Help

On this page you can find help for:

If you see an error or would like to give us feedback, do not hesitate to let us know. Fill out this form (click here) or send an e-mail to contact@rism.info.

Scope and content

The online catalog contains records for music manuscripts, printed music, libretti, and treatises held in music libraries, archives, churches, and other institutions around the world. 

The online catalog contains over 1,000,000 entries, mainly manuscripts from between the years 1600 and 1850. As of summer 2015, there are also ca. 100,000 entries for printed music published up to 1800 by a single composer and printed collections published between 1500 and 1550. Even though the emphasis of manuscript cataloging is on the years 1600-1850, you will find both older and newer sources in the online catalog.

Some of the bigger libraries are not (yet) completely documented in RISM but they tend to have - as opposed to, say, smaller church libraries - their own comprehensive, searchable catalog. With the improvements in recent years in data transfer technology, these data will also eventually be published in the online catalog. Sources that are now lost are not documented in RISM.

RISM's book publications, specifically series B, document groups of sources by topic. Most of the volumes in series B are not in the online catalog but can be consulted in well-stocked research libraries. Click here for information on which book publications are in the RISM online catalog.

We estimate - based on a survey we sent to our national groups in the mid 1990s - that there are approximately 1.8 million extant manuscripts dating between 1600 and 1800 and at least 2 million from between 1800 and 1950. Of printed music to 1800, there must be around 140,000 copies still extant. Thanks to new printing technology, this figure increases rapidly during the nineteenth century and there might be as many as 4 million music prints worldwide from this time. But our numbers are just estimates; nobody can count such a large amount.

RISM is, therefore, far from complete, but it is the most comprehensive resource for musical sources there is.

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Tutorials

  • Quick guide to the online catalog (PDF) (YouTube video): This very short video demonstrates a simple search, using the filters, and what a typical catalog entry has.
  • City Guide (PDF) (YouTube video): How to find sources that are located today in a particular city or country (sources in Rome, sources in Mexico, etc.)
  • Printed music in RISM (YouTube video): Over 100,000 items of printed music from A/I and B/I added to the online catalog in May 2015
  • How to search for RISM library sigla (YouTube video): How to use the database of library sigla to find the RISM abbreviation for an institution
  • New (2014) features of the online catalog (YouTube video): This video points out the new (2014) features of the RISM online catalog, including the search for digitized music, improved autocomplete, Boolean search, on-screen piano keyboard for entering incipits, sort results, atom feed, clearer attributions

RISM up close:

  • Incipit search (YouTube video): An overview to searching for music incipits

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Simple search

The single search box conducts an undifferentiated full-text search. Type in the search term(s) you want to find. Truncate words using * (asterisk). Use “ ” (quotation marks) to search for an exact phrase. Punctuation and case are ignored.

Examples: Zar*
Autograph Mozart
“don giovanni”
piano sonatas

Advanced search

Use up to three search boxes and a series of drop-down menus to direct a search to specific indexes. Truncation and searching by phrase are allowed. The fourth search box is populated by the on-screen piano. A fifth search box appears after your initial search and it contains the session's previous searches.

  • All fields

    • This is especially useful for searching the fields not indexed (listed below), such as opus number, role names,  publisher location, or notes fields. Searching in a specific index (when possible) will result in a more accurate search than searching in "All fields."

  • Title

    • Enter the title, classification title, or text incipit. Use the plural for form/genre terms. Alternate titles are searched automatically.
      Examples:
      Music for the royal fireworks
      Symphonies
      Ich bin nicht gern allein

  • Composer

    • Names, initials, pseudonyms, etc. of composers. Name variants are searched automatically.

  • Genre

    • Enter the form, genre, or type in English in the plural.
      Examples:
      Sonatas
      Psalms

  • Music incipit

    • Enter the pitches of the music incipit. Omit sharps, flats, and naturals. See also Music incipits.

  • Music incipit (with transposition)

    • Enter the pitches of the music incipit if you wish to allow transpositions.

  • Other names

    • Names, initials, pseudonyms, etc. of individuals who do not function as composers: arrangers, co-composers, copyists, dedicatees, librettists, performers, previous owners, printers, engravers, etc. Name variants are searched automatically.

  • Catalog of works number

    • The abbreviation of a thematic catalog or works catalog and number.
      Examples:
      BWV 175
      HelH 198

  • Key

    • Major and minor keys (G, g, Gx OR G#, gx OR g#, Gb, gb), church modes (to be entered as 1t-12t; see “ecclesiastical modes” in Abbreviations, below)

  • Institution

    • Institutions that are related to the work as dedicatees or performers (but not previous owners)

  • Provenance

    • Names of people or institutions who had prior ownership of the source

  • Source type

    • Enter one of the following terms, or use the drop-down list under Source Type:
      manuscript (for copies or manuscripts not in the composer's hand)
      autograph (for manuscripts in the composer's hand)
      print (a printed music edition)
      possible autograph
      partly autograph (for partial autographs, i.e. manuscripts with corrections or small additions in the composer's hand)
      libretto, printed
      libretto, handwritten
      theoreticum, printed
      theoreticum, handwritten
      other material
      musical journal

  • Watermarks

    • Enter English terms
      Examples:
      crescent
      flower
      lion

  • Liturgical festival

  • Scoring

    • Search for works that include specific instruments or voices, using RISM instrument abbreviations (see below). Also known as instrumentation or medium of performance. This searches the scoring summary.

  • Library siglum

  • RISM ID no.

    • Enter the 9-digit record number assigned by RISM. This includes A/II numbers.
      Example:
      806351640

  • Year

    • Enter a single year
      Example:
      1806

  • Shelfmark

    • Enter the shelfmark or call number as given by the holding library or previous institutions
      Examples:
      MS 444
      R.d.26
      M1500.M46 L58 Case

  • Language

    • Search for texts by language. Enter in either English or German.
      Examples:
      Italian
      Italienisch

  • Publisher

    • Search for printed editions from a particular publisher.
      Examples:
      Johann Jakob Lotter & Sohn or also Johann Jakob Lotter Sohn
      Lotter
      Charles Dibdin

  • A/I or B/I number

    • Search for printed editions by the sequential A/I or B/I numbers used in the print publications. Spaces, if any, must be entered exactly. Superscripts in B/1 are preceded by a vertical line.
      Examples:
      S 6989
      HH 6429a
      AA 898 I,1

  • Plate number

    • Search by plate and publisher’s numbers. You can enter strings of numbers and/or characters.
      Examples:
      424
      L. M. 2. A. 31

Examples:
1) All sources for symphonies by Haydn in E major 

2) All sources outside of Germany for Clara Schumann where she shows up in a function other than composer (such as copyist or former owner)
Tip: Use a Boolean search and select not

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Search results

The search results are given in a numbered list. The results list may show the composer, title, key, scoring summary, A/1 or B/1 numberthematic catalog number, source type, library siglum, and the shelfmark.

