International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

5th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Multipart Music

  • Dates: 7‑12 May 2017
  • PLACE: Nanning, China.


PLACE: Guangxi Arts University, Nanning, China.

LANGUAGE: English.



  1. The Understandings of Multipart Music in Diverse Research Traditions

Investigations carried out in various practices and times have led to the establishment of different understandings of music and processes of music making, including those connected with multipart music. Discussions in the symposia of our Study Group have shown that such differences are connected with the specifics of the musical practices and the understandings of the music makers as well as with the different ways of the establishment of the research traditions in question. At the centre of the discussions on this theme will be questions on how multipart music is understood, expressed and defined in diverse research traditions to know more about the kind of distinctions and possible common features


  1. A specific use of sound in space and time: polymusic and soundscape

The neologism polymusic was coined in 1991 at a seminar of the French Ethnomusicology Laboratory of the CNRS as being the total result of the simultaneous, deliberate presence of several autonomous musical entities, without any coordination in time. This happens in different parts of the world, for example in rituals, when individuals or groups make music on their own, at the same place and simultaneously. The result has been characterised as controlled disorder.

In the last symposium of the Study Group the discussions about this phenomenon were linked with that of soundscape, meaning a component of the acoustic environment that can be perceived by humans. In this context, mostly the part of soundscape which is called anthrophony (all of the sound signatures generated by humans) seems particularly appropriate for discussion. Other views are certainly welcome.

The intention here is to lead a possibly broader discussion about specific uses of sound in space and time and about performances of different musical acts simultaneously and deliberately.


  1. New research


Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that the 5th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Multipart Music will take place from 7 to 12 May 2017 at Guangxi Arts University in Nanning, China. The head of the local organising committee will be Chu Zhuo.

We invite proposals for individual presentations, panels and round tables. They are to be sent by email before 16 December 2016.

The text should be pasted into the body of the email and also sent as a Word.doc or Rich Text Format (RTF) attachment to assure access. Please label all communications clearly with your full contact details.

Please note that participants are limited to a single presentation.

Please indicate clearly your preferred format. If members have any questions about the program, or the suitability of a proposal, please contact the Program Chair and ask for assistance. Colleagues are advised to bring alternative modes of presentation delivery if using PowerPoint, DVD, and so on in case of unexpected technical difficulties on the day of presentation.

Research papers should be based on original research that address the conference theme and should not have already been presented. Papers should be designed and presented to take no more than 20 minutes, including audio-visuals.

Students, who feel that they are not yet in the position to present a full-length paper, are welcome to give short presentations (10 minutes) of their project, in order to get feedback.


Individual Presentations

Accepted presentations of individual members will be grouped by the Program Committee into sessions of one and a half hours. Each presentation will be allotted 20 minutes inclusive of all illustrations, audio-visual media or movement examples, plus 10 minutes for questions and discussion.

Please, submit an abstract not exceeding 300 words outlining the content, argument and conclusion, and its relation to one of the symposium themes. Please include the type of illustrations to be used in the presentation, such as slides, DVD, video (including format), and so on.



We encourage presentations in the form of panels.

Proposals may be submitted for panels consisting of at least three presenters. The structure is at the discretion of the coordinator. The proposal must explain the overall purpose, the role of the individual participants, and signal the commitment of all participants attending the conference. Each panel proposal will be accepted or rejected as a whole.

Please, submit a short summary (not exceeding 300 words) of the panel overview, and an individual paper proposal, as described under “Individual Presentations” above, for each presenter. All of the proposals for a panel should be sent together. Proposals should address one or more aspects of the established themes of this symposium.



We also encourage presentations in the form of roundtables: sessions that are entirely planned, coordinated, and prepared by a group of people, one of whom is the responsible coordinator. The aim is to generate discussion between members of the roundtable who present questions, issues, and/or material for about 5 minutes on the pre-selected unifying theme of the roundtable. The following discussion, at the convener’s discretion, may open into more general discussion with the audience.

The total length of a roundtable will be one and a half hours inclusive of all discussions.

Proposals may be submitted for a roundtable consisting of up to 10 presenters, and the structure is at the discretion of the convener who will chair the event. The proposal must explain the overall purpose, the role of the individual participants, and signal the commitment of all participants to attend the symposium. Each roundtable proposal will be accepted or rejected as a whole.



Please note that the Program Committee will only consider proposals by current members of the ICTM in good standing. Please contact Ardian Ahmedaja ( for membership in the Study Group. Members may join and submit a proposal at the same time. Membership applications are available at the ICTM website. For membership questions, contact the ICTM Secretariat at / or write to ICTM Secretariat, Department of Musicology, Faculty of Arts. University of Ljubljana. Aškerčeva 2 Ljubljana, 1000 Slovenia (


Where to send the proposals?

Ardian Ahmedaja



Program committee:

Ardian Ahmedaja (Austria, Chair)

Ignazio Macchiarella (Italy)

Zhanna Pärtlas (Estonia)

The committee cannot consider proposals received after the deadline of 16 December 2016.

Notification for acceptance or rejection will be announced by 31 January 2017.

If you have a deadline for funding applications for travel, accommodation, and so on, please notify the Program Committee of your deadline date.


Costs: There is no registration fee.

Costs of traveling and accommodation will have to be covered by participants. The Nanning Wuxu International Airport is located 32 km southwest of the centre of the city. A list of comfortable and reasonable prices hotels near to the symposium’s venue will be distributed in due time.


Looking forward to seeing you in Nanning.