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Summary of Activities, 1973

Barry S. Brook, President de la Commission Mixte du RILM
Nanna Schiødt, Recording Secretary

Report No. 8: London, 1973

Three sessions were devoted to RILM at the 1973 meetings of the International Association of Music Libraries in London on August 26th-31st. The first was a general meeting that centered on reports about recent developments at the RILM center, the activities of various National Committees, and perfecting the scope of RILM’s coverage. The second and third sessions were joint meetings of the RILM Thesaurus Sub-Commission and the IAML Classification Sub-Commission and ‘focused on the multi-lingual RILM Thesaurus. The following is a summation of the proceedings.

Report by the President

Volume V of RILM abstracts, containing 4658 listings for 1971 and several typographic refinements, is now published. Meanwhile, the four issues of Volume VI for 1972 publications are in various stages of preparation; they will become available starting in November. The five-year cumulative index 1967-1971, currently in preparation, will appear a few months thereafter and incorporate the multi-lingual thesaurus, now being prepared by the Thesaurus Sub-Commission (see below). The research and development goals of the project are virtually complete: a uniquely efficient system of in-house inputting and editing that permits cathode ray tube display of all needed fonts and accents is fully operational. Accordingly, funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities can be reduced as planned. The members of the research and development group are now working as a part of the computer staff of the Graduate School of the City University of New York, where they are continuing to supervise the technical production of RILM abstracts and related endeavors.

The anticipated reduction in size of editorial staff will soon be feasible because of the perfection of computer programs that can handle work formerly done manually, and because, as the journal becomes current, the staff no longer has an accumulated backlog in abstracts to process. At last we feel confident that given a smaller salary schedule coupled with our current rate of subscription growth and planned increases in subscription price, the journal will become self-sufficient or close to it in 1976. The first price increase has been put into effect with volume VI at $36.00 for institutions and $12.00 for individuals. The second is scheduled to occur with volume IX in 1976. Such increases are considered reasonable for a journal of RILM abstracts’ size and scope.

Regarding RILM retrospectives, the major share of orders for volume I, Thematic catalogues of music: an annotated bibliography (Hillsdale, New York: Pendragon Press, 1972), came from libraries and individuals in the USA. Is it possible that European colleagues do not know about the series? Three other annotated bibliographies-volume II, French dissertations in music, edited by Jean Gribenski, volume III, The iconography of music, edited by Frederick Crane, and volume IV, Congress reports – are in preparation.

Other developments include 1) the inprogress editing and keyboarding of the RILM five-year cumulative index, which will be published early in 1974 (a mock-up page was distributed to participants at the meetings), and 2) the appearance of RILA abstracts, an abstracts journal modeled on the RILM system. RILA (Repertoire international de la litterature de l’art), a new project sponsored by the College Art Society, maintains its editorial offices at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts under the direction of Michael Rinehart. However, all the keyboarding and technical work of the demonstration RILA issue-which has just appeared-was done at the RILM Center in accordance with RILM’s system. (The demonstration issue of RILA abstracts was received with pleasure by those attending the International Congress of Art History in Granada on September 3rd-8th, 1973.)

Two Special Reports from National Committees

Fifteen national chairmen submitted written reports indicating. steady progress in the gathering and processing of abstracts. Two reports were heard orally.

Spain: Leonico Hernández Albert

Despite decided interest in RILM in Spain, until the past year an active national committee did not exist. Fortunately a committee has now been formed; 120 abstracts were recently prepared and sent to the international RILM Center. Although problems are many – for example, the salaries of musicologists are so low that they must take on other work-means will be found to carry the work forward.

USSR: Tamara Lyssenko

The RILM National Committee in the USSR consists of Professor Y. Keldysh, Professor A. Nikolayev, G. Šneerson, corresponding member of the GDR Academy of Sciences, and Tamara Lyssenko, director of the Taneev Scientific Music Library at the Moscow Conservatory. They are assisted by musicologists of the Taneev Library in Moscow and bibliographers at the V. Lacis Library in Latvia and the Republic Library in Lithuania, who prepare abstracts.

As in previous years, the most interesting musicological publications that appeared in the USSR (in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, etc.) were selected for abstracting. At the same time more attention was paid to publications that originated in smaller cities, e. g. Rostov, Vladimir, TalIin, Saratov, Sverdlovsk, Kishinev, Yerevan, and Baku. Abstracts were also written of books published in Soviet Republics in indigenous languages. Libraries in Lithuania, Latvia, and Armenia were particularly active in this past year.

In all, 253 abstracts were prepared by the USSR RILM Committee between September 1972 and August 1973. Included were monographs and articles on aesthetics, theory and history of music, and outstanding Russian and Soviet composers, collections of letters, analytical studies, congress reports and symposium proceedings, bibliographies, and reports on conservatories and institutes in Moscow, Leningrad, Vladimir, Sverdlovsk, and Baku.

