Short history

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 organisational, spatial and technical problems and changes. The institute was affiliated to SAZU in 1972 as a section of the Institute of Slovene Ethnology. During the decades of rapid change to our way of life the GNI has monitored the disappearance of folk culture; in an era of globalisation and the alteration or elimination of borders it identifies recognisable forms of Slovene identity in folk songs, instrumental music and dance and looks for points of divergence and convergence in relation to the culture that surrounds us. Its findings allow us to learn more about ourselves and help establish Slovenia within the European and wider international framework.


Main tasks

Today the main activities of the GNI, besides its regular research work and the publication of results, include the publication of primary and secondary collections of folk songs, the systematic publication of folk dances, the completion, storage and publication on cassette and compact disc of its outstanding archive, monitoring contemporary activities relating to music and dance traditions, and professional intervention in those areas where folklorism draws on the heritage of song, music and dance.



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.