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Classification System

RILM’s comprehensive Classification System which groups 89 classes under 15 super classes.

Super Classes

Reference and Research Materials

  • 1 Bibliography and librarianship
  • 2 Libraries, museums, collections
  • 3 Encyclopedias and dictionaries
  • 4 Catalogues (library, museum, or exhibition)
  • 5 Catalogues, thematic
  • 6 Bibliographies, general
  • 7 Bibliographies, music
  • 8 Bibliographies, music literature
  • 9 Discographies and filmographies
  • 10 Iconographies
  • 11 Chronologies and almanacs
  • 12 Directories and membership lists

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Imaginative literature

  • 13 Imaginative literature (includes film)

Collected Writings

  • 14 Periodicals and yearbooks
  • 15 Festschriften
    • 15.0 Festschriften (general items)
    • 15.1 Individuals15.2 Choral societies
    • 15.3 Instrumental ensembles
    • 15.4 Music associations, composers’ societies, Musikvereine
    • 15.5 Academic institutions, libraries
    • 15.6 Festivals, exhibitions, congresses
    • 15.7 Theaters and opera ensembles
    • 15.8 Publishers and printers, music stores, record labels, journals, newspapers
    • 15.9 Instrument manufacturers
    • 15.10 Non-music secular and religious institutions; countries, cities, monasteries
  • 16 Congress reports, symposium proceedings
  • 17 Essays and documents

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Universal Perspectives

  • 19 Universal Perspectives, general (historical/ethnographical)

Western Art Music

  • 20 The discipline
  • 21 History, general
  • 22 Antiquity
  • 23 Middle Ages
  • 24 Renaissance
  • 25 Baroque
  • 26 Classic
  • 27 Romantic and post-Romantic
  • 28 Twentieth and 21st century (history)
  • 29 Twentieth and 21st century (musical life)

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Traditional Music and Non-Western Art Music

  • 30 Ethnomusicology, the discipline
  • 31 General
  • 32 Africa
  • 33 Asia. General
    • 33.1 Asia. Traditional music
    • 33.2 Asia. History of music
  • 34 Europe
  • 35 North America (North of Mexico)
  • 36 South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean
  • 37 Oceania, Australia, New Zealand

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Jazz and Blues

  • 38 Jazz and Blues
  • 39 Popular Music
    • 39.0 General
    • 39.2 Africa (general)
      • 39.21 North Africa
      • 39.22 Sub-Saharan Africa
    • 39.3 Asia
      • 39.31 East Asia (includes Mongolia and Sibir’)
      • 39.32 South Asia
      • 39.33 Southeast Asia
    • 39.4 Europe
    • 39.5 North America (north of Mexico)
    • 39.6 Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America
    • 39.7 Australia, New Zealand, Oceania

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Sound Sources

  • 40 General (including conducting, organology)
    • 40.0 Sound sources (general)
    • 40.1 Organology as discipline
    • 40.2 Conducting
    • 40.3 Orchestra
  • 41 Voice (including choral ensembles)
    • 41.0 General
    • 41.2 Africa (general)
      • 41.21 North Africa
      • 41.22 Sub-Saharan Africa
    • 41.3 Asia
      • 41.31 East Asia (includes Mongolia and Sibir’)
      • 41.32 South Asia
      • 41.33 Southeast Asia
    • 41.4 Europe
    • 41.5 North America (north of Mexico)
    • 41.6 Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America
    • 41.7 Australia, New Zealand, Oceania
  • 42 Keyboard, organ
  • 43 Keyboard, general
  • 44 String (chordophones)
    • 44.0 General
    • 44.2 Africa (general)
      • 44.21 North Africa
      • 44.22 Sub-Saharan Africa
    • 44.3 Asia
      • 44.31 East Asia (includes Mongolia and Sibir’)
      • 44.32 South Asia
      • 44.33 Southeast Asia
    • 44.4 Europe
    • 44.5 North America (north of Mexico)
    • 44.6 Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America
    • 44.7 Australia, New Zealand, Oceania
  • 45 Wind (aerophones)
    • 45.0 General
    • 45.2 Africa (general)
      • 45.21 North Africa
      • 45.22 Sub-Saharan Africa
    • 45.3 Asia
      • 45.31 East Asia (includes Mongolia and Sibir’)
      • 45.32 South Asia
      • 45.33 Southeast Asia
    • 45.4 Europe
    • 45.5 North America (north of Mexico)
    • 45.6 Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America
    • 45.7 Australia, New Zealand, Oceania
  • 46 Percussion (membranophones, idiophones)
    • 46.0 General
    • 46.2 Africa (general)
      • 46.21 North Africa
      • 46.22 Sub-Saharan Africa
    • 46.3 Asia
      • 46.31 East Asia (includes Mongolia and Sibir’)
      • 46.32 South Asia
      • 46.33 Southeast Asia
    • 46.4 Europe
    • 46.5 North America (north of Mexico)
    • 46.6 Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America
    • 46.7 Australia, New Zealand, Oceania
  • 47 Mechanical
  • 48 Electrophones (synthesized sound)

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Sound Art and New Media

  • 49.1 Sound art
  • 49.2 Digital and multimedia art

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Performance Practice, Notation, and Editing