Refine the results by using the filters on the left: Digitized musicGenre, Composer, Source type, Scoring (this is a summary of the full scoring), PublisherYearLibrary siglum, and Series. The selected search filters appear in a box above the filters. To remove a search filter, simply click the X next to the filter.

Digitized music includes musical sources that have been scanned by the holding institution and made available online. A direct link to the digitized source is provided in the record. Clicking on the filter for digitized music will display only those records that contain links to digital surrogates.

Click on any of the search results to view the full record. 

Full record display

The full record display describes the source in full, often including incipits.

If you click on a term marked in blue with a  to the right of it, a window opens with further information.

If you see the phrase “In collection” near the bottom of the record, it means that the work described is part of a collective manuscript or anthology. Clicking on the blue number will take you to the collection's main entry. From there, you can view the records for the rest of the works in the collection.
Consult the table of abbreviations, below, as required.

For printed music, different formats of a publication are noted in abbreviated form: Chb (choirbook), Chor-P (chorus score), KLA (piano score/vocal score), Orgel-P (organ score), P (full score), St (parts), Tab (tablature). 

If you see the phrase "Initial entry" or "Following entries" on an item of printed music, note that linking records via initial entry / following entry corresponds with the suborder adopted in the printed volumes of series A/I, in which identical contents were indicated with a dash beneath the first printed edition mentioned. Most of these had a complete title. This system did not correspond to any hierarchy in a sense of first editions and reprints. However, linking in the catalog is necessary in that similarities in content of the titles have to be reflected. Furthermore, since the subsequent entries often lack short and/or original titles, there needs to be a clear reference to the (original) title of the first entry.

Registered users of the RISM website may consult the description guidelines, which are linked from the Community page.  

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Music incipits

See also the tutorials above.

There are two different ways of searching for music incipits (beginning notes):

1. Search by note names 

In the Advanced search, select the field Music incipit or Music incipit (with transposition). Enter either upper or lower case letters. For the English note name B, either B or the German H may be used.  Omit accidentals, sharps, flats, and natural signs because they are ignored in this field. For example, for the note F-sharp, enter an F. Selecting the option Music incipit (with transposition) will also include incipits that have been transposed from the initial search inquiry.

2. Search using the on-screen piano keyboard 

Underneath the search boxes is a virtual piano keyboard. This can also be used to input music incipits. The piano keyboard enables a chromatic search and takes into account exact half steps. All enharmonic tones are also searched: the black key for the note F-sharp also searches for the note G-flat - even when xF appears in the search field. Here it is also possible to search for incipits using the original notes or you can select the transposition option. 

Examples:

a. Search term: fgfbagfa (Music incipit)



b. Search term: cdefgfead (Music incipit) or defgagfbe (Music incipit (with transposition)).



More tips:

  • Rhythm, intervals, and octaves are ignored
  • The search is truncated right, meaning that music incipits are retrieved that are longer than the search string.
  • Grace notes and ornaments are searched if you enter them and ignored if you do not. 
  • Start with a longer incipit and delete notes until you get results of a reasonable size.
  • To increase your chances of a match, search using Music incipit (with transposition)
  • Combine the incipit search with other fields and make use of the search filters 
  • You can use upper case or lower case letters
  • You may enter either an H or a B
  • Tied notes do not have to be entered twice
  • To search for enharmonic notes or accidentals, use the keyboard

And remember:
The music incipits in RISM are not standardized in any way. Rather, they reflect the incipits as they appear on the sources themselves. Accordingly, there may be slight variations among different copies of what is essentially the same work.

Not every source described in the RISM catalog includes a music incipit. Sometimes, only text incipits are included or only basic information about the movement (such as time signature or tempo marking).

An external, experimental incipit search has been put together at Utrecht University: RISM search by Utrecht University. It uses sequence alignment to retrieve melodies that are variants of the query melody (e.g. transposition, pitch and rhythm changes, insertion and deletion of notes, ornaments). This is not run by RISM but some users might enjoy playing around with it. 

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How do I... : Tips & tricks

1. Search the holdings of a specific library
Do an Advanced Search and select the field Library siglum (search the database of sigla here) and click Search. Now you are looking at only the records of a particular library. Use the filters on the left to further refine your search.

2. View variants of a name
You have multiple versions of Ethel Smyth's name. I choose one; I then want to see the others, but how do I go back to the dropdown list of possible variants?
Name variants are displayed when you type in the Simple Search, or in the Advanced Search in the fields All fields, Composer, and Other names. To view all variants at once, go to a record where Smyth is named (such as this one) and click on her name. Alternate names, based on standard reference works, are listed there.

3. Navigate between individual entries in a collection
We admit navigation isn't ideal but there is a workaround: Do an Advanced Search and fill out the fields Library siglum and Shelfmark (aka call number), then click Search. The default order of entries in the search results gives you the individual entries in page number order. Or, use the Sort by option to sort the results. From any result, you can use the arrows in the upper right of a record to navigate.

4. Access all records in the database at once
Simply click Search without entering anything and the results will be all records in the database. Use the filters to narrow your results.

5. Search for items in other languages (sinfonie, symphonie, symphony, etc.)
A good strategy is to search for the genre in English and in the plural: symphonies. 

6. Download RISM data for reuse or to experiment with
Each record has links at the bottom that say Show MarcXML and Show RDF/XML. In addition, all records may be downloaded in MARCXML and RDF format from the linked open data page.

7. Find digitized versions of sources in RISM
The RISM online catalog links to digitized versions of music manuscripts and printed music when known. These links can be conveniently accessed through the link Digitized music that appears at the top of the filters after any search. Please note, however, that links to some printed music editions currently are not included in this filter; if you are searching for imprints, be sure to check each record individually to see if a link is included next to the library siglum (for example this one).

Many music sources are described in the printed RISM volumes but are not (yet) in the online catalog. Some external projects compile known digital surrogates for these sources. These are linked on the RISM publications page next to the book's description. 

8. Find a source if it's not in RISM
The searchable website Digital Resources in Musicology (Stanford University) offers a substantial list of links to freely available resources of use to musicians and musicologists, organized by topic. 

The Guide to Digital Scores from Princeton University focuses on free and fee-based materials. Notated music in all formats is included (scores, parts, etc.).

9. Link to a record or a search
Using the URL in your browser's address bar will lead to an error. To link to a specific catalog entry, click on the Permalink located between the RISM logo and the the composer's name and use that URL.

To link to a more complex search string (such as all records by a certain composer, or all symphonies in a certain library), combine this address (without quotes):

"https://opac.rism.info/search?View=rism&"

with the parameter you wish to search:

author=   for composer 
callno=   for shelfmark/call number
institution=   for an institution that appears in the field Provenance
localkey=   or documentid= or id= for RISM ID number
q=   or query=   for a keyword search anywhere
subject=   for a genre
title=   for filing title
year=   for year
siglum=   for library siglum

and add your search string.

Add &Language=en   to keep the interface in English (or it will default to German). 

As an example, to link to all sources by Marianna Martines: 
https://opac.rism.info/search?View=rism&author=Marianna+Martines&Language=en

Truncating searches with an asteristk (*) is possible in some cases. Blank spaces must be filled with a plus sign (+). Combine parameters with an ampersand (&).

Tip: Linking to the GND number is helpful if the name is common. This article explains how.

Truncating searches with an asteristk (*) is possible in some cases. Blank spaces must be filled with a plus sign (+). Combine parameters with an ampersand (&).

Details and more examples are on the RISM website.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is in RISM?
Please see Scope and content, above.

2. Why isn't my article or other important research cited in RISM?
We try to stay abreast of current research but invariably we miss some things. Please alert us to new research or articles we may have overlooked.

3. How can I report an error?
Any and all corrections are welcome. Please fill out this form or send us an e-mail.

4. Where can I get copies of the music?
Music must be obtained directly from the holding institution itself. Some libraries offer digitized collections on their websites; whenever possible, RISM links to these digital surrogates directly in the records. If you do not find a digitized copy of the source, you must contact the library. Click on the library siglum to find the contact information.

5. When I search for a composer, I get results where the name of the composer isn't anywhere on the record. Why is this?
Your search also searches authority records and main entry records (in the case of collections), so the name may appear as a variant if you click on the composer's name, or it may appear on the main entry record if the item is part of a collection.

6. Records are inconsistent: sometimes a word is spelled with a "v" in one record but a "u" in the next. Same with "j" and "i". Why is this?
The field "Title on source" transcribes the title exactly as it appears on the source, including the original spelling from the time and any mistakes the scribe made. This accounts for the variations you see. The titles at the top of the records and the incipits are standardized and reflect modern usage.

7. Why do some works have different opus numbers?
A work my have different opus numbers because in the past, opus numbers were assigned by the publishers. Different publishers sometimes used different numbers for the same piece or the same number for different pieces. RISM records can reflect what is on the sources themselves as well as what can be found in the secondary literature. 

8. Why do some printed editions have two A/I numbers, such as G 325 and GG 325? What does the second entry (GG 325) refer to?

You may ignore the second entry with the double letters. Entries for printed editions with double letters appeared in the print volume's supplement.

9. The online catalog doesn't display properly on my screen (words are cut off, etc.).
Try changing the resolution of your screen.

10. Can I reuse data from the RISM online catalog? 
Yes! Both the authority records as well as the records for the sources themselves are freely available as linked open data through a Creative Commons CC-BY license. You can download the data in MARCXML and RDF format. More information is available on the linked open data page.

11. How can I participate in RISM?
We warmly welcome anybody who wants to take part in RISM's projects.

Individuals can support RISM by:

  • reporting mistakes in the online catalog
  • sending us descriptions of sources not yet in RISM
  • making us aware of new research concerning sources
  • alerting us to institutions not yet in the siglum database
  • making us aware of new research concerning sources
  • informing us of performances that involve music found in RISM
  • translating the RISM brochure or Wikipedia articles into their local language


Libraries can support RISM by:

  • opening up their collections to RISM contributors
  • supporting their work by offering work space, Internet access, etc.
  • offering staff to work on the project (training is provided free from RISM)
  • sending RISM data from local catalogs about sources not yet in RISM

Anybody can:

  • contribute financially. All donations are welcome! (Receipt provided.)

12. How is RISM structured?
RISM relies on the work of individuals and working groups from around the world who catalog the musical sources in their own country in the international RISM database. Information about the structure of RISM can be found here.

13. How can I find a RISM contact person near me?
Please consult the list of RISM working groups worldwide. If your country is not listed, please contact us.

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Secondary literature abbreviations

