The cultural change we see today is inexorable and extremely rapid: globalization, the media revolution and the expansion of the information society are the great challenges of our time. These factors also affect music, the most widespread "art." The questions for musical life and experience, production and consumption, and also the corresponding institutions grow ever harder. The change is so far-reaching that it has affected all areas of our musical-cultural life, be it musical performance, the media, the communication of music, music research or the public sphere of music. The traditional and the conventional are disappearing. Conversely, there is an increasing hunger for orientation; this applies in equal measure to "serious" and "popular" music.

Research on present musical developments is thinly spread, with little concentration of efforts; the Institute of Music and Aesthetics seeks to create an institutional framework for such research. It views itself as an interdisciplinary think tank on an international model. One focus will be the creation of a public Internet archive of contemporary music, with research reports, analyses, reviews and studies – an information pool for anyone interested in music, not only those musically active. A further emphasis will be on services such as dramaturgy, expertise and an Internet-based music review.

The Institute thus combines theory and practice, basic research, as well as a participation in culture and democratic civil society.

Renowned academics from all relevant fields related to music will work at the Institute of Music and Aesthetics. Depending on its future finances, it will create further possibilities for particular research  focuses. As the Institute will not receive any state funding for the time being, it relies on private sponsorship and support from foundations. Information on this can be found under "Sponsoring."