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Summary of Activities, 2002-03

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie, Editor-in-Chief

Overview: As usual, the year has been marked both by challenges and by successes. Volume 32 has been published, RILM’s electronic versions are quite current, and our new database system is being launched this month. The year ahead is predicted to include the publication of the very large Volume 33 as well as a new volume in the RILM Retrospectives series. Both the National Committees and the staff of the International Center have had considerable changes this year; we have lost some dear colleagues, and we have gained some excellent new ones. All in all, it has been an interesting year, and RILM’s condition is stable and strong.

National Commitees: The National Committees submitted over 11,000 records this year. Our many excellent, long-standing and new committees help to ensure that RILM includes publications from many parts of the world. In addition, we are hopeful that coverage of scholarship from Africa, Chile, China, and Finland is about to improve significantly. Chris Walton, the new chair of the South African committee, is looking into the possibility of organizing coverage of the entire continent of Africa. Gao Jie, who is on staff at the largest music library in China and who attended IAML last year in Berkeley, is working on establishing a committee there. Carmen Peña (Chile) and Jaakko Tuohiniemi (Finland) are both hard at work revitalizing their National Committees.

Coverage in Countries without Active Committees: RILM is always on the lookout for people interested in establishing committees in countries not currently represented. Please send suggestions or expressions of interest to me at For a complete list of our current national committees, see global network.

The International Center in New York finds and abstracts many publications from countries where there is no active committee at present, with the aim of ensuring continuity (in countries where committees are in transition) and coverage (in countries where RILM lacks a national committee). An average of 20,000 records are added to the RILM database each year, of which 5000-8500 originate at the International Center. Many of these records are accessed from the several hundred journals received at the Center.

New Scope Guidelines: RILM’s Commission Internationale Mixte formally approved RILM’s new scope guidelines at the IAML meeting in 2002. The revision takes into account the expanding nature of musical inquiry, its many subdisciplines with their varying resource needs, and the ever-increasing role of e-publications. The new scope guidelines are given, in full, at the end of this report.

RILM Online and on CD-ROM: RILM is now available through five different online interfaces: OCLC’s FirstSearch, NISC’s BiblioLine, and, as of February 2002, Ovid (SilverPlatter interface). As of early 2003, EBSCO and CSA are also offering RILM online. The database is available on CD-ROM as well, through NISC. For more information, see our website (

Each of the five vendors have enhanced RILM in various ways, including links to full-text journal articles, to library holdings, to local library catalogues, to interlibrary loan, and to document delivery services. Some of the vendors have also provided hotlinks on various descriptor fields and between related records. Other features include the ability to export records formatted for bibliographic managers such as ProCite and Endnote, alert services that send new records in a user’s area of interest to his or her e-mail address on a regular basis, cross-database searching with other humanities databases, and much more.

Currency: While RILM editors are working their way through the massive amount of material in Volume 33 (more on this below), our assistant editors are accessing materials in the most current years, helping to keep RILM online and on CD-ROM up-to-date. For coverage of recent publications, the chart below indicates how quickly we are releasing current records for online publication. These most current records used to be citations only, and were later replaced with fully abstracted and indexed records; now, as shown in the chart below, roughly half of these current records initially include lightly edited abstracts. We have also made a priority of publishing reviews as quickly as possible, resulting in current coverage of both reviews and the books that are their subjects.

VolumeNo. of Non-Review Records Currently in In-House DatabaseNo. of Non-Review Records Currently Published OnlineNo. of Non-Review Records Online with AbstractsNo. of Reviews Published Online
34 (2000)12,90012,0867356777
35 (2001)764172103344316
36 (2002)548050812348877
37 (2003)14751232690172

RILM online in June 2003

Printed Volumes: Volume XXXII (1998): Volume 32 was shipped to the printer some months ago; all paid book subscribers should have received their copies early in 2003. The volume contains 17,406 records. Volume XXXIII (1999): Volume 33 is going to be a very large volume; if all records, including lacunae from previous years, are included, it will be almost twice the size of any previous RILM volume, with more than 34,000 records.

