Academic journal article Notes

RILM Music Encyclopedias

Academic journal article Notes

RILM Music Encyclopedias

Article excerpt

RILM Music Encyclopedias [New York, New York]: Repertoire international de litterature musicale; [Ipswich, Massachusetts]: EBSCO Information Services, (2015-). (Accessed 3 April 2016). [Requires a web browser and an Internet connection. Pricing: $5,515 per year, unlimited simultaneous users]


The four "R projects" (RILM, RIPM, RISM, RIdIM), founded under the auspices of the International Musicological Society and the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres, have come to be synonymous with high-quality scholarly music bibliographic tools, with RILM Abstracts of Musk Literature being the go-to source for discovering the scholarly literature on music since its inception in 1967. So naturally, RILM's release of RILM Music Encyclopedias, offered exclusively through the EBSCOhost platform, will be greeted with interest and high expectations.


RILM Music Encyclopedias comprises the full text of forty-one encyclopedias, some of which call themselves lexicons or dictionaries. The content runs the gamut from the well-known and indispensable (The Garland Encyclopedia

of World Music, 2nd ed. [New York: Routledge, 1998-2002]; Grosses Sangerlexikon, 4th ed. [Berlin: K.G. Saur, 2004]) to the esoteric (Wolfgang Suppan's Steirisches Musiklexikon, 2nd ed. [Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlags-Anstalt, 2009]) to the novel (Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ [Pasadena, California: Showcase Publications, 1985-95]). At least one title I would classify as both esoteric AND novel: Das Gothic- und Dark Wave-Lexikon: Das Lexikon der Schwarzen Szene, von Ambient bis Industrial, von Neofolk bis Future Pop und von Goth-Rock bis Black Metal, 2nd ed. (Berlin: Lexikon, 2003). Most titles fall somewhere between these admittedly cherry-picked extremes, and users will find several exceptional specialist resources within, for example Eileen Southern's Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians (Greenwood Press, 1982) and Spire Pitour's The Paris Opera: An Encyclopedia of Operas, Ballets, Composers, and Performers (Greenwood Press, 1983-1990).

A particular strength of RILM Music Encyclopedias is its ability to provide access to some excellent European resources that might not otherwise be available to libraries with less than comprehensive collections. Examples include Algemene muziek encyclopedie, 2nd ed., a 10-volume Belgian/Dutch encyclopedia of music history (Haarlem: De Haan, 1979-84); Komponisten der Gegenwart, a lexicon of 10,000 pages and counting, focused on 20th- and 21st-century composers, and formerly issued in quarterly loose-leaf installments (Munich: Edition Text + Kritik, 1992-); and Olympia N. Tolika's Pangosmio lexiko tis mousikis: Historia, mousikologia, erga, prosopa, nees taseis, archaiotita, Vyzantio, Anagennisi, neoteroi chronoi, sygchronos kosmos, 2nd ed., a new one to me, but according to RILM Music Encyclopedias ( the first music dictionary written in Greek (Athens: Ekdoseis Stochastis, 1999).

At least seven titles in RILM Music Encyclopedias are available online through other sources. Of those seven, the following six well-known and well-loved titles are in the public domain and are readily available in HathiTrust or IMSLP: James Duff Brown's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, with a Bibliography of English Writings on Music (Paisley and London: A. Gardner, 1886); Francois-Joseph Fetis's Biographie universelle, des musiciens et bibliographie generale de la musique, 2nd expanded ed. (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1866-81); Robert Eitner's Biographisch-bibliographisches Quellen-Lexikon der Musiker und Musikgelehrten der christlichen Zeitrechnung bis zur Mitte des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Hartel, 1900-1904); George Grove's A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (A.D. 1450-1880) (London: Macmillan, 1879-90); Peter Lichtenthal's Dizionario e bibliografia della musica (Milano: Antonio Fontana, 1836); and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Dictionnaire de musique (Paris: Veuve Duchesne, 1775). …

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