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
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.
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.