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The International Institute for Traditional Music (IITM) in Berlin was founded in 1963. From the start of its activities until 1996—when it was definitively closed—the Institute organised more than 30 conferences, released over 100 publication and 170 recordings, also with the invaluable collaboration of the International Music Council.
The mission of the Institute was to document, promote and conserve the traditional music of the world, and render these accessible to the public. Alain Daniélou was not only played a key role in the creation of the Institute but was also its Director for its first ten years of activity. Assisted by Jacques Cloarec, Daniélou started a vast production of recordings and photographs to document the musical culture of India, Cambodia and Indonesia.
In 1973 the role of Director of the IITM passed to Ivan Vandor, who dedicated much energy to the study of traditional Tibetan music. Later, the Institute was directed by Max Peter Baumann who—with the collaboration of the ethnomusicologists Hassau Habib Touma and Ulrich Wegner—published numerous works, including the collection “World of Music”.
When Max-Peter Baumann returned to Bamberg, the entire IITM archive (library, recordings, photographic archive, special equipment) was transferred to the University of Bamberg, while the Berlin Senate remained owner of the IITM inventory.
From 2008 the Department of Ethnomusicology of the Dahlem Berlin Ethnological Museum has been home to the IITM archives and other materials. Thanks to the work of the museum and to Lars-Christian Koch, Director of the Department of Ethnomusicology, Media Technology and the Phonogramm Archiv, a great part of these archives have been recovered, and restored (following the closure of the Institute, a great number of documents were damaged or were lost) and the museum is currently engaged in the important task of cataloguing and digitalising a great part of this archive material.


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