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Summary of Activities, 1985

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

Report No. 20: 1985

Thirty-nine participants from twenty countries attended the RILM session

Report by the President

Volume XIV is complete and work on the first issue of volume XV is well under way. In searching for ways to close the time gap created by the lacunae issue (which delayed regular publication for two years) and by the two five-year cumulative indexes (one year each), we made a fortunate discovery—a new technique for producing our final pages that cuts two weeks from the production time for each issue. This will finally enable us to increase our output to five issues a year: XV/1 should appear about two months before the end of our publishing year.

Since we raised our prices for volume XIV, we have, as anticipated, become self-sufficient, able to meet on-going expenses without the strain that has plagued us since the inception of the project. Unfortunately, there is still no room in the budget for extraordinary projects and it is necessary to look for money for the next five-year cumulative index, which will be published at the completion of volume XV. A local finance committee, established for the purpose of acquiring funding for such special projects, met for the first time in August and discussed ways of meeting the challenge. It was decided that the feasibility of advertising should be investigated, but no conclusion had been reached at this writing. The committee, chaired by Floyd Grave, has as its members Linda Solow Blotner and James Pruett, with Melva Peterson participating ex officio.

Within the last year RILM has acquired three new national chairpersons—Eero Tarasti in Finland, Rita Vine in Canada, and Hugh Cobbe in Great Britain—and three new area editors: for acoustics, Rudolf Rasch; for Latin American studies, John Schechter; and for jazz, pop, and rock music, Neal Ullestad. In addition, we have a new contact in Lebanon, Father Louis Hage, at the Université Saint-Esprit.

A revision of the RILM classification system is in progress to make it more reflective of all world cultures. At a meeting of the Project Group on Classification of World Cultures in RILM, five position papers were read, written by the following: János Kárpáti (who chaired the session), Ann Schuursma, Gen’ichi Tsuge, Malena Kuss, and Dorothy Curzon. The revised system, when finally decided upon, will be put into effect with volume XVI, at the beginning of our next five-year sequence.

The RILM English-language Thesaurus, which brought in about nine hundred dollars during the year, is increasingly in demand. Our orders included one from Taiwan and one from the People’s Republic of China. An interesting new journal, Chinese National Folk Music, also came in from the People’s Republic.

There will be a review of the guidelines for inclusion and exclusion of material appropriate (or inappropriate) for RILM abstracts at the IAML meeting in Holland, in 1987.

Special Reports

Federal ‘Republic of Germany
Norbert Böker-Heil will be in active charge of the RILM work; Günther Wagner will no longer be a participating member of the committee. Otherwise, the staff remains the same.

Japan. Gen’ichi Tsuge spoke of the abstract journal published regularly in Japanese as an offshoot of RILM abstracts. It contains some of the abstracts from the English journal, but is basically material of local interest, in contrast to the material of international interest sent on to New York.

USA. Lenore Coral raised the question of the place of popular biography in scholarly literature. In speaking of the activities of the newly formed US office at Cornell University, she announced that the committee would be increasing the number of volunteers who write abstracts, including asking instructors in music bibliography to assign students to the task. She also discussed problems of sponsorship for her committee, which, like all national committees, is financially independent of the RILM Center in New York.

Commission Internationale Mixte (ad hoc)

The meeting was attended by Hugh Cobbe (pr tem in the place of Oliver Neighbour, who recently retired), János Kárpáti, Norbert Böker-Heil (sitting in for Harald Heckmann), Melva Peterson, Barry S. Brook, and Nanna Schiødt (secretary). The classification question was discussed and future action recommended. The five position papers read at the Project Group meeting noted above will be distributed by Kárpáti to the Music in the Life of Man Board of Directors and Coordinators and he will also be getting advice from other representatives of the non-Western cultures. Other business discussed: The international finance committee, intended to generate support for RILM that would be on-going, has never come into operation and will be reconstituted if the Commission Mixte deems it to be appropriate.