Tutorials: General

Introductory videos for Muscat:

  • Muscat: A Quick Overview: If you have time to watch only one video on Muscat, this is it!

  • Authority files and indexes: All about RISM authority files, indexes, and controlled vocabulary, how to link to them, and how to add to them.

  • Basic functions: The basic buttons, actions, and features of Muscat are shown. You should be familiar with these before you do any cataloging. Shown are basic functions in the Sources view, viewing mode, editing mode, and how to add comments.

  • First steps: How to edit existing data and how to begin a new record.

    • Search using filters and faceted search
    • Duplicate a record and use new record template

Special topics:

Tutorials: Music manuscripts

Basic source cataloging:

Step-by-step guides to entering sources

  1. If you have a score: PDF and Video on YouTube
  2. If you have only parts: PDF
  3. If you have a score and parts: PDF
  4. If you have a source that contains more than one work (a collection): PDF
  5. Special rules for non-Latin scripts: PDF

Download the examples used in the videos:


Score and part

More examples to practice:

  1. Example 1: Score. Card and full record in Muscat
  2. Example 2: Score and part. Card and full record in Muscat
  3. Example 3: Collection. Card and full record in Muscat

Tutorials: Printed music

Always search for the print first in Muscat or the RISM online catalog. Watch this YouTube video about different search strategies for finding the right record in RISM. Check to see if the print in RISM is identical with the item in hand. Refer to the guidelines in Muscat on when to enter a new record.

  • If you find the print, you can add/edit your holdings. You may also revise the record.
  • If you don’t find a match, enter a new record.
  • Records are sometimes inconsistent or confusing. Ask us if you have any questions!

Three ways to contribute printed music to RISM

(1) Add and edit your holdings to printed music
Complete instructions: Video on YouTube and PDF
One-page version: PDF
This is RISM’s priority for printed music and is the easiest way for a library to contribute. Find the print in RISM, add your holdings, and enter the shelfmark.

Please note: Some B/I records from the years 1551-1700 are currently unpublished. If you add holdings, the record will remain unpublished unless it is revised (see below).

(2) Revise existing RISM records

Complete instructions: PDF
One-page version: PDF
Records imported from RISM’s printed volumes A/I (music by one composer published up to ca. 1800) and B/I (music by multiple composers, i.e. anthologies, published up to 1700) are in Muscat. Please observe the following if you choose to revise the records:

A/I: The vast majority of A/I records need to be revised. Most prints in fact contain multiple works, so an A/I record must be edited into a collection record and individual entries are needed. A/I is already in the online catalog.
B/I to 1550: The vast majority of B/I records up to the year 1550 need to be revised, including any individual entries that are already attached to the parent record. It is frequently the case that reprints (“following entries”) do not have individual entries, while the initial entries (i.e., the prints treated as the first edition in the book) do. These are already in the online catalog.
B/I from 1551 to 1700: The following years are in Muscat and have been published: 1501-1550, 1601-1650, and most of 1651-1690. The rest are in Muscat but not in the online catalog because the entries are very rudimentary. All the B/I records have Muscat numbers that begin with 993.

Even the published records can usually be improved by adding individual entries and music incipits.

The unpublished records must be completely revised and individual entries must be added. If you revise a record,leave it unpublished but add a quick comment to the record saying the record has been revised (save the record, then go to the bottom under “Comments”). Central Office staff will look at the record and we will publish it.

(3) Add new records for printed music

Complete instructions: PDF
Two-page version: PDF
If your print falls outside the scope of A/I or B/I, chances are it is not in Muscat. Always do a quick search first, though, to see if someone else has already entered it. If you don’t find it, create a new record.

Current limitations

For a few prints, you will not see an “add holdings” button. (These are mostly print records that were created with previous cataloging programs.) If you have the same print, send the Editorial Center your holdings information (at least siglum and shelfmark) and we will add it once these records have been converted.

Training server

A training version of Muscat is available where you can:

  • Practice and experiment with records
  • Add, change, and delete information
  • Not worry about making mistakes or ruining anything
  • Look at the RISM guidelines
  • Get an overview of Muscat’s features

The Muscat training server is:

  • Identical to the live version of Muscat in data and structure
  • Reset once a week with current data from the live server
  • Ideal for workshops, demonstrations, and conferences

The logins training01@rism.info to training99@rism.info are available—in other words, each participant in a workshop can have a different login. Training users are “members” of the US working group and have editing rights for all sources that begin with the siglum US-*. Please contact the Editorial Center to receive the current password.