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Centre for Research in Ethnomusicology

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The Centre de recherche en ethnomusicologie (CREM – Centre for Research in Ethnomusicology) has been part of the LESC since 2007. It is heir to the former Department of Musicology at the Musée de l’Homme (1929-2008) and the various CNRS research groups that were based there. It is dedicated to the study of musical knowledge and practices, conceived not just as processes of sociocultural differentiation, but also as individual and universal human forms of expression.

This approach, based on the reasoned collection of musical data in parallel with ethnographic enquiry, is part of an anthropology of musical facts viewed in their sociocultural, aesthetic, formal, acoustic, kinaesthetic and cognitive dimensions. The Centre examines new objects that are still rarely explored in the discipline, such as musical and choreographic gestures, the cultural and cognitive construction of musical emotion, modes of the sensible, sound environments, the production and emergence of musical systems.

Its researchers also attempt to offer new forms of musical representation, for example multimedia “listening keys” that enable listeners to be guided towards certain important aspects of the music being listened to.

The themes developed by researchers – either individually or in the context of research groups – are regularly exhibited in the contexts of the CREM’s internal seminar.

The CREM manages a vast collection of documentary sound archives inherited from the Museum of Man, accumulated over more than a century. Abounding in over 4000 hours of unpublished field recordings and over 4000 hours of published documents, these archives of international stature and of great value to France’s cultural heritage can be accessed online through the collaborative platform Telemeta. The collection is sustained by the field missions of researchers on all continents; the collections aid laboratory research, diachronic and synchronic comparisons, the preparation of new fieldwork and the training of PhD students.

A specialised ethnomusicological library containing 3000 volumes is open to both students and researchers.

The CREM’s researchers and research professors have important teaching responsibilities in the departments of ethnology, prehistory and ethnomusicology at the University of Paris West Nanterre La Défense, as well as at the University of Paris 8-St Denis. The CREM is the host laboratory of numerous PhD students, providing a scientific and logistical framework for their research.

Mis à jour le 10 June 2014