This policy sets out the scope, criteria and terms for the acquisition of material into the British Music Collection.

Background

This policy sets out the scope, criteria and terms for the acquisition of material into the British Music Collection.

The British Music Collection is a unique resource consisting of 40,000 scores and recordings from 20th and 21st century British composers, available to browse online and hosted physically by our partners at Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield. Our collection of British music resources is unique, made up of a diverse selection of scores, recordings, multimedia files, books, information and listings. It represents a rich archival history of British musical life in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as a living record of emerging practice. We want it to be engaging, expanding and interconnected with a rich network of resources and material about new music in Britain and internationally. As such, it will be central to enabling Sound and Music to fulfil our mission which is to unlock the creative potential of composers, to open up their work for more people to discover, and to develop a vibrant future for new music as a result.

Sound and Music relaunched its public programme in April 2013, building on the findings of the wide-ranging public consultation undertaken between November 2012 and January 2013. The British Music Collection is a vital part of our future programme and as such supports our vision and mission for the future. Sound and Music’s Board have agreed the future ambition for the British Music Collection, which is to develop it into an engaging music discovery service, and a 21st century research tool. They have committed to its expansion, and the priority in this regard will be digital expansion. In part, this is a pragmatic acknowledgement of the limitations of physical space. But more significantly, it is a recognition that the ways in which audiences, performers and researchers are seeking and exploring new music have transformed over the last decade, and will continue to change as access to digital technology (and the ways that different data sources can interconnect) evolve and expand.

The British Music Collection offers a unique and endlessly fascinating resource which, if opened up in a vibrant and engaging digital environment, can present and promote British music in a global as well as national context. Also, with the right technical architecture, it can be curated and explored in an endless and enriching number of ways, as well as linking to existing material available elsewhere such as streaming services, other archives or composer websites, as well as user-generated content. The existing physical collection will also expand, but in limited form. However, access to the physical collection will be enhanced greatly by the creation of an HLF-funded archives centre at the University of Huddersfield within which the British Music Collection will play a prominent role. Alongside this, an ongoing programme is already being undertaken to update and improve the cataloguing of the material, and to preserve (through digital transfer) material currently held in fragile formats such as Betamax or cassettes. Longer term, the shared wish of the University and of Sound and Music is that the material held in Huddersfield should be digitised and made available for perusal, discovery and research, and interconnected with the digital-only material acquired through this policy. Sound and Music’s Board are also committed to a diversity of talent, forms and styles being included in the expansion of the Collection, reflection the expanding breadth of new music practice in Britain.

Acquisition Policy

Sound and Music will build this policy around the following objectives:

a) A searchable, up to date and useful catalogue of 20th and 21st century British music, including the physical material held at the University of Huddersfield but also listings for material held digitally by Sound and Music and elsewhere

b) A digital library of material (scores, recordings, audio-visual and contextual material) linked to the catalogue and other sources, and allowing for engaging curation, promotion and exploration of British new music

c) Focused promotion of emerging talent on an ‘annual cohort’ basis

General criteria for inclusion:

• Member of PRS (or equivalent)
If you don't have a PRS number, please contact us here to discuss it

• Submission of materials in the form requested (technical specifications will be made available)

• Agreement that any information and material submitted is free from any third party interest, and that it can be used for promotion, perusal and/or research (but not for performance or duplication)

• All composers must be British born or resident in England. (Scottish and Scotland based composers should contact the Scottish Music Information Centre; Northern Irish and Northern Ireland based composers should contact the Contemporary Music Centre in Dublin; and Welsh and Wales based composers Ty Cerdd, for information about how those organisations can present their work.)

The British Music Collection will present material by composers in one of two ways, either as Affiliated composers or New Voices. In addition there will be an online catalogue which can include listings information and also signposting to other sources of information such as online streaming, composer websites, music publishers and agents.

1. Developing the online catalogue

Beyond meeting the general criteria listed above, composers can submit details of as many works as they like to be included in the online catalogue, using the form to be provided.

2. Affiliated composers

Affiliated composers can submit a maximum of 8 works in digital format (the technical specifications required will be made available) to the Collection using the form provided (scores and/or recordings or AV material). We will strongly encourage composers to submit a diverse range of work in terms of scale, forces, duration etc, in order to best illustrate their practice. Composers will be encouraged to regularly renew/replace their material to ensure their best and/or newest work is available. To be eligible for inclusion the following should be submitted:

1. Catalogue listings in the form provided (there is no limit on the number of works that can be included in the online catalogue)

2. Up to eight digitised scores and/or recordings/AV material with accompanying programme notes and any other interesting contextual material (eg performance histories), in the technical format that will be specified

3. Biographical or other information (including for example recorded and written interviews with composers, performers, conductors and presenters), which the composer agrees to keep updated.

Additional criteria:

• The donor or depositor must have the authority to transfer the material

• The donor or depositor must sign a formal deposit agreement and licence to ensure no unnecessary restrictions on access or availability for discovery, perusal or research

3. New Voices The relaunched New Voices annual cohorts comprise composers undertaking either Sound and Music’s Embedded or Portfolio talent development programmes. New Voices composers will be asked to submit the following:

1. Catalogue listings in the form provided (there is no limit on the number of works that can be included in the online catalogue)

2. Up to eight digitised and physical copies of scores and/or recordings/AV material with accompanying programme notes and any other interesting contextual material (eg performance histories) in the form provided

3. Biographical or other information (including for example recorded and written interviews with composers, performers, conductors and presenters), which the composer agrees to keep updated.

In addition:

4. Physical copies of materials may be lodged at the University of Huddersfield

5. An online and physical promotional brochure will be created annually

6. A dedicated web presence will be presented for each annual cohort, in collaboration with the composers Additional criteria:

• The donor or depositor must have the authority to transfer the material

• The donor or depositor must sign a formal deposit agreement and licence to ensure no unnecessary restrictions on access or availability for discovery, perusal or research We also intend to update the web presence of previous New Voices and Contemporary Voices subscribers over the course of 2014.

Decision Making, Evaluation and Review

In any case of doubt, final decisions will be taken by the executive of Sound and Music within the framework of this policy, and guided by the input of the Steering Group which includes employees of the University of Huddersfield as well as external representatives including composers, library and metadata experts. This policy will be subject to annual review by Sound and Music’s Board of Trustees in the context of Sound and Music’s business plan.

Susanna Eastburn, Chief Executive

December 2013

 


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British Music Collection Acquisitions Policy