Short history and main tasks
The Institute of Ethnomusicology (GNI) is the oldest institute of the Scientific Research Center (ZRC) of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU). It was founded under the name Folklore Institute on 15th of October 1934, on the initiative of the Glasbena matica. The head of the Institute, before World War II was France Marolt. He steered the work of the institute towards the collection, research and publication of material and the publication of scientific findings. This remains the institute's primary orientation even today. After the war came organizational, spatial and technical problems and changes. The institute was affiliated to SAZU in 1972 as a section of the Institute of Slovene Ethnology. In 1994 the institute was named Glasbenonarodopisni inštitut (Institute of Ethnomusicology) and became an independent institute within ZRC SAZU.
Today, through continuous research, the institute illuminates the issues related to changes, presentations and reception of folk song, music and dance. Exploring these issues is embedded in contemporary international research on heritage processes, both in terms of instrumentalisation of heritage and spaces of identification.
In addition to regular research work and publishing research results, the core task of the institute is restoration, storage and publication of archival material in digital formats (CDs, online access to audio, manuscript or photo material), concerts and workshops related to folk music and dance, and cooperation with pedagogical and cultural-political institutions.
Since 1994, the year the sound archive was founded, the GNI has been an autonomous institute of the ZRC SAZU comprising the Department of Ethnomusicology, the Department of Textology, the Department of Ethnochoreology and the Sound Archive and Studio.
Cooperation with international organisations and institutions
The GNI aims to establish the specific aspects of Slovenia's heritage of song, music and dance through comparison with the work of institutions at home and abroad. The foreign institutions most important for the GNI's work are the Phonogrammarchiv of the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, the Institut für Volksmusikforchung and the Österreichische Volksliedwerk (all in Vienna), the Slowenisches Volkskundeinstitut 'Urban Jarnik' Klagenfurt/Slovenski narodopisni inštitut 'Urban Jarnik' Celovec, the Magyar Tudományos Akademia in Budapest and the Golda Meir Library in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.