International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Minutes of 14th Assembly of ICTM National and Regional Representatives

Held at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland, on 17 July 2017. Chair: Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco. In attendance: Ardian Ahmedaja (LO for Albania), Ingrid Åkesson (Chair of NC for Sweden), Daniel Avorgbedor (LO for Ghana), Anda Beitāne (LO for Latvia), Bussakorn Binson (LO for Thailand), Marc-Antoine Camp (Chair of NC for Switzerland), Christine Yun-May Yong (standing in for Clare Chan Suet Ching, LO for Malaysia), Otgonbayar Chuluunbaatar (LO for Mongolia), Sonam Dorji (LO for Bhutan), Austin Emielu (LO for Nigeria), Serena Facci (Chair of NC for Italy), Eva Fock (Chair of NC for Denmark), Marita Fornaro (LO for Uruguay), Susanne Fürniss (Chair of NC for France), Made Mantle Hood (LO for Indonesia), Keith Howard (Chair of NC for UK), Zuzana Jurková (LO for Czech Republic), Ram Prasad Kadel (LO for Nepal), Lasanthi Manaranjanie Kalinga Dona (LO for Sri Lanka), Dorit Klebe (Chair of NC for Germany), Mojca Kovačič (Chair of NC for Slovenia), Irene Loutzaki (LO for Greece), Elizabeth Lucas (standing in for Suzel Reily, Chair of NC for Brazil), Essica Marks (LO for Israel), Silvia Martínez (standing in for Francisco García, Chair of NC for Spain), Don Niles (standing in for Naomi Faik-Simet, LO for Papua New Guinea), Charles Nyakiti (LO for Kenya), Lonán Ó Briain (Chair of NC for Ireland), Alvin Petersen (LO for South Africa), Pham Minh Huong (Chair of NC for Vietnam), Sayeem Rana (LO for Bangladesh), Hande Sağlam (standing in for Bern Brabec de Mori, Chair of NC for Austria), Elina Seye (standing in for Antti-Ville Kärjä, Chair of NC for Finland), Sheen Dae-Cheol (Chair of NC for Korea), Cara Stacey (LO for Swaziland), Matthias Stöckli (LO for Guatemala), Velika Stojkova Serafimovska (Chair of NC for Macedonia), Tsai Tsung-Te (Chair of RC for Taiwan), Waseda Minako (standing in for Endō Tōru, Chair of NC for Japan), Wong Yoon Foong (standing in for Joe Peters, LO for Singapore), Wim van Zanten (standing in for Evert Bisschop Boele, LO for the Netherlands); Lee Tong Soon (incoming General Editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music), Ursula Hemetek (incoming Secretary General), Svanibor Pettan (Secretary General), Carlos Yoder (Executive Assistant). 

Opening of the meeting

  1. Castelo-Branco opened the meeting at 14:33.
  2. Castelo-Branco explained the significance of the conference, in particular as it pertained the 70th anniversary of the Council. She asked the attendees to send to the Secretariat any documentation that could help in celebrating the anniversary, and informed that the Council would be publishing an edited volume on the 70th anniversary of ICTM. 
  3. Castelo-Branco called attention to the incoming Secretary General, Ursula Hemetek, and the incoming General Editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music, Tong Soon Lee, who were both present as observers.

Minutes of the previous meeting

  1. Castelo-Branco called for a motion to approve the Minutes of the 13th Assembly of ICTM National and Regional Representatives, as published in the October 2015 issue of the Bulletin of the ICTM. Moved by Howard, seconded by Avorgbedor, motion passed.


  1. The attendees briefly introduced themselves and their institutions.

Business arising from Executive Board meetings of interest to the Assembly

  1. Castelo-Branco informed that the new Statutes of ICTM—which had been approved by the General Assembly and would need to be ratified by the membership—featured new sections on the World Network and the Assembly of National and Regional Representatives. 
  2. Castelo-Branco invited all to attend the celebratory roundtable “ICTM in the 21st Century as Seen by Its Presidents and Secretaries General,” which would be held the following day.
  3. Castelo-Branco presented the Executive Board’s special-purpose committees, which since their establishment in 2013 had decentralized the work of the Executive Board on specific tasks. She explained that several of these committees were devoted to particular geocultural world regions, such as Outreach with Latin America, Outreach with Africa, etc. 

Appointment of two members to the Nomination Committee

  1. After outlining the responsibilities of the members of the Nomination Committee, Castelo-Branco asked for two volunteers to join the Nomination Committee of the 2019 ICTM Elections. Nyakiti nominated Petersen, and van Zanten nominated Hood. As there were no further nominations, it was agreed to appoint Alvin Petersen and Made Mantle Hood to the Nomination Committee of the 2019 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: Ahmedaja reported that ethnomusicology was not institutionalized in the country, making young people go study abroad. He hoped that joining regional initiatives would be beneficial in raising awareness of ethnomusicology and the Council in Albania.
  2. Austria: Saǧlam reported that the NC holds yearly conferences, each year alternating between selecting interdisciplinary topics, and holding hem jointly with neighbouring NCs (e.g., Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland). She announced that a symposium to welcome the ICTM Secretariat would be held on 28–30 September 2017 at the Department for Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, and that a joint symposium of the Study Groups on Music and Gender and on Music and Minorities would also be held there in 2018.
  3. Bangladesh: Rana expressed “great pleasure” to be present at the World Conference, adding that he would share the experience with his colleagues after returning to Bangladesh.
  4. Bhutan: Dorji explained that the only office working with music research in Bhutan was the institution he directs, the Music of Bhutan Research Centre. He outlined the many challenges that they faced, as a many other small countries do, to which Castelo-Branco replied that a number of ICTM members, including some present at the conference, had established similar archives outside university frameworks. Castelo-Branco offered to connect Dorji with them, so that they could advise on best practices to strengthen and expand the reach of the Centre.
  5. Brazil: Lucas related the history of the Council in Brazil, including hosting two World Conferences in 1955 and 2001 and one Colloquium in 1991. She considered that the “real presence” of the Council was felt in Brazil via the Yearbook for Traditional Music. She suggested that more financial support should be given to Latin American students who wish to attend World Conferences. 
  6. Czech Republic: Jurková remarked that the word “tradition” in the Council’s name was problematic when trying to get new members to join ICTM, especially students and young scholars. Castelo-Branco replied that the Executive Board was “very aware” of the matter. 
  7. Denmark: Fock explained that the main challenge in Denmark was that the lack of institutional affiliations, i.e., that all members of the NC were independent. She added that they had had difficulties in attracting the interest of younger scholars to the NC, but considered that the addition of Greenland to the World Network had been a positive development.
  8. Finland: Seye described the work of the NC, formed by the Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology, and informed that the Ministry of Culture and Education had unexpectedly stopped funding the NC in 2017, putting the future of the Society and the NC at risk.
  9. France: Fürniss, in the interest of time, briefly invited the attendees to participate in the Festival international Jean Rouch, with which the NC works closely.
  10. Germany: Klebe summarized the activities of the NC, founded in 1955 as two separate National Committees that were joined after the unification of Germany. She reported that the NC holds annual symposia on different topics, and that the most recent one had been held jointly with the NCs for Austria and Switzerland. Castelo-Branco replied that she considered the NC for Germany to be “exemplary.”
  11. Ghana: Avorgbedor briefly announced that the next symposium of the ICTM Study Group on African Musics would be held in Ghana in August 2018.
  12. Greece: Loutzaki reported that trying to encourage colleagues in Greece to become members of ICTM had proven difficult, mainly because of the cost of membership fees. Castelo-Branco replied that membership fees should not be an impediment to join ICTM, and that colleagues who would like to join the Council but cannot because of financial constraints should contact the Secretariat to try to find a way to solve that problem.
  13. Guatemala: Stöckli reported that the Symposium of the Study Group on Music Archaeology held in Guatemala City in 2013 had been very important for the area, and that delegates had exchanged knowledge not only among themselves, but also with students, local musicians, and local scholars. He added that thanks to the Council’s communication channels, the previous 2016 Guatemalan students had been accepted into the European Master’s programme in dance studies. Finally, Stöckli volunteered to search for candidates to become Liaison Officers for El Salvador and Honduras.
  14. Ireland: Ó Briain invited the assembled to visit the stand that the NC for Ireland had installed in the atrium opposite the Concert Hall. He added that the NC would like to organize joint activities with other countries. 
  15. Israel: Marks reported that a new forum for contemporary ethnomusicology had been established, and that it had been very successful in attracting young scholars. She considered that forming a National Committee for Israel would be possible in the near future.
  16. Italy: Facci considered that the Italian representation at the World Conference had been satisfactory, including the participation of many young scholars. She announced the recent publication of Making Music in the Time of YouTube, a collection of essays by Ignazio Macchiarella and other members of the NC available online from the website Philomusica on-line. Finally, she reported that the NC was considering organizing a symposium on the contributions made by Italian scholars to the Council during the past seventy years. 
  17. Japan: Waseda explained that the President of Tôyô Ongaku Gakkai (TOG), the society that forms the NC, automatically becomes its Chair. She added that her role as Liaison to ICTM was mainly involved in raising awareness of ICTM within TOG. 
  18. Kenya: Nyakiti thanked the President for all the support that the Council had given Kenya over the years.
  19. Korea: Sheen announced that the 6th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Musics of East Asia would be held in Korea the following year, and that its Call for Participation would soon be announced.
  20. Latvia: Beitāne mentioned that ethnomusicologists were needed in Latvia, in particular to work on Intangible Cultural Heritage. She observed that in that context, the word “tradition” in the Council’s name was very important for obtaining support.
  21. Macedonia: Stojkova expressed gratitude for the support that allowed three delegates from Macedonia to attend the World Conference. She announced a two-year-long project to celebrate the 50 years of Elsie Dunin’s work, which would culminate in a publication and exhibition. She mentioned the involvement of the NC with UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage programme, to which Castelo-Branco commended the Council’s representative to UNESCO, Naila Ceribašić, for her work following news, attending meetings, engaging authorities, etc.
  22. Malaysia: Yong announced that the next symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Performing Arts of Southeast Asia would held be held in Malaysia on 16–22 July 2018. She considered that the ICTM national representatives from ASEAN countries should work together in raising awareness about the aims and activities of the Council. 
  23. Mongolia: Chuluunbaatar declined to report, promising to do so in the Bulletin, or at a future Assembly.
  24. Nepal: Kadel summarized the characteristics of the many indigenous groups, languages, musics, and dances of Nepal. He presented the Music Museum of Nepal, of which he is director, asking the assembled for help with the ongoing efforts to archive and digitize its materials.
  25. The Netherlands: van Zanten observed that the local society for ethnomusicology was not well organized, and then committed, along with LO Evert Bisschop Boele, to look for possibilities for reorganization.
  26. Nigeria: Emielu introduced himself as a newly appointed LO, and thanked Marie Agatha Ozah for encouraging him to join ICTM the previous year. He expressed his gratitude for the support from the UNESCO Participation Programme that he and Ubochi Stella Igbokwe received, and suggested that Nigerian delegates to World Conferences should be allowed to pay registration fees on site. Yoder replied that the Secretariat had worked with the conference’s Programme and Local Arrangements Committees to allow for these special cases to be honoured, and that it would do so again for the next World Conference.
  27. Papua New Guinea: Niles urged the assembled to submit country reports to the Bulletin. He related the ongoing efforts to compile a list of all ICTM publications for the ICTM website, indicating that many publications by NCs were still missing. He asked that the assembled send him details of any journals, CDs, or other materials that NCs may have published in the past, to be included in the list. 
  28. Singapore: Wong explained that the International Society for Music Education (ISME) had a very strong presence in Singapore, and that awareness about the Council was “insufficient.” Castelo-Branco suggested to explore the possibilities of holding a Forum with ISME and/or other sister societies in Singapore, to extend the reach of the Council in the region.
  29. Slovenia: Kovačič reported that the challenges that Slovenia faced were characteristic of small countries, including funding, dependency on grants, and language issues. She reported that two Study Group symposia had been held in Ljubljana in 2016. She thanked Pettan for his commitment to take the ICTM Secretariat to Ljubljana, a fact she considered to be very beneficial for raising the visibility of Slovenia in the disciplines of music and dance research. 
  30. South Africa: Petersen reported that the 1st Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on African Musics (held in Durban in September 2015) had been very successful, with more than 40 participants, including young scholars.
  31. Spain: Martínez explained that the NC for Spain was formed by the Group for Musical Traditions of the Spanish Society for Ethnomusicology (Grupo Tradiciones Musicales – SIbE), noting that another group within SIbE formed the Spanish branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.
  32. Sri Lanka: Kalinga Dona reported that colleagues living in Sri Lanka could not afford to attend ICTM events abroad, not only due to financial reasons, but also because Sri Lankan citizens need visas to enter most countries, including neighbouring states such as India. She considered that it would be very beneficial for Sri Lankan scholars if the ICTM Study Group on Music and Allied Arts of Greater South Asia would hold a symposium in the region.
  33. Swaziland: Stacey reported that she was the only person engaging in PhD studies in Swaziland, and asked the assembled for support, especially from representatives in the region.
  34. Sweden: Åkesson observed that after hearing the oral reports by other representatives, she considered that it might be beneficial to include in the programme of a future World Conference a seminar/forum for National and Regional Representatives from smaller countries and regions. She suggested that themes for such a forum could include issues of translations, publications, and archives.
  35. Switzerland: Camp expressed his gratitude to the Executive Board and the Secretariat for their work, and announced that a report from Switzerland would be sent to the Bulletin in the near future.
  36. Taiwan: Tsai reported that there was a high level of participation by Taiwanese scholars in ICTM events, and announced that the RC will be organizing a conference in the near future.
  37. Thailand: Binson announced that she would submit a report for the October 2017 issue of the Bulletin, and suggested that the seating of the next Assembly would be arranged in a semicircular fashion. She invited the attendees to view a number of videos on Thai music published on YouTube, produced by students at Chulalongkorn University.
  38. United Kingdom: Howard related how the UK chapter of the International Folk Music Council (the predecessor of ICTM) had become the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE). He asked the Council to consider following the Society for Ethnomusicology’s increased involvement in politics, by publishing a notice supporting the free movement of people. He announced that BFE would hold a symposium on “Post-Brexit Ethnomusicologies” in April 2018, and that shortly after the Limerick World Conference a symposium would be held in London on the topic of “Music, Education and Social Inclusion,” to support the establishment of an ICTM Study Group on the same topic. Finally, Howard apologized for being the sole delegate from SOAS present at the conference, and asked his apology to be minuted.
  39. Uruguay: Fornaro reported on the efforts to create a Study Group on Music and Dance of Latin America and the Caribbean, following the success of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking listserv hosted by ICTM for scholars focusing on that topic. Castelo-Branco considered it to be a good modus operandi for the establishment of future Study Groups.
  40. Vietnam: Pham presented the Vietnamese Institute of Musicology, and informed that they report annually to the Bulletin.

Other announcements

  1. Pettan asked the assembled to think of possible candidates to become Liaison Officers for countries and regions where the Council did not yet have official representation, and submit their names to the Secretariat. 
  2. Pettan announced that the next annual symposium of the NC for Slovenia would be held in August 2018, and that the theme would be focused around the ICTM World Network. Due to lack of time, he asked all to contact him at a later time for more information. 
  3. Castelo-Branco announced that an ICTM Student Group was currently in the making, spearheaded by Executive Board member Marie Agatha Ozah and Kirk Sullivan, and that she hoped that more information would be communicated in the near future.


  1. Castelo-Branco called for a motion to adjourn the 14th Assembly of ICTM National and Regional Representatives. Moved by Niles, seconded by van Zanten. Meeting adjourned at 16:40.