Secondary literature most frequently cited in biographical pop-up windows

Need help? contact@rism.info

Brown-StrattonBMB James D. Brown and Stephen S. Stratton. British Musical Biography. A Dictionary of Musical Artists, Authors and Composers Born in Britain and Its Colonies. London, 1897/ reprint 1971.
CohenE|2    Aaron I. Cohen. International Encyclopedia of Women Composers, 2nd ed., 2 vol. New York: Books & Music, 1987.
ČSHS Gracian Černušák, Bohumír Štědron, and Zdenko Nováček. Československý hudební slovnik osob a institucí. 2 vol. Praha: Státní hudební vydavatelství, 1963-1965.
DEUMM/b Alberto Basso. Dizionario Enciclopedico Universale della Musica e dei Musicisti. Le Biografie. 8 vol. Torino: UTET, 1985-1988.
DEUMM/b suppl. Alberto Basso. Dizionario Enciclopedico Universale della Musica e dei Musicisti. Appendice. Torino: UTET, 1990.
EitnerQ Robert Eitner. Biographisch-bibliographisches Quellen-Lexikon der Musiker und Musikgelehrten der christlichen Zeitrechnung bis zur Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts. 11 vol. Leipzig, 1900-1904. 
FétisB|2 François-Joseph Fétis. Biographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale de la musique. 2nd ed., 8 vol. Paris, 1868-1870.
FétisB|2 suppl. Arthur Pougin. Biographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale de la musique par F.-J. Fétis. Supplément et complément. 2 vol. Paris, 1878-1880.
Frank-AltmannTL|1|5 Paul Frank and Wilhelm Altmann. Kurzgefaßtes Tonkünstler-Lexikon. Erster Teil: Neudruck der Ausgabe von 1936. 15th ed., vol. 1. 1936/ reprint Wilhelmshaven: Heinrichshofen's Verlag,  1971.
Frank-AltmannTL|1|5 suppl. Burchard Bullin, Florian Noetzel, and Helmut Rösner. Kurzgefaßtes Tonkünstler-Lexikon. Zweiter Teil: Ergänzungen und Erweiterungen seit 1937. 15th ed., vol. 2-3. Wilhelmshaven: Heinrichshofen's Verlag, 1974-1978. 
GarveyJacksonW Barbara Garvey Jackson. "Say can you deny me". A guide to surviving music by women from the 16th through the 18th centuries Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press, 1994.
Grove|6 Stanley Sadie, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 20 vol. London: Macmillan, 1980.
Grove|7 Stanley Sadie, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2nd ed., 29 vol. London: MacMillan, 2001.
Kutsch-RiemensGSL|4 Karl-Josef Kutsch and Leo Riemens. Großes Sängerlexikon. 4th ed., 7 vol. München: Saur, 2003. 
LdMk Hermann Josef Schneider. Lexikon zur deutschen Musikkultur. Böhmen, Mähren, Sudetenschlesien. 2 vol. München: Langen-Müller/Herbig, 2000.
MCL Hermann Mendel and August Reißmann. Musikalisches Conversations-Lexikon. Eine Encyklopädie der gesammten musikalischen Wissenschaften. 11 vol. Berlin, 1870-1879.
MGG Friedrich Blume, ed. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. 14 vol. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1949.
MGG suppl. Friedrich Blume, ed. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Supplement. 2 vol. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1973-1979.
MGG|2/s Ludwig Finscher, ed. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Sachteil. 10 vol. Kassel: Bärenreiter; Stuttgart: Metzler, 1994-1998, 1999. 
MGG|2/p Ludwig Finscher, ed. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Personenteil. 17 vol. Kassel: Bärenreiter; Stuttgart: Metzler, 1999-2007.
MGG|2 suppl. Ilka Sühring. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Supplement. Kassel: Bärenreiter; Stuttgart: Metzler, 2008.
SCHML Lothar Hoffmann-Erbrecht. Schlesisches Musiklexikon. Augsburg: Wißner-Verlag, 2001.
Sohlmans|2 Hanse Åstrand. Sohlmans musiklexikon. 2nd ed., 5 vol. Stockholm, 1975-1979.
StiegerO Franz Stieger. Opernlexikon. 11 vol. Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1975-1983.
RiemannL|1|2/p Wilibald Gurlitt. Riemann Musik-Lexikon. Personenteil. 12th ed., 2 vol. Mainz: Schott, 1959-1961.
RiemannL|1|2/p suppl. Carl Dahlhaus. Riemann Musik-Lexikon. Ergänzungsband Personenteil. 12th ed., 2 vol. Mainz: Schott, 1972-1975. 
RiemannL|1|3 Wolfgang Ruf. Riemann Musik-Lexikon. 5 vol. Mainz: Schott, 2012. 
VollhardtC 1899 Reinhard Vollhardt: Geschichte der Cantoren und Organisten von den Städten im Königreich Sachsen. Berlin, 1899/ reprint Leipzig: Peters, 1978.

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General abbreviations and descriptions

Name attributions: You will see these designations appear after a name.

verified Attribution is certain.
ascertained The name is partially present or entirely absent from the source, but attribution is (reasonably) certain and based on comparison with concordant sources, secondary literature, or other scholarly resources.
conjectural The name is a questionable guess based on the secondary literature; includes doubtful attributions.
alleged The name appears on the source, but the attribution is questionable or doubtful.
misattributed The name is on the source but is incorrect.

The field "Form" in some printed editions:

Chb choirbook
Chor-P chorus score
KLA piano score/vocal score
kpl. complete
Orgel-P organ score
P full score
St parts
Tab tablature

Other abbreviations:

Autograph autograph manuscript
?Autograph? possible autograph manuscript
Chb choirbook (in printed music)
Chor-P chorus score (in printed music)
date
1691 in 1691
1782a before 1782
1782c about (ca.) 1782
1782p after 1782
18.in beginning of the 18th century
18.me middle of the 18th century
18.ex end of the 18th century
18.1t 18th century, first third
18.3q 18th century, 3rd quarter
18.2d 18th century, 2nd half
18.sc 18th century
18/19 18th/19th century
1691* born 1691
1797a+ died before 1782
1782p+ died after 1782
ex. copies (for printed music)
incpl. incomplete
keys
major (mode): A, B, C, D, E, F, G, C#, D#, F#, G#, Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, Gb
minor (mode): a, b, c, d, e, f, g, a#, d#, f#, g#, ab, bb, cb, db, eb, gb
Examples:
A A major
B B major
b B minor
f# F-sharp minor
fx F-sharp minor
Bb B-flat major
ecclesiastical modes:
1t 1st tone (Dorian)
2t 2nd tone (Hypodorian)
3t 3rd tone (Phrygian)
4t 4th tone (Hypophrygian
5t 5th tone (Lydian)
6t 6th tone (Hypolydian)
7t 7th tone (Mixolydian)
8t 8th tone (Hypomixolydian)
9t 9th tone (Aeolian)
10t 10th tone (Hypoaeolian)
11t 11th tone (Ionian)
12t 12th tone (Hypoionian)
KLA piano score/vocal score (in printed music)
kpl. complete (in printed music)
olim old shelfmark
Orgel-P organ score (in printed music)
P full score (in printed music)
RISM A/I cross-reference to RISM series A/I
RISM B/ cross-reference to RISM series B
St parts (in printed music)
Tab tablature (in printed music)

List of instrument abbreviations

Contents:

General abbreviations and concepts

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

Examples

iSol

continuous solo instrument in a work, typically with a separately written-out part (not used for instruments that have extensive solo passages, such as an oboe in a cantata)

Nur für Soloinstrumente in Konzerten.



iSol: vl

brasses

brass instruments (cor, clno or tr, trb)

Blechblasinstrumente

cuivres

ottoni


strings

strings

Streichinstrumente

cordes

archi


winds

winds (brass and woodwind)

Blasinstrumente

instruments à vent

strumenti a fiato


woodwinds

woodwinds

Holzblasinstrumente

bois

legni


orch

orchestra

Orchester

orchestre

orchestra


pf (cemb)
etc.

Add alternative scoring possibilities to the original requirements in brackets.




pf (orch)

T (S)

 


 

 

 

 

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Additions to any instrument to indicate a range

Use the following before any instrument to make it:

Kann einem Instrument vorangestellt werden:

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

Examples

s-

a-

contra-

contra-a-

t-

bariton-

b-

soprano

alto

contra

contralto

tenor

baritone

bass

Sopran

Alt

Kontra

Kontra-Alt

Tenor

Bariton

Bass



s-saxofono

a-trb

contra-fag

contra-a-cl (in E|b)

t-trb

bariton-trb

b-trb


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Additions to any instrument to indicate a type

Use the following after an instrument

Kann einem Instrument angehängt werden.