Retrospective Projects: Thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, RILM was able to hire three editors and one assistant editor to focus solely on accessing, editing, and indexing congress reports from 1966 back to the 19th century. This first step toward a robust retrospective file will be complete by the end of 2003. The next focus for RILM’s retrospective work will be journals. RILM and RIPM have agreed to coordinate journal indexing such that, in general, RIPM will cover journals that ceased publication around 1950; RILM will cover journals that continued to be published later into the century. See below for RILM’s first step in this effort.

RILM and JSTOR: RILM has been working with JSTOR to create a list of core journals for JSTOR’s new Music Collection, a full-text archive of full runs of scholarly music journals. A committee of musicologists, ethnomusicologists, theorists, and librarians submitted their top picks for this list, using JSTOR’s criteria, and collating the lists resulted in a final selection of 35 journals. Since then, JSTOR has been able to reach agreement with the publishers of 31 of them. They have almost finished digitizing the complete runs of all 31 titles (except for the most recent few years, which are not included according to JSTOR policy), and the Music Collection is scheduled to be launched in the early autumn of 2003. For a list of these titles, see The RILM database will be linked with the full-text articles through most of our online vendors, and we plan to devote our next retrospective project to abstracting and indexing those articles in this collection that pre-date RILM’s founding in 1967.

Website ( RILM’s website is going to be updated in the next few months, with many added features including more information on each vendor’s version of RILM; a place for user feedback; information on RILM’s history; some sample pages of the bibliography and index; an updated journals list; a list of RILM’s index headings; more information about RILM’s National Committees; and much more.

New database application: After several delays, RILM’s new database system (iBis—internet bibliographic indexing system) has finally been beta-tested in our office. Editors spent a couple of weeks working in the new and old systems simultaneously to make sure iBis works properly. We will cut over to iBis permanently in August 2003 and are expecting significant improvements in editorial efficiency as a result. Furthermore, we will now be able to output our data in Unicode, which allows the display of all diacritical characters. (Not all of our vendors are ready to accept Unicode, but some are, and the others are likely not far behind.) We are very much looking forward to this development, so that languages included in RILM are more accurately rendered. But one of the most exciting features will be that our National Committees can access the new database directly, creating and modifying their own records. The development of a committee access level will follow a few months after the launch of the new system and is expected to be ready for testing soon. The last stage in the system’s development will be software for exporting the data to RILM’s printed volumes.

In memoriam: RILM has lost a number of key collaborators and long-time friends this year. Yves Lenoir, chair of the National Committee in Belgium and RILM correspondent since 1977, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Spyridon Peristeris, a valuable member of RILM’s committee in Greece, sadly passed away this year as well. Leslie Troutman, a member of RILM’s Technical Advisory Committee and staunch RILM supporter for many years, lost a battle to cancer in spring 2003.

Staff: The staff of the RILM International Center had an unusual number of landmark events and changes this year.

Two senior staff members were recognized for more than 30 years of service to RILM: Laurice Jackson, RILM’s Office Manager, has worked at RILM for 34 years—longer than anyone else has, and almost since RILM’s founding. She was honored by the CUNY Graduate Center with an Employee Achievement Award in the spring of 2003. Carl Skoggard, Senior Editor, has worked at RILM for 33 years—almost as long as Laurice. RILM is very fortunate to have these long-standing colleagues; their experience and knowledge is invaluable to RILM.

Two staff members left this year, and we are very pleased to welcome seven new staff members:
Risa Freeman, after some 13 years at RILM, has left to take a job at the Getty Foundation, where she will be the manager of the Art and Archeology Technical Abstracts database. She began at RILM as an Editor, and in recent years she was RILM’s Managing Editor.

Marilyn Nonken’s career as a concert pianist specializing in contemporary music is blossoming; she will leave RILM in August to pursue performing full-time.

Tina Frühauf has joined the staff as a new Editor. She has a Ph.D. in Musicology from Folkwang-Hochschule, Essen, Germany, and her previous job was as a researcher at She is a native German speaker, with expertise in 20th-century music, immigrant music, Jewish music, and organ.

