Skip to main content

We seek out old music and bring it to life in writing and sound. Our work serves to publicize invaluable musical heritage and continually strives to promote humanist thinking through new perspectives, today and tomorrow.

The Institute of Musicology at the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (founded in 1972 and established in 1980) is the only independent musicological research group in Slovenia. It specializes primarily in the study of historical musical heritage within the territory of the present-day Republic of Slovenia. From the very start, the basic work of the researchers at the Institute of Musicology has been to inventory in a systematic fashion the musical sources in Slovenian archives and libraries. The researchers also carry out scholarly studies of various periods in music history, past musical phenomena, and the most important musical works forming part of Slovenia’s cultural heritage. The latter include both works by Slovenian composers and works by others that have contributed to musical life within the geographical area of modern Slovenia.


  • Studying musical heritage in what is now Slovenia from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century (since the Institute’s foundation)
  • Hosting international scholarly meetings, preparing accompanying or independent educational exhibitions and concerts (since the Institute’s foundation)
  • Participating in the long-term international musicology projects RISM Répertoire international des sources musicales and Répertoire international de littérature musicale (since 1983 and 1984, respectively)
  • Training junior researchers in music history (since 1992)
  • Collaborating in the planning of the repertoire for the concert series Harmonia Concertans – Old Music on New Square (since 2011)
  • Work in the digital humanities (since 2018)


  • Preparing critical editions of musical works by Slovenian composers and other composers connected in earlier periods with the geographical area of modern Slovenia (collection Monumenta artis musicæ Sloveniæ, since 1983)
  • Publishing the international scholarly journal De musica disserenda (since 2005)
  • Publishing volumes in the online series Slovenska glasbena dediščina (since 2012)
  • Other occasional publications of books, conference proceedings, musical editions, sound recordings etc.

The Institute of Musicology was founded – on the initiative of the Nestor of Slovenian musicology and member of the Slovenian Academy Dragotin Cvetko – in the 1970s and formally established in 1980. Until the Research Centre was formed in 1981, the Institute of Musicology operated as one of the institutes of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. It was conceived as a foundation that would specialize in the study of Slovenian musical history in line with the concept of national scholarly disciplines.
In the 1980s the Institute employed four full-time researchers, but in the 1990s this number grew. In 2020 the Institute’s staff comprises five researchers and two musicologists employed for technical assistance.

During its first decades, the Institute’s work took place within the framework of the academic scholarly research programme Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Slovenian People. Its basic research task was to inventory, and issue scholarly critical editions of, important sources for musical history in Slovenia, and to study those sources systematically.

Dragotin Cvetko knew how crucial it was to cooperate with researchers in other countries, and therefore even at the time when the Institute was founded he initiated a plan whereby it would host an international symposium every three years. The first symposium was held in October 1982 on the presumed two-hundredth anniversary of Belin, a lost Slovenian stage work by Jakob Zupan, and it was devoted to Slovenian opera.

Since 1983 the Musicology Institute has issued a series of bilingual critical editions of monuments of Slovenian music: Monumenta artis musicæ Sloveniæ. This presents key works by Slovenian composers and works preserved in Slovenian archives or which represent part of the musical heritage of the broader Slovenian cultural area. The Institute began publishing the international scholarly musicology journal De musica disserenda in 2005. The online series Slovenska glasbena dediščina (Slovenian Musical Heritage), founded in 2012, currently includes four works.

Every year since its foundation the Institute has compiled a national register of the historical musical heritage of Slovenia (from Slovenian archives). This resource is partially traditional (a card catalogue), but there is now a growing portion that is inventoried in the electronic database Glasbeni rokopisi 1600–1850 (Musical Manuscripts 1600–1850), Series A II, as part of one of the most ambitious long-term international musicology projects: RISM (Répertoire international des sources musicales), with its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main. Since 1991 the Institute has also participated in a second long-term project, one led by the International Musicological Society: RILM (Répertoire international de littérature musicale; international repertory of music literature), with its headquarters in New York. The seats of both national working groups for Slovenia are located at the Institute of Musicology.

Since 2018 the Institute of Musicology has also been increasingly involved in the digital humanities, primarily by using relational databases and analysing and visualizing large collections of data.