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

Examples

ad lib

ad libitum

ad libitum

ad libitum

ad libitum

ob ad lib

conc

concertino, concertato

concertino, concertato



S conc
vl conc
ob conc

d'amore

d'amore

d'amore



ob d'amore

.picc

piccolo

piccolo



cl.picc,
fl.picc

princ

principale (i.e. concertante)

principale



vl princ
vlc princ

clno princ

rip

ripieno

ripieno



S rip
vl rip
b rip


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Additions to any wind instrument to indicate a tuning other than standard tuning

Bezeichnet die Stimmung eines Blasinstrumentes

RISM abbreviation

Examples

in A

in E|b

etc.

cl in A
cor in E|b

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Unspecified or unknown types or numbers of instruments

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

Examples

(X)

an unspecified number

Eine unbekannte Anzahl einer Stimme.



vl (X)

V (X)

dessus

dessus, soprano (instrumental)

dessus (instr., Sopranlage)

dessus (instrumentale, soprano)

strumentale superiore


hautecontre

hautecontre (usually an unspecified alto instrument)

Hautecontre (instr., in Altlage)

haute-contre (instrumentale)

haute-contre, strumento contralto


i

unknown/unspecified instrument, general instrumental part

Unbekannte(s) Instrument/ Instrumentalstimme

partie instrumentale

parte strumentale

i

taille

tenor instrument/part

Taille (instr.)

taille (instrument)

strumento tenore


treble

highest voice (instrument)

Treble (instr., höchste Stimmlage)

partie instrumentale la plus aiguë dans le mouvement

parte strumentale più acuta nel movimento


no further indication

no further details of the part designations are available

Keine weitere Angabe




no indication

instrumentation is not specified

Keine Angabe




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Vocal (voice) terms

Solo voices

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

S

soprano, cantus, discant, discantus, tiple (vocal)

Sopran (vokal), Cantus, Diskant

soprano (vocale), cantus, discantus

soprano (vocale), cantus, discantus

Mezzo-S

mezzo-soprano (vocal)

Mezzosopran (vokal)

mezzo-soprano (vocale)

mezzosoprano (vocale)

A

alto (vocal)

Alt (vokal)

alto (vocale)

contralto (vocale)

Contra-A

contralto (vocal)

Kontra-Alt

contralto (vocale)

contralto (vocale)

T

tenor (vocal)

Tenor (vokal)

ténor (vocale)

tenore (vocale)

Bariton

baritone (vocal)

Bariton (vokal)

bariton (vocale)

baritono (vocale)

B

bass (vocal)

Bass (vokal)

basse (vocale)

basso (vocale)

voice (vocal), solo vocal part

Solovokalstimme

partie vocale

parte vocale






Dessus

dessus, soprano (vocal)

Dessus (vokal, Sopranlage)

dessus (vocale, soprano)

vocale superiore

Sprechstimme

spoken voice, spoken roles, narrator, Sprechstimme

Sprechstimme

partie parlée

voce recitante

Treble

highest voice (vocal)

Treble (vokal, höchste Stimmlage)

partie vocale la plus aiguë dans le mouvement


parte vocale più acuta nel movimento

V 5

quinta vox, 5th voice (vocal)

Quinta Vox

cinquième voix

quinta voce

V 6 

sexta vox, 6th voice (vocal)

Sexta Vox

sixième voix

sesta voce

Vag

vagans (additional vocal voice)

Vagans





Chorus/Choir

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

Coro

choir, chorus

Chor

chœur

coro

Coro S

the soprano part in a chorus

Sopranstimme im Chor



Coro A

the alto part in a chorus

Altstimme im Chor



Coro T

the tenor part in a chorus

Tenorstimme im Chor



Coro B

the bass part in a chorus

Bassstimme im Chor



Coro V

an unspecified or unknown chorus part

Unbekannte Stimme im Chor



Coro 1:

Coro 2: etc.

use to differentiate between multiple choirs.
Examples:

Coro 1: S

Coro 1: A

Coro 2: S

Coro 2: A





Coro di fanciulli

children's choir, boys' choir, girls' choir

Kinderchor

chœur d'enfants


coro di fanciulli

Coro femminile

womens' choir

Frauenchor

chœur de femmes

coro femminile

Coro maschile

mens' choir

Männerchor

chœur d'hommes

coro maschile


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Strings

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

Image or website link

vl

violin (do not differentiate between 1st and 2nd violins)

Violine

violon

violino

Link to Wikipedia


vl conc

violin concertino

Violino concertino

violino concertino

violino concertino



vl princ

violin principale

Violino principale

violino principale

violino principale



vl rip

violin ripieno

Violino ripieno

violino ripieno

violino ripieno



vl solo

solo violin part (but not for concertos)

Solovioline

violon seul

violino solo


vla

viola

Viola

viole

viola

Link to Wikipedia


a-vla

alto viola

Altviola

viole alto

viola alto


vlc

violoncello, cello

Violoncello

violoncelle

violoncello

Link to Wikipedia

cb

contrabass, double bass

Kontrabass

contrebasse

contrabasso








baryton

baryton (bass string instrument)

Baryton (Streichinstrument mit Resonanzsaiten)

baryton

viola di bordone

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

fiddle

fiddle

Fidel

vièle, vielle

viella, fidula


violetta

violetta, violetta piccola (a descant viol, can also mean violin)

Violetta (eine Viole)

violetta

violetta


violetta marina

violetta marina

Violetta marina

violetta marina

violetta marina


vla basso

viola basso

Bassviola

basse de viole

viola bassa


vla bastarda

viola bastarda

Viola bastarda

viola bastarda

viola bastarda

Link to Wikipedia

vla d'amore

viola d'amore

Viola d'amore

viole d'amour

viola d'amore


vla da braccio

viola da braccio

Viola da braccio

viola da braccio

viola da braccio


vla da gamba

viola da gamba, viol, gamba

Viola da gamba

viole de gambe

viola da gamba

Link to Wikipedia


s-vla da gamba

treble viola da gamba

Sopran-Viola da gamba

dessus de viole

viola da gamba soprano



t-vla da gamba

tenor viola da gamba

Tenor-Viola da gamba

viole de gambe ténor

viola da gamba tenore



b-vla da gamba

bass viola da gamba

Bass-Viola da gamba

basse de viole

basso di viola


vla pomposa

viola pomposa

Viola pomposa

viola pomposa

viola pomposa


vlne

violone (related to double bass)

Violone

violone

violone

Link to Wikipedia

strings

strings

Streichinstrumente

cordes

archi



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Woodwinds

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

Image or website link

fl

flute, transverse flute (held horizontally, in C)

Flöte, Querflöte

flûte (traversière)

flauto (traverso)

Link to MIMO


fl.picc

piccolo, ottavino

Piccoloflöte

piccolo

flauto piccolo

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

fl d'amore

flûte d'amour, flauto d'amore (in A)

Flauto d'amore (in A oder A|b)

flûte d'amour

flauto d'amore

Link to MIMO


fl dolce

flauto dolce (can refer to recorder, or flute in some 19th-century sources)

Flauto dolce (italienischer Begriff für Blockflöte, meint im 19. Jh. auch die Querflöte)

flûte douce

flauto dolce


fl quarto

flauto quarto (small flute tuned a fourth above a flute)

Quartflöte


flauto quarto



fl terzino

Flute in E|b, soprano flute, third flute, tierce flute (flute tuned a minor third above a flute)

Terzflöte (in E|b)

flûte tierce

flauto terzino

Link to MIMO 

flautino

flautino (can refer to soprano recorder or piccolo)

Flautino, Sopraninoblockflöte

flautino

flautino


ob

oboe

Oboe

hautbois

oboe

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia 


cor inglese

cor anglais, English horn (in F)

Englischhorn (in Altlage, zur Oboenfamilie gehörig, Stimmung in F)

cor anglais

corno inglese

Link to MIMO 


ob d'amore

oboe d'amore (in A, a minor third lower than oboe)

Oboe d'amore (in A)

hautbois d'amour

oboe d'amore

Link to MIMO 

ob da caccia

oboe da caccia (a curved oboe, in F)

Oboe da caccia (gekrümmte Oboe, in F)

hautbois de chasse

oboe da caccia

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia 

ob grande

oboe grande, mezzo-soprano oboe (usually in A or B|b)

Oboe grande (in Mezzosopranlage, Stimmung in A oder B|b)





t-ob

tenor oboe. Also use for taille (d'hautbois), vox humana (in F)

Tenoroboe, Vox humana (in F)

taille d'hautbois, voix humaine

oboe tenore, voce umana

Link to MIMO 

cl

clarinet (indicate tuning when known)

Klarinette (Bitte die Stimmung angeben, wenn sie bekannt ist.)

clarinette

clarinetto

Link to Wikipedia 


b-cl

bass clarinet (in B|b)

Bassklarinette (in B|b)

clarinette basse

clarinetto basso

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia 


cl in A

clarinet in A

A-Klarinette





cl in E|b

E|b clarinet

Es-Klarinette




cor di bassetto

basset horn (clarinet family)

Bassetthorn (in Tenorlage, zur Klarinettenfamilie gehörig)

cor de basset

corno di bassetto

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia 


chalumeau

chalumeau (single-reed instrument, precursor of the clarinet)

Chalumeau (Einfachrohrblattinstrument, Vorläufer der Klarinette)

chalumeau

salmoè


saxofono

saxophone, sax. Use prefix s-, a-, etc. if known.

Saxophon (Bitte die Stimmung angeben, wenn sie bekannt ist.)

saxophone

saxofono, sassofono

Link to Wikipedia


s-saxofono

soprano saxophone

(in B|b)

Sopransaxophon

(in B|b)

saxophone soprano

saxofono/ sassofono soprano

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia 



a-saxofono

alto saxophone (in E|b)

Altsaxophon (in E|b)

saxophone alto



Link to MIMO 


t-saxofono

tenor saxophone (in B|b)

Tenorsaxophon

(in B|b)

saxophone ténor

saxofono/ sassofono tenore

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia 


bariton-saxofono

baritone saxophone

Baritonsaxophon

saxophone baryton

saxofono/ sassofono baritono


fag

bassoon

Fagott

basson

fagotto

Link to Wikipedia 


contra-fag

contrabassoon, double bassoon

Kontrafagott

contrebasson

controfagotto



t-fag

tenor bassoon, tenoron (in F)

Tenorfagott (in F)

basson quinte

fagotto tenore

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia

bombarde

bombardon, bombarde, pommer; alto, tenor, and bass shawm (low woodwind instrument, typically with a double reed, with one key or keyless)

Bombarde, Pommer (Doppelrohrblattinstrument)

bombarde

bombarda

Link to MIMO 

chirimía

chirimía (a type of Spanish shawm, double-reed instrument)

Chirimía (Doppelrohrblattinstrument, spanischer Begriff für eine Art Oboe)

chirimía


Link to Wikipedia 

ciaramella

shawm (but see also piffero and bombarde [for the pommer])

Ciaramella (eine Schalmei, Doppelrohrblattinstrument)

chalemie

ciaramella


fiffaro

fife (similar to a piccolo)

Querpfeife (hohe Querflöte), Schwegel (in der Volksmusik)

fifre

fiffaro

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia 

ocarina 

ocarina (round, hollow flute, typically shaped like an elongated egg)

Okarina (eine Gefäßflöte)

ocarina

ocarina

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia 

piffero

shawm, especially high ones (but see chalumeau); fife; small flute  

Piffero (zur Oboenfamilie gehörig)

piffero

piffero


recorder

Blockflöte

flûte à bec

flauto dolce




sopranino

sopranino recorder (in F)

Sopraninoblockflöte

(in F)

sopranino

sopranino

Link to MIMO 

woodwinds

woodwinds

Holzblasinstrumente

bois

legni


zufoletto

zufoletto

Zufoletto

zufoletto

zufoletto



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Brass

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

Image or website link

banda 

wind band, usually brass, but can also mean brass instruments or brass plus percussion

Blaskapelle (oft um Schlagwerk erweitert)

orchestre d'harmonie

banda musicale


althorn

althorn (usually in E|b; see also saxhorn and tenor horn)

Althorn (in E|b; vgl. mit Saxhorn und Tenorhorn)

bugle alto

flicorno contralto

Link to MIMO

b

bass (instrumental), also for unspecified bass instrument

Bass (instr.), zumeist ein tiefes Streichinstrument

basse (instrumentale)

basso (strumento)


bariton 

baritone, baritone horn (valved brass instrument in B|b, similar to but not the same as the euphonium)

Baritonhorn (in B|b)

euphonium

eufonio, flicorno baritono

Link to Wikipedia 

bombardino

flicorno, bombardino (bugle/flugelhorn family)

Bombardino (vgl. mit Euphonium)


bombardino


bombardone

bass tuba, bombardon

Bombardone, Basstuba

bombardon

bombardone


brasses

brass instruments

Blechblasinstrumente

cuivres

ottoni


bugle 

bugle (no valves, typically in B|b or C)

Horn (ohne Ventile, in C oder B|b)

bugle

bugle, flicorno

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia

cimbasso

cimbasso (trombone family, pitched in C, F, E|b or B|b)

Cimbasso (tiefe Ventilposaune in C, F, E|b oder B|b)

cimbasso

cimbasso

Link to Wikipedia

clno 

clarino, clairon, clarion (trumpet family)

Klarine (zur Trompetenfamilie gehörig)

clarine

clarino

Link to Wikipedia

cnto

cornetto, cornett, zink (Renaissance wind instrument; for the trumpet-like brass instrument, see kornetto)

