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Muscat is here!

Muscat – RISM's central cataloging program for musical sources (manuscripts, printed music, libretti, and treatises) – was released on November 14, 2016. Kallisto is no longer in use.

The program was developed by the RISM Central Office in cooperation with RISM Switzerland and is based on a program that was originally developed by RISM Switzerland and RISM UK.

About Muscat

Muscat includes sources from the various RISM series A/I, A/II, and B/I, which are in one database for the first time after having previously been managed in separate places. At the time of its release, the new Muscat program contains in total 1,076,244 musical sources, 108,563 authority records for personal names, 73,527 institutions, and 32,983 records for secondary literature.

Muscat is a multilingual, open source, web-based, platform-independent program. It uses MARC21 and thus has an internationally widespread and standardized data model at its core. Additional features include:

  • Built-in version control to identify changes
  • Ability to leave comments for sources and authority files
  • Intuitive management of digital objects
  • Ability to create folders to organize your work
  • Link to VIAF to import personal name authority files
  • Custom-built module to display incipits
  • Expanded ability to add guidelines in different languages
  • Integrated full online catalog search
  • Separate training server for practice
  • Interfaces in English, German, French, and Italian, with translations in Spanish and Portuguese in preparation

Technical requirements

  • Muscat is platform independent and works on both Macs and PCs.
  • Access is through a URL and requires an Internet connection. No installation is required, and nothing needs to be downloaded.
  • Muscat works best on screens that are at least 1366 x 768 pixels.
  • Muscat is optimized for Firefox and Chrome. Do not use Internet Explorer!


Tutorials will be linked here as they are completed.

Questions, comments, ideas, suggestions? Let Jennifer know

Introductory videos for Muscat:

  • Muscat: A Quick Overview: If you have time to watch only one video on Muscat, this is it!
  • Authority files and indexes: All about RISM authority files, indexes, and controlled vocabulary, how to link to them, and how to add to them.
  • Basic functions: The basic buttons, actions, and features of Muscat are shown. You should be familiar with these before you do any cataloging. Shown are basic functions in the Sources view, viewing mode, editing mode, and how to add comments. 
  • First steps: How to edit existing data and how to begin a new record.

    • Search using filters and faceted search
    • Duplicate a record and use new record template


    Basic source cataloging:

    Step-by-step guides to entering sources

    1. If you have a score: PDF  Video on YouTube
    2. If you have only parts: PDF
    3. If you have a score and parts: PDF
    4. If you have a source that contains more than one work (a collection): PDF
    5. UPDATED 2018: Adding and editing your holdings to printed musc: PDF
    6. Special rules for non-Latin scripts: PDF

    Download the examples used in the videos:


    Score and part


    More examples to practice:

    1. Example 1: Score      card  full record in Muscat
    2. Example 2: Score and part      card     full record in Muscat
    3. Example 3: Collection      card     full record in Muscat


    Special topics:

    • Who is anonymous?: This video highlights the importance of doing an incipit search first for anonymous compositions.
    • Searching in Muscat: Filters, faceted search, search strategies.
    • Using folders
    • Adding references to secondary literature
    • Linking and uploading files
    • Crash course in Plaine & Easie Code: It really is plaine and easie!

    Note: Muscat is constantly in development, so there might be some differences between the videos and the version of Muscat you have!

    Training server

    A training version of Muscat is available where you can:

    • practice and experiment with records
    • add, change, and delete information
    • not worry about making mistakes or ruining anything
    • look at the RISM guidelines
    • get an overview of Muscat's features 

    The Muscat training server is:

    • identical to the live version of Muscat in data and structure
    • reset once a week with current data from the live server
    • ideal for workshops, demonstrations, and conferences

    Access information:
    Go to this address: http://muscat-training.rism.info
    Enter this email address: training01@rism.info
    Enter this password: password

    You may enter any email address between training01@rism.info and training50@rism.info —in other words, each participant in a workshop can have a different login.

    Training users are "members" of the US working group and have editing rights for all sources that begin with the siglum US-*.


    Muscat workshops are hosted by the RISM Central Office or organized by members of our national groups around the world. If you are interested in organizing a workshop, we're happy to assist. We can also give online Muscat demonstrations through Skype.

    Access to a training server is available for use in demonstrations, at conferences, or in workshops.

    To our regular Muscat users: Help us spread the word! Consider proposing a Muscat session for your next library or musicological association conference.


    Upcoming workshops:

    • IAML Congress in Leipzig
      In this workshop RISM’s specially developed programme for documenting musical sources, called Muscat, will be demonstrated. Muscat is a web-based, platform-independent, and open-source programme that is available free of charge. An overview of Muscat will be given and there will also be an opportunity to catalogue music directly into Muscat. RISM encourages librarians to include music manuscripts from any time period up to the present, printed materials until ca. 1900, as well as libretti and treatises.

      Two workshops will be offered:

      • Tuesday, 24 July 2018, 11 am - 12.30 pm, University Library Leipzig - ENGLISH
      • Tuesday, 24 July 2018, 2 pm - 3.30 pm, University Library Leipzig - GERMAN

      You can sign up for the workshop when you register for the congress.

    Past workshops and demonstrations: