product header background

Summary of Activities, 2019-20

Overview: RILM’s year ending 30 June 2020 was packed and productive as ever. Hallmarks include a substantial increase in the number of fully edited and indexed records in RILM Abstracts, and in the full-text articles on RILM Abstract with Full Text; the launch of an improved Index to Printed Music on EBSCOhost, and the launch of RILM Music Encyclopedias on RILM’s platform Egret. MGG Online’s content was updated and expanded at a solid rate by Bärenreiter, and its interface continued to be enhanced. Usage of all products was up. There were a number of substantial technology improvements at RILM this year, including the generalizing of Egret to be able to host new products. From March until now, RILM has been coping, along with the rest of the world, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. All staff have been working entirely from home since mid-March, and that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature (with Full Text)

Overview: On 30 June 2020, there were 1,334,113 published main accession records in the RILM Abstracts database, including 146,195 published reviews and 179,810 “shell records” (records for items such as front matter and journal covers) which don’t require editorial treatment. Overall, the database grew by 91,531 records this year. The table below indicates record totals by product published in the last three fiscal years.

Full-Text Coverage: Articles in full-text increased by more than 61,000 records this year. Previous problems with the discoverability of RAFT journals on EBSCO’s HJAF and Knowledge Base have been solved, and MARC records are now available for full-text journals (and for each of our resources, downloadable from

A selection of ten new journals form the first annual RAFT expansion, which has been curated to fulfill the following three criteria: (1) they are of limited availability; (2) they cover under-represented countries/continents and languages, and (3) they provide information on lesser-known scholarship from around the world. The new addition represents nine countries of publication and six languages, and four of the journals will be available online exclusively through RAFT. Except for 25 issues that we could not acquire due to the COVID-19 crisis, the complete content of these journals (comprising 357 issues/10,013 PDFs) is available now EBSCOhost.

  • Arietta: Journal of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe. London: Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, 1999–. ISSN 1465-9387.
  • Bulletin of the International Kodály Society. Budapest: International Kodály Society, 1976–. ISSN 0133-8749
  • Early keyboard journal. Historical Keyboard Society of North America, 1982–. ISSN 0899-8132
  • Early music America. Pittsburgh: Early Music America, 1988–. ISSN 1083-3633
  • Hudba, integrácie, interpretácie. Nitra: Univerzita Konštantína Filozofa – Pedagogická Fakulta, 1994–. ISSN 1338-4872
  • Lietuvos muzikologija/Lithuanian musicology. Vilnius: Lietuvos Muzikos Akademija, 2000–. ISSN 1392-9313
  • Musicologist: International journal of music studies. Trabzon: Karadeniz Teknik Üniversitesi – Karadeniz Teknik Üniversitesi Devlet Konservatuvarı, 2017–. eISSN 2618-5652
  • Rahvusvahelise Eduard Tubina Ühingu Aastaraamat/Yearbook of the International Eduard Tubin Society. Tallinn: Rahvusvaheline Eduard Tubina Ühing/International Eduard Tubin Society, 2001–2009. ISSN 1406-7099
  • Revista de musicología. Madrid: Sociedad Española de Musicología, 1978–. ISSN 0210-1459
  • Teoria muzyki: Studia, interpretacje, dokumentacje. Kraków: Akademia Muzyczna w Krakowie, 2012–. ISSN 2299-8454

For a complete listing of the full-text journal titles included in RAFT, see


Total number of bibliographic records by product

National committees and coverage: The committees have submitted a total of 26,596 bibliographic records (last year, this number was 29,980), 17,930 abstracts (last year: 16,455), and 908 reviews (last year: 932). There are four countries contributing more than 1000 records each: China (6202), Germany (8113), Russia (4316), and the U.S. (3086). Out of 8113 records received from the German committee, approximately 75 percent of records were already in the database, having been entered from reviews, the RAFT project, and other sources. The total of records received from all other countries is 4879.

Indexing: RILM has created the following new headwords this year:

activism and advocacy
community music
explorers and travelers
former headword film music and television music has been split in two: film musictelevision music
Indigenous peoples—Americas (replacing HW Indians and Inuits)
Indigenous peoples—Arctic region
Indigenous peoples—Asia
Indigenous peoples—Oceania
social work
traditional theater—general
travel explorations
video games
video game music

Index to Printed Music (IPM)

Relaunch: In August 2019, EBSCO launched an improved version of IPM, the culmination of over a year’s worth of work on migrating IPM’s data to RILM’s systems and collaborating with EBSCO to redesign IPM. The most significant of IPM’s new features is the inclusion of detailed records for each volume that is indexed in the database, including a table of contents for the volume (with hyperlinks to each piece of music contained in the volume), links to series, and publication information. This will enable users to search for either individual pieces of music, or complete volumes of music, or both, and will allow for easy toggling back and forth between records for individual pieces, complete volumes, and series. The relaunched IPM also features hyperlinks to open-access editions for individual pieces, where they exist, for easy access to full scores. Users will find it easier to refine or limit their searches by a number of filters, such as place or date of publication, document type, genre, and language of text.

