International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Second call for presentations for the joint Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology and the ICTM Sacred and Spiritual Sounds and Practices Study Group, Istanbul University, Turkey, 23-27 October 2024


The ICTMD Applied Ethnomusicology and Sacred and Spiritual Sounds and Practices Study Groups are excited to announce a joint symposium. Co-organized with the Ethnomusicology Program of the Istanbul University State Conservatory and with MIRAS – Centre for Cultural Sustainability, the gathering will take place at Istanbul University from October 23-27, 2024.
While the vibrant Applied Ethnomusicology Study Group is meeting for the ninth time, the newly formed Sacred and Spiritual Sounds and Practices Study Group will be meeting for the first time as an official part of ICTM. Both ICTM Study Groups are looking forward to contributions that reflect their respective orientations, but also to exploring areas of connection and overlap, enhanced by the location of the meeting: the symposium will take place in the heart of Istanbul, a historic and dynamic centre of music and spirituality for more than 2,000 years.
The ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology welcomes all proposals which clearly highlight applied aspects of a project: in intent, methodology, and/or outcomes. Similarly, the ICTM Sacred and Spiritual Sounds and Practices Study Group invites all presentations relating to the focus of the Group in general. In particular, we invite proposals that address any of the following six themes: 
    • New approaches, methodologies, ethics and insights in Applied Ethnomusicology 
As Applied Ethnomusicology has only been recognised as a distinct part of ethnomusicology for just over three decades, the discussions on its scope, method and goals are still quite vivid. We invite historical, comparative, or idea-driven contributions on this topic, as well as reflections on online and AI-driven work, driven by COVID-19 and technological advances.
    • The role of Applied Ethnomusicology at times of increasing intolerance and inequity
The first decades of the 21st century have witnessed growing ideological divides and intolerance towards other people’s ideas, identities, and backgrounds. We are inviting  presentations that highlight practical work and/or address general issues in this field.
    • The potential of Applied Ethnomusicology after human conflict and natural disasters
One of the recurring topics in Applied Ethnomusicology has been working in post-conflict environments, highlighting the potential -and the challenges- of using music to help rebuild the lives of individuals and communities. For this gathering, we invite papers in that realm, as well as applied projects dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters, and the even more pressing need to address (cultural) sustainability and ecological challenges at large.
    • Applied Ethnomusicology, Sacred and Spiritual Sounds and Practices 
We emphatically invite presentations that connect the foci of both ICTM Study Groups: applied work in the realm of sacred and spiritual sounds/music, and work in the realm of sacred and spiritual sounds that has clear applied components.
    • Sacred and Spiritual Sounds and Practices in the Middle East
The area within a one-thousand-mile radius from Istanbul has generated and witnessed the genesis and development of some of the most striking sacred and spiritual sounds traditions of the world: from the omnipresent call to prayer to numerous liturgies. We invite presentations that explore individual traditions, underlying constructs, and connections.
    • New projects and approaches in the study of Sacred and Spiritual Sounds and Practices 
As a new and budding Study Group, we invite presentations on specific traditions of sacred and spiritual sounds and their related practices, as well as more general reflections on scope, methodology, ethics, and new directions. 
Submitting proposals
If you want to be part of this exciting gathering, please send us a proposal of 200-300 words using the template attached. These will be peer reviewed by the program committee. Proposals can be single papers (20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion); panels or roundtables (3-5 presenters around a specific question or theme (90 minutes including questions/discussion). We also welcome alternative formats of presentation, including workshops, performances and audiovisual presentations. 
After making an initial selection of proposals, the program committee will group presentations according to themes. We anticipate a substantial number of joint sessions exploring the connections between the two Study Groups, but also sessions dedicated to developments in each focus area. Although we hope that many delegates will be able to attend in person, the Symposium will be hybrid, allowing for prerecorded/online contributions in order to accommodate greater access.
The second and final deadline is March 15th, 2024. Please use the attached template for your proposal (add multiple authors and abstracts for panels/roundtables), and send proposals to We’re looking forward to a vibrant gathering!