At an historic joint meeting of the former Musicological Society of Southern Africa and the Symposium on Ethnomusicology at the University of Cape Town in 2005, a proposal was put forward that the two organisations amalgamate. This was enthusiastically accepted, after which a process of the formal dissolution of the two organisations was set in motion for the next conference, which was held in Potchefstroom in 2006. There a new society came into existence with an executive committee, which was elected for the next three years.
The first annual conference of SASRIM was held in Bloemfontein in August 2007, and the second in Port Elizabeth in August 2008. Emerging from the recognition that music research has historically been pursued in relatively distinct settings and intellectual traditions in our country, the objective of the South African Society for Research in Music (SASRIM) is to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between all researchers in music, within and beyond academia and the promotion, fostering and dissemination of such research.
The society operates as a non-profit organisation. SASRIM publishes the journal South African Music Studies (SAMUS), formerly the South African Journal of Musicology, which continues to include high quality musical research articles and is posted to members of the society at no additional cost.