RILM Music Encyclopedias (RME)

RME content: In February 2020 RILM Music Encyclopedias was expanded to include three new titles, bringing the list of titles to 57, published in print from 1775 to the present, and containing 311,064 entries. The additions, centered on the theme of rock, were as follows:

  • Bernward Halbscheffel. Sachlexikon Rockmusik: Instrumente, Technik, Industrie. Leipzig: Halbscheffel Verlag, 2013. 2 vols., x, 432 and 861p.
  • Bernward Halbscheffel. Lexikon Progressive Rock: Musiker, Bands, Instrumente, Begriffe. Leipzig: Halbscheffel Verlag, 2013. Revised ed. iii, 560p.
  • Ian McFarlane. The encyclopedia of Australian rock and pop. Gisborne, VIC: Third Stone Press, 2017. 2nd corrected ed. 544p.

For the complete current title list, and information about each work, see

Coming updates and additions: In addition to the quarterly updates to Komponisten der Gegenwart, new search-term equivalencies are added quarterly, and the following new titles are planned for inclusion in 2021, all themed around North America:

  • Richard Carlin. Country music: A biographical dictionary. New York: Routledge, 2013. xvii, 497 p.
  • Gabriel Pareyón. Diccionario enciclopédico de música en México. 2 vols. Zapopan: Universidad Panamericana, 2006–2007. 2 vols. 1133 p.
  • Jaimie Vernon. Canadian pop music encyclopedia. Scarborough, ON: Bullseye Canada, 2020. 2 vols. 429, 457 p. (Tina Frühauf)

Release on Egret: In early 2020 RILM has also released RME’s content on a costumed-designed site built on Egret, the RILM platform that also hosts MGG Online. It features Egret-wide functionalities such as a citation tool offering a range of citation formats [APA 6th edition, Chicago 17th Edition (Author-Date system as well as Notes & Bibliography), Español UNE-ISO 690:2013, MLA 8th Edition, Sorbonne, RILM’s own recommended citation format, a bespoke German format, as well as BibTex and Ris]; linkage to MGG Online through a custom “Other Publications” reference tool offering a prototype of a cross-database-search results list for Egret products; and OpenURLs for bibliographies. To see it and preview articles, go to

MGG Online

Product Development (RILM): The biggest new feature, implemented in August 2019, remains unique among RILM’s resources and beyond, namely the MGG Online timeline, which is an exploratory tool that captures the sweep of music history by displaying the lifespans, birth and death dates, and occupations of composers, musicians, and other personalities. Further new features on MGG Online since 1 July 2019 include (1) a citation tool offering a range of citation formats [APA 6th edition, Chicago 17th Edition (Author-Date system as well as Notes & Bibliography), Español UNE-ISO 690:2013, MLA 8th Edition, Sorbonne, RILM’s own recommended citation format, a bespoke German format, as well as BibTex and Ris (in the process of being made available on RME as well)]; (2) linkage to RME-on-Egret articles through a custom “Other Publications” reference tool offering a prototype of a cross-database-search results list for Egret products (this is implemented both ways, i.e. accessible through RME as well); (3) openURLs for bibliographies; and (4) a new preview tab on the landing page showing articles in preparation.

Content (Bärenreiter): MGG Online has been augmented by way of the fourth annual update. Some 100 new, revised, and updated articles were completed in November 2019, including 36 major updates, newly written articles, and new articles. The fifth annual update in progress, and 37 major updates and new articles have been published so far. Many fall within the following topic categories: Canada, contemporary composers, contemporary musicians, singers, the United States, and popular music, and there are more forthcoming in those categories as well as the 21st century and jazz.

