I think, as a rule of thumb, you should acquire at least a six-inch stack of music every year. But your major buying should be during school when you must become familiar with a bulk of the repertoire. I have two oversized drawers, one packed with concertos, the other with orchestra parts and scores; and five file drawers of solo and chamber music. That’s about 35-40 feet of music. That doesn’t include piano or vocal music. I have at least ten feet of songbooks. One thing that impedes collecting is the current habit of websites to show the covers only, and not have lists one can quickly browse through, or to search by composers’s last names. The old Lyra site was ideal, which is one reason I bought most of my music from Don Henry. He also stocked the widest range of music, and I was fortunate to be able to stop by almost every Friday afternoon and browse in his shop. And, as he used to tell me, the prices will only go up in the future, so buy now. And it was true. To replace my collection would cost a fortune now.
Saul, this could be a good thread! We own a “ton” of music, even though we have given much of it to students and fellow musicians as we have gradually retired. We have a built-in cabinet six feet wide, floor to ceiling, that is crammed full of music. In addition, every spare shelf in the house has music on it! There are piano, harp, organ and vocal scores in every room of the house. Music on shelves does indeed make good insulation against the cold Winter temps, I say! I hope that answers “how much music do you own?”
This is fun–post your comments here, fellow musicians!