International Digital ElectroAcoustic Music Archive

White hearing seats with a monitor

The International Digital Electroacoustic Music Archive was initiated in 1988 by Max Mathews, Johannes Goebel and Patte Wood, who worked at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) of Stanford University, USA at that time. In 1990, IDEAMA was created in cooperation between the newly founded ZKM in Karlsruhe and the CCRMA. Its task was to preserve, collect and develop the world’s most important early works of electroacoustic music before they deteriorated and to make them accessible to the public by transferring them onto a digital medium.

The committees working within the IDEAMA were: the »Executive Committee«, to which representatives of both founding institutions belonged, the »Advisory Board«, to which representatives of the partner institutions belonged in an advisory capacity, the »International Board«[1], whose members supported the international reputation and policies of the archive and the two »Regional Selection Committees«.

The ZKM committee[2] was responsible for European music, with the CCRMA committee assuming responsibility for the Americas and Asia. The first official meeting of all members of the European selection committee was the 1992 Karlsruhe IDEAMA Symposium, during which the binding formation of the European contribution to the shared base collection of the IDEAMA and a list of criteria to classify electroacoustic music was discussed and agreed.

All the pieces selected by the Selection Committees, from the beginnings in 1929 to 1970, were collected on the official IDEAMA title list which contains 708 pieces. However, 138 of these could no longer be located. The collection also included as yet unknown, newly developed music as well as commercially available pieces, which are collected for the time when they are no longer available on the market.

Structurally, the IDEAMA comprises the two founding institutions, ZKM and CCRMA, partner institutions, which collect and produce material themselves, and the affiliate institutions. In 1996, CCRMA withdrew from the project for financial reasons, meaning the IDEAMA has been based at the ZKM since this time.
Most of the following partner institutions make the collection available to the public:

  • Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) Paris [F]
  • Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB) [F]
  • Institut Nationale de l´Audiovisuel / Groupe de Recherches Musicales (INA/GRM) Paris [F]
  • Instituut voor Psychoacustika en Elektronische Muziek (IPEM) Gent [B]
  • Instituut voor Sonologie Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag [NL]
  • National Institute of Informatics (NII) Tokyo [J], vormals: National Center for Science Information Systems (NACSIS)
  • New York Public Library (NYPL) [USA]
  • Polskie Radio, Contemporary Music Department, Warschau [PL]
  • Stiftelsen Elektro-Akustisk Musik i Sverige (EMS) Stockholm [S]

All the following affiliate institutions make the collection available to the public – in addition to the founding institutions:

  • Aalborg Universitet Institut for Musik og Musikterapi  [DK]
  • Art Center Nabi, Seoul [ROK]
  • Bibliothek der Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel [CH]
  • Brandeis University Library, Waltham, MA [USA]
  • Centre For Computational Musicology and Computer Music of University of Limerick [IRL]
  • Danish Institute for Electroacoustic Music (DIEM), Aarhus [DK]
  • Institut für Computermusik und elektronische Medien (ICEM) der Folkwang-Hochschule Essen [D]
  • Institut für Elektronische Musik und Akustik (IEM) der Kunstuniversität Graz [A]
  • Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikinformatik (IMWI) der Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe [D]
  • Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) / Medien- und Informationszentrum MIZ der Zürcher Hochschule der Künste [CH]
  • Kungliga Musikhögskolan, Stockholm [S]
  • Library of Congress, Recorded Sound Collection, Washington, DC [USA]
  • Michigan State Universtiy, College of Music, East Lansing, MI [USA]
  • NoTAM - Norsk nettverk for Teknologi, Akustikk og Musikk, University of Oslo [N]
  • Stiftung Haus der Klänge, Mädris-Vermol [CH]  [until 1999]

The IDEAMA base collection consists of over 100 hours of music, which has since been saved on a hard drive. Institutions, which would like to participate in this collection for the purposes of teaching and research, can become a member of the IDEAMA project as IDEAMA affiliate institutions on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding. The costs of this reimburse the IDEAMA/ZKM Karlsruhe with a proportion of the hardware and its configuration, the duplication and production of the database.

As well as information about the year and the composition’s recording studio, the database also includes biographies of composers and descriptions in three languages (German, English and French).

For more information, please contact Hartmut Jörg (Mediathek).
[1] The International Board included:
Francois Bayle, Luciano Berio, Lars Gunnar Bodin, Pierre Boulez, John Cage, John Chowning, Hugh Davies, Julio Estrada, Hiroshi Inose, Mauricio Kagel, Francisco Kroepfl, György Ligeti, Max V. Mathews, John Pierce, Steve Reich, Jean-Claude Risset, Pierre Schaeffer, Toru Takemitsu, James Tenney und Iannis Xenakis.

[2] The European Selection Committee was made up of:
Das europäische Auswahlgremium setzte sich zusammen aus:
Francois Bayle (Frankreich), Nicola Bernardini (Italien), Lars Gunnar Bodin (Schweden), Christian Clozier (Frankreich), Hugh Davies (England), Rudolf Frisius (Deutschland), Johannes Fritsch (Deutschland), Gottfried Michael Koenig (Niederlande), Josef Patkowski (Polen), Josef Anton Riedl (Deutschland), Herman Sabbe (Belgien) und Jürg Stenzl (Schweiz).