Tutorials

Older guides Please note: These have not yet been updated to reflect the new (July 2018) interface.

  • 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.)
  • The Fifth Field (YouTube video): How to add additional search fields by combining previous searches
  • Incipit search (YouTube video): An overview to searching for music incipits
  • 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
  • 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 Directory of Library Sigla

 

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Simple search

The single search box conducts an undifferentiated full-text search. Truncate words using * (asterisk). Use “ ” (quotation marks) to search for an exact phrase. You may use the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT (in capital letters).

Examples:

 
 Zar*
 Autograph Mozart
 “don giovanni”
 piano sonatas
 schumann NOT robert

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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 keyboard. 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, genre (for generic titles), or text incipit. Use the plural for form/genre terms. Alternate titles are searched automatically. Titles as they appear on the source must be searched in the field "All fields."
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
    • Case is ignored (G or g)
    • Enter x or # for sharp keys (Gx or gx or G# or g#) and b for flat keys (Gb or gb)
  • Church modes (see Ecclesiastical modes in Abbreviations, below)
    • Western church modes (to be entered as 1t to 12t)
    • Byzantine church modes
 

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 above the search boxes.

For notated music:    

  • autograph: Autograph music manuscript, written completely or for the most part in the composer’s hand
  • possible autograph: A music manuscript where there is a degree of uncertainty whether the manuscript is in the composer's hand
  • partly autograph: A music manuscript in which significant portions of the manuscript are in the composer's hand
  • manuscript: A music manuscript copy, not in the composer's hand
  • manuscript copy with autograph annotations: A music manuscript copy in which corrections or small additions are in the composer’s hand
  • print: A printed music edition
  • print with autograph annotations: A printed music edition with some annotations in the hand of the composer
  • print with non-autograph annotations: A printed music edition with some annotations, not in the hand of the composer

For other types of documents:

  • libretto, handwritten
  • libretto, printed
  • treatise, handwritten
  • treatise, printed
  • other
 

Watermarks (Wasserzeichen)

Enter English terms.
Examples:
crescent
flower
GFA

Liturgical festival

Church feasts and holidays using the forms found in the Liber usualis.
See also the Liber Usualis free online from McGill University.
Examples:
Pentecostes
Trinitas
Pascha

Institution

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

Scoring

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

Library siglum

Enter a RISM library siglum. Use also to search sources in a particular country or city (see City Guide)
Examples:
D-B
GB-Lbl
US-Eu
PL-*

See also the Online directory of library sigla

RISM ID no.

Enter the record number assigned by RISM (can be nine or more digits), which is found in the lower right of each record.  
Examples:
806351640
230009947
000051780
00000990034211

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 the languages listed below. Some languages must be searched using the three-letter ISO code.
Available languages:

  • Arabic
  • Aragonese (search using arg)
  • Basque (search using baq)
  • Catalan
  • Chinese
  • Church Slavic
  • Croatian (search using hrv)
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek, Ancient
  • Greek, Modern
  • Hebrew
  • Hungarian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Latvian
  • Luxembourgish (search using ltz)
  • Lithuanian
  • Low German (search using nds)
  • Macedonian
  • Middle English
  • Middle High German
  • Mongolian
  • Neapolitan (search using nap)
  • Northern Frisian (search using frr)
  • Norwegian
  • Occitan (search using oci)
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romani
  • Romansh (search using roh)
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Sanskrit (search using san)
  • Serbian
  • Sicilian (search using scn)
  • Slavic
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Sorbian
  • Lower Sorbian (search using dsb)
  • Upper Sorbian (search using hsb)
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Swiss German (search using gsw)
  • Tibetan (search using tib)
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Welsh
  • West Frisian
  • Yiddish
 

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.
Examples:
S 6989
HH 6429a
AA 898 I,1

Superscripts in B/1 are preceded by a vertical line, slash, or minus sign.
1684|3
1684/3
1684-3

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 by Fanny Hensel for lieder in A major

Select the field Composer and enter hensel, fanny
Select the field Genre and enter lieder
Select the field Key and enter A

2) All sources found outside of Austria where Joseph Haydn shows up in a function other than composer (such as dedicatee or former owner)

Select the field Other names and enter hadyn, joseph
In the next line, select not as a Boolean indicator. Then select the field Library siglum and enter A-* to exclude sources anywhere in Austria.

 

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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.

At the end, there is a section called Authority data which lists RISM's indexed personal names, institutions (organizations), and secondary literature. Results that appear in the RISM indexes will lead to fuller information, for example biographical information and name variants for people, postal addresses for institutions, and bibliographic information for works of secondary literature.

After you select a filter, it appears above the list of results. 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. Consult the General abbreviations and descriptions, below, as required.

If you click on a term marked in blue, 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 belongs to a collective manuscript or printed edition. 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.

If you see the phrase "Initial entry" or "Following entries" in the record for a printed music edition, note that linking records via initial/following entry corresponds with the suborder adopted in the printed volumes of series A/I, in which identical titles were indicated with a dash beneath the first printed edition mentioned. This system did not correspond to any hierarchy in a sense of first editions and reprints. However, linking in the catalog is necessary in order to reflect similarities in the content of the titles. Furthermore, since the subsequent entries often lack short and/or diplomatic titles, a link is made to have a clear reference to the title of the first entry.

The complete description guidelines may be viewed in the training version of Muscat, RISM's cataloging program.

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. This is a very basic search: omit accidentals, sharps, flats, and natural signs because they are ignored in this field. For example, for the note F-sharp, enter an F.

The field Music incipit is an exact search. Selecting the option Music incipit (with transposition) will also search intervals and include incipits that have been transposed from the initial search inquiry.

Examples:

1. Music incipit: CDEFGFEADGGAGF
Bach, BWV 846 (RISM ID no. 230005352)

2. The same search using Music incipit (with transposition):

Della Ciaia, Soggetto (RISM ID no. 000142611)

2. Search using the piano keyboard 

Underneath the search boxes you will see a five-octave on-screen piano keyboard, which can also be used to enter music incipits. The piano keyboard enables a chromatic search and takes into account exact half steps. You can search either the beginning of the incipit, with or without transposition (Incipit beginning via piano keyboard) or any part of the incipit, with or without transposition (Anywhere in incipit via piano keyboard).

Please note the following when using the piano keyboard:

  • Notes can be entered by clicking on a piano key. When you hover over a piano key with your mouse, a letter or number appears in red over each key. These are shortcut keys that you can use to enter the incipit with your computer keyboard.
  • Enharmonic tones are automatically searched: the black key for the note F-sharp also searches for the note G-flat — even when Fx appears in the search field. The accidental only applies to the note directly preceding it.
  • Select the option "with transposition" if you want octaves to be ignored, otherwise the octaves you indicate are strictly observed.
  • The keys sound when you click on them.
  • The notes appear on the staff and can be directly edited by clicking to the right of the note you want to change.
  • The search can also find similar invervals.
  • If you want to search anywhere in the incipit, enter at least 3 notes.

The incipits are rendered using the Verovio library.

General incipit search tips
  • Rhythm and rests 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
  • Combine the incipit search with other fields and make use of the search filters 
  • Tied notes do not have to be entered twice

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 incipits consist of only the text incipits or basic information about the movement (such as time signature or tempo marking).

Several external projects have built searches using RISM's incipits, each with different goals and strategies. We invite you to try them out:

 

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How do I... : Tips & tricks

  1. Search the holdings of a specific library
    Do an Advanced Search and enter the library siglum (abbreviation) in the field Library siglum (search the directory of library sigla here) and click Search. Now you are looking at only the records of a particular library or institution. Use the filters on the left to further refine your search.
     
  2. View variants of a name

    You have multiple versions of Beethoven's name. Which should I choose, and how can I see the whole 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. All variants point to the same person. To view all variants at once, go to a record where the composer is named and click on the name, or view RISM's full record for the person. Alternate names are listed there and are based on standard reference works.

     

  3. Find all people who are {women composers}, {oboists}, {from Vienna}, {previous owners}...

    RISM encodes all names with biographical elements such as gender, profession, geographic places, and function. These can be searched by doing a full-text search (Simple search or All fields in the Advanced search). We are working on making this search more user friendly, but you can orient yourself on the terminology used in the records for personal names (see Ludwig van Beethoven and Clara Schumann as examples). Sample searches are composer female or violinist Paris. More tips can be found in this article.