Zink (Gilt als Blechblasinstrument wegen seines Kesselmundstücks.)

cornet

cornetto

Link to Wikipedia

cor

horn, French horn, hunting horn (in F)

Horn, Waldhorn (meist in F, auch B|b oder E|b)

cor d'harmonie

corno


cor a chiavi

keyed bugle, key bugle, Kent bugle

Klappenhorn

bugle à clefs

cornetta a chiavi

Link to MIMO

cor basso

bass horn (semi-spherical mouthpiece like a trumpet, looks like a bassoon)

Basshorn (mit Kesselmundstück, aus der Familie der Grifflochhörner, einem Fagott ähnlich aussehend)

cor grave

corno basso

Link to MIMO

cor crom

valve horn, chromatic cor

Chromatisches Horn

cor chromatique

corno cromatico


dugetto

dugetto (a low trumpet, in bass clef)

dugetto

dugetto

dugetto


euphonium

euphonium

Euphonium (zur Familie der Bügelhörner gehörig)

euphonium

eufonio


fanfare

fanfare trumpet, herald's trumpet, Aida trumpet (usually in E|b)

Fanfarentrompete, Heroldstrompete

fanfare

fanfara

Link to MIMO

flügelhorn

flugelhorn (in B|b)

Flügelhorn (in B|b, selten in C)

bugle à piston

flicorno (soprano)

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

harmonie-b

basse d'harmonie (ophicleide; but see also ophicleide)

Harmoniebass

basse d'harmonie

strumento più basso di una banda


helikon

helicon (tuba family, tubing goes around head and arm)

Helikon, Helikontuba

hélicon

helicon, elicone

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

kornettino

cornettino (brass instrument!)

Kornettino

cornettino (cuivre)

cornettino (ottone)


kornetto

cornet (brass instrument, similar to trumpet, not cnto!)

Kornetto (nicht cnto)

cornet (pas cnto)

cornetto (non cnto)

Link to Wikipedia

lituus

lituus (instrument with long tube that curves up at the end)

Lituus

lituus

lituus

Link to MIMO

ophicleide

ophicleide (keyed brass instrument; see also harmonie-b)

Ophikleide (zur Familie der Klappenhörner gehörig)

ophicléide

oficleide

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

piston

piston, rotary valve cornet

Ein (Ventil-)Kornett

cornet à pistons

cornetto a pistoni


posthorn

post horn, posthorn

Posthorn

cor postal

corno postale

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

principale

principale (refers to trumpets)

Prinzipaltrompete




saxhorn

saxhorn. Some languages call some or all instruments of the family "saxhorn" while other languages use unique names. Always add pitch if known.

Saxhorn

saxhorn

saxhorn

Link to Wikipedia

serpentone

serpent

Serpent (in Basslage, zur Zinkenfamilie gehörig)

serpent

serpentone

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

t-cor

mellophone, mellophonium, tenor cor (in F)

Mellophon (in F, zur Familie der Hörner gehörig)



Link to Wikipedia

tb

tuba

Tuba

tuba

tuba

Link to Wikipedia

tenor horn

tenor horn, E|b horn (valved brass instrument of alto pitch, usually E|b; see also althorn and saxhorn)

Tenorhorn

bugle ténor

flicorno tenore


tr

trumpet

Trompete

trompette

tromba

Link to Wikipedia


tr a chiavi

keyed trumpet

Klappentrompete

trompette à clefs

tromba a chiavi

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia


tr crom 

valve trumpet

Chromatische (Ventil-)Trompete

trompette chromatique

tromba cromatica


trb

trombone (in B|b)

Posaune

trombone

trombone

Link to Wikipedia


a-trb

alto trombone (in E|b or F, common from 16th-18th centuries)

Altposaune (in E|b oder F, stark verbreitet vom 16.-18. Jh. und darüberhinaus)

trombone alto

trombone alto

Link to MIMO


bariton-trb

baritone trombone

Baritonposaune

trombone baryton

trombone baritono



t-trb

tenor trombone (in B|b)

Tenorposaune (in B|b)

trombone ténor

trombone tenore

Link to MIMO


b-trb

bass trombone (in F, G, or B|b)

Bassposaune (in F, G, oder B|b)

trombone basse

trombone basso

Link to MIMO


trb a pistoni

valve trombone

Ventilposaune

trombone à pistons

trombone a pistoni


trombetta

a small trumpet or tenor trombone

Trombetta (kürzere, höher klingende Variante der Barocktrompete)

petite trompette

trombetta


trombino

a high trumpet

Piccolotrompete

trompette piccolo

trombino



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Plucked instruments

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

Image or website link

arciliuto

archlute

Erzlaute

archiluth

arciliuto

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia 

arp

harp

Harfe

harpe

arpa

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

guit

guitar

Guitarre

guitare

chitarra

Link to Wikipedia

lira

lyre

Lyra

lyre

lira

Link to Wikipedia

lute

lute

Laute

luth

liuto

Link to Wikipedia

mandoline

mandolin

Mandoline

mandoline

mandolino

Link to Wikipedia

plck

plucked instrument(s)

Zupfinstrument(e)

instrument(s) à cordes pincées

strumento/i a pizzico


requinto

requinto (similar to a guitar)

Requinto (Eine kleinere Gitarre)

requinto

requinto


salterio

psaltery (zither family)

Psalterium, Psalter (zur Familie der Zithern gehörig)

psaltérion

salterio

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

theorbe 

theorbo (lute family)

Theorbe (zur Lautenfamilie gehörig)

théorbe

tiorba

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

zither

zither

Zither

cithare

zither

Link to Wikipedia


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Percussion and other

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

Image or website link

batt

drums, drum set, drum kit (battery)

Schlagzeug

batterie

batteria


birds singing

birds singing (can be an unspecified instrument that is supposed to represent birdsong)

Ein Instrument, das Vogelgezwitscher imitiert.




campana

bell, handbell (see also campanella, sonagli [sleigh bells])

Glocke

cloche

campana


campane tub

chimes, tubular bells

Röhrenglocken

cloche tubulaire

campane tubolari

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia

campanella

small bell (see also campana)

Glöckchen

clochettes

campanella


campanelli

glock, bells (tuned metal bars arranged like a keyboard; one-octave models commonly but inaccurately called xylophone; see also lyra for the instrument played upright and held in the arm)

Glockenspiel (Stabspiel, ein Metallophon)

glockenspiel

glockenspiel

Link to Wikipedia

carillon

carillon

Carillon, Glockenspiel

carillon

carillon

Link to Wikipedia

cassa rulante 

tenor drum, parade drum

Rührtrommel, Paradetrommel

caisse roulante

cassa rulante

Link to Wikipedia

castagnette

castanets (held in one hand or attached by a handle)

