Music information and documentation

Music libraries, archives and museums collect and disseminate source material, literature on music and musical life as well as sheet music, musical instruments and audiovisual media.
Comprehensive information on and addresses of scientific and public institutions and collections can be found in the online portal of the German Music Information Centre (MIZ). The MIZ is itself a central, open information facility that is accessible to all. It is operated by the German Music Council with the aim of making musical life in Germany more transparent, facilitating orientation within the musical landscape and documenting the development of musical cultures.

There are also a number of other relevant online portals for the music sector:

Furthermore, there are many private collections of various kinds – physical and digital – within the music sector, but these are not usually accessible to the public. Nevertheless, they represent an important treasure trove of knowledge and experience with regard to music. 

In addition to public archives, museums and collections, cultural mapping – the mapping of music in Germany – has also gained importance in the documentation of music. In order to make musical diversity visible, it has become popular as a central method in recent years in connection with the implementation of the UNESCO Conventions on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and Intangible Cultural Heritage. This method is used to investigate the relationship between space – nature, urban and rural landscape – and music and sound. This opens up new cultural and community profiles in Germany along with their diverse musical practices. Little known, often atypical places of music become visible and contexts and actors of oral music traditions of intangible cultural heritage and cultural minorities are explored.
The results of studies using this method provide new impetus in terms of cultural policy for the development of music and the musical landscape in a demographically changing society in the age of globalisation. Furthermore, the mapping of cultural diversity also provides a resource for analysing current conflicts between cultures in the music sector and offers impulses for sustainability strategies in accordance with the SDGs. 

Examples of such mapping projects include the following:

  • Germany, Land of Music: Day of Music (Musikland Deutschland: Tag der Musik)

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