Here is a list of entirely new entries since 1 July 2019:

Hatzis, Christos
Planchart, Alejandro
Francesconi, Luca
Brunzema, Gerhard Friedrich
Heckelauer, Johannes
Parton, Dolly
Fine, Vivian
Létourneau, Fernand (Wilfrid Joseph)
Hargrove, Roy Anthony
Le Caine, Hugh
Geiger, Friedrich
Ayres, Richard
Artemis Quartett
Reggio, Antonino
Pietschmann, Klaus
Dorschel, Andreas
Reynolds, Christopher A.
Saffle, Michael
Tharaud, Alexandre
Mitchell, Joni

Iron Maiden
Harteros, Anja
My Ladye Nevells Booke
Higdon, Jennifer Elaine
Böttcher, Martin
Czernowin, Chaya
Dale, Dick
Beytelmann, Gustavo
Belcke (brothers)
Bright, Dora
Keita, Salif
Nucci, Leo
Wald-Fuhrmann, Melanie
Swift, Kay
Dean, Brett
Calella, Michele
Strobel, Otto
Schickele, (Johann) Peter
Jackson, Michael


Products on EBSCOhost: The chart below indicates usage numbers for each RILM product that is available on EBSCOhost, two-year comparison. The first two products are mutually exclusive; that is, each subscribing institution would only subscribe to one of these products. Therefore, they are added together in the fifth column to show total use of RILM Abstracts (with and without full text). As was the case previously, usage for RAFT and RME have increased due, respectively, to the shift to RAFT by previous RILM Abstracts subscribers (mentioned above), and the increased subscriptions and use of RME.

YearRILM AbstractsRAFTRILM Abstracts products (total)RMEIPMTotal
FY 2020203,853,78522,771,308226,625,0938,096,46043,747,400278,468,953
FY 2019174,116,77619,987,754194,104,5304,580,505n/a198,685,035

The numbers for fiscal year 2020 break down to over 23 million (up from 16.5 million in FY 2019) searches per month, and over 5.25 million (up from 4 million) searches per week. The figures include the number of hits on RILM content from searches on EBSCO Discovery Service, a tool that enables a user to search most of the content of an institution’s library.

Products on Egret: The chart below indicates usage numbers for MGG Online and RILM Music Encyclopedias on Egret, the RILM platform. Note that RME on Egret has been available only since spring.

YearMGG Online (article views) MGG Online (searches) RME on Egret (article view) RME on Egret (searches)
FY 2020598,430305,04230,94610,541
FY 2019503,625276,393n/an/a


RILM’s blog: RILM’s blog, Bibliolore, continues to be active, with new posts every week and increasing numbers of viewers.

As we have done for some time now, this year we continued our tradition of celebrating “round birthdays” (those ending in zeros) of musical figures—both well-known ones, such as Tina Turner (Tina Turner’s second act), and those less remembered today but no less worthy, like James Reese Europe (James Reese Europe, ragtime hero). All of our birthday posts are linked here.

Here are the top 10 posts (hyperlinked) from the past year:

Mahler and Beyoncé2,399
Debussy and gamelan1,619
Nudie Musicals in 1970s New York City1,316
Thakur and Mussolini1,094
Ella Fitzgerald and “How high the moon”936
Slonimsky and Coltrane838
Wampanoag music and dance809
John Cage, visual artist799
The Nawāb’s musical bed663
Jazz and early cartoons626

Bibliolore has published over 1460 posts and has been viewed over 574,600 times since its inception in October 2009. Views in 2019 averaged 180 per day. It currently has 426 subscribers, and its Facebook page has 87 followers.

Collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s Year of Music 2019

Overview: RILM collaborated closely with the Smithsonian Institution on its Year of Music 2019, two project:

(1) Bibliographic Elaboration of Selected “Objects of the Day”: RILM created blog posts—published jointly on our blog Bibliolore and The Smithsonian’s Music Blog—that provided elaborations of 11 music-related objects. All of these objects are a part of The Smithsonian’s holdings, and each—one for each day in 2019—were featured on a Smithsonian Year of Music event webpage. Elaborations contained two general sections: a critical and historical write-up on the object, followed by an annotated bibliography (and in some cases, discography) taken from RILM’s databases. Topics of the blog posts included, for example, the banjo’s roots in African-American culture, blues-related visual art, the Voyager “Golden Record” shot into space in 1977, David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s Christmas music collaboration, and Debbie Harry’s music (with New York punk and new wave pioneers Blondie) and public image in relation to gender and queer culture.

(2) Lecture: “Tearing Down Walls: The Role of Music Organizations Today”: A part of The Smithsonian’s Talk Tuesday lecture series, this lecture, given by Tina Frühauf, took place on the afternoon of 12 November 2019 at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum in Washington, D.C. This lecture applied the concept of ontology in its two-fold meaning—as a metaphysical branch dealing with the nature of being and as a relation between a set of concepts—to a nonprofit music organization, using Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale as a model. What is and what should be the nature and mission of a music organization in a world whose state has been described as global and postglobal? What impact can a music organization have when political events around the world threaten to build walls between nations, disconnect communities, block the free movement of peoples across cultures? How can it contend with such divisive attempts, defying and traveling freely across many different kinds of literal and metaphorical borders?