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Summary of Activities, 2015-16

Overview: To quote from last year’s overview: “RILM was conceived in 1965, established in 1966, and began publishing in 1967. To coincide with the IAML/IMS 2015 Congress in RILM’s hometown of New York City, we are celebrating RILM’s 50th anniversary this year… At 50 years young, RILM’s core bibliographic work is solid and continues to expand, and its projects to bring new full-text resources to music researchers are all well underway. Indeed, it is an exciting time for RILM and, by extension, for contributors and users alike.”

One year later, we are pleased to announce that RILM has launched two of the three new resources we have been working on:

  • RILM Music Encyclopedias (“RME“), launched in December 2015
  • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature with Full Text (“RAFT“), launched in July 2016

The third new resource, MGG Online, is on schedule for a late fall 2016 release.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

Database growth: As of 7 June 2016, there were 822,221 published main citation records in the database and 108,736 published review citations. Based on tallies from the end of the last fiscal year, 74,784 new main records and 5656 review records were added to the database in this fiscal year, and 36,045 records were fully edited and indexed. Both the very high number of new records and the lower number of editorially complete entries are, in large part, attributable to the full-text project. Many new records originated from full-text metadata, and the editorial staff has been heavily involved with the full-text project in addition to its usual editing and indexing work.

National committees: The committees have submitted a total of 27,721 bibliographic records (11,779 with abstracts) and 1015 reviews—approximately the same amount of records as the previous year. Countries that submitted over 1000 records since 1 July 2015 are Germany (13,762), China (7245), the U.S. (5524), and Russia (1682). In the past year RILM has established new committees in Armenia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Author submissions: RILM encourages authors to add bibliographic records and abstracts for their publications directly into the database by using the forms at Through these forms, authors can create new bibliographic citations and add abstracts and reviews to existing records.

In FY 2015–16, 590 main publication records were submitted by authors; 311 of these have been verified and published (250 with an author-submitted abstract), and 154 have been fully edited and indexed. Abstracts added existing records by authors are up from 16 last year to 35 submitted and published this year. RILM is always looking for more author involvement, so do submit abstracts for your own publications and encourage your colleagues to do likewise!

Retrospective work: Since June 2015, records for 2880 publications that appeared before 1967 have been added to the database, 2250 of which are journal articles and reviews; the full text for 1659 of these records will be available in RAFT. Note that these records, and all records of publications from before 1967, are available only in the complete RILM Abstracts of Music Literature [not the version whose title ends “(1967 to present)”].

Indexing matters: This year RILM added three new headwords to its subject descriptors:

  • dance teachers for names that were formerly merged with music teachers under pedagogues
  • societies, associations, fraternities, etc.—supranational for organizations that are not correctly identified as either national or international (e.g., the American Musicological Society)
  • Palestine (state)

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature with Full Text (RAFT)

The RAFT collection: RILM Abstracts of Music Literature with Full Text (RAFT) launched in July 2016, expanding and enhancing RILM’s bibliography of writings on music with the full-text content of more than 200 key periodicals. When complete, the full collection will include 240 licensed journals, 90 of them unavailable in other widely used full-text aggregations, including JSTOR and ProQuest, or on the open web. With rare exceptions, content will extend back to the first published issue for each title. At launch the RAFT collection included just over 62,000 records; when complete (note: completion is targeted for the end of 2016), the collection will contain over 175,000 records, including the full text-content for the 38 journals currently marked on the product page with “Full-text content coming soon!” Thereafter, RAFT will be updated monthly with the full-text content of recent issues.

Information regarding each journal in the collection and its current coverage status can be found at

The journals in the collection come from 50 countries in 40 languages, including 68 from the United States, 30 from the United Kingdom, 28 from Germany, 12 from France, ten each from Italy and Spain, and seven from Brazil.

RILM Music Encyclopedias (RME)

The content of RILM Music Encyclopedias: On 4 December 2015 RILM released RILM Music Encyclopedias, a full-text compilation of 41 seminal titles published from 1775 to the present. The collection currently comprises close to 80,000 pages with over 185,000 entries. In true RILM fashion, its content spans multiple countries, cultures, and languages (English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, and Greek). For the current title list, see

Updates and additions: RILM Music Encyclopedias is updated quarterly with additional content from the ongoing Komponisten der Gegenwart and new search-term equivalencies. Plans for the collection include expansion over time, with annual title additions and minimal price increases. New titles coming in 2017 include Bianca Maria Antolini’s Dizionario degli editori musicali italiani, 1750–1930 (Pisa, 2000); Franz Stieger’s Opernlexikon/Opera catalogue/Lexique des opéras/Dizionario operistico (Tutzing, 1975–83); the Československý hudební slovník osob a institucí (Praha, 1963–65); and Albert Lavignac’s Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire (Paris, 1913–31).

MGG Online

Coming in the late fall of 2016: In partnership with Bärenreiter and J.B. Metzler, RILM will release MGG Online, providing music researchers worldwide with the authoritative content of Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (2nd ed., Bärenreiter and J.B. Metzler, 1994–2008), now with updated and new articles. The content of MGG Online is overseen by the internationally renowned musicologist Laurenz Lütteken (Zurich), who serves as general editor; outstanding scholars from all pertinent fields of music studies, along with editors at Bärenreiter, are engaged in revising and updating the entries and adding new articles on an ongoing basis. MGG Online thus maintains the tradition of excellence and high scholarly standards long associated with its print edition, offering well-researched and authoritative texts on almost every aspect of music, as well as numerous professional directories, works lists, bibliographies, tables, figures, and indexes. MGG Online is in the fullest sense a universal encyclopedia of music.

Subscription interface: MGG Online merges a treasure trove of information with the latest technology, making its content accessible in traditional and new ways to users around the globe. Its user-friendly platform has been designed and developed by RILM and is fully equipped with the most advanced search and browse capabilities. Key features will include the following:

  • 16,000 articles written by over 3500 authors from 55 countries
  • Continuous updates, revisions, and additions
  • Full functionality on mobile and tablet devices
  • Easy toggling between current and older versions of each article
  • Automatic translation from German into over 100 languages
  • Individual user accounts where annotations and notes can be created, saved, and shared
  • Cross references linking related content throughout MGG Online
  • Links to related content in RILM Abstracts of Music Literature


The RILM blog: Bibliolore, has been viewed over 329,000 times since its inception in October 2009. It currently has 345 followers, and it is rare for a day to pass with fewer than 150 views. Here are the top 10 posts (hyperlinked) from the past year:

Music for cats6964
Mozart and folk proverbs1714
Debussy and gamelan1686
James Brown’s Deleuzian idiocy1502
Mahler and Beyoncé1232
Search the Liber usualis1039
Rousseau and Aunt Rhody907
The Wanamaker organ886
Bob Marley’s œuvre870
The Hindenberg piano623

In sum: Stay tuned for more from RILM!