AMS-L Electronic Discussion List

Update Fall 2017: AMS-L will be discontinued in Fall 2018, to be replaced by the new discussion forum at Humanities Commons.

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AMS-L is the electronic discussion list organized by the American Musicological Society to facilitate and encourage electronic discussion on musicology and related topics. Anyone may participate. It is kindly hosted through the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, at

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User Guidelines
Moderator Guidelines
Message Rejection
Appeals to Moderator Judgments
Administration and How to Subscribe/Unsubscribe
AMS-Announce information



User Guidelines

  1. Posts to AMS-L should contain questions, comments or information relevant to musicology and of interest to the musicological community. Summary posts that include a number of responses to a previous query are welcome. Only list subscribers may post messages. The address to post messages to the list is
  2. AMS-L is oriented to discussion. Posts that omit comment / discussion and merely point the reader to a URL link will be rejected.
  3. All announcements not intended for general discussion should be forwarded instead to the AMS Announcement list: Conferences, Calls for Papers, job vacancy notices, journal issue releases, award / grant notices, and the like.
    A separate list exists for announcements of new books related to musicology. New book announcements should be directed to for posting at that location.
  4. Posts must include an appropriate subject line. more info...
  5. Each post should have a concise subject line to tell the subscribers what is under discussion, for instance "Symbols in The Magic Flute" or "Ruth Crawford Seeger." If the topic of a thread shifts, it is helpful to introduce a new designation of subject while also mentioning the previous topic, for instance "Mozart and Masonry [was: Symbols in The Magic Flute]" or "American composers [was: Ruth Crawford Seeger]."

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  6. Posts must be signed at end with sender's full name.
  7. No more than ONE previous post can be included in replies to messages. Non-essential text should be deleted from previous posts.
  8. Posts may not be in all capital letters.
  9. The primary language of communication on AMS-L is English. more info...
  10. Messages with quotations from languages other than English should include an English translation if possible. Messages with foreign characters or diacritical marks should be avoided, as US e-mail programs do not interpret them correctly.

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  11. While commercial advertising is not permitted, subscribers may send brief announcements concerning subjects relevant to musicology that are not appropriate for AMS-Announce and New Books in Musicology. They may also post notices of books, recordings, etc. that they wish to sell privately.
  12. Subscribers should post no more than three times a day. The moderator may request those who contribute frequently to delay or consolidate messages.
  13. Off-topic, personal, "one-line-quip," minor typographical corrections, messages which include attachments, and test messages will be rejected.
  14. Information protected by copyright may not be posted without the permission of the copyright owner. Posters retain copyright for their original posts. The AMS supports academic fair-use standards. more info...
  15. Posters hold copyright for messages that they post to AMS-L. In accord with academic fair use policies, AMS-L messages may be privately circulated to non-subscribers, but posters' copyrights are retained; the posters' names must be included in any such circulation. Messages first appearing at AMS-L may not be publicly circulated without the posters' prior permission. Those who post to AMS-L accept these conditions as terms of their subscription.

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  16. No defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, or illegal materials may be posted. Opinions, including strong opinions, are welcome; abusive formulations are not. Please post in a professional manner.
  17. The AMS accepts no responsibility or liability for the opinions and information posted by list subscribers. Opinions presented on AMS-L are those of the authors, and in no way represent the policies or practices of the AMS in any official capacity.


Moderator Guidelines

The role of the moderator is to ensure that the guidelines are followed in all posts to AMS-L. Posts according with the guidelines will be approved by the moderator and sent to AMS-L in a timely way, usually one or more times a day, seven days a week.

The AMS-L assistant moderator and past moderator, together with the AMS-L moderator, constitute the moderating team. The moderating team is appointed by the President of the society on the basis of recommendations from the Board Committee on Communications. Normally, each position is for one year. The assistant moderator serves in this capacity as preparation for moderating the following year. Each year a new assistant moderator is appointed, the current assistant moderator rotates to moderator, the current moderator rotates to past moderator, and the past moderator rotates off the moderating team. The moderating team normally agrees to a method of operating that is agreeable to all and that relieves any one person from too much moderating work.

The current moderating team members are listed listed under AMS Staff and Delegates at AMS Administration.


Message Rejection

Messages are rejected according to the moderator's judgment. A rejected message may be simple to rectify and is often due to an error of omission. Rejections most often fall into the following categories:

  • Name and e-mail address is not included at bottom, subject line is unclear, or too much irrelevant quoted material has been included;
  • it is beyond the stated purpose of the list;
  • it violates standards of professional communication given in the guidelines.

In cases where the guidelines are not followed:

  1. Posts will be rejected, with a reply from the moderator referencing the guideline that pertains.
  2. A subscriber who willfully attempts to post in violation of a guideline after the first rejection of a post will receive a warning notice from the AMS-L moderating team. Should the subscriber persist in attempting such a post, he/she will be removed from the list for a period of one month. Should the subscriber re-join the AMS-L and again post contrary to the guidelines, he/she will be removed for one year. Should the situation arise again, the subscriber will be removed permanently.


Appeals to Moderator Judgments

  1. The moderating team will review the appeal. The subscriber should state clearly and succinctly why the moderator's rejection rationale should not apply in the given situation.
  2. Further appeal. If the appealer is able to adduce reasons, or perceived reasons, why the moderating team is unable to arrive at a fair decision, she/he may appeal to the AMS Communications Committee, explaining why this is the case, and providing all background correspondence in support of the claim. The Communications Committee will consider such appeals and give an answer within two weeks. The decision of the Communications Committee will be final.


Administration and How to Subscribe or unsubscribe

To request subscription to AMS-L, send an email to The subject line can be blank or include any text; the body of the e-mail must contain in the first line:

subscribe AMS-L YourFirstName YourLastName

for example:

subscribe AMS-L Pat Smith

The software subscribes you according to the address from which the above message is sent.

To unsubscribe, send a one-line message containing the following to

          signoff AMS-L

Subscribers should monitor their subscription, set vacation mode, change their delivery options, e-mail address, etc., using the AMS-L web interface at Subscribers will find extensive manuals for the Listserv software, list information, and detailed instructions and options for their subscription.

Addresses that "bounce" repeatedly will be removed from the list.

For administrative AMS-L requests not handled via, send a note to AMS office.


AMS-Announce Information

The purpose of the AMS-Announce electronic mail list and bulletin board is to disseminate and publish announcements pertaining to musicology.

  1. Announcements appropriate to this list include job vacancy notices, announcements of fellowships or awards, conference announcements, calls for papers for conferences, calls for articles for journals, and similar items. AMS-L users should send these types of posts to AMS-Announce and not AMS-L.
  2. Instructions for how to subscribe to the list, browse the list archives, and have an announcement posted on this list are given at the AMS-Announce Information Page.
  3. This list is maintained by the office of the AMS. Posts to the list may be made only by the AMS office.

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