  • 50 Performance practice, general
  • 51 Performance practice, to ca. 1600
  • 52 Performance practice, ca. 1600-1825
  • 53 Performance practice, ca. 1800-1900
  • 54 Performance practice, 20th & 21st centuries
  • 55 Notation and paleography
  • 56 Improvisation
  • 58 Editing

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Theory, Analysis, and Composition

  • 60 Theory, general
  • 61 Rhythm, meter, tempo
  • 62 Tuning, temperament, scale structures
  • 63 Harmony, counterpoint, voice-leading (tonal and nontonal)
  • 64 Form and genre
  • 65 Sound color, texture, register
  • 66 Style analysis
  • 67 Structural analysis
  • 68 Computer and electronic composition
  • 69 Melody and motive

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Pedagogy

  • 70 General
  • 71 Preschool, primary, and secondary schools
  • 72 Colleges and universities
  • 73 Conservatories and other professional training
  • 74 Music education for amateurs

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Music and the Other Arts

  • 75 General
  • 76 Dance
    • 76.0 General
    • 76.1 Dance studies as discipline
      • 76.21 Ballet
      • 76.29 All post-ballet developments (parallel to classes 28 & 29)
      • 76.30 Social dance, general
      • 76.32 Social dance, Africa
      • 76.33 Social dance, Asia
      • 76.34 Social dance, Europe
      • 76.35 Social dance, North America (north of Mexico)
      • 76.36 Social dance, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America
      • 76.37 Social dance, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania
      • 76.38 Jazz and musical theater
      • 76.39 Popular stage dance & music video
      • 76.40 Traditional theatrical dance, general
      • 76.42 Traditional theatrical dance, Africa
      • 76.43 Traditional theatrical dance, Asia
      • 76.44 Traditional theatrical dance, Europe
      • 76.45 Traditional theatrical dance, North America (north of Mexico)
      • 76.46 Traditional theatrical dance, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America
      • 76.47 Traditional theatrical dance, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania
  • 77 Dramatic arts
    • 77.0 General
    • 77.1 Theater studies as discipline
      • 77.11 Opera
      • 77.12 Popular musical theater
      • 77.13 Libretto
      • 77.14 Film and television
      • 77.15 Music video
      • 77.16 Multimedia theater
      • 77.17 Incidental music
      • 77.18 Set designing, staging, directing
      • 77.30 Traditional dramatic arts, general
      • 77.32 Traditional dramatic arts, Africa
      • 77.33 Traditional dramatic arts, Asia
      • 77.34 Traditional dramatic arts, Europe
      • 77.35 Traditional dramatic arts, North America (north of Mexico)
      • 77.36 Traditional dramatic arts, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South American
      • 77.37 Traditional dramatic arts, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania
  • 78 Literature
    • 78.0 General
    • 78.1 Literature studies as discipline
    • 78.2 Song texts
      • 78.31 Traditional literature & epics, general
      • 78.32 Traditional literature & epics, Africa
      • 78.33 Traditional literature & epics, Asia
      • 78.34 Traditional literature & epics, Europe
      • 78.35 Traditional literature & epics, North America (north of Mexico)
      • 78.36 Traditional literature & epics, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America
      • 78.37 Traditional literature & epics, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania
  • 79 Visual arts (including iconography)

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  • 80 General
  • 81 Philosophy, aesthetics, criticism
  • 82 Psychology and hearing
  • 83 Physiology, therapy, medicine
  • 84 Archaeology
  • 85 Engineering and sound recording; computers
  • 86 Physics, mathematics, acoustics, architecture
  • 87 Social sciences
    • 87.1 Sociology and cultural Studies
    • 87.2 Anthropology and ethnology
    • 87.3 Economics
    • 87.4 Politics and political Science
    • 87.5 Sound studies
    • 87.6 Cultural geography
    • 87.7 Gender and sexuality studies
    • 87.8 Ethnic and racial studies
    • 87.9 Media studies and popular culture studies
  • 88 Linguistics and semiotics
  • 89 Printing, publishing, music business
    • 89.0 General
    • 89.1 Printing
    • 89.2 Music industry
    • 89.3 Law

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Music in Liturgy and Ritual

  • 90 Religion, general
    • 90.0 General
    • 90.1 Liturgical studies as discipline
    • 90.2 Christianity, general
  • 91 Jewish
  • 92 Byzantine and Eastern Orthodox
  • 93 Roman Catholic
  • 94 Protestant
    • 94.0 General
    • 94.1 Lutheran group
    • 94.2 Calvinist group
    • 94.3 Anabaptist group
    • 94.4 Anglican/Episcopal group
    • 94.5 Baptist group
    • 94.6 Methodist group
    • 94.7 Pentecostal group
    • 94.8 Adventist group
  • 95 Buddhist
  • 96 Hindu
  • 97 Islamic
  • 99 Other
    • 99.1 General
    • 99.2 Africa
    • 99.3 Asia (includes Central Asia)
      • 99.31 East Asia (includes Mongolia and Sibir’)
      • 99.32 South Asia
      • 99.33 Southeast Asia
    • 99.5 North America (north of Mexico)
    • 99.6 Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America
    • 99.7 Australia, New Zealand, Oceania

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