International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Minutes of 13th Assembly of ICTM National and Regional Representatives (Kazakh National University of Arts, Astana, Kazakhstan, 16 July 2015)

Held at the Kazakh National University of Arts, Astana, Kazakhstan, on 16 July 2015. Chair: Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco. In attendance: Anda Beitāne (Latvia), Dan Bendrups (Australia), Evert Bisschop Boele (the Netherlands), Bernd Brabec de Mori (Austria), Marc‐Antoine Camp (Switzerland), Salwa El‐Shawan Castelo‐Branco (Portugal), Naila Ceribašić (Croatia), Catherine Foley (Ireland), Susanne Fürniss (France), Anna Hoefnagels (Canada), Keith Howard (UK), Zuzana Jurková (Czech Republic), Mojca Kovačič (Slovenia), Danka Lajić‐Mihajlović (Serbia), Essica Marks (Israel), Klaus Näumann (Germany), Don Niles (Papua New Guinea), Ivona Opetcheska Tatarchevska (Macedonia), Svanibor Pettan (Secretary General), Colin Quigley (Ireland), Sheen Dae‐Cheol (Korea), János Sipos (Hungary), Rimantas Sliužinskas (Lithuania), Velika Stojkova Serafimovska (Macedonia), Tan Sooi Beng (Malaysia), Carlos Yoder (Executive Assistant).

Opening of the meeting

  1. The Chair opened the Assembly at 14:32, and thanked all for attending.

Minutes of the previous meeting

  1. Castelo-Branco called for a motion to approve the Minutes of the 12th Assembly of ICTM National and Regional Representatives, as published in the October 2013 Bulletin of the ICTM. Moved by Foley, seconded by Niles, motion passed.


  1. The attendees briefly introduced themselves and their institutions.

Business arising from Executive Board meetings of interest to the assembly

  1. Pettan explained that the 2017 ICTM World Conference would be a “very special event”, where the 70th anniversary of the Council would be celebrated. He invited the representatives to provide ideas for contributing to the conference, highlighting the importance of obtaining historical documents, including photographs, film materials, and programmes of past World Conferences, Colloquia, Study Group Symposia, or any other event related to the history of the Council.
  2. Sipos asked whether the structure of the conference would be modified in any way to better fit the 70th anniversary. Castelo-Branco replied that the programme had not yet been defined, and asked for any suggestions to be cast into the themes suggestions’ box.

Appointment of two members to the Nomination Committee

  1. The responsibilities of the members of the Nomination Committee were outlined by Castelo-Branco, and then asked for two volunteers to join the Nomination Committee of the 2017 ICTM Elections.
  2. Yoder listed the officers who would leave the Executive Board in 2017: Trần Quang Hải, Samuel Araújo, Kati Szego, Naila Ceribašić, Castelo-Branco, and Niles. All the aforementioned would be eligible to run again, except for Trần, who had served for two consecutive terms already.
  3. Quigley and Jurková volunteered to serve, and as there were no further nominations, it was agreed to appoint Colin Quigley and Zuzana Jurková to the Nomination Committee of the 2017 ICTM Elections.

Oral reports

[Editor’s note: the following reports were abridged and sorted by country, for space and readability reasons, respectively. To learn more about the activities of the ICTM World Network, see the Reports section of past, present, and future issues of the Bulletin of the ICTM]

