The Centre for Musical Cultures concentrates the activity of the HEM in the field of music from other cultural areas. As a place of teaching, research and mediation, it is part of the long history of interest in Geneva for traditional music and music from other parts of the world, an interest that developed particularly at the beginning of the 20th century, at the time of the League of Nations.
The Centre hosts the Master's programme in ethnomusicology, a programme run jointly with the Universities of Geneva and Neuchâtel. The Centre collaborates closely with Geneva institutions such as the Ateliers d'Ethnomusicologie (ADEM) and the Musée d'ethnographie de Genève (MEG), as well as with non-governmental organisations such as the Aga Khan Music Programme. It hosts a Chinese Music Culture Center (中国音乐文化中心) founded in 2018 in partnership with the Shanghai Conservatory. Equipped with a specific collection of instruments, including an important gamelan from Bali, the Centre offers various practices to the students of the HEM.