Music and Vision homepage

Site Seeing

sounz - Centre for New Zealand Music




Czech Music Information Project





MICA - Music Information Centre Austria





Canadian Music Centre





BMIC - British Music Information Centre





DONEMUS - An information center and publishing house for contemporary Dutch music

Music Information Centres

Does anyone know the collective noun for the Music Information Centre (MIC)? This might be a question to ask the staff at IAMIC - the International Association of Music Information Centres - "a world-wide network of organisations promoting new music". The IAMIC website is a good starting point for Music & Vision's weekly electronic journey around the world's music websites.

IAMIC is the umbrella organisation for (currently) 36 member centres in 32 countries and is a useful reference for an investigation into the contemporary music of any of its member countries. The IAMIC website is a simple no-nonsense site with an Irish internet domain and produced by a web design company in the USA, with IAMIC itself being run from the office of MICA - Music Information Centre Austria. All this points to a truly international line-up, with the most valuable asset being the member organisations, most of which offer a tremendous resource.

Some thirteen of the member centres have yet to build their own websites, and for these IAMIC provides more traditional contact details - addresses, phone and fax numbers and some e-mail addresses - plus a page of information on the IAMIC site. Of the twenty-three member websites, only seven seem not to have been designed for an international audience, containing no (or only limited) content in English. Hudební Informacní Stredisko - the Czech centre - has an on-line project especially for foreigners and a very impressive site.

Surfing around the member sites, I was surprised by the variety of features - composer biographies (Australian, Norwegian and Canadian centres), shops selling CDs, cassettes, books, magazines, T-shirts and teaching kits (Australia), Denmark's colourful news section, CD projects (Austria), forthcoming festivals and concert series (Australia, Britain and Denmark), articles about the Norwegian music scene, an abundance of new music links and a selection of jazz musicians from Austria.

A common feature is the on-line database of scores and recordings. Canada have works by more than 400 composers, Great Britain have 30,000 scores and 15,000 recordings and Ireland have a very fast on-line search for scores (which can also be purchased). New Zealand has 5000 compositions by 200 composers, and Donemus and RIM - Stichting Repertoire Informatiecentrum Muziek (both in the Netherlands) have important on-line catalogues. There doesn't yet appear to be a link up between the various on-line databases - to search for U.S. music, for example, you must visit the website of the American Music Center (who currently have more than 30,000 of their 40,000 scores on-line).

IAMIC is at and you can visit its member sites from there - definitely worth a look.

Other music information centres on the net appear to have no connection with IAMIC. The Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre (LMIPC) claims to be a member of IAMIC, but is not mentioned on the IAMIC web site. Germany's Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt is a member of IAMIC, but the German Music Information Centre appears not to be. An Information Centre for Southern African Music (ISAM) promotes South African art music and indigenous South African music and research, and the Classical Music Information Center is the Japanese MIC (with content in English), featuring 12 major Japanese orchestras, artist profiles, concert information and an extensive concert calendar covering all of Japan.

Try searching for other centres, using both the American and British spellings of the word center. Bear in mind that some organizations use very different names but provide a similar service - e.g. the Music Library of Greece (again with good content in English). Music websites are appearing at an ever increasing rate, and we shall visit some of the more interesting, useful and high quality sites in this regular Tuesday column at Music & Vision.

Keith Bramich, 5 January 1999.