Coverage Report by Jerry Emanuel

The first phase of this preliminary survey of periodical indexes, subject bibliographies, and abstract journals seeks to provide a tentative list of sources for the evaluation and expansion of RILM’s coverage of non-music periodicals. (A checklist was handed to the participants at the meeting.) The more time-consuming and valuable phases of the study will be the evaluation of each title so that the maximum coverage may be had from the minimum number of sources. The listing-evaluation-weeding procedure will be applied to other aspects of RILM’s coverage, e. g., music periodicals, music books, and articles in books that are not primarily about music.

Report of the Thesaurus Sub-Commission (Anders Lönn, Chairman)

At the first of the two joint meetings of the Thesaurus Sub-Commission and the IAML Classification Sub-Commission, Professor Brook described the methods being used in generating the five-year cumulative index; he distributed a sample page of the index that included “see-references” in languages other than English. The ensuing discussion concerned specific problems relating to the addition of non-English terms, as reviewed in a paper by the sub-commission chairman. The main points of this discussion, which was continued during the second session, were as follows:

A careful distinction must be drawn between the thesaurus and the (printed) indexes produced from the thesaurus. While the immediate objective is to add non-English terms to the 1967-71 cumulative index, the eventual aim is to develop the thesaurus into a fully effective international indexing tool, both for RILM’s own needs and for other indexing purposes. This broader aim has to be kept in mind when considering additions to the five-year index. Flexibility in the use of the thesaurus is required, so that selections of non-English terms can be chosen to meet the needs of each particular index.

For the cumulative index, additions would have to be restricted to translations of existing English terms. The next stage in the development of the international thesaurus would then be to add terms specific to a particular language or culture (cf. Bologna report). This would be a topic at next year’s meetings.

With regard to the cumulative index, the following decisions were made.

1) All presently available languages should be included (German, Russian, Hungarian, Swedish, and Danish, with a French and an Italian list expected), though this somewhat haphazard choice of secondary languages should in no way be regarded as final. Coverage should then be extended in the first place to other western languages, later on to a selection of oriental languages.

Reversing previous decisions to include transliterated Russian terms with the other languages in the index, it was now agreed that a complete Russian translation of the Thesaurus (in Cyrillic) should be printed as an appendix.

2) For reasons given above, inclusion of non-English terms in the thesaurus should be fairly liberal. Terms unnecessary in the five-year index would then be deleted in the editing process. Specifically i) terms from French. and German, dissimilar to English but similar among themselves (e.g., Partiturpartition), should be included in the thesaurus and be brought together on one line in the index; ii) terms from secondary languages would be included only if they differed from the principal languages; iii) regular variations such as German k for English c (Kanoncanon) should be indicated by a general reference at the beginning of the letter in the index; iv) variants such as Hungarian szonata or Swedish rapsodi (for sonatarhapsody) should be included in full in the thesaurus. (They would be omitted from the index if too proximate to the English equivalent. As a guiding principle for the degree of proximity a distance of no more than 1 to 2 terms was suggested depending also on the number of entries under each term.); v) the same procedure should be followed with other partly similar terms, such as German Orgeledieren for organediting, or Swedish arkiv for archive.

3) Regarding the suggestion that certain familiar or “self-evident” terms could be excluded even if dissimilar in form, it was felt that the general usefulness of the thesaurus might be impaired if, for instance, basic terms in music terminology or non-musical terms (languagessalaries, etc.) were not provided with references from other languages. (Non-musical terms were very few in any case.) Geographical terms (names of countries), however, were not considered to need translations.

Participants in the RILM Meetings:

Austria: Harold Bogner; Belgium: Jean Ferrad, Bernard Huys; Czechoslovakia: Oldrich Pulkert; Denmark: Nanna Schiødt, Kamma Wedin; France: Egon Kenton, Simone Wallon; Germany (BRD): Kurt Dorfmüller, Rudolf Elvers, Imogen Fellinger, Gertraut Haberkamp, Harald Heckmann, Margaret F. Johnson, Wolfgang Rehm, Lisbet Thew, Liesbeth Weinhold; Great Britain: Kenneth H. Anderson, E. T. Bryant, Roger Crudge, Donald Gadsby, Malcolm Jones; Hungary: Ivan Pethes; Israel: Israel Adler; Italy: Mariangela Donà, Sergio Paganelli; Poland: Maria Prokopowicz; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Tamara Lyssenko; Spain: Leonico Hernández Albert; United States: Barry S. Brook, Olga Buth, Leonore Coral, Vincent Duckles, Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Emanuel, John Overbeck, Marian Ritter, Don L. Roberts, Ida Rosen; Sweden: Ingalill Hagberg, Eva Helenius, Anna-Lena Holm, Cari Johansson, Bengt Kyhlberg, Anders Lönn, Siegfried Muhlhausen, J. O. Rudén.