composition, conducting, jazz, instrumental and vocal pedagogy. Music education literature includes history and philosophy, methodology, psychology and testing, administration, instrumental and vocal pedagogy, conducting, juvenile literature, music therapy.

Music itself, as represented in the collection, consists of scores, sound recordings, and video recordings. The fewest limitations of all rest on these areas except for the formats chosen for the collection.

Overlap with Other Subjects

Generally in collection building there is very little overlap, but there are strong interrelationships with other subjects, such as acoustics, aesthetics, art, architecture, dance, education, psychology, religion, sociology, and technology (computers, electronics). Materials that combine these topics or treat music as applied in such areas are of interest to this collection.

Languages Collected and Excluded

English is the primary language of the collection, however, works in Western European languages are selectively collected, especially those in French, German, and Italian. Scores and sound recordings are collected without regard to the language of texts.

Geographic Parameters

Music scores and audiovisual materials are procured on an international basis, although books are predominately from North America and Western Europe. For non-Western areas, emphasis is placed on Africa and Asia.

Chronological Scope

Music from the middle ages to the present is collected.

Dates of Publication

Mainly current publications are acquired for the book collection. However, currency of publication is far less important for scores and audio materials. Weeding decisions are little affected by date of publication.

Retrospective Acquisitions

No emphasis is placed on retrospective acquisitions, but it does occur for scores, sound recordings, and dissertations on microfilm as long as they are in print. Acquisition of out-of-print materials is rarely attempted.

Types of Materials Collected and Excluded

To represent historical change in scholarship and performance practices, multiple formats of scores, multiple editions of scores, and multiple performances on sound recordings are extensively acquired. Music reference materials, composers’ complete works and historical sets (M2-3) are emphasized. Upper division and graduate level texts, and books about all music subjects are collected.

Selectivity is applied in collecting reprints, scores for instruments not represented in the curriculum, juvenile materials for instructional purposes (including school music textbooks and accompanying recordings), books from allied subject areas (e.g., church liturgy, aesthetics, acoustics, dance, etc.), and popular, general interest titles.

Exclusions include manuscripts (original sketches, complete manuscripts, letters, and memorabilia related to music are housed in Special Collections), multiple copies, vocal and piano sheet music, octavo choral music, sets of band, choral and orchestral parts, educational filmstrips, realia, and kits containing teaching accessories.

Formats of Materials Collected and Excluded

Books, music scores (includes collected editions, monuments, study scores, full scores, vocal scores, score and parts, performance editions; sound recordings (preferred format is compact disc, secondary format is cassette); videocassettes and DVDs; CD-ROM and other electronic reference sources; periodicals, microforms, facsimiles of manuscripts, music scores, sketches and treatises; libretti; standard vocal and instrumental instruction materials and pedagogical editions; theses and dissertations, especially in music education; vertical file materials (publishers, catalogs, pamphlets, illustrations) are all collected.

Excluded are scores containing more than ten performing parts (collected by School of Music performance organizations), 78-rpm recordings and most LP recordings. Microforms for scores are generally avoided.

Cooperation with Other Libraries

No formal resource sharing agreements are in place, however, interlibrary loan is used for both borrowing and lending. Academic music libraries of a similar size but with varying strengths are available at Vanderbilt, University of Memphis, and the University of Kentucky.

Curriculum materials are selectively collected but may also be obtained through the Claxton Curriculum Laboratory. Referrals are made to the Knox County Public Library for circulating audiovisual materials.

Alternative Acquisition of Resources

Online searching of citation databases (fee-based).

Positions Responsible for Collection in the Discipline

Head, Music Library and Music Librarian

Corresponding Fund

Music and restricted account, Musical Heritage Fund

Other Factors

Jazz (15-20% of music majors) is supported primarily by sound and video recordings, pedagogical texts, and books on jazz history and biography.

Revision date: July 18, 2002

Collection Statistics (as of July 1, 2010)

  • 27,521 scores
  • 26,795 books
  • 26,429 sound recordings
  • 1,949 videos
  • 2,745 microfilm reels
  • 76 CD-ROMs

Music Library total = 65,538 collection items

Storage Building = 19,977 collection items

Volunteers Basketball Media Guides

This digital collection shares the annually-published men's basketball media guides from 1952 to 1980.

Basketball collection thumbnail