|Monday-Thursday:||9-11AM, 1-5 PM, 7-11 PM|
|Friday:||9-11 AM, 1-5 PM|
Only printed music and videos circulate to all students. Sound recordings (CD and LP) circulate to faculty/staff and to graduate students. Undergraduate students are welcome to browse the shelves for CDs and to use them on music library premises.
Printed music circulates for two weeks, and videos for three days, with the possibility of renewal if the need arises. You must have your college ID to check out music or to use music reserve materials (see below). Overdue charges are $.10 per day.
Because of the way computers are configured, the music library cannot check in items from the main library. Please return main library materials to that location.
Interlibrary loan services on printed music are available to music library patrons. Keep in mind that neither videos nor sound recordings can be requested; most other institutions do not make them eligible for ILL. You should verify publication information of your score using WorldCat (one of the links in the online resources section of the library web site), and then e-mail the details to one of the supervising librarians, Elizabeth Oakerson or Bradley Wilber. We encourage you to do this rather than submit a form yourself so that music library staff can first make certain we don’t have a comparable item; we will communicate with you about the final request submission. It is especially helpful to us if you include the OCLC Accession Number at the bottom of your selected WorldCat record.
Online Resources page
As you search WorldCat, please be sure to take note of particulars and match the item you choose to your specific needs--opus numbers or other identifying numbers, key signatures, which and how many instruments are involved, whether you need score AND individual parts, etc. You will pick up ILL items at the main library circulation desk.
Listening Room Policy
The listening rooms are primarily intended for academic uses, i.e. hearing recordings as preparation for assignments, exams, class discussion, recitals, or ensemble rehearsals. These uses must take precedence over recreational listening. If you are using a listening room “for fun,” and the facilities are in particular demand, please be considerate of your comrades and volunteer to vacate. Music library assistants and proctors will monitor listening room use, and may ask any and all users (academic or otherwise) to wrap up their sessions if others are made to wait an inordinate amount of time. Having said that, this rarely happens – we encourage the entire Houghton community to make use of the music library as much as they want for all types of musical experiences, and we aspire to make the atmosphere as inviting as possible.
All music library personnel, including student workers, are well within their rights to ask listening room users to vacate if conduct becomes an issue. Listening rooms are not for boisterous socializing or for romantic trysts, either of which creates an uncomfortable environment for workers and other patrons.
Food and drink are not permitted in the listening rooms, or anywhere else in the music library.
If certain printed music, videos, or sound recordings need to be as available as possible to an entire class over a relatively short period, professors usually choose to place such materials on reserve. Reserve items must be requested at the music library circulation desk (a staff member will retrieve them for you). You must have your college ID in order to borrow reserve materials; you may have reserves for a two-hour period and should use them on music library premises if at all possible.
You may only have two music library reserve items on your card at one time.
From time to time, School of Music professors request that books from the main library collection be given reserve status. Those items remain at the main library and must be requested there.
Arrangement of the Materials
Smaller features of the collection
For your convenience, there is a small section of music reference materials, including Grove’s, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, New Harvard Dictionary of Music, etc. There are copies of these sources and many more in the reference area of the main library.
If you see a call number of MUSIC COL WK on the online catalog, the item you need is located in the collected works, on the right hand wall as you enter the music library. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance if you need help using indexes to the various sets.
Cassettes (older) and CDs (newer) of Houghton College recitals and concert events are available for listening and circulating. The collection is usually up to date through the most recently completed school year. Please ask a music library staffer for assistance with the recital archives. You must check with the music office (CFA 105) for availability of CDs of the school year currently in progress.
The main body of the collection
Vinyl recordings were given ID numbers in cataloging in a system that creates a close approximation of alphabetical order by composer.
Printed music and compact discs have been assigned Library of Congress call numbers, which means that like types of music are grouped together – either by the type of composition, number of instruments, type of instruments, sacred vs. secular text or theme, etc.
Some handy call number designations to know:
- M 3.1 (especially for recordings) – misc. pieces by one composer
- M 10s-30s – solo keyboard
- M 40s and 50s – solo stringed instrument
- M 60x to 110s – wind instruments
- M 177-300 – instrumental duets
- M 300-400 – trios, 400-500 – quartets, etc.
- M 1000-1420 – orchestra, orchestra with solo instrument, etc.
- M 1500 – operas or opera excerpts
- M 1506 – musicals or musical excerpts
- To M 2000 – other secular vocal music
- M 2000 – oratorios
- M 2020 – choruses, cantatas, etc.
- Later on, part-songs, sacred vocal music for special services and occasions, etc.
Searching the Online Catalog
No matter which numbering system applies, it’s best to go beyond browsing and check out our holdings using the online catalog. The new web-based catalog inaugurated in 2006 offers speed and ease of use in many respects, but searching for music remains a slightly more convoluted process than searching for most other items.
To search the library online catalog, simply open a web browser & visit the library collection search page.
If you don’t find what you are looking for using the keyword search features of the catalog, consult a music library staffer. They will take the time to run down with you ALL of your options for listening to Schubert piano sonatas, or Faure song literature, or the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, or for finding scores by various publishers, authoritative editors, etc. Never assume that we don’t have something based on a cursory investigation; it’s extremely important to us to connect you with relevant material if it is in the “power” of our holdings to do so.