RILM Music Encyclopedias

By Frühauf, Tina | Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music, January 2016 | Go to article overview

RILM Music Encyclopedias


Frühauf, Tina, Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music


RILM has been expanding. In December 2015 RILM launched the first of a series of new products: RILM Music Encyclopedias, a full-text compilation of 41 seminal titles published from 1775 to the present, the majority of which are not available anywhere else online. RILM Music Encyclopedias comprises nearly 80,000 pages with approximately 165,000 entries, providing comprehensive coverage of the most important disciplines, fields, and subject areas, including popular music, opera, instruments, blues, gospel, world music, recorded sound, and women composers. Its contents span multiple countries, cultures, and languages (including English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, and Greek) and it is designed as an extensive global resource that meets the teaching, learning, and research needs of the international music community. It is the world's only cross-searchable collection of music encyclopedias. RILM Music Encyclopedias is available via EBSCO host.

For the ethnomusicologist RILM Music Encyclopedias holds a number of treasures, reflecting the diversity of the product overall. It contains most of the updated second edition of The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, and the second edition of The Concise Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, which, due to its decided emphasis on Asian musical traditions, has complementary content. There are reference works highly valuable for those who focus on musical traditions in the United States, including the Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music, which covers this topic in its entirety from its historical foundations in post-Colonial America to today; this title is the definitive work on the subject and fills a gap in a field that has had only sporadic reference documentation. The Encyclopedia of the Blues is of similar value; blues often gets lumped together with jazz, folk, or gospel, and it is rare to see it stand on its own as an encyclopedic subject, and this title clearly fills a gap by o ff ering multifaceted coverage in one place. Another highlight is Eileen Southern's Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, which is the first single comprehensive volume of its kind; its coverage is not limited to the United States and Africa, but also considers musicians from Canada, South America, and Europe. For those whose research is concerned with specific national contexts, the Historical Dictionary of the Music and Musicians of Finland provides a rare feat. The breadth and quantity of the entries cannot be matched by more general sources. There is very little overlap with other encyclopedias, with the exception of a few composer entries and the Finnish musical elements discussed in Grove's Finland article. The second edition of Wolfgang Suppan's Steirisches Musiklexikon contains information not found anywhere else (e. …

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