Bibliography Of Music Literature Book


The Bibliographie des Musikschrifttums online (Bibliography of Music Literature on-line) is an international and interactive bibliography of music literature. This bibliographic reference tool is edited by the » Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, and may be used free of charge. It is the continuation of the printed bibliographic indexes which stop with the volume published in 2001 that contains information on material published in 1988. Currently, BMS has more than 360,000 records of music literature. BMS is supplemented by the » OLC Musicology, which incorporates the contents of some 180 music journals from 1993 onward. On » ViFaMusik, the German gateway for music research, you can find a wealth of additional resources.


The BMS will be enriched by the participation of its users. If you wish to have certain bibliographic records added, send them to us with or without a summary. You may use our » e-mail form. The submission of copied pages showing complete bibliographic information is also welcome. Thanks to your submissions, we are able to keep BMS as up-to-date as possible.

Content and Sources

BMS includes monographs, articles and reviews from journals, Festschriften, congress proceedings, yearbooks, anthologies and essays from critical reports. Main sources for the BMS editorial staff are national bibliographies, journals, monographs and subject bibliographies. Furthermore, contributions from journals with an interdiscplinary view on music are considered for inclusion. We annually check some 2,500 sources and add approximately 10,000 articles and reviews. Bibliographic records are often amended by a summary. Our analog data from the period 1950-1975 are already revised and converted. BMS is continuously expanded. Here you can browse the titles of journals covered by BMS.


BMS was established in 1936 by the "Staatliches Institut für deutsche Musikforschung" in Berlin with the aim to list literature on music from all over the world. It resumed the bibliographic surveyingof the "Jahrbücher der Musikbibliothek Peters". The first BMS editor was Kurt Taut, who was succeeded by Georg Karstädt. Originally printed by Friedrich Hofmeister in Leipzig (Leipzig: Hofmeister, 1936-1941 [volumes 1.1936 to 4.1939]), after a span of four years BMS was stopped due to to wartime limitations. The resume of this bibliographic enterprise after World War II is owed to the musicologist and librarian Wolfgang Schmieder. The first volume for 1950/51 appeared in 1954 thanks to the newly constructed "Institut für Musikforschung". Since that time the Bibliographie des Musikschrifttums has been a regular publication of the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung. The last volume in print format was published in 2001 and covered the year 1988 (Frankfurt am Main: Hofmeister, 1954-1968 [volumes 1.1950/51 to 6.1960], Mainz: Schott, 1969-2001 [volumes 1961 to 1988]). Since 1968, the institute's bibliographic staff has been working as the German committee for "RILM Abstracts of Music Literature."

Version: November 2015


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Detailed Coverage of a Wide Variety of Publications and Media

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature features a wealth of content from the early 1800s through the present with some content coverage extending back as far as the late 18th century. Updated monthly, the database includes coverage of relevant articles from thousands of journals, many of which are not specifically devoted to music.

In addition to journal articles, RILM Abstracts of Music Literature covers a variety of publication and media types including essay collections, conference proceedings, critical editions of music, digital media, dissertations, monographs, online resources, reference materials, reviews, and technical drawings of instruments. Sound recordings and motion pictures that present the results of scholarly research or fieldwork are also included.

International Content

Citations in RILM Abstracts of Music Literature represent publications in 171 languages, originating in 174 countries. Titles of works are translated into English, and the majority of records have English abstracts. Increasingly, records feature abstracts in the original language of publication. Roman and non-roman scripts are also represented in RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

Bring the full force of RILM’s international database and powerful search techniques to bear on your music research projects.

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