In-depth reference materialsLooking for concise informationOpera and Musical
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Introduction to Arts Administration
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Music and the Mind
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Topics in Western Music History I
Fundamentals of Tonal Music
Jazz: History and Appreciation
Popular Music
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Topics in Western Music History III
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MUSIC   Tags: music  

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Off-campus access

For details, click here.



Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (RIPM)        

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature Online (RILM)

Music Periodicals Database

Year Coverage 




Subject Coverage 

  • Opera
  • Musical Instruments
  • Composers and musicians 
  • Historical musicology
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Popular music and jazz
  • Theory, analysis and composition
  • Sound sources
  • Performance practice and notation
  • Pedagogy
  • Reference and research materials
  • Music and other arts
  • Classical music and opera
  • Jazz and blues
  • Rock, soul and hip-hop
  • Folk music
  • Music business
  • Sound recording
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Music education
  • Music therapy
  • Instruments  


  • Music publications before 1967, i.e. reviews, magazines and journals
  • Languages include English and Europeans
  • Features citations, abstracts, scholarly articles, Festschriften, conference proceedings, and reviews.
  • Languages include English, European and others


  • You can also search a specific journal. Type a journal title in the box of Publication. All results related to the journal will be displayed in result pages.


  • Scholarly full-text articles
  • 1st choice, if looking for popular music or world music
  • You can search and browse the contents of a specific journal, e.g. The Journal of the American Musicological Society (1948- ).




1.  How to get full-text articles and citations?

Click on the following icons on result pages of relevant databases.

Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (RIPM)        

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature Online (RILM)  

Music Periodicals Database 

Full-text icons


allows you to track down full-text articles at HKU Libraries   

Cite icons

 allows you to choose your desired citation styles, e.g. Chicago or APA. 


2.  How to search Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (RIPM), RILM Abstracts of Music Literature Online and Music Index Online?


Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (RIPM), RILM Abstracts of Music Literature Online and Music Index Online are provided by the same vendor. You can search these three databases simultaneously.

The route: Choose Databases > Select either one > OK


3.  Why "Print/Save" button cannot function in RIPM document  viewer?


Select statement “allow all site to show pop-ups” by clicking the block pop-ups icon  on the right hand corner of the address.


An overview of RIPM & RILM

The HKU Music Library has subscribed these two electronic databases, which allow current students and staff to access a very wide coverage of writings on music, from 1760 to the present.

  • RIPM (Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals) includes music articles published before 1967. 
  • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature includes music publications issued in 1967 and after.

 “The 18th- and 19th-century periodicals treated by RIPM are often in a newspaper or magazine format with articles containing sections and subsections, and with many news items on a single page. The periodicals indexed in RILM Retrospective—the earliest of which date from the first half of the 19th century and continued to be published up to or after 1967—are often in a format similar to the scholarly journals of today, with articles containing a single title, a running head and footnotes. The different journal formats have led RIPM and RILM to choose different methods of providing access to their content.” (Source from


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