LIBR 220-12
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Topic: Music Informatics
Fall 2009 Greensheet

Scott J. Simon, Ph.D.
Office: CIS 1040, RM 2031
Office Phone: 813-974-3521
Fax: 813-974-6840
Office Hours: By Appt.

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

This course is taught in Angel. I will email a password on 8/18/2009 so you can log in to the course. The semester starts on 8/24/2009

Course Description

This course will provide an overview of the field of Music Informatics (MI) and Music Information Retrieval (MIR) including major researchers and research articles, as well as technical, social, and cognitive issues. The changing role of music distribution with the use of digital music formats (MP3s) and portable media players (iPODs) will be explored as well. The impact of these new formats and distribution channels on Libraries and Information Services will be explored. Lessons will be posted each Monday detailing readings and assignments for the week.

Course Objectives

  • Learn basic sub-disciplines that make up Music Informatics and Music Information Retrieval
  • Learn about the digital revolution in music and how that impacts music information services and music libraries
  • Develop a working knowledge of current trends in music technologies including software and hardware
  • Explore mental models in the cognition of music listening and performing
  • Explore social and economic realities of the consumption of music in Western societies
  • Learn about improvisation in music, including how to recognize it, and what it contributes to music
  • Explore various music digital libraries and collections
  • Speculate on the future of the music distribution, the music industry, and music libraries

This section of LIBR 220 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:
All of these are in the context of music informatics and music library systems -

  • compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice;
  • recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use;
  • use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information;
  • describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors;
  • understand the nature of research, research methods and research findings; retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups;
  • evaluate programs and services on specified criteria; and
  • contribute to the cultural, economic, educational and social well-being of our communities.

Course Requirements

Course Calendar


Course Grading
Course grades will be calculated from weekly readings, class participation and assignments. The following points will be assessed for the coursework:

  • Course Journal/Blog 50 (2 x 25)
  • Research Paper 40
  • Discussion Boards/Participation 10
  • Total Points 100

My grading policy

  • A Reserved for exceptional performance on all assignments including both written work and participatory exercises--equivalent to a pass “with distinction” on the comprehensive exam
  • A- Work of high quality in all aspects of course work and participation; equivalent to a high pass on the comprehensive exam; goes beyond the simple fulfillment of course requirements
  • B Work of good quality which meets all the requirements of the course
  • B Work of average quality which meets all requirements of the course
  • B- Work not up to the standards set for the course but which meets minimum requirements of the course
  • C Performance that is unsatisfactory in one or more assignments and requirements of the course but which is sufficient for a passing grade. Students in the master's program in LIS are not allowed to continue in the program if more than two C's are earned in the program. Performance at this level on the comprehensive exam would ordinarily be ranked as "Fail."

I reserve the right to award an A for exceptional students.

Attendance and Late Assignment Policy
The requirements for “attendance” in an online course are somewhat different than traditional courses. Students are encouraged to monitor the course web site on a daily basis and complete readings/discussions/assignments on a routine, weekly basis. It is a necessity to visit the course site and complete weekly assignments in order not to fall behind. It is important to keep in mind that there is no guarantee that previous week’s course content will be available. Attendance is also measured by how regularly students visit and contribute to the weekly discussions. Assignments are expected to be turned in on or before scheduled due dates. Late assignments will not be accepted without prior approval.

Academic Dishonesty
Students should be aware of and follow university policies on academic honesty. Any cheating or plagiarism will result in the student’s immediate failure in the course, and will be reported to the appropriate authorities. Work submitted for this course is expected to represent your individual effort, not that of a friend or colleague. Work completed for other courses is not acceptable for meeting the requirements of this course.

Legal Disclaimer: Students with special needs due to a disability should contact me prior to the start of the course. Students who anticipate being unavailable due to a religious observance should inform me by e-mail before the second class session. Students are not permitted to sell notes, assignments, or other course content.

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbook:

  • Bailey, D. (1993). Improvisation: Its Nature and Practice in Music. Da Capo Press. Available through Amazon: 0306805286. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Girsberger, R. (2006). A Manual for the Performance Library. Scarecrow Press. Available through Amazon: 0810858711. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Kusek, D., & Leonhard, G. (2005). The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution. Berklee Press. Available through Amazon: 0876390599. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Levitin, D. (2007). This is Your Brain on Music. Plume. Available through Amazon: 0452288525. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbook:

  • Martin, P. (1997). Sounds and Society. Manchester Press. Available through Amazon: 0719032245. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Perin, R. (2006). A Pocket Guide to APA Style (2nd ed.). Houghton Mifflin. Available through Amazon: 0618691197. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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