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About the German Music Information Centre

The German Music Information Centre (Deutsches Musikinformationszentrum, or MIZ) is the central institution for information on music and musical life in Germany. Under the aegis of the German Music Council it documents structures and developments in a multi-faceted musical culture that has emerged over the centuries and ranges from music education and training to amateur music-making, and from the funding and professional practice of music to the media and the music industry.

Being part of an extensive network, the MIZ is in close contact with many institutions and initiatives in Germany’s musical life, including documentation centres and archives no less than professional associations, educational and training centres, research institutes and media institutions. On this basis it gathers information at the local, regional and national levels and connects people, initiatives and institutions from every area of musical culture. This cooperative approach also finds expression in the membership of its advisory committee, which includes representatives from Germany’s leading music archives and documentation centres as well as other experts from different fields of musical life.

The MIZ is an open information and service facility available to everyone. Its goal is to impart greater transparency to Germany’s musical life, to serve as a guide to the country’s rich and diverse musical landscape and to foster the exchange of ideas and experience. It is aimed at professional circles, cultural institutions and culture-political committees no less than musical amateurs and the interested public.

Range of Information

Ever since its foundation in 1997 the MIZ has built up extensive databases, bodies of material and information services that cover a broad spectrum of current issues in Germany’s musical life. Its offerings include information on Germany’s musical infrastructure, theme portals, statistics, articles, literature and additional sources, special databases (e.g. on contemporary composers or opportunities for advanced or continuing music education) and much else besides. It is continuously updated, expanded and conveyed via various media. The MIZ’s internet portal can be reached at www.miz.org.

Infrastructure of musical life

The MIZ’s Infrastructure Databases provide information on more than 10,000 institutions and facilities in Germany. The information is organised systematically into presentations on such topics as institutes of music education and training, orchestras, music theatres, music festivals, funding options and programmes, foundations, professional associations, documentation centres, research institutes, business enterprises and press organs. In addition to information on management structures and descriptions of the organisations concerned, the MIZ also presents postal addresses, contact persons and contact data.

Theme portals on musical life

The MIZ also reflects the diversity of Germany’s musical life in comprehensive cross-sectional surveys. Among these are the theme portals, which provide not only basic data on infrastructure but extensive background information, e.g. through introductory articles, documents and statements on cultural policy, daily news roundups or suggestions for further reading.

Musical statistics programme

The MIZ’s collection of musical statistics allows it to follow developments and trends in Germany’s musical life, from the popular commitment toward amateur music-making and public expenditures on music to the latest industry-wide developments in the music business. To provide a solid basis for political discussion, opinion-making and musical research, the MIZ excerpts and processes music-related data from a very wide range of statistical sources and conducts its own polls on various topics.

Topography of musical life

Owing to the great wealth of its data, the MIZ has taken upon itself the task of developing innovative forms of information retrieval on an ongoing basis. For example, it combines addresses with statistical facts in a series of topographical diagrams, producing illustrative maps that vividly portray the infrastructure of Germany’s musical life. Like every area of information at the MIZ, these maps are updated on a regular basis and constantly augmented with new ones.

Advanced and continuing education in music

Given the efforts toward improving music education and the growing importance of lifelong learning, the MIZ has attached high priority to the subject of advanced and continuing education. Working together with the leading bodies in this field, it has set up an information system on courses, congresses and opportunities in advanced and continuing education that does justice to the great demand for this information. The system provides data on courses and congresses offered by national and regional academies, universities, conservatories, professional associations and independent event organizers for target groups with different levels of musical achievement and educational interests.

Calendar of applications and festivals

The MIZ’s calendar service gathers together information on applications for major competitions, prizes and scholarships and on music festivals. The Application Calendar enables users to search directly for approaching application deadlines and event dates. An additional 17 categories are available for selection, from individual instruments and voice via composition and conducting to chamber music and specific musical genres. Also available for topic-related searches is the Festival Calendar, providing ongoing information on the event schedules of music 304 festivals as well as their current slogans and themes. The offerings cover the full range of musical genres and encompass special festivals not only in early and contemporary music but also in the various styles of popular music.

Contemporary art music

With regard to current art music, the Contemporary Composers Database combines information on the lives, work and performances of composers born or currently living in Germany. This database, covering some 1,000 composers, is supplemented by the trade publications available in the MIZ’s library and by the network that the MIZ has set up for leading music documentation centres and archives. The resources are augmented with large collections of facts on the infrastructural conditions of contemporary music production, from specialist ensembles, festivals and initiatives via composer competitions, scholarships and prizes to publishing houses and trade journals.

Musik-Almanach

The Musik-Almanach is the central reference work for facts and figures on music in Germany. Issued since 1986, it provides information on the structures of Germany’s musical life as well as the goals, activities and working results of its most important institutions. This encyclopaedic publication combines statistical material, structural information and authoritative articles on musical life in Germany.