International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Minutes of the 43rd ICTM General Assembly

Held at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland, on Saturday 15 July 2017 from 17:00 to 18:30. Chair: Salwa El‐Shawan Castelo-Branco.

The Chair opened the meeting at 17:08.

Apologies for absence

  1. Castelo-Branco announced the formal apologies for absence submitted by Barbara B. Smith, Muriel Swijghuisen-Reigersberg, Edwin Seroussi, Scheherazade Hassan, Imani Sanga, Jerry Rutsate, Saule Utegalieva, and Srđan Atanasovski.

In memoriam

  1. Castelo-Branco mentioned those members of the ICTM community who passed away since the previous General Assembly, in alphabetical order: Şehvar Beşiroğlu, Helmut Brenner, Kimasi Browne, Dieter Christensen, Grażyna Dąbrowska, Roderyk Lange, Ivan Mačák, Olena Murzyna, Nona Shakhnazarova, Walter Slosse, Jan Stęszewski, Josef Sulz, Wouter Swets, and Dimitris Themelis. After a minute of silence was offered in memoriam, Castelo-Branco invited all to attend the memorial session in honour of Dieter Christensen, which would be held later that day. 

Approval of the minutes of the previous General Assembly

  1. Castelo-Branco called for a motion to approve the Minutes of the 42nd General Assembly, as published in the Bulletin of the ICTM 129 (October 2015). Moved by Ricardo Trimillos, seconded by Gisa Jähnichen, all in favour, motion carried.

Business arising from the minutes

  1. No additional business was discussed.

Report of the Executive Board

World Network

  1. Secretary General Svanibor Pettan started his report by highlighting the growth of the ICTM World Network since the previous General Assembly (2015). In those two years, the number of countries and regions with ICTM representatives increased from 103 to 127. He then showed a slide with a list of countries where the Council was not yet represented, and asked the attendees to think about good candidates in those countries who could become Liaison Officers. 

2017 World Conference

  1. Pettan reported on the three years of combined efforts that culminated in the 44th ICTM World Conference in Limerick. 
  2. Pettan stressed the importance of special-purpose Executive Board Committees, e.g., 70th Anniversary of ICTM, Bulletin, Colloquia, Sister Societies, and Study Groups, among others. 
  3. The recipients of the Barbara Barnard Smith Travel Award for 2017 were announced: Ram Prasad Kadel (Nepal) and Reuben Brown (Australia). The Secretary General then highlighted the remarkable success the Council had had in subsidizing the participation of delegates to the conference: 10 individuals via the UNESCO Participation Programme, 14 delegates via the Council’s Maud Karpeles Fund, and 8 students via the ICTM’s Young Scholar Funds. The hosting institution—the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance—also waived conference fees of 3 delegates. In total, 37 delegates from Australia, China, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Macedonia, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, and USA had their participation subsidized, a new record in the history of the Council.

Study Groups

  1. All Study Groups which had held symposia since the previous General Assembly were mentioned chronologically: Music Archaeology (Biskupin, August 2015), African Musics (Durban, September 2015), Historical Sources of Traditional Music (Paris, March 2016), Music of the Turkic-speaking World (Almaty, April 2016), Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe (Blagoevgrad, May 2016), Iconography of the Performing Arts (Venice, May 2016), Music and Dance of Oceania (Guam, May 2016), Mediterranean Music Studies (Naples, June 2016), Music and Minorities (Rennes, July 2016), Multipart Music (Singapore, July 2016), Ethnochoreology (Graz, July 2016), Music and Gender (Bern, July 2016), Performing Arts of Southeast Asia (Penang, July-August 2016), Audiovisual Ethnomusicology (Ljubljana, August 2016), Musics of East Asia (Taipei, August 2016), Applied Ethnomusicology (Cape Breton, October 2016), Musics of the Slavic World (Ljubljana, October 2016), Iconography of the Performing Arts (Xi’an, October 2016), African Musics —UK Branch (London, December 2016), Multipart Music (Nanning, April 2017), and Musical Instruments (Sarajevo, April 2017). 
  2. Pettan extended an invitation to attend the 15th Symposium of the Study Group on Music Archaeology, which would be held in Ljubljana the following August, in conjunction with the Workshop of the European Music Archaeology Project (EMAP). 
  3. Regarding new Study Groups, Pettan introduced the one on Music and Allied Arts of Greater South Asia, and extended an invitation to attend a symposium by the Study-Group-in-the-Making on Music, Education, and Social Inclusion, to be held on 20–21 July 2017 at SOAS, London, UK.
  4. Finally, Pettan introduced the most recent changes in Study Group governance. 

Other meetings

  1. Pettan congratulated the organizers of the 24th ICTM Colloquium “Plucked Lutes of the Silk Road: The Interaction of Theory and Practice” (20–23 October 2016, Shanghai, China), and announced the 25th ICTM Colloquium “Songs and Stories of Immigration and Encounter,” to be held in Cape Breton, Canada, on 2–4 August 2018. 
  2. Finally, Pettan mentioned Fora, the newest kind of ICTM scholarly gatherings which are held in conjunction with sister societies. He reported on the 2nd Forum, held in Abu Dhabi in March 2017 and co-organized with the International Musicological Society (IMS) and the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (IAML), referring to it as a “very successful” meeting. Pettan announced that a new Forum would be held at the China Central Conservatory in Beijing in 2018, jointly organized with IMS, IAML, and the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Internet presence

  1. Pettan presented the additions to the ICTM website since the previous General Assembly, highlighting the sections with Executive Board meetings, General Editors of the Yearbook, Honorary Members, and the History of the governance of IFMC and ICTM. 


  1. After announcing that Kati Szego would later on report on the Yearbook for Traditional Music, Pettan presented the ICTM Brochures, which had been translated to Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), French, Russian, and Spanish and made available online. He then thanked the colleagues who had translated and proofread the brochures. 

Membership development

  1. Pettan reported the geographical breakdown of ICTM members: 21% USA, 8% Japan, 6% UK, 4% Italy, 4% Germany, 4% Australia, 3% Austria, 3% China, 3% Canada, 2% France. The rest of the membership (41%) was spread out over many countries, each averaging less than 2% of the membership total.
  2. Pettan noted that a steady increase of members had been seen during the previous two years, making 2016 a record year in terms of membership, in spite of it being a non-conference year. 
  3. Pettan added that the total number of subscriptions to the Yearbook for Traditional Music had shrunk for the first time in 2016, but that number of electronic-only subscriptions had nevertheless increased in that year. 


  1. Pettan reported that in 2015, the total of revenues had exceeded budgeted figures by 15,600 EUR (or 16%), while the total of expenditures exceeded budgeted figures by 5,700 EUR (or 6%). Therefore, in 2015 the Council generated a surplus of operations of almost 10,000 EUR, which was subsequently transferred to the Maud Karpeles Fund.
  2. Pettan added that in 2016, the total revenues fell short of budgeted figures by 3,118 EUR (or 3.6%), while the total expenditures were smaller than budgeted by 9,106 EUR (or 10.7%). Therefore, in 2016 the Council generated a surplus of operations of almost 6,000 EUR, which was subsequently transferred to the Maud Karpeles Fund.
  3. Pettan reported that the Council’s cash reserves were at 162,837.67 EUR. If the special-purpose funds were to be deducted from that grand total, the Council would be left with 86,278.17 EUR in its operations account, approximately 10,000 EUR more than a typical year’s worth of expenses. Pettan added that in the previous two years cash reserves had increased by 15%, but that it was clear that the outstanding financial growth the Council had experienced since 2011 was slowing down.
  4. The last slide of Pettan’s financial report outlined the four special-purpose funds the Council was operating: the Barbara Barnard Smith Travel Award, the Maud Karpeles Fund, the Young Scholars Fund, and the 70th Anniversary Fund. 

Six years in Ljubljana

  1. Pettan summarized the achievements reached by the Ljubljana Secretariat since 2011, in terms of development of national and regional representation, membership, finances, publications, Study Groups, communications, relationships with sister societies, and governance. 
  2. A standing ovation for Pettan followed, after which Castelo-Branco took to the stage and praised the “exemplary” work that both Svanibor Pettan and Carlos Yoder had carried out in the past six years. On behalf of the Executive Board, Castelo-Branco then presented Pettan and Yoder with engraved gifts made of Portuguese crystal, as a token of appreciation. 
  3. Pettan then presented Düssen Kasseinov, Secretary General of TÜRKSOY, with a Licitar Heart—a traditional Croatian ornamental gingerbread craft inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage—as a token of gratitude for his instrumental role in making the 2015 Astana World Conference a success. 

New Statutes

  1. Castelo-Branco introduced a proposal for new Statutes of the ICTM, explaining that following a thorough evaluation of the Rules of the ICTM, a specially-appointed Executive Board Committee had produced a draft to bring the constitutional document of the Council up to date with current practices. 
  2. Castelo-Branco explained that per the current Rules, if the Statutes would be approved by two thirds of the General Assembly, the decision would have to be ratified by simple majority by means of an electronic ballot, to be conducted by the Secretariat shortly after.
  3. Castelo-Branco called for a motion to approve the Statutes, as circulated to the membership on 15 May 2017. Moved by Wim van Zanten, seconded by Theresa Buckland. Castelo-Branco opened the floor for discussion. 
  4. Van Zanten congratulated the Executive Board committee for producing the Statutes, remarking that he had never seen Statutes that “were so well done.” 
  5. Castelo-Branco called for a vote. The proposed Statutes were approved unanimously, without abstentions. 

Report of the General Editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music

2016 volume

  1. Szego reported that the 2016 volume of the Yearbook for Traditional Music had been published the previous November, guest edited by the Co-Chairs of the Programme Committee of the Astana World Conference, Timothy Rice and Razia Sultanova. 

2017 volume

  1. Szego related that a section of the 2017 Yearbook would be dedicated to the theme of the 2015 Colloquium, “Between Speech and Song: Liminal Utterances, ” curated by Estelle Amy de la Bretèque, convener of the 2015 ICTM Colloquium, and Jeffers Englehrdt. Three articles would comprise this section, while an additional five had been selected from a total of 23 submissions. 
  2. Szego informed that to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Council, the 2017 Yearbook would be undergoing a makeover, updating its external and internal design.

Editorial Board

  1. Szego reported that the Executive Board had approved the creation of an Editorial Board for the Yearbook. The following scholars had agreed to serve on the Editorial Board: Egil Bakka (Norway), Linda Barwick (Australia), Chi-Fang Chao (Taiwan), Miguel A. García (Argentina), Georgiana Gore (France), Junko Konishi (Japan), Maria Elizabeth Lucas (Brazil), Imani Sanga (Tanzania), Anthony Seeger (USA), Emin Soydaş (Turkey), and Deborah Wong (USA).

Changes in personnel

  1. Szego thanked Barbara Alge for her work as Website Reviews Editor, and welcomed her successor, Lonán Ó Briain. Szego then mentioned the work of two new editors, Alexander Cannon (Book Reviews) and Deirdre Morgan (Book Notes), and asked the attendees to send items to review, especially of the audiovisual kind. 
  2. Szego communicated that from 1 January 2018, the new General Editor would be Tong Soon Lee, and felt that “the Yearbook will be in very capable hands,” after which she called for a round of applause.

2018 volume

  1. Szego informed that the 2018 issue of the Yearbook would be, as usual, devoted to the themes of the 2017 World Conference, and that submissions would be accepted until 1 January 2018. 
  2. Castelo-Branco presented Szego with a cerrtificate of gratitute for "her extraordinary contribution to the Council 
    as General Editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music  from 2014 to 2017."

Report of the Nomination Committee

  1. Colin Quigley, Convener of the Nomination Committee (consisting of himself, Zuzana Jurková, and Xiao Mei), summarized the positions that would become vacant at the present General Assembly: President, one Vice President, and four Ordinary Members of the Executive Board. 
  2. Quigley explained that the Nomination Committee had prepared a slate of 16 candidates, consisting of twelve nominations for the four vacant Ordinary Members (Dan Bendrups, Naila Ceribašić, Leonardo D’Amico, Catherine Foley, David Harnish, Lee Tong Soon, Dan Lundberg, Don Niles, Marie Agatha Ozah, Olga Pashina, Margaret Sarkissian, and Kati Szego), two nominations for the position of Vice President (Svanibor Pettan and Saida Yelemanova), and two nominations for the position of President (Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco and Stephen Wild).
  3. Quigley remarked that with 420 valid ballots, the level of participation in the 2017 elections had been the highest ever recorded. 332 votes had been cast electronically, 92 had been received by paper during the conference, of which 4 had been invalid. No votes had been received by post. With 1102 members eligible to vote, the turnout had been of 38%.
  4. Quigley then announced the names of the newly‐elected candidates:

For Ordinary Members of the Executive Board: Naila Ceribašić, Catherine Foley, Don Niles, and Marie Agatha Ozah join the Board as Ordinary Members.
For Vice President: Svanibor Pettan
For President: Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco

  1. Quigley extended the committee’s deep gratitude to all candidates for their willingness to serve the Council, and asked for a round of applause for all candidates.

Introduction of the Programme Committee of the next World Conference

  1. Tan Sooi Beng and Keith Howard, Programme Co-Chairs of the 2019 World Conference, communicated the names of the members of the Programme Committee: Dan Bendrups, Susanne Fürniss, Ursula Hemetek (ex-officio), Made Mantle Hood, Irene Loutzaki, Deise Lucy Oliveira Montardo, John Morgan O’Connell, Naoko Terauchi, and Ricardo Trimillos.

Meetings to be held during the remainder of the conference

  1. Castelo-Branco reminded all present about the Assembly of National and Regional Representatives (to be held on 17 July 2017 at 14:30), remarked that all Study Group meetings were open to all members, called attention to the fact that the meetings of the Study Groups on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe and on Multipart Music would take place after the Closing Ceremony, and invited all to attend the memorial for Dieter Christensen (to be held on 16 July 2017 at 21:30).

Other Business

  1. Castelo-Branco opened the floor for announcements from the assembled. 

ICTM Student Group

  1. Kirk Sullivan announced that, following a recommendation by the Executive Board, a gathering of students and early career researchers would take place on 16 July at 18:00, for the purpose of establishing an organization for and by students within ICTM. He encouraged all to attend, and to “bring ideas on how can ICTM support you, and what students can bring to the growth of ICTM.”

Medal ceremony

  1. Düssen Kasseinov congratulated the Council on its 70th anniversary, and related the ways by which TÜRKSOY had supported the activities of the Council since 2011, including the organization of the 43rd ICTM World Conference and several ICTM Study Group symposia. 
  2. Kasseinov then proceeded to award medals: the 25th Anniversary of the Independent Countries of the Turkic-speaking World Medal to Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco, Svanibor Pettan, and Razia Sultanova; the Tohtogul Satulganov Medal to Catherine Foley, Don Niles, and Stephen Wild; the Semen Kadyshev Medal to Samuel Araújo, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Kati Szego, and Trần Quang Hải; and the Yusuf Balasagunskyi Medal to Naila Ceribašić, Xiao Mei, and Saida Yelemanova.

Announcements from SEM

  1. Anne Rasmussen, President of SEM, invited the assembled to attend SEM’s Annual Meeting, to be held in Denver, Colorado from 26 to 29 October 2017, and to submit articles to one of the many SEM prizes. 
  2. Rasmussen related the ways by which she had been involved with ICTM during her stint as President of SEM: regularly attending ICTM World Conference, being part of the planning committee of the 1st SEM/ICTM Forum in 2015, participating of the 24th Colloquium in October 2016 (Shanghai, China), and taking part of the most recent symposia of the Study Groups on Applied Ethnomusicology and on Music and Minorities. 
  3. Rasmussen reported on how SEM had reacted against “disturbing developments” in the USA, in particular regarding the so-called “travel ban”: in addition to issuing an official statement condemning the ban, they had modified their presentation policies for the next Annual Meeting to allow delegates who might be denied a visa to present in alternative formats. 
  4. Marcia Ostashewski communicated that the deadline for nominations for SEM’s Judith McCulloh Public Sector Award had been extended from 1 July to 1 August 2017, to allow for a “broader pool of nominations.” 

Study Groups

  1. Ingrid Åkesson, Co-Chair of the Study Group on Historical Sources of Traditional Music, announced the publication of Historical Sources of Ethnomusicology in Contemporary Debate, edited by Susanne Ziegler, Ingrid Åkesson, Gerda Lechleitner, and Susana Sardo. The volume would be available at the Study Group’s table at the book exhibit. 
  2. Javier Silvestrini invited all interested in forming a Study Group on Latin America and the Caribbean to attend a meeting the following evening at 21:30, in front of the Academy building.
  3. Brian Diettrich announced a new initiative, approved by the Executive Board, to establish the Music and Dance of Oceania Travel Award. 


  1. Margaret Sarkissian commended the Executive Board for the new Statutes, after which she respectfully asked that the duration of the terms of office of Executive Board members be reviewed. Sarkissian also asked the Executive Board to revise the nomination process to allow more newcomers to be elected to the Executive Board.
  2. Don Niles introduced the life and work of Stephen Wild, for whom a festschrift had been prepared in secret for the past two years. The volume A Distinctive Voice in the Antipodes: Essays in Honour of Stephen A. Wild was officially presented. Stephen Wild was invited to the stage, and he wholeheartedly thanked all involved in the effort. 


  1. Castelo-Branco called for a motion to adjourn the 43rd General Assembly of the ICTM at 18:40. The meeting was adjourned by acclamation.