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Doing Historical Research in Music: RIPM

What's RIPM?

"RIPM" stands for Repertoire international de la presse musicale. It's an index of 19th and early 20th-century music journals published in the United States and Europe. These are valuable sources for early reviews and criticism of a musical work.

RIPM is available on our "Databases" page. (We also have older volumes in print. Call number: ML128 P24, arranged alphabetically by journal title ).

Each journal in the RIPM series is treated in two parts:

An index, allowing you to search reviews and other articles on a specific work, composer, or subject. The index refers you to the second part, the calendar.

A calendar, or chronological listing of the journal's contents. It gives you the full citation for the article/review you found in the index. Browsing the calendar can also give you valuable historical context -- what other works were performed that year? What were the controversial issues being debated in the music press at that time?

 

Anatomy of a RIPM entry: the Index

In the index, you can search:

Composers

Performers

Titles of works

Other keywords (ballet, harmony, etc.)

 

You can expect to see the following data in an index entry:

Composer

Choreographer

Title of work

Performer(s)

Concert series

Entry  in Calendar. This is indicated as the last two digits of the year the article was published, followed by the entry number. An "r" appended to an entry number indicates that the article is a review. Example:

73:60r

The article was published in 1873; its entry can be found in the Calendar under that year, beside the entry number 60; and it is a review.

 

Anatomy of a RIPM entry: the Calendar

In the Calendar, you will see the following data:

Boldface headings for the volume number and date.

1st column:  entry number (as given in the index)

2nd column:  title of the article/review

3rd column:  author of the article/review

4th column:  page number(s) of the article/review

Accessing the review itself

Once you've identified reviews in RIPM, you can locate the full text using the following strategies:

  • Search the review in JSTOR (available on our "Databases" page)
  • Search the journal's title in the Library's catalog, to see if we own it in print or microtext.

 

Subject Guide

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Leslie McCall
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