25 Years of Facts on Musical Life in Germany
25 years ago, on 26th February 1998, the German Music Information Centre (miz) was ceremoniously opened in Bonn. Since then, it has become the central contact point for all questions about musical life. Today, more than 20,000 people use the digital services every month, and the team also answers hundreds of individual enquiries. Whether for professionals or amateurs – the miz provides orientation in an ever-changing musical landscape, creates easy access for all interested parties and supplies figures, data and facts for the work of cultural policy, music associations, academia and the media.
“With its equally encyclopaedic and highly up-to-date knowledge, it is impossible to imagine today's information society without the miz. Its work is even more relevant than ever, because political decisions in federal cultural life need a solid basis of information and data,” emphasises Prof. Martin Maria Krüger, President of the German Music Council, on the occasion of the anniversary. “If data is the new gold, the music information centre is a goldmine.” The information offered by the miz includes various formats: representations of over 10,000 institutions in musical life, an extensive music statistics data collection, specialist articles, tutorials, infographics, cultural policy documents and news. The cross-genre spectrum of topics ranges from musical education and training to amateur music-making and the music industry, and is also reflected in special databases on further and advanced musical training and current calls for applications to promotional measures.
“If data is the new gold, the music information centre is a goldmine.”
The miz has continuously adapted its information offering to social change and advancing digitalisation: “The miz was one of the first cultural institutions to use the internet as a platform for its enormous database,” says Stephan Schulmeistrat, director of the miz. “From the beginning, the focus was on the topics and the information needs of our users: to compile reliable data and facts and make them easily accessible in a structured form. This is still the guiding principle of our work today.”
As a member of the International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC), at whose annual conference the miz recently welcomed representatives from around 20 nations to Germany, the miz is committed to international networking and exchange. Prof. Dr. Robert von Zahn, chairman of the miz advisory board: “The perception of the miz shows the great need for information on musical life in Germany and internationally. In the 25 years of its existence, the miz has mastered an enormous range of tasks. This is demonstrated most recently by its studies and publications, statistics and infographics with their wide reach. Now it is time to prepare the miz for the future. We are confident that the political decision-makers will perpetuate the resources that the miz needs to fulfil its mission for society at a high level.”
Going forward, the miz intends to continue to address current issues. A new study is due to be presented in mid-April 2023: after a study on amateur music-making, the miz will then take a look at the social situation and artistic biographies of professional musicians.