    We can offer you a list of all women composers in RISM on this Google Table and all the women pianists are here. We can help you with other searches upon request.

  4. 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, 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.

     

  5. Access all records in the database at once
    Simply click Search without entering anything and the results will be all records in the database.

     

  6. 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

     

  7. Cite RISM records
    Use the RISM ID number found in the lower right of each record. Numbers from the A/I or B/I printed book series are also valid. For electronic publications, please link using permalinks.

     

  8. 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.

     

  9. Find digitized versions of sources in RISM
    The RISM catalog links to digitized versions of musical sources when known. These links can be conveniently accessed through the link Digitized music that appears at the top of the filters after any search.

    Many musical 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. 

     

  10. Find a source if it's not in RISM
    The 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.).

    See also our Resources page.
     
  11. Link to a record or a search
    The URLs in your browser's address bar are not stable. To link to a specific catalog entry, use the Permalink located just above the composer's name and marked with a chain link icon.

    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
    pnd= for PND number
    mtype= for material type

    and add your search string.

    Example: Link to all sources by Marianna Martines:
    https://opac.rism.info/search?View=rism&author=Marianna+Martines&Language=en

    Tips:
    - Add &Language=en to the end of the URL to keep the interface in English (or it will default to German). 
    - Truncating searches with an asterisk (*) is possible in some cases.
    - Blank spaces must be filled with a plus sign (+).
    - Combine parameters with an ampersand (&).

     

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is in RISM?
    Descriptions of historical musical sources, meaning music manuscripts, printed editions, libretti, and treatises. For more information, please see the page Content.
     
  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 collection records (for example in manuscript anthologies) and RISM's records for personal names, institutions, and secondary literature. The name may, for example, 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 copyist 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 standard opus numbers as 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 supplement to the print volume.
     
  9. Why do the search filters seem incomplete?
    A maximum of 100 values are shown when you click on "Show more..." in the search filters (found on the left after you complete a search). 
     
  10. The online catalog doesn't display properly on my screen (words are cut off, etc.).
    Try changing the resolution of your computer screen.
     
  11. 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.
     
  12. How can I participate in or contribute to 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 musical sources
    - alerting us to institutions not yet in the siglum directory
    - 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.)
     
  13. 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.
     
  14. 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 data (pop-up windows or full records)

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 may see these designations appear after a name.

verifiedAttribution is certain.
ascertainedThe 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.
conjecturalThe name is a reasonable guess based on the secondary literature.
doubtfulAuthorship is in question.
allegedThe name appears on the source, but the attribution is questionable or doubtful.
misattributedThe name is on the source but is incorrect.


The field "Form" in some printed editions:

Chbchoirbook
Chor-Pchorus score
KLApiano score/vocal score
kpl.complete
Orgel-Porgan score
Pfull score
Stparts
Tabtablature


Other abbreviations:

Autographautograph manuscript
?Autograph?possible autograph manuscript
  
Chbchoirbook (in printed music)
Chor-Pchorus score (in printed music)
  
date 
1691in 1691
1782abefore 1782
1782cabout (ca.) 1782
1782pafter 1782
18.inbeginning of the 18th century
18.memiddle of the 18th century
18.exend of the 18th century
18.1t18th century, first third
18.3q18th century, 3rd quarter
18.2d18th century, 2nd half
18.sc18th century
18/1918th/19th century
1691*born 1691
1797a+died before 1782
1782p+died after 1782
  
ex.copies (for printed music)
  
f.folio(s)
fdsfolds (gatherings)
  
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: 
AA major
BB major
bB minor
f#F-sharp minor
fxF-sharp minor
BbB-flat major
  