  1. Albania: Ardian Ahmedaja could not attend the meeting, so his report (published in Bulletin of the ICTM 126) was read by Niles.
  2. Australia and New Zealand: Bendrups informed that ethnomusicology is not practised as such in Australia, and that the approach of the ANZ Regional Committee has been to bring researchers in music and dance together in a more dynamic way.
  3. Austria: Brabec de Mori reported that the Austria National Committee (NC) regularly organizes joint conferences with neighbouring NCs (e.g., Italy and Slovenia) and with organizations from neighbouring disciplines (e.g., Music Education), a fact that he considered to be very beneficial in building bridges across both physical and topical borders.
  4. Canada: Hoefnagels informed on the recent activities of the Canadian Society for Traditional Music (CSTM, which operates the ICTM Canada NC), including the reception of a lifetime award.
  5. Croatia: Ceribašić thanked those present who had contributed to the quadrennial report on the involvement of ICTM for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. She reported that less than 10 positions in ethnomusicology were available in Croatia, and the NC’s major recent project had been the organization of the 28th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnomusicology (Korčula, July 2014)
  6. Czech Republic: Jurková reported that the situation in the Czech Republic had greatly improved in the past few years. During the previous semester the Faculty of Humanities of the Charles University Prague had given 15 courses in ethnomusicology, eight of which had been in English, involving many students from abroad within the Erasmus framework.
  7. France: Fürniss reported on the latest conference of the French Society for Ethnomusicology (SFE, which operates the ICTM France NC), held jointly with the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE, which operates the ICTM UK NC) in July 2015 in Paris, France. The conference, attended by 140 participants, was a success, despite some inevitable challenges caused by the size of the event and language differences.
  8. Germany: Näumann, Vice Chair of the Germany NC since November 2014, briefly reported on the regular activities of the NC, which counted more than one hundred active members.
  9. Hungary: Sipos summarized the recent activities of the ten members of the Hungary NC, most of whom are employed at the Institute of Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences [editor’s note: learn more about the activities of this NC on pages 34-35].
  10. Ireland: Quigley and Foley reported on the many activities which would take place at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance during the following years, highlighting the very first joint meeting of ICTM, the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (September 2015), the Annual Meeting of the Ireland NC, and the 44th ICTM World Conference.
  11. Israel: Marks reported that 12 to 15 people were working in Israel on ethnomusicology, and that in 2015 a new group of young scholars were organizing meetings more regularly. She hoped that a NC would soon emerge from those activities.
  12. Korea: Sheen reported on the regular activities of the Korean Musicological Society (KMS, which operates the ICTM Korea NC), especially their regular conference schedule [editor’s note: learn more about the activities of this NC on pages 36-37].
  13. Latvia: Beitāne thanked for being appointed as Liaison Officer for Latvia in 2014. She reported that even though ethnomusicology had been institutionalized in Latvia only ten years before, ethnomusicological activities were experiencing a steady growth. [editor’s note: learn more about the activities in Latvia on pages 37-38].
  14. Lithuania: Sliužinskas reported that only 13 people were doing work in ethnomusicology in Lithuania, and that the number of students enrolled in ethnomusicology programmes had declined drastically over the years. He considered that establishing journals or holding meetings in Lithuania would be “impossible”, adding that no meetings or publications had been produced since 2006. When suggested that holding a Study Group symposium or colloquium might help quicken the situation in Lithuania, Sliužinskas opined that it would be practically impossible to coordinate.
  15. Macedonia: Stojkova Serafimovska outlined how Macedonian music had been a focus of articles in the Council’s publications since 1952, and how Macedonian scholars had attended World Conferences since 1999. The NC hosted three Study Group symposia in 2007, 2008, and 2012, and even though it has only ten members, they have been very active as implementers of ICH initiatives over the past few years.
  16. Malaysia: Tan discussed the meetings of the Study Group on Performing Arts of Southeast Asia which had taken place in Malaysia, and invited everybody to join them in Bangkok the following year.
  17. The Netherlands: Bisschop-Boele summarized the events that led to the dissolution of the Netherlands NC and his appointment as Liaison Officer in 2013, and reported that he had been focusing on rebuilding the network of scholars working in ethnomusicology and related disciplines in the country, in hopes of reinstating a new Netherlands NC in the near future.
  18. Papua New Guinea: Niles reported that in 2014 Naomi Faik-Simet, Liaison Officer for Papua New Guinea, had hosted a successful workshop of dance in the highlands (with Mohd Anis Md Nor as one of the invited participants), and that later in that year she had co-hosted the 8th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance of Oceania Oceania. Niles said he was thrilled that the term “traditional music” was included in the name of the Council, because in Papua New Guinea many high-level politicians feel very strongly that “tradition is something which impedes the progress of the nation”; adding that he and his colleagues in the country were doing everything they could to oppose such negative views.
  19. Portugal: Castelo-Branco described the situation in Portugal as “vibrant”, with six permanent positions in ethnomusicology (three in Lisbon and three in Aveiro), highlighting that cooperation with Spain had been very fruitful.
  20. Serbia: Lajić‐Mihajlović outlined the activities of the NC since its creation in 2013, including the organization of the 4th Symposium of the Study Group on Music and Dance of Southeastern Europe (Belgrade and Petnica, 2014).
  21. Slovenia: Pettan reported that Kovačič (who had joined the meeting at that moment) had been involved in the organization of the Joint Meeting of the Austria, Italy, and Slovenia NCs, and recommended the model to representatives of countries where the number of active scholars is small. Pettan described the situation in Slovenia as “vibrant”, mentioning the yearly organization of symposia and concerts within the festival Nights in Old Ljubljana Town.
  22. Switzerland: Camp reported that only a small number of colleagues are working in Switzerland, usually orienting themselves towards neighbouring countries (Germany, Italy, or France). The Swiss Society for Ethnomusicology (CH-EM, which operates the Switzerland NC) holds meetings twice a year (one scholarly, one business), yet the general opinion is that there is not enough people to properly establish the field of ethnomusicology in Switzerland.
  23. United Kingdom: Howard informed that a BFE High Tea would be held the following Tuesday (21 July), for the first time during an ICTM World Conference. He noted that both BFE and IFMC (the predecessor of ICTM) shared members of their respective founding executive committees.

Other business

  1. Castelo-Branco opened the floor for questions.
  2. Fürniss expressed her concern that no representatives from South America or Africa were present at the assembly, even though many were attending the conference. After it was suggested that they might have been at other paper sessions, Castelo‐Branco promised that such conflicts would not happen again at future World Conferences.
  3. Howard encouraged the Executive Board to revisit the laws governing ICTM National Committees, because his being Chair of the UK NC while not being the Chair of BFE was becoming increasingly difficult to manage. Castelo‐Branco replied that the Executive Board was very much aware of the situation, and that a special committee was working on allowing wider options for establishing and operating NCs.
  4. Bendrups echoed Howard’s suggestion, in regards to the Australia and New Zealand RC and to what transpired during the previous Assembly of National and Regional Representatives (Shanghai, 2013). He suggested that a clearer definition of what a Liaison Officer is might be beneficial for the operations of present and future National and Regional Committees.
  5. Hoefnagels considered that the Assembly was an important and helpful meeting for all representatives, and that perhaps sending RSVPs ahead of time might help increasing the attendance.
  6. Castelo‐Branco agreed with the proposal, and then thanked the Secretary General for his “huge efforts” in increasing the World Network to 103 countries and regions.
  7. Fürniss noted that only 21 countries were represented at the Assembly, and asked whether future assemblies could be scheduled when there would be no other sessions.
  8. Niles added that the responsibility of scheduling sessions and meetings is with the Programme Committee, and that not scheduling presentations by members of the World Network at the time of the Assembly could be implemented easily.
  9. Hoefnagels suggested that in the future, Assemblies of National and Regional Representatives might be scheduled during a lunch break.
  10. Näumann asked for opinions on how to increase attendance at their annual conferences. Howard invited them to talk about it at the BFE High Tea, and Brabec de Mori encourage them use to the ICTM mailing list. Yoder explained how to join and use the ICTM mailing list, and suggested to also use the World Network mailing list, a closed mailing list accessible to all National and Regional Representatives.
  11. Pettan thanked all who had helped in expanding the ICTM World Network to 103 representatives, and while he acknowledged it was a great accomplishment, many countries (especially in Africa and Oceania) were still lacking representation. He informed that a slide depicting all countries without representation would be included in his report at the upcoming General Assembly, and he encouraged all to propose good candidates to continue expanding the Council’s representation.
  12. Pettan communicated that the Secretariat would move to a new location in 2017, and asked for interested parties to contact the Secretariat.
  13. Finally, Pettan mentioned that a large number of publications shipped to Astana by Ashgate and Oxford University Press had unfortunately been delayed at customs, and that strong efforts were being made to solve the problem as quickly as possible.


  1. A motion to adjourn the 13th Assembly of ICTM National and Regional Representatives was called by Castelo-Branco. Moved by Hoefnagels, seconded by Quigley. Meeting adjourned at 16:18, local time.