On 10 March 2023 Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale (RILM) released the third edition of How to Write About Music: The RILM Manual of Style, edited by James R. Cowdery, as an ebook.
The manual addresses a multitude of special problems faced by writers on music—problems rarely solved by general writing guides. It applies an international perspective to matters often handled piecemeal and in ethnocentric fashion: work titles, manuscript sources, transliteration, non-Western theoretical systems, opus and catalogue numbers, and pitch and chord names, to name just a few. Detailed guidelines are provided for the bibliographic handling of standard print, audiovisual, and electronic sources, as well as specialized ones such as program notes, liner notes, and music videos. A chapter on indexing is also included. Throughout, abundant examples illustrate each point.
The first edition (2005) reflected many years of experience and thought, working with a wide variety of terms and concepts from around the world; the second edition (2006), roughly one-third larger than the first, included both revisions and new material. This third edition incorporates numerous updates, many of them reflecting developments in writing and publishing over the past 17 years—not least, those involving the online environment. Unlike the earlier printed editions, it is an electronic edition that will be continuously updated.
“Students, scholars, librarians, critics, and performers will find this third edition of the manual indispensable. It takes into account a bibliodiversity hardly found in similar such ventures and is reflective of RILM’s global mission,” writes RILM Executive Director Dr. Tina Frühauf.
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