Ecclesiastical modes: 
1t1st tone (Dorian)
2t2nd tone (Hypodorian)
3t3rd tone (Phrygian)
4t4th tone (Hypophrygian
5t5th tone (Lydian)
6t6th tone (Hypolydian)
7t7th tone (Mixolydian)
8t8th tone (Hypomixolydian)
9t9th tone (Aeolian)
10t10th tone (Hypoaeolian)
11t11th tone (Ionian)
12t12th tone (Hypoionian)
Byzantine modes: 
1byzĒchos prōtos (First mode of Byzantine music)
2byzĒchos deuteros (Second mode of Byzantine music)
3byzĒchos tritos (Third mode of Byzantine music)
4byzĒchos tetartos (Fourth mode of Byzantine music)
5byzĒchos plagios prōtos (First plagal mode of Byzantine music)
6byzĒchos plagios deuteros (Second plagal mode of Byzantine music)
7byzĒchos barys (Third plagal mode of Byzantine music)
8byzĒchos plagios tetartos (Fourth plagal mode of Byzantine music
  
KLApiano score/vocal score (in printed music)
kpl.complete (in printed music)
  
lvsleaves
  
olimold shelfmark
Orgel-Porgan score (in printed music)
  
Pfull score (in printed music)
p.page(s)
  
RISM A/Icross-reference to RISM series A/I
RISM B/cross-reference to RISM series B
  
Stparts (in printed music)
  
Tabtablature (in printed music)

To top

List of instrument abbreviations

Contents:

General abbreviations and concepts

RISM

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)

Additions to any instrument to indicate a range

Use the following before any instrument to make it:

Kann einem Instrument vorangestellt werden:

RISM

English

German

French

Italian

Examples

s-

soprano

Sopran

 

 

s-saxofono

a-

altoAlt  

a-trb

contra-

contra

Kontra

  

contra-fag

contra-a-

contraltoKontra-Alt  

contra-a-cl (in E|b)

t-

tenorTenor  

t-trb

bariton-

baritoneBariton  

bariton-trb

b-

bassBass  

b-trb

Additions to any instrument to indicate a type

Use the following after an instrument

Kann einem Instrument angehängt werden.

RISM

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

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

Bezeichnet die Stimmung eines Blasinstrumentes

RISM

Examples

in A

cl in A

in E|b

cor in E|b

etc.

 

Unspecified or unknown types or numbers of instruments

RISM

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

return to contents

Vocal (voice) terms

Solo voices

RISM

English

German

French

Italian

major vocal parts   

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

other vocal

 

 

 

 

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

RISM

English

German

French

Italian

major chorus parts   

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

 

 

other chorus    

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

return to contents

Strings

RISM

English

German

French

Italian

Link

major instrument groups    

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

 

other strings

 

 

 

 

 

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

return to contents

Woodwinds

RISM

English

German

French

Italian

Link

major instrument groups    

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 (in C)

Oboe

hautbois

oboe

Link to MIMO

Link to Wikipedia 

 picc.obpiccolo oboe, oboe musette, musette (do not confuse with the musette from the bagpipe family)
 
    
 

ob grande

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

Oboe grande (in Mezzosopranlage, Stimmung in A oder B|b)   
 ob d'amoreoboe d'amore (in A, a minor third lower than oboe)Oboe d'amore (in A)hautbois d'amouroboe d'amore

Link to MIMO 

 a-obAltoboe, any alto oboe.    

 

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 da caccia

oboe da caccia, oboe di silva (a curved oboe, in F)

Oboe da caccia (gekrümmte Oboe, in F)

hautbois de chasse

oboe da caccia

Link to MIMO 

Link to Wikipedia 

 

taille de hautbois

taille de hautbois

 taille de hautbois Link to MIMO
 voce umanavoce umana, vox humana (a tenor oboe in F)   

Link to MIMO

 

t-ob

Any tenor oboe.

Tenoroboe

hautbois tenor

 

oboe tenore 

 

 

heckelphon

heckelphone

    
 b-ob

Any bass oboe.

    

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

other winds     

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

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

return to contents

Brass

RISM

English

German

French

Italian

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

English

German

French

Italian

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

electric-guit

electric guitar    
b-electric-guitbass electric guitar    

lira

lyre

Lyra

lyre

lira

Link to Wikipedia

lute

lute

Laute

luth

liuto

Link to MIMO

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

English

German

French

Italian

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 rullante

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 Provenza

 

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

English

German

French

Italian

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

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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