The CREM is dedicated to the study of musical practices and knowledge as processes of sociocultural differentiation and as universal forms of human expression. This approach, based on a collection of musical data as well as ethnographic investigation, subscribes to an anthropology of music which acknowledges and incorporates its sociocultural, aesthetic, formal, acoustic, kinetic, and cognitive dimensions.
The centre furthermore studies new and under-researched subjects of the discipline, such as dance and choreography, the cultural and cognitive construction of emotion, and representations of sounds. Individual researchers and research groups develop themes and regularly present them in seminars held by the laboratory.
The CREM manages a vast library collection (with both books and music archives) of great patrimonial value that is consulted by an international audience.
The researchers hold responsibilities in teaching ethnomusicology at University Paris 8 St. Denis and University Paris Nanterre. The Ministry of Culture makes a vital contribution to the diffusion and development of CREM’s research, mainly through the use of multimedia technologies.
The CNRS – Musée de l’Homme Sound Archives gathers both published and unpublished recordings of music and oral traditions from around the world, from 1900 to today. Incorporating various mediums (cylinders, 78 rpm discs, vinyl discs, magnetic bands, cassette tapes, digital mediums), this collection is one of the most significant in Europe in terms of quality, quantity, and diversity.
CRISTAL collective: Team dedicated to the l'équipe CNRS — Musée de l'Homme (MNHN) Sound Archives won, in 2018, the award given annually by the CNRS to a team of engineers and technicians for their innovative collective project.