Kastagnetten

castagnettes

castagnette

Link to Wikipedia

cimb

small cymbals, finger cymbals

Zimbeln, Fingerzimbeln

cymbales, sagattes

cimbalini (a dita)

Link to MIMO

cimbalom

dulcimer, cimbalom

Zymbal, Hackbrett

cymbalum

cimbalom

Link to Wikipedia

claves

claves (two cylindrical hardwood sticks) 

Klanghölzer

claves

claves, legnetti

Link to MIMO

conga

congas, conga drums

Konga

conga

conga

Link to Wikipedia

cymb antiques

antique cymbals, crotales (small tuned metal disks, played with a mallet)

Antike Zimbeln, Crotales

crotales

crotales

Link to Wikipedia

glass harmonica

glass harmonica, glass armonica, glass harmonium, bowl organ, hydrocrystalophone, armonica, harmonica (glass bowls rubbed with fingertips; for glasses instead of bowls, see musical glasses)

Glasharmonika

harmonica de verre

armonica a bicchieri, glassarmonica

Link to MIMO

gong

gong

Gong

gong

gong

Link to Wikipedia

grancassa

bass drum

Große Trommel

grosse caisse

grancassa

Link to MIMO



Link to Wikipedia

kuckuck

cuckoo

Kuckuck

coucou

cuculo


lyra 

bell lyre, bell lyra, lyra glockenspiel (glockenspiel played upright and held in the arm)

Lyra, Militär-Lyra (ein Metallophon)



Link to Wikipedia

maracas

maracas

Maracas

maracas

maracas

Link to Wikipedia

marimba

marimba (typically with long metal tubes, played standing)

Marimba, Marimbaphon

marimba

marimba

Link to Wikipedia

musical clock

musical clock (a clock combined with a mechanical instrument that plays music)

Flötenuhr


orologio meccanico


musical glasses

musical glasses (glasses played by striking or rubbing; for bowls, see glass harmonica)

Glasharfe

verrillon, vérillon

glasspiel, bicchieri musicali


nacchere

rattle

Rassel

hochet

nacchere


nachtigall

nightingale

Nachtigall

rossignol

usignolo


piatti

cymbal(s) (pair)

Becken

cymbales

piatti

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

piatti cinesi

Chinese cymbal(s) (cymbal with upturned edges and raised cup)

Chinesische Zimbeln

cymbales chinoises

piatti cinesi

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

piatti sospesi

suspended/hanging/hung/free cymbal(s)

Hängende Zimbeln

cymbales suspendues

piatti sospesi

Link to Wikipedia

ratsche

ratchet

Ratsche

crécelle

raganella

Link to Wikipedia

sonagli

sleigh bells

Glockenstab, Schlittengeläut

grelots

sonagli

Link to MIMO

spoons 

spoons

Löffel

cuillers, cuillères

cucchiai

Link to Wikipedia 

stck

percussion

Schlagzeug, Schlagwerk

batterie

percussioni, batteria


tam-tam

gong, tam-tam

Tamtam

tam-tam

tam-tam

Link to Wikipedia

tamb

drum (also if the kind of drum is not specified)

Trommel

tambour

tamburo


tamb a corda

string drum, lion roar, lion's roar (a drum with a string that is rubbed)

Tambourin à cordes

tambour(in) à cordes

tamburo a corda


tamb di provenza

tabor, field drum, long drum

Tambourin de Provence

tambourin de Provence

tamburo di Provenca


tamb senza corda

drum with snares off 

Tambour sans cordes, Trommel ohne Schnarrsaiten

tambour sans cordes

tamburo senza corde


tamb turco

Turkish drum

Große Trommel, Türkische Trommel

tambour turc

tamburo turco


tamburello

tambourine, hand drum,

Tamburello (eine Rahmentrommel)

tambour de basque

tamburello

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia

tamburino

snare drum, military drum, side drum, concert drum

Kleine Trommel

caisse claire

tamburino

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia

timbales

timbales (drum, shallower than tom-tom)

Timbales (ein Trommelpaar)

timbales

timbales, timpanetti

Link to Wikipedia

timp

timpani (one or more), kettle drum(s)

Pauke(n)

timbales

timpani

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia

tom-tom

tom-tom (drum, has no snare)

Tomtom (eine Trommel)

tom-tom

tom-tom

Link to Wikipedia

triangolo

triangle

Triangel

triangle

triangolo

Link to MIMO

vibrafono

vibraphone, vibraharp, vibes

Vibraphon (ein Metallophon)

vibraphone

vibrafono

Link to Wikipedia

xilofono

xylophone (consisting of wooden bars struck with mallets, generally higher than marimba; see also marimba; do not confuse with campanelli)

Xylophon (ein Aufschlagidiophon)

xylophone

xilofono

Link to Wikipedia


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Keyboard instruments

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

Image or website link

celesta

celesta (keyboard instrument)

Celesta

celesta

celesta

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia

cemb

cembalo, clavicembalo, spinet, virginal

Cembalo, Clavicembalo

clavecin

clavicembalo, cembalo


cemb 4hands

cembalo, etc. four-hands 

Cembalo vierhändig

clavecin à quatre mains

cembalo a quattro mani


clav 

clavecin

Clavecin

clavecin

clavicembalo


clavicordo

clavichord

Klavichord

clavicorde

clavicordo


harmonium

harmonium (a small reed organ)

Harmonium

harmonium

armonium, armonio


hpcd

harpsichord

Harpsichord

harpsichord

harpsichord


keyb

(unspecified) keyboard instrument

Tasteninstrument

instrument à clavier

strumento a tastiera


org

organ

Orgel

orgue

organo


org 4hands

organ four-hands

Orgel vierhändig

orgue à quattre mains

organo a quattro mani


organetto

barrel organ, organo a rullo (not the accordion-like Italian folk instrument)

Drehorgel, Leierkasten

orgue de Barbarie

organetto di Barberia

Link to MIMO

pf

piano

Pianoforte

piano

pianoforte


pf 4hands

piano four-hands

Pianoforte vierhändig

piano à quattre mains

pianoforte a quattro mani


physharmonica

physharmonica (keyboard instrument, resembles harmonium)

Physharmonika

physharmonica


Link to MIMO 

spinetta

spinet

Spinett

espinette, épinette

spinetta

Link to Wikipedia

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Basso continuo

RISM abbreviation

English

German

French

Italian

 

b.fig

bass, figured

Bass, beziffert

basse, chiffrée

basso, cifrato


bc 

thoroughbass, basso continuo continuo

Generalbass

basse continue

basso continuo


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