Murat Eyuboglu has also joined the editing staff. He has a Ph.D. in Musicology from SUNY Stony Brook. His expertise is in 19th- and 20th- century music (his dissertation was on Mahler), and he is fluent in French and Turkish.

New Assistant Editors include Desmond Hosford (doctoral student of musicology and French literature), Cyrill Schurch (doctoral student in composition), Yekaterina Slutskaya (doctoral student in musicology), and Jadranka Važanova (doctoral student in ethnomusicology).

Michele Smith is RILM’s new Administrative Assistant. Her previous job was as Assistant Archivist at the New York Philharmonic, and she is helping us with marketing and various office duties.

RILM Scope Guidelines
(revision approved 2002)

The purpose of RILM is to provide access to information on music. Although the amount of literature on music is vast, RILM’s focused approach allows for optimal coverage of the types of material that are its concern. These guidelines describe what types of source documents are appropriate for inclusion in RILM−referred to in these guidelines as “RILM material”.

RILM material falls into two broad categories: (1) writings and other resources that provide an analysis, show the results of systematic research, or give a critical opinion or interpretation; (2) writings and other resources that provide important source material (including but not limited to correspondence, interviews, obituaries, conference reports, and biographies). RILM material can be in any format, including print, electronic, microform, etc.

Many musical subdisciplines rely on publications that are traditionally scholarly in nature, while others—especially those related to current musical life—have come to rely on a broader range of publications for much of their source material. Inclusion decisions should take this into account, bearing in mind that publications relied upon by music scholars are appropriate for inclusion in the RILM bibliography.

Each national committee is responsible for collecting references to all RILM material published in its country according to the guidelines herein, preparing abstracts for the material, and forwarding the abstracts to the International Center in New York for editing, indexing, and publication. If a committee is unable, for any reason, to collect and abstract any materials included in these guidelines, the committee must inform the International Center in order to give the International Center the opportunity of finding other RILM correspondents to cover these materials.

In general, each national RILM committee makes individual selection decisions within the scope of these guidelines. However, to insure uniform coverage between countries, the International Center may provide feedback and guidance to the national committees. In cases where it is not clear whether a publication is RILM material or not, the committee may consult the International Center. NB: In difficult cases, inclusion may be preferable to exclusion.

Document Types of RILM Material

RILM includes all writings and resources likely to be of value to music researchers, whether printed, electronic, or any other media. The first priority for all national committees is to abstract thoroughly and in a timely manner the most important and scholarly items from all subject areas. While RILM material appears in different publication types from one country to the next, in general, priority will be given to core journal articles, monographs, essay collections, conference proceedings and Festschriften, and dissertations and theses. Committees will cover other items as they are able to do so, perhaps with citations only, as appropriate. The International Center may add to committee submissions to the extent possible.

Periodical Coverage

All periodical articles on music and related disciplines are considered to be RILM material. However, given the vastness and variation of this literature, and the limitations on national committee resources, the following coverage priorities have been established, from most important to least.

Priority 1: Core journals. These are the most important journals devoted entirely to music research. Each committee establishes a list of such journals published in their countries. Once a journal has been deemed to be a core journal, the committee is obligated to provide abstracts for virtually every article (there may be rare exceptions) and a citation for every review, in a timely and thorough fashion.

Priority 2: Primary journals. These are periodicals in which many, but not all, items are considered essential RILM material. Primary journals entirely devoted to music may be only partially abstracted, with a citation representing all other articles. Primary journals also include non-music periodicals that sometimes include articles on music; these articles are often especially valuable to music researchers, and as such, every effort should be made to find and abstract them.

Priority 3: Other periodicals. These include periodicals that may be more journalistic in nature, but nevertheless contain articles on music that are valuable to researchers. Citations for these items—sometimes with brief, clarifying abstracts—should be provided as regularly as possible.

The three priorities described above are for periodical articles in any media. If the article is part of an electronic journal or website, the following criteria must be met: (1) there is a procedure in place for archiving the journal or site; (2) there is an editorial policy in place; (3) the journal is published regularly; (4) the journal has a publisher (that is, it is not self- or editor-published).

