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Summary of Activities, 1977

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

Report No. 12: Mainz, 1977

During the single RILM session there were 49 participants from 19 countries. Discussions were touched off by announcements that RILM will devote a special issue to the banque des lacunes, for which abstracts are now being collected; that there may be a tie-in of RILM’s data base with the Lockheed Corporation; and that a merger with the Bibliographie des Musikschrifttums is under consideration.

Report by the President

1977 five issues of RILM abstracts are being published: the time gap is being narrowed. VIII/2-3 was out in June, VIII/4 in September, and in December IX/I-2 saw the light of day. One entire phase of production has been eliminated by feeding index entries and abstracts into the computer simultaneously. There is also no doubt that double issues are a practical step, and one that will be taken increasingly often. One more note on production: A possibility that has been in the air for some years is starting to take shape. Within the next year we hope to be able to start using the photocomposition machine of the New York Public Library, which will reduce our costs substantially. Equally important, it will mean that all accents may be printed instead of having to be inserted individually into the camera-ready copy. It will also make possible the resumption of use of Cyrillic characters, which were temporarily given up because they had to be stripped in by hand. Our computer programmer is now writing the program – i. e., transforming the present programs for use on another photocomposer – that will make all of this a reality.

The banque des lacunes – a collection of abstracts missing in RILM issues between 1967 and 1976 which was started last summer at the suggestion of François Lesure – is growing steadily. Many of these abstracts will be appearing in volumes IX and X, but the bulk of them will be published in a special issue – X/4. The indexing that would normally go into X/4 will be covered in the second five-year cumulative index, which is expected to appear just after the completion of volume X. Further requests for these abstracts will be disseminated and we hope that national committee chairmen will make every effort to collect them too, by sending notices to journals, and so on. If it is impossible to provide an abstract for any piece of writing, we would be pleased to have even a citation, with key words for the indexer.

In May official announcement of the long-awaited matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities was received and we are now engaged in raising money to meet the first year’s commitment. Readers responded warmly to an appeal for matching funds sent out with VIII/2-3 and of course the professional societies have been very helpful, but we are still far short of the goal. Thinking ahead with optimism, however, we have increased our editorial staff and have also added a computer programmer of our own, which will enable us to iron out technical difficulties more quickly in the future.

Negotiations have been started with the Lockheed Information Systems, which have proposed the addition of the RILM data base to their information retrieval service. Although the latter includes many different topics in the social sciences, they have very little material in the humanities. Once the system becomes fully operational, RILM can expect an annual return of perhaps one to three thousand dollars.


The proposal that the Bibliographie des Musikschrifttums and RILM should merge is based on the following premises: a) a single, unified, and larger bibliography of writings on music would be better for the entire world of music, from both scholarly and economic points of view, than the continued publication of two separate bibliographies of current literature (e.g., libraries would have to purchase only one publication instead of two); b) that the years 1940-49 and 1870-1935 need to be fully covered. There is great interest in achieving bibliographic control for those years, as seen from the numerous discussions on this question within the Music Library Association (U.S.) and the International Association of Music Libraries; c) that if the Bibliographie des Musikschrifttums would publish volumes for 1940-49 and 1870 (or 1900) to 1935, such volumes would be purchased by many libraries all over the world. In addition, Bibliographie volumes already published – for 1936-39 and 1950-66 – could be sold to many libraries and to individuals that now have only RILM from 1967 onward. As Dr. Günther Wagner, editor of the Bibliographie, commented, RILM prints about 4500 abstracts a year and the Bibliographie lists about 6 000 items (citations only); obviously, in any merger RILM must increase its coverage in order that the expectations of Bibliographie readers be realized. Abstracts would have to be shorter, with perhaps in some cases only key words.

Discussion next centered about the International Thesaurus, developed by the Thesaurus Subcommission under the chairmanship of Anders Lönn. The Thesaurus was not yet complete when it was included in the first five-year cumulative index; for the second cumulative index it is expected that four or five additional languages will be encompassed. Another important addition will be an extension of the ethnomusicological vocabulary. Similarly, as Lenore Coral pointed out, ethnomusicological coverage in the journal must also be broadened.


Australia: Ian Miller; Austria: Helga Scholz; Belgium: Bernard Huys; Brazil: Mercedes Reis Pequeno; Canada: Maria Calderisi, Kathleen Toomey; Denmark: Nanna Schiødt; France: Nanie Bridgman, Jean Michel Nectoux; Federal Republic of Germany: Norbert Boker-Heil, Kurt Dorfmiiller, Imogen Fellinger, Gertraut Haberkamp, Jürgen Kindermann, Wolfgang Krueger, Hartmut Schaefer, Wilhelm Schlüter, Gunhild Solms, Günther Wagner, Mary Wedgewood; Great Britain: Anne Marie Køllgaard, Malcolm Turner; Hungary: János Kárpáti; Israel: Israel Adler; Italy: Mariangela Donà; Netherlands: Clemens von Gleich, Dick van den Hul; Poland: Maria Prokopowicz; Portugal: Maria Fernanda Cidrais Rodrigues; Spain: José López-Calo; Sweden: Ingalill Hagberg, Anna-Lena Holm, Anders Lönn; Switzerland: Lisbet Thew; United States: Liselotte Andersson, Ann Basart, Garrett Bowles, Ann Briegleb, Barry Brook, Claire Brook, Olga Buth, Lenore Coral, Vincent Duckles, Viola L. Hagopian, Everett Hehn, Robert M. Jones, Judy Kaufman, Geraldine Ostrove, Melva Peterson.