International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Minutes of the 45th Ordinary Meeting of the General Assembly of ICTM Members

Held online on Saturday 24 July 2021 from 15:00 to 17:00, UTC+1. Chair: Salwa El‐Shawan Castelo-Branco. 

  1. Castelo-Branco opened the meeting at 15:00, thanking all the participants for joining the General Assembly (GA). 
  2. Castelo-Branco considered the meeting to be “historical” for two reasons: the first to be conducted entirely online and not during a World Conference, and for the vote that would be conducted that could change the name of the Council after forty years.

1. Apologies for absence

  1. Castelo-Branco announced the formal apologies for absence received: Irene Egger, Catherine Grant, Mojca Kovačič, Bożena Muszkalska, Else Schmidt, and Bountheng Souksavatd.

2. In memoriam

  1. Castelo-Branco asked the assembled to turn off their cameras and offer a minute of silence in memoriam of those members of the ICTM community who had passed away since the previous GA. 

3. Approval of the minutes of the previous General Assembly

  1. Castelo-Branco called for a motion to approve the Minutes of the 44th General Assembly, as published on the ICTM website. Moved by Gerda Lechleitner, seconded by Jasmina Talam, motion carried unanimously.

4. Business arising from the minutes

  1. No additional business arising from the minutes was noted.

5. Report of the Executive Board (EB)

  1. Secretary General Ursula Hemetek, on behalf of the EB, introduced her report, which was divided into the following sections: (1) The Secretariat in Vienna: Operations and review of mission; (2) Membership development in times of Covid; (3) Governance; (4) World Network; and (5) Finances. 

The Secretariat in Vienna: Operations and review of mission

  1. Hemetek described how she, the Executive Assistant Carlos Yoder, and the incoming Secretary General Lee Tong Soon had maintained constant communication via weekly Zoom calls and monthly reports, to guarantee a smooth transition from Vienna to Bethlehem, PA. 
  2. Hemetek reviewed the four tenets of her mission for the Vienna Secretariat (2017–2021): (1) Socio-political relevance: Decolonization; (2) Transparency and democracy; (3) Inclusivity; and (4) Historical Awareness. 
  3. In regards to Socio-Political Relevance: Decolonization, Hemetek emphasized the Statement and Activities in View of Decolonization of Music and Dance Studies, and one of its follow-up activities, the ICTM Dialogues 2021: Towards Decolonization of Music and Dance Studies.
  4. Regarding Transparency and Democracy, Hemetek drew attention to the level of participation in the 2019 and 2021 elections (the highest ever recorded), reminding that both had been conducted with the assistance of the third-party company Election Runner (i.e., without any direct involvement by the Secretariat).
  5. Hemetek pondered the results of the two General Surveys of ICTM members, conducted in 2018 and 2020. She explained how 98% of the responders who participated in the 2020 survey had been “extremely, very, or somewhat satisfied” with the transparency of elections and the communication of their results. A detailed reports can be found linked from the “Your Account” section of the website. 
  6. Hemetek elaborated on how both surveys had unequivocally confirmed that Study Group symposia were the most important type of scholarly meetings for ICTM members. 
  7. Hemetek presented a list of the 26 active Study Groups, highlighting the two new Study Groups established since the last GA (on Global History of Music, and on Indigenous Music and Dance), and congratulated all involved for “continuing to do such successful work for the Council, especially in these uncertain times.”
  8. Hemetek detailed how the Study Group Allowance had supported with EUR 3,300 the 2nd Symposium of the Study Group on Music and Dance in Latin America and the Caribbean (Chiapas, Mexico) in March 2020, the only one that could be supported before the Covid-19 outbreak. She added that later in 2021 the 13th Symposium of the Study Group on Mediterranean Music Studies (Tangier, Morocco) would be supported with EUR 3,400 and several supported memberships.
  9. Regarding Inclusivity, Hemetek reported how since January 2021 individuals had been able to directly apply for supported memberships in 2021, adding that by 15 July 2021, 66 supported memberships had been granted via this mechanism. She also praised the preliminary work of the EB Committee for Translations (chaired by Silvia Citro), and the decision to embrace digital formats to continue doing the work of the Council in the times of Covid-19. 
  10. In terms of Historical Awareness, Hemetek reported that the volume Celebrating the International Council for Traditional Music: Reflections on the First Seven Decades, edited by Naila Ceribašić, Don Niles, and Svanibor Pettan, would be published in 2022.

Membership development in times of Covid-19

  1. Hemetek showed how in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the constant membership growth experienced since 2017 had abruptly stopped, reverting to numbers that would be similar, at the end of 2021, to those at the end of 2017. She thanked everybody who had continued to be a member of the Council, and hoped that a recovery to former levels would occur in 2022.


  1. Hemetek reminded the assembled that a vote to change the Statutes would be conducted later in the meeting, which would, among other things, reduce the terms of service for Officers and Ordinary Members of the Executive Board.
  2. Hemetek related how the membership had been consulted on the issue of renaming the Council via the 2018 and 2020 surveys. Even though the respondents had not clearly favoured one particular new name, she welcomed the upcoming “historic vote” that could change the name of the Council after forty years.
  3. Hemetek reported on the EB meetings held since the last GA: 119th meeting (18 July 2019),  120th meeting (18–21 September 2020), 121st meeting (5 February 2021), and 122nd meeting (21–22 July 2021). She remarked how the 2020 and 2021 EB meetings had been held online, considering them to be “the start of a new era of EB meetings.”
  4. Hemetek presented the list of special-purpose EB committees, and explained their importance in carrying out tasks, overseeing areas of the Council, and implementing policies.

World Network

  1. Hemetek explained that following a systematic review of all ICTM National and Regional Representatives (i.e., the members of the ICTM World Network), the Council was now actively represented in 120 countries and regions. 


  1. Hemetek reported that in 2019 revenues had exceeded budgeted figures by more than EUR 12,000, while expenditures had fell short of budgeted figures by more than EUR 6,500. Therefore, in 2019 the Council generated a surplus of almost EUR 19,000, which was subsequently transferred to the Maud Karpeles Fund and Young Scholars Fund.
  2. Hemetek reported that in 2020 revenues had fell short of budgeted figures by more than EUR 6,000. However, expenditures had also fell short of budgeted figures by more than EUR 14,000. Therefore, and despite the global economic downturn generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020 the Council generated a surplus of almost EUR 8,000, which was subsequently transferred to the Maud Karpeles Fund and Young Scholars Fund.
  3. Hemetek reported on the Council’s financial status as of 15 July 2021: all expenditure types had been lower than budgeted, and 70% of all budgeted revenues had already been collected, including 91% of the revenues budgeted from membership renewals.
  4. Finally, Hemetek reported that the transition to publishing the Yearbook for Traditional Music with Cambridge University Press (CUP) had generated a surplus of GBP 3,902 in 2019 and GBP 5,355 in 2020.

6. Report on the Yearbook for Traditional Music

  1. A prerecorded report by the Editorial Team of the Yearbook for Traditional Music was shown, featuring general editor Lee Tong Soon, book review editor Tasaw Lu Hsin-chun, multimedia review editor Lonán Ó Briain, film and video review editor Giorgio Biancorosso, and editorial assistant Luo Ai Mei. Anna Yates-Lu, the journal’s audio review editor, was unable to participate in the report and Lee conveyed her apologies. 
  2. Lu reported that starting in 2022, the journal would be published twice a year, in July and December.
  3. Ó Briain explained that the Yearbook would also adopt a hybrid open-access model, joining more than 200 hybrid journals published by CUP. This decision would offer authors the choice of making their articles freely available, with the payment of a processing fee paid to CUP.
  4. Lee stressed that moving to the hybrid open-access model would not impact the editorial review process of the journal.
  5. Biancorosso reported that ICTM and CUP had worked together to launch an online submission and review platform that would streamline the entire process, from submission to publication. 
  6. Luo clarified that the details about the aforementioned developments were being worked out, and that more information would be disclosed soon.
  7. Lee expressed his gratitude to Lu, Yates-Lu, Luo, Biancorosso an Ó Briain for their work on the journal, and for the membership for allowing the Editorial Team to “make effective and impactful changes” to both the journal and the Council.

7. Report on ICTM Prizes

  1. A prerecorded report on the 2021 ICTM Prizes was shown, featuring Brian Diettrich (chair of the Article Prize Subcommittee), Razia Sultanova (chair of the Documentary Film or Video Prize Subcommittee), and J. Lawrence Witzleben (chair of the Book Prize Subcommittee). 
  2. Sultanova announced the winner of the 2021 ICTM Prize for Best Documentary Film or Video: Zoe Sherinian, for her film Sakthi Vibrations (2019). An Honourable Mention was given to Juan Castrillon for his film Kiraiñia (2019).
  3. Diettrich announced the winners of the 2021 ICTM Prize for Best Article: Marcia Ostashewski, Shaylene Johnson, Graham Marshall, and Clifford Paul, for their article “Fostering Reconciliation through Collaborative Research in Unama’ki: Engaging Communities through Indigenous Methodologies and Research-Creation,” published in Yearbook for Traditional Music 52, 2020: 23-40. An Honourable Mention was given to Georgia Curran, Linda Barwick, Myfany Turpin, Fiona Walsh, and Mary Laughren for their article “Central Australian Aboriginal Songs and Biocultural Knowledge: Evidence from Women’s Ceremonies Relating to Edible Seeds,” published in Journal of Ethnobiology 39(3), 2019: 354–370.
  4. Witzleben announced the winners of the 2021 ICTM Prize for Best Book: Lorenzo Ferrarini and Nicola Scaldaferri, for their book Sonic Ethnography: Identity, Heritage and Creative Research Practice in Basilicata, Southern Italy, published by Manchester University Press in 2020. An Honourable Mention was given to Rebecca Dirksen for her book After the Dance, the Drums are Heavy: Carnival, Politics, and Musical Engagement in Haiti, published by Oxford University Press in 2020; and to Sarah Weiss for her book Ritual Soundings: Women Performers and World Religions, published by University of Illinois Press in 2019.

8. Report of the Nomination Committee for the 2021 elections

  1. Helen Lawlor, the convener of the Nomination Committee of the 2021 elections, presented a prerecorded report with the results of the election. Svanibor Pettan was elected President (2021–2025), Tan Sooi Beng was elected Vice President (2021–2015), and Silvia Citro, Jasmina Talam, and Kendra Stepputat were elected Executive Board Members (2021–2027). The full report can be read here
  2. Castelo-Branco thanked all the outgoing EB members for their commitment to the Council and their hard work in the past few years.

9. Remarks by outgoing President, Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco

  1. Castelo-Branco reflected upon her two terms as ICTM President and her previous engagement with the Council for a period spanning more than four decades. An expanded version of this report, accompanied by images, can be found on pages 4–6 of the Bulletin of the ICTM 147 (October 2021).

10. Transfer of Secretariat

10.1. Remarks by Ursula Hemetek, outgoing Secretary General

  1. Hemetek congratulated the newly-elected members and officers of the Executive Board, and the Council in general for allowing her the “honour and pleasure” of serving it as Secretary General for the previous four years.
  2. Hemetek reflected upon her term as Secretary General (2017–2021), discussing its mission, thanking its closest collaborators, and wishing the next Secretary General and Executive Board all the best for the years to come. An expanded version of this report, accompanied by images, can be found on pages 6–9 of the Bulletin of the ICTM 147 (October 2021).

10.2. Remarks by Lee Tong Soon, incoming Secretary General

  1. Lee introduced himself and thanked the Executive Board for their support in transferring the Secretariat from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Austria) to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (USA). 
  2. Lee announced that as a consequence of his new responsibilities as Secretary General, he would be finishing his tenure as general editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music with the 2022 volume. He added that he would be happy to answer any questions from those who may be interested in applying for the position. 
  3. Lee thanked Hemetek and Castelo-Branco for their support and mentoring, and to Yoder for continuing working for the Secretariat in the upcoming four years. 

11. Changes to Statutes and votes

  1. Castelo-Branco summarized the changes to the Statutes that the assembled would have the choice to vote on, as communicated via the most recent issue of the Bulletin and by two additional email campaigns. 
  2. Castelo-Branco explained that five minutes would be allowed to vote on each proposed change, after which Yoder would display the results to all. 
  3. Castelo-Branco explained that in addition to choosing a particular option in the votes, it would also be possible to abstain. Finally, she urged all participants to cast their vote within the allotted five-minute period. 
  4. The first vote asked the GA to amend Statutes 4., 5., 7.2., 7.5., and 10.1., as previously circulated (see April 2021 Bulletin for details). After five minutes of voting using Zoom’s built-in polling feature the results were: 222 votes for YES, 5 votes for NO, and 26 ABSTENTIONS. Once the votes were adjusted to conform to the rules set by the ICTM Statutes (i.e., that the total of participants present at the GA would be considered to be the total of votes, and not the sum of all cast votes, as would be Zoom’s calculation), the percentages of the vote were: 85% in favour of the amendment, 2% against, and 10% abstain. Therefore, a two-third majority was reached in favour of the amendments, and the changes to the aforementioned Statutes were accepted. 
  5. The second vote asked the GA to choose a new name for the Council. After five minutes of voting, the results were: 138 votes for INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TRADITIONAL MUSIC AND DANCE (ICTMD), 89 votes for INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR MUSIC AND DANCE TRADITIONS (ICMDT), 30 votes for INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TRADITIONAL MUSIC (no change), and 3 ABSTENTIONS. Once the votes were adjusted to conform to the ICTM Statutes, the percentages of the vote were: 53% for ICTMD, 34% for ICMDT, 11% for no change, and 1% abstain. Therefore, a two-third majority was not reached in favour of any particular choice.
  6. As previously communicated in the eventuality of a such a result, a runoff vote was held between the two options that received the greatest number of votes. After five minutes of voting, the results were: 156 votes for INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TRADITIONAL MUSIC AND DANCE (ICTMD), 96 votes for INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR MUSIC AND DANCE TRADITIONS (ICMDT), and 3 ABSTENTIONS. Once the votes were adjusted to conform to the ICTM Statutes, the percentages of the vote were: 60% for ICTMD, 37% for ICMDT, and 3% abstain. As no option reached a two-thirds majority, the name of the Council was not changed. 
  7. Castelo-Branco thanked all the participants in the three votes, considering that in future they would be remembered as a “significant moment” in the Council’s history. 

12. 46th World Conference (Lisbon 2022)

  1. A prerecorded report by João Soeiro de Carvalho, Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) of the 46th ICTM World Conference (Lisbon 2022), was shown. 
  2. de Carvalho announced that the 46th ICTM World Conference would be the first hybrid-format World Conference, allowing participants to present and attend the conference both in person and online. 
  3. de Carvalho invited all to explore Lisbon, a city of World Heritage sites, traditional neighbourhoods, and a vibrant music scene; and to experience an exciting conference programme full of lively discussions, performances, and opportunities to engage with each other’s projects and endeavours. 
  4. de Carvalho reminded the assembled that the deadline for submitting abstracts to the conference was 15 September 2021. Finally, he invited all to come in person to Lisbon and celebrate celebrate ICTM’s pledge to act as a bond among peoples of different cultures, and thus contribute to the peace of humankind. 

13. 47th World Conference (2023)

13.1. Message from the Programme Co-Chairs

  1. Marie Agatha Ozah, Programme co-chair of the 47th ICTM World Conference (2023), introduced herself and greeted the assembled from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. 
  2. Ozah introduced his co-chair, Brian Diettrich of Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and an alum of University of Hawai’i at Manoa. On behalf of both co-chairs, Ozah announced they would be co-opting more people into the Programme Committee, and asked the assembled to work with them, to make the forthcoming conference a success. 
  3. Diettrich greeted the assembled from Wellington, New Zealand, and encouraged all to submit theme ideas for the 2023 World Conference, directly to He added than an update on the conference would be included in the October 2021 issue of the Bulletin. 

13.2. Presentation of site and host institution of 47th World Conference

  1. A prerecorded video was shown, introducing the site of the 47th World Conference: the University of Ghana in Legon, Ghana.
  2. The chair of the conference’s LAC, Daniel Kodzo Avorgbedor, introduced the country of Ghana, the city of Legon, and the University of Ghana (UG). He stressed the historical connection between the Council and UG, as it had been the host institution of the 1966 IFMC Conference. 
  3. Dan Ofori, provost of UG’s College of the Humanities, and Moses Nii Dortey, Coordinator of the Music and Dance Section of the Institute of African Studies at UG, informed the assembled about the academic, teaching, and research programmes, and aassured that the host institution would be perfectly capable of hosting the 47th ICTM World Conference. 
  4. Avorgbedor closed the presentation highlighting the possibilities for attendees to experience Ghana’s many cultures, musical and dance performances, rituals, and to explore the nearby environment. 

14. Other business (previously requested of the Secretariat)

  1. Pettan presented the upcoming volume Celebrating the International Council for Traditional Music: Reflections on the First Seven Decades, forthcoming in 2022, on behalf of its three editors: Naila Ceribašić, Don Niles, and himself.
  2. Pettan reported on the progress of the editing of the volume, which would span more than 600 pages and feature 73 articles written by 57 authors. The volume will be in full colour, and published in Slovenia, in cooperation with the University of Ljubljana Press.
  3. Pettan related how the book will be divided into six thematic units: (1) The origins and operations in a historical perspective; (2) Governance; (3) Scholarly events; (4) Study Groups; (5) Publications and expertise; and (6) Listening and looking ahead. 
  4. Pettan urged the assembled to inform the librarians at their universities and other institutions about the upcoming volume. He considered that  “such a unique repository of data about the Council, reflecting the dynamics of our discipline in the course of more than seven decades, should find a place on institutional bookshelves worldwide.” 
  5. Pettan reported that the selling price had not been finalized yet, but he assured that it would be “reasonable.” He added that half of the accrued revenue would be placed into ICTM funds that would serve the needs of the membership. 
  6. Pettan announced that the digital version of the book would be made available free of charge at the website of University of Ljubljana Press. 

15. Adjournment

  1. Castelo-Branco reflected on the results of the votes conducted earlier, and trusted the newly-elected President, Vice President and EB members, together with the newly-appointed Secretary General, to be “very sensitive and attentive to the reactions to the results” of the votes on the name of the Council. 
  2. Castelo-Branco considered the GA to have been “very emotional and exciting,” adding that she would have preferred to hold it in person, in Lisbon, as part of the 46th ICTM World Conference. She wished the assembled to have a good summer, and good health to all and their families. 
  3. Castelo-Branco called for a motion to adjourn the 45th General Assembly of the ICTM at 16:57. Moved by Atesh Sonneborn, seconded by Isaac Ibude, motion carried unanimously.