Call for Papers: Workshop/Conference on the Work Level in RISM

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Libraries worldwide have been discussing work titles with increasing intensity. Transferring this idea to musical works seems particularly plausible at first glance, as the production of catalogs of works has a tradition of more than 100 years in musicology.

However, especially in recent decades, the concept of the work itself has been uncovered as a construct of the 19th century. In many cases, attention has been drawn to those genres that cannot be forced into a fixed form. This especially applies to operas, whose form can change from performance to performance. But it also concerns chamber music, which is sometimes presented in different versions and with different instruments, etc., when it is first published. The examples could easily be continued.

Nevertheless, work titles in libraries are an important tool with which musical sources, modern printed music, books about specific musical works, and audiovisual media can be given detailed cataloging and made available. RISM would therefore like to adopt this tool by introducing a work level.

The conference/workshop is intended to enable a dialogue for the different points of view and expectations of musicologists and librarians and to develop solutions for RISM as a project between the two sides.

If you would like to contribute a presentation or paper on this topic, please submit a title and an abstract of around 10 lines in English or German to the RISM Central Office ( Please send us your abstract by 31 January 2019.

The conference will take place at the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur in Mainz, Germany from May 9 to 11, 2019. RISM will make every effort to provide a subsidy for speakers to participate in the conference.

Information will be posted on the Conference Website.

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