"The oral testimonies of the indigenous people, men and women, community leaders and ordinary people, who give a face to this country, need to be recorded if an all-inclusive history of South Africa is ever to be written"  
International Council for Traditional Music

The aims of the ICTM are to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance, of all countries. To these ends, the Council organizes meetings, World Conferences, Study Groups and Colloquia. In addition the Council maintain a membership directory and supervise the preparation and publication of journals and bulletins.

The ICTM was founded on 22 September, 1947, in London, England, by scholars and musicians as The International Folk Music Council. In 1949, the Council was one of the Founding Members of the International Music Council - UNESCO, and is currently an NGO in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO. Through its wide international representation the Council acts as a bond among peoples of different cultures and thus serves the peace of humankind.

[website: www.ethnomusic.ucla.edu/ictm]

ICTM WORLD CONFERENCES are held biennially and offer the general membership and the public opportunities for exchanges on a broad scope of issues.


Recent Conferences

1969 Edinburgh, Scotland

1971 Kingston, Jamaica

1973 Bayonne, France

1975 Regensburg, F.R.G.

1977 Honolulu, U.S.A.

1979 Oslo, Norway

1981 Seoul, Korea

1983 New York, U.S.A.

1985 Stockholm & Helsinki, Sweden & Finland

1987 Berlin, G.D.R.

1989 Schladming, Austria

1991 Hong Kong

1993 Berlin, Germany

1995 Canberra, Australia

1997 Nitra, Slovakia

1999 Hiroshima, Japan

2001 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2003 (rescheduled to 2004) Fuzhou & Quanzhou, China

2005 Sheffield, U.K.

2007 Vienna, Austria


STUDY GROUPS are comprised of members in a common area of scholarly study. Study Groups currently active include Folk Musical Instruments, Historical Sources of Traditional Music, Ethnochoreology, Oceania , Iconography, Computer Aided Research, Music and Gender, Maqam, Music of the Arab World, Anthropology of Music in Mediterranean Cultures, Music and Minorities, and Music Archeology. Study Groups are an essential part of the ICTM. They hold periodic meetings and publish the results of their ongoing research.

COLLOQUIA have been organized by invitation since 1981. These events focus on selected themes intensively discussed by smaller groups of scholars and representatives from related fields.

The Council maintains official representation through its National Committees and Liaison Officers in numerous countries.

NATIONAL COMMITTEES act as official representatives of the ICTM in their regions and as liaison between the Council and their constituents. They hold their own conferences and meetings and report in the Bulletin. National Committees of the ICTM are established in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, R.O.Korea, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

LIAISON OFFICERS represent the Council in these countries: Argentina, Barbados, Belarus, Brazil, Bosnia&Herzegovina, P.R.China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Irish Republic, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palau, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Russia, Serbia & Montenegro, Singapore , Slovenia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and Yugoslavia.

PUBLICATIONS The Council publishes the Yearbook for Traditional Music (established 1949 as Journal of the International Folk Music Council); the Bulletin of the ICTM (established 1948 as Bulletin of the IFMC); the Directory of Traditional Music; and other books and records.


39th World Conference of the ICTM 4-11 July 2007, Vienna, Austria

You are invited to attend the 39th World Conference of the ICTM which will be held from 4th-11th July 2007 in Vienna hosted by the Austrian National Committee of the ICTM and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna in partnership with the Institute of Musicology at Vienna University, the Phonogram Archive of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Commission for UNESCO.


Themes of the Conference:

1. Cosmologies and their relation to music and dance

Cosmologies and music/dance structures are related to each other. In particular we would like to know how music and dance articulate cosmologies; cosmologies are shaped by performances, and we would like to understand the different interpretations that come to life through performances. Further, how are worldviews related to gender-specific musics and dances? Can we perceive the communication process in some performance of cosmologies in gender terms as having distinct male and/or female characteristics?

2. National and regional traditions of ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology

There have been many different approaches to the study of music and dance in departments of music, in departments of anthropology and in conservatories all over the world. In some traditions the studies have been object-oriented, and in other ones more process-oriented. What is the role of documentation and preservation in these different traditions? How do they deal with the music and dance memory of the world? We also invite contributions that reflect on the role of fieldwork, the integrity of scholarship and the ethical practices in the different traditions.

3. Popular music and dance and emerging technologies

How is technology in general, and the internet and mobile phones in particular, used in relation to music and dance, and mainly in urban settings? How does this relate to the social characteristics of the users; how do the users actually behave at home, in internet-cafés and other places with respect to music, ring-tones for hand-phones, and dance on the internet? Further, how do the home studios produce music and dance on cassettes, CDs, V-CDs, DVDs and the internet; what is the influence of the available technology on the produced music and dance, and how do they distribute these products? Last but not least, how do these activities contribute to the image of the music and dance groups concerned, and the wider social groups to which they belong?

4. Transmission of music/dance through informal and formal education

This is an important topic for many schools, NGOs, governments, and also for teachers in an informal setting, who are faced by new technological developments and a fast growing availability of music and dance from all over the world. In particular we seek contributions that discuss the choices to be made between oral transmission, transmission via written documentation and transmission via the ‘new orality’ of audio recordings, V-CDs, DVDs, internet, etc. What choices should be made between this variety of possibilities? What are the policies and their realisations with respect to music and dance education?

5. New research

Current and ongoing research that the author wishes to bring to international attention but does not fall into one of the main themes of the conference may be submitted.


Proposals must not exceed 350 words (one typewritten page) and be sent – preferably by email – as soon as possible, but before the deadline of 1 November 2006, to:

Wim van Zanten
ICTM Program Chair – Vienna 2007
Dept. of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Leiden University
P.O. Box 9555, 2300 RB Leiden, the Netherlands

fax: +31 – 71 – 527 36 19

email: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it


Dr. Patricia Achieng Opondo
University of KwaZulu-Natal
African Music Project – School of Music
Member of the Interim Steering Committee of the South African Oral History Association
Executive Board Member of the International Council for Traditional Music

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