Scope of RILM abstracts of music literature

RILM abstracts of music literature covers all types of publications on music, published anywhere in the world and in any language. The document types covered by RILM include all print and digital media (see a complete list of document types). To learn more about RILM's inclusion policies please refer to the official scope guidelines which are available in English, French and German.

Publications represented in RILM abstracts originate from 178 countries and are in 143 languages, and are compiled through a collaborative effort between the International Center and 48 committees across the globe. The nearly one million records in the complete database include titles in the original language and English translation, bibliographic information, and abstracts in English and, when available, the language of publication. Records for publications issued in languages using non-roman writing systems (such as Cyrillic, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Korean, and Hebrew) are represented bilingually. Currently RILM abstracts grows at a rate of 50,000 records each year.

Over the past two decades RILM has dedicated significant additional resources to the coverage of ethnomusicology, popular music, and jazz studies. RILM is also committed to establishing an interdisciplinary context for music studies, and therefore actively tracks publications in a wide range of disciplines that includes anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art history, dance studies, dramatic arts, librarianship, literature, pedagogy, philosophy, physics, psychology, sociology, and therapy. The wide range of music-related topics covered in RILM is reflected in the list of some 2000 music journals represented in the database in addition to about 11,000 journals from other disciplines.

Paralleling breadth in content, RILM abstracts of music literature has now expanded to a suite of three music bibliographies, all updated monthly to maximize currency, available in the following formations:

  • RILM abstracts of music literature begins its publications from the early 19th century and continues through the present. Retrospective projects have filled in selected publication types from earlier years: conference proceedings beginning in 1835, Festschriften with entries dating back to 1840, and early journals that continue publication beyond 1967 to complement RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals, which offers access to and supplies full text of music periodicals that ceased publication before 1967.
  • RILM abstracts of music literature with full text expands upon that unrivaled global bibliography of writings on music with the addition of approximately one million pages of full-text content from more than 200 periodicals, from 50 countries in 40 languages, published since the early 20th century. Most coverage commences at the first issue of the journal run.
  • RILM abstracts of music literature (1967 to present only) comprises bibliographic records from 1967 onward and contains over 840,000 entries.