On January 10, 1977, the CIMS Institute for Hymnological and Musico-ethnological Studies was founded as a non-profit association. Since then it has had its legal seat in Cologne from where it is still administered to this day. After 24 years of work at the “House of Church Music” (Villa Reuter) in the immediate vicinity of Maria Laach Abbey, the place of work was transferred to the district House of Studies St. Albert the Great of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter after its move to the pilgrimage site of Bettbrunn (Kösching) near Ingolstadt.
The institute has a triple task:
1) to collect hymnological sources in the countries of European popular culture, classify them and evaluate them according to the ecclesial norms of the Musica Sacra.
2) to promote musico-ethnological research in non-European musical cultures.
3) to show a special interest in the relationship between the culture of musica indigena and the Christian musical culture common to all peoples, especially Gregorian chant.
The first of these tasks was the Institute’s participation in the publication of the monumental eight-volume work “Sacred Song in the German Middle Ages” as part of the complete critical edition of the melodies of the project “The Song of the German Church” (Bärenreiter) with a ceremony at the University of Zurich, to achieve a first historical result in 2017.
The musico-ethnological research was published in the annual review of the Musices Aptatio Institute (1975-1995). The most spectacular project to date has been a four-volume international study of the musical cultures of the Indians in Brazil and particularly in the Amazon region.
Recently, the third task of the Institute – Gregorian chant in the musical context that surrounds it – has emerged as a current focus, also and especially in view of the growing need for a new evangelization in Europe’s increasingly confused cultural situation.
The Institute for Hymnological and Musico-ethnological Studies has its own website: cims-institut.de.