An abstract for an entire issue of a periodical is to be sent to the International Center (1) if it is a first issue, for which the abstract outlines the new periodical’s scope and purpose as well as its contents; or (2) if it is a special issue devoted to a particular topic and is designated as a “thematic” issue in its title or on its title page or spine.

Collections (Festschriften, conference proceedings, collections of essays): RILM material includes collections of essays, Festschriften, and conference proceedings. For such collections, a citation (with or without abstract) must be provided for the collection as a whole (a cover record), and each individual article must also receive a citation and (where possible) an abstract (analytic records). The national committees must strive to include a record for every article when the collection is entirely devoted to music, ensuring the inclusion of complete collections in RILM. In cases where only some of the articles pertain to music, a cover record for the collection is required, as well as individual citations and (where possible) abstracts for each music-related item only. Collections of articles by a single author should include an abstract for each article separately.

Monographs and other books: Besides original monographs, RILM material includes facsimiles of literature on music (reproductions of early printed editions or manuscripts), reprints, new or revised editions, translations, and catalogues of exhibitions.

Dissertations and theses: RILM material includes doctoral level (or highest postgraduate degree level) dissertations in music and in other disciplines when they concern music. Master’s level or other student theses are included when they contain significant new information or a new interpretation, and are publicly available.

Electronic resources, such as research websites, databases, and CD-ROMs: RILM material includes electronic resources that are of value to researchers, including, but not limited to, websites, databases, CD-ROMs, and other media.

Reviews: RILM includes reviews of any material that falls within its scope. In general, reviews that describe or critically assess a given publication are included; those that merely mention a publication’s existence are not. All reviews listed in core journals should be included without exception.

Technical drawings of historical instruments

Special caution is to be applied in reviewing the following kinds of materials for inclusion in RILM:

  • Editions of music (including facsimiles) only when they include substantial written material (scholarly apparatus, source studies, notes on performance, etc.).
  • Articles from daily newspapers only when they offer important information not available elsewhere, such as obituaries, or are major critical articles that include results of original research.
  • Program notes, pamphlets, brochures, and other small separate publications only if they are of particular importance to music researchers and are publicly available.
  • Recordings and films only when one or more of the following criteria are met: (1) when the recording or film is important source material for ethnomusicological, popular, or performance studies; (2) when the recording or film is accompanied by substantial written material; or (3) when the recording or film is the subject of a review. Feature films that claim biographical authority should be included.
  • Reviews of concerts only when the review itself can be considered RILM material and is therefore of particular importance to music researchers.

RILM excludes writings unlikely to be of value to music researchers, including the following:

  • Practical manuals and “how-to” books, unless they are modern editions of important historic texts, have received substantial reviews, or are otherwise of particular value to music researchers.
  • Rudimentary instructional manuals, with the same exceptions as above.
  • Outlines for classroom use.
  • Reviews that are merely publication announcements.

Subject categories of RILM material

RILM includes writings and other resources on music and related disciplines, including the following:

  • Historical musicology
  • Ethnomusicology (including reviews of sound recordings and videos in RILM core periodicals)
  • Popular music and jazz
  • Theory, analysis, and composition
  • Sound sources (instruments, their techniques, reprints of historical teaching methods and treatises, makers, technical drawings of historical instruments, etc.)
  • Performance practice and notation
  • Pedagogy
  • Reference and research materials (including catalogues of temporary exhibitions and permanent museum collections, discographies, directories, encyclopedias, bibliographies, composers’ work lists issued by music publishers, and library catalogues). Research material available on websites should be included.
  • Music and other arts, including but not limited to dance, dramatic arts, poetry and literature (including novels about composers written with biographical authority, if reviewed in a music periodical covered by RILM), items on music iconography, and music and art
  • Music and related disciplines (including but not limited to philosophy, aesthetics, criticism, psychology, hearing, perception, physiology, therapy, medicine, archaeology, anthropology, engineering, sound recording, acoustics, architecture, computers, sociology, linguistics, semiotics, printing, engraving, publishing, economics, copyright and other legal matters)
  • Music in liturgy and ritual

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie