About us

Since 1969 – International Society for Jazz Research

In the year 1969 the former Institute for Jazz gave rise to the foundation of the International Society for Jazz Research (ISJ). Its task is the systematic investigation of jazz in the fields of musicology, ethnology, sociology, psychology, pedagogy, dance research and media research. With the aid of the ISJ financial means can be collected and made available and meetings and congresses can be organized. Another emphasis of the activities of the society is the extension of international relations that are needed in jazz research.

The ISJ organizes international meetings for the publication of its research results and publishes – in cooperation with the Institute for Jazz Research – the following series (in German or English language):

The Institute for Jazz Research in Graz, founded in 1965, is one of the oldest and most renowned institutions of its kind in the world, and is devoted to the successful establishment and expansion of jazz research as an independent, interdisciplinary branch of musicology. Its primary research focus is the historical, cultural, and theoretical study of jazz, jazz-related, and popular music, including the music of Latin America and international folk music. One of the Institute’s most notable research achievements is an abundance of in-depth structural analyses of musical genres and individual musicians’ styles, based on original transcriptions of audio recordings.

The institute is home to a specialised library, housing roughly 5,800 printed volumes (books and subject-related periodicals) and around 42,500 audio and audiovisual recordings (20,000 LPs, 20,300 CDs, 1,200 videocassettes, DVDs, audio tapes, and shellacs). The library is popular among both international researchers and students.

For decades, the institute has informed the world of its activities primarily through three long-standing and respected periodicals, published in cooperation with the International Society for Jazz Research (ISJ) and its members. The yearbook Jazzforschung / Jazz Research, founded in 1969, has produced 46 issues to date; the series Beiträge zur Jazzforschung / Studies in Jazz Research has published 14 complete monographs since 1969, and the newsletter Jazz Research News, begun in 2000, has already released 49 issues.

A current focus of the institute’s vital research is an enhancement of the knowledge of jazz and popular music styles integral to cultural and social developments in major parts of the world. To this end, the Institute has also organised jazz research conferences on a regular basis since 1969; these conferences serve as a point for international researchers to meet and exchange ideas. Transnational projects and collaborations as well as nationally-funded projects have further added to the institute’s reputation as a centre for jazz research. This combination of ground-breaking research and cooperation with other organizations will ensure that the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz remains an international leader in jazz and popular music research.