MGG Online

Foremost international music encyclopedia to be published online

MGG Online: The music encyclopedia
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
(MGG) goes digital


In 2014 the publishers Bärenreiter and J.B. Metzler entered a long-term partnership with Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale (RILM), publisher of the world’s most comprehensive bibliographic database of writings about music. MGG Online will include the content of the second edition of MGG (1994–2008) as well as subsequent updates, revisions, and additions. All entries from this widely consulted and cited encyclopedia will be accessible to users through the new online database beginning in 2017. Regular updates will guarantee that MGG continues to be musicology’s foremost reference work. Bärenreiter and J.B. Metzler will remain responsible for MGG’s content and will ensure that MGG Online continues to offer up-to-date and authoritative content. RILM will bring its expertise to bear on the design of the online database and the creation of a user-friendly platform that will be fully equipped with the most advanced search and browse capabilities. With its broad international experience, RILM will also be responsible for the worldwide marketing of MGG Online. Subscription details for libraries and other users will be issued in due course.

The internationally renowned musicologist Professor Dr. Laurenz Lütteken (Zurich) will serve as general editor for MGG Online. Given his wide-ranging expertise, Prof. Lütteken is the ideal content manager; he will work with the publishers’ editorial staff and an international advisory board that will monitor the updating work. Outstanding scholars from all pertinent fields will update entries, or, if necessary, rewrite them, and will produce new articles. MGG Online will thus maintain the tradition of excellence long associated with MGG, and will become the essential e-resource for international music scholarship.

For over half a century the abbreviation MGG has stood for the reference work Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Friedrich Blume was the founding editor of the first edition of MGG, which was published by Bärenreiter from 1949 to 1986. The second edition, edited by Ludwig Finscher, appeared between 1994 and 2008 as a co-production of Bärenreiter and J.B. Metzler; it comprises 29 volumes and 25,000 pages, with approximately 20,000 articles written by over 3500 authors from 55 countries. MGG offers well-researched and authoritative texts on almost every aspect of music, as well as numerous professional directories, bibliographies, tables, figures, and indexes. As its original subtitle suggests, MGG is in the fullest sense a universal encyclopedia of music.

On behalf of the publishers, Professor Barbara Scheuch-Vötterle states, “We are pleased that MGG Online will soon be accessible to an even larger international group of users. A treasure trove of information thus merges with the technical means available in our time.”

Dr. Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie, the Director of RILM, adds, “MGG is a work of incomparable scope that provides a solid foundation of music scholarship for all those interested in music. It is essential to make this encyclopedia available online to facilitate the work of anyone who deals with music in its manifold expressions. RILM is delighted to be partnering with Bärenreiter and J.B. Metzler to establish MGG Online.”

The general editor, Professor Dr. Laurenz Lütteken, states that “MGG Online is a continuation of the two printed editions of this universal encyclopedia of music. In the first step, the digitized second edition will be updated; thereafter additions and expansions will follow continuously, under clear editorial guidelines. MGG Online, a mirror of the world’s musicological research, is thus by its nature a work in progress. The high scholarly standards that have been established by the print edition will continue to guide the online version.”

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