International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Barbara Barnard Smith Travel Award

[English] [Español] [Português]

Barbara Barnard Smith (photo by Jane Moulin, used with permission)
Barbara Barnard Smith (photo by Carl Hefner, 2000)

Barