International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Minutes of the 46th Ordinary Meeting of the General Assembly of ICTM Members

Held at University of Ghana Legon, Ghana, on Saturday 15 July 2023. Participation was possible both in person and online. 

Chair: Svanibor Pettan, President.

The meeting followed the attached agenda.  

  1. Pettan opened the meeting at 14:34 (UTC), welcoming all participants joining the General Assembly (GA), either in person or online.
  2. Pettan reminded the Assembly that in order to vote, participants present in person would need to join the Zoom room at the appropriate time. He asked for everybody to use the QR code displayed on screen to login to the Zoom room. 

1. Apologies for absence

  1. Pettan announced the formal apologies for absence received: Mohammed Adam Sulaiman, Fulvia Caruso, Olha Kolomyyets, and Razia Sultanova.

2. In memoriam

  1. Pettan asked those assembled in person to stand up, and those joining online  to turn off their cameras, to offer a minute of silence in memory 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. Pettan called for a motion to approve the Minutes of the 45th General Assembly, as published on the ICTM website. Moved by Catherine Foley, seconded by Georgiana Gore, 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 Lee Tong Soon, on behalf of the EB, introduced his report (attached), which was divided into the following sections: (1) Support for World Conferences; (2) Membership development; (3) Publications; (4) World Network; (5) Study Groups; (6) Presence at SEM 2022; and (7) Executive Board elections.

Support for World Conferences

  1. Lee gave an overview of the process of applying for support to participate in the the 2022 and 2023 World Conferences, detailing the number of applications received, how many were approved by the EB Committee for Maud Karpeles, Young Scholars, and Other Funds, and how much money was disbursed (see slide 3 of attached report).
  2. Lee announced the winners of the Barbara Barnard Smith Travel Award for 2023: Solomon Gwerevende, Rachel Ong, and Mark Lenini Parselelo (slide 4).
  3. Lee explained that the funds which allow the Council to support the travel of so many participants is derived from the operational surplus that the Secretariat generates every year. He warned that the yearly surplus had been declining in the past 5 years, due to rising costs and stagnating revenues (slide 5).

Membership development

  1. Lee showed how the numbers of paid memberships had somewhat recuperated in the past 2 years. He noted, however, that the number of complimentary memberships (i.e., not generating income for the Council) had also risen, in part due to the implementation in 2021 of a new system that made applying for supported memberships much easier. The application form had also been translated to Spanish and Portuguese (slide 7).


  1. Lee related how the Editorial Team of the Yearbook for Traditional Music, the Council's main publication, had made the transition to publishing two volumes a year, starting in 2022. He showed the covers of the most recent 2 issues of the Yearbook (Vols. 54-1 and 54-2), both corresponding to the 2022 cycle (slide 9). 
  2. Lee brought attention to the special volume that the Council had published in 2022, Celebrating the International Council for Traditional Music: Reflections on the First Seven Decades, edited by Svanibor Pettan, Naila Ceribašić, and Don Niles, and published in cooperation with Ljubljana University Press (slide 10). 

World Network

  1. Lee explained that at the last General Assembly, the Council was officially represented in 120 countries and regions, and that following a systematic review of all World Network members’ activities, today the Council was actively represented in 131 countries and regions (slide 12). 

Study Groups

  1. Lee showed the list of the 27 currently active ICTM Study Groups (slide 14), bringing attention to the Study Group on Sacred and Spiritual Sounds and Practices, which had been established and recognised by the EB after the previous GA. 
  2. Lee detailed the tasks related to Study Groups that the Secretariat had performed during the past 2 years, such as conducting Study Group elections, managing the Music and Dance of Oceania Travel Award Fund, holding informal periodical Zoom meetings (called "salons"), and sharing the Secretariat's Dropbox space with all Study Groups. He added that the Study Group Allowance was expected to be reopened for the 2024 cycle (slide 15).

6. Report on the Yearbook for Traditional Music

  1. Lonán Ó Briain, General Editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music, reported on the status of upcoming issues of the journal, using the attached presentation. He began by thanking the previous General Editor, Lee Tong Soon, and Editorial Assistant, Luo Ai Mei, for their help in handing over their responsibilities to the new team (see slide 2 of attached presentation).
  2. Ó Briain showed the authors and titles of the 3 articles which were in producion for the first issue of the 2023 volume (slide 3).
  3. Ó Briain reported that the second issue of the 2023 volume would be related to the 2022 World Conference, with Ana Flávia Miguel, Susana Sardo, and Kati Szego serving as guest co-editors. He added that the 6 articles selected for publication were undergoing revision (slide 4).
  4. Ó Briain explained how the first issue of the 2024 volume would an open issue (e.g., not related to the themes of a particular World Conference), adding that while several articles were under review, submissions were still being accepted through (slide 4).  
  5. Ó Briain announced that the second issue of the 2024 volume would be related to the current World Conference in Ghana, and that the Call for Submissions would be published in the October 2023 issue of the Bulletin. He remarked that the submission deadline would be 1 January 2024, and that they should be emailed to a dedicated address that would be communicated in the Call (slide 4).
  6. Ó Briain announced that a special collection of articles which had been published on the journal on topics related to the music and dance traditions of West Africa had been created in collaboration with the marketing team at CUP. The special collection is linked from the Yearbook's home page at Cambridge Core (slide 5).
  7. Ó Briain related how, by partnering with CUP, authors could now mark their submissions to be open access, provided that their institutions offered open access wavers. He added that, in future, the intention was to make the whole journal open access (slide 5).
  8. Ó Briain finished his report by thanking contributing authors, subscribers, and peer reviewers, adding that all were responsible for upholding and enhancing the reputation of the journal (slide 6).

7. Report on ICTM Prizes

  1. Brian Diettrich, Chair of the EB Committe for Prizes, briefly introduced the ICTM Prizes for Best Article, Best Book, and Best Documentary Film or Video, using the attached presentation.
  2. Diettrich encouraged students to submit their work presented at the ongoing conference to the ICTM Student Paper Prize, remarking that the deadline for submissions would be 18 August (see slide 2 of attached presentation).
  3. Diettrich, on behalf of the chair of the Article Prize subcommittee Marcia Ostashewski, who could not attend the GA, announced the winners of the 2023 ICTM Prize for Best Article: Heather MacLachlan, for her article “Music and Incitement to Violence: Anti-Muslim Hate Music in Burma/Myanmar,” published in Ethnomusicology 66/3:410-42 (2022); and Richard K. Wolf, for his article "The Musical Poetry of Endangered Languages: Kota and Wakhi Poem-Songs in South and Central Asia," published in Oral Tradition 35/1:103-66 (2021). Honourable mentions were given to Ying-Fen Wang, for her article “Resounding Colonial Taiwan through Historical Recordings: Some Methodological Reflections,” published in Resounding Taiwan: Musical Reverberations Across a Vibrant Island (2021); and to Sean Williams, for her article “Poetry Writing as Transgressive Ethnography,” published in Ethnomusicology 66/3:361-77 (2022). 
  4. Sean Williams, chair of the Book Prize subcommittee, announced the winner of the 2023 ICTM Prize for Best BookJessica Bissett Perea, for Sound Relations: Native Ways of Doing Music History in Alaska, published by Oxford University Press in 2021. An Honourable Mention was given to Kay Kaufman Shelemay, for Sing and Sing On: Sentinel Musicians and the Making of the Ethiopian American Diaspora, published by University of Chicago Press in 2022.
  5. George Murer, on behalf of the Documentary Film or Video Prize subcommittee, announced the winner of the 2023 ICTM Prize for Best Documentary Film or VideoPatrick Alcedo, for his film A Will To Dream (2021). An Honourable Mention was given to Daniele Zappatore for his film Carang Pring Wulung: The Journey of a Bamboo Gamelan Maestro (2022).

8. Honorary Memberships

  1. Pettan explained that Honorary Memberships are the highest honour that the Council can bestow to its members, and announced that, in compliance with the Memorandum on Honorary Memberships, proposals for 3 new Honorary Members were ready to be put to the General Assembly for endorsement.
  2. Susana Sardo proposed Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco to become an Honorary Member of the Council. The full text of the proposal can be accessed here. Pettan called for a motion to grant Castelo-Branco an ICTM Honorary Membership. Moved by Mayco Santaella, seconded by George Murer, carried unanimously.
  3. Marko Kölbl proposed Ursula Hemetek to become an Honorary Member of the Council. The full text of the proposal can be accessed here. Pettan called for a motion to grant Hemetek an ICTM Honorary Membership. Moved by Sarah Weiss, seconded by Zdravko Blažeković, carried unanimously.
  4. Mayco Santaella proposed Ricardo D Trimillos to become an Honorary Member of the Council. The full text of the proposal can be accessed here. Pettan called for a motion to grant Trimillos an ICTM Honorary Membership. Moved by Heather MacLachlan, seconded by Rachel Ong, carried unanimously.

9. Report of the Nomination Committee for the 2023 elections, including announcement of election results

  1. Tan Sooi Beng, the convener of the Nomination Committee of the 2023 elections, presented a report detailing the process of the 2023 Executive Board Election, including the call for nominations, candidates, voting procedure, and results. The full report can be accessed here
  2. Tan disclosed that 702 votes had been received, or 55% of the 1,277 eligible voters. Samuel Araújo was elected Vice President (2023–2027), and Daniel K. Avorgbedor, Marie Agatha Ozah, and Susana Sardo were elected Executive Board Members (2023–2027).
  3. Tan thanked all the outgoing EB members (João Soeiro de Carvalho, Naila Ceribašić, Catherine Foley, and Don Niles) for their time, commitment, and dedication to the Board. Pettan presented gifts to Foley and Niles, on behalf of the Executive Board.

10. Announcements/Reminders of meetings to be held during the remainder of the conference

  1. Pettan reminded the Assembly of the excursions that would take place the following day, as well as of the memorial session dedicated to Terada Yoshitaka.
  2. Pettan announced that the Assembly of National and Regional Representatives would be held on Monday 17 July, remarking that only one representative per country/region would be allowed to attend.
  3. Pettan invited the Assembly to attend the Closing Ceremony on Tuesday 18 July, when the location of the next World Conference would be revealed. 
  4. Diettrich announced changes to the schedule of the film festival concurrent with the conference, and reminded the Assembly that all films could be watched online.
  5. Ozah asked all session chairs to keep to the scheduled times for presentations, and not make changes if a presenter would not show up. Ozah reminded the Assembly to always check the online version of the programme, as it is the most current version of the schedule.
  6. Diettrich announced, on behalf of Ricardo Trimillos, the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture, which would be held on 6–16 June 2024 at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He added that further activities related to the Council were being planned. 

11. Other business (previously requested of the Secretariat)

  1. No other business was requested from the Secretariat. 

12. Changes to Statutes and votes

  1. Pettan introduced the topic, and asked Yoder to summarize the process of voting, as previously communicated in the April 2023 issue of the Bulletin of the ICTM and elsewhere. These instructions are attached to these minutes for the readers’ convenience. 
  2. Yoder opened the Zoom-powered poll at 15:58. After 249 votes were cast using the poll (i.e., 100% of all attendees on Zoom), Pettan instructed Yoder to close the poll at 16:06.
  3. A total of 89 paper ballots were cast by in-person participants. A specially-appointed committee formed by Tan Sooi Beng, Mayco Santaella, and Elina Seye checked every paper ballot thrice, and submitted the results to the Chair. 
  4. The computed results for the first question (i.e., Do you agree to replace “Traditional” with “Traditions of” in the name of the Council?) were: 243 votes in favour, 87 against, and 10 abstentions. Therefore, the vote was positive with 74% of the votes.
  5. The computed results for the second question (i.e., Do you agree to add “and Dance” to the name of the Council?) were: 299 votes in favour, 34 against, and 9 abstentions. Therefore, the vote was positive with 90% of the votes. 
  6. The General Assembly thus agreed that the new name of the Council should be The International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance.

13. Adjournment

  1. Pettan called for a motion to adjourn the 46th General Assembly of the ICTM at 16:16. Moved by Catherine Foley, seconded by Elina Seye, motion carried unanimously.