The Libraries seek to support research in the study of music. Particular areas of concentration include historical musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology. The Libraries' collections also support creative programs, most notably composition, as well as many instructional activities, such as ear training and music performance. It supports the needs of undergraduate and Ph.D. students, MA/MS students, the teaching faculty, post-docs, and research staff members.
During the first half of the 1990’s, the following changes were observed: They include an increasing number of music undergraduate majors, minors, and concentrators. On the graduate level, an apparent increasing number of interdisciplinary projects result in a more diverse group of graduate student users.
New courses recently introduced include increased emphasis on music theory and music cognition. More courses on popular music throughout the world are being emphasized.
Areas of established specialization are historical musicology, theory, and ethnomusicology. The Library collects comprehensively the printed and recorded music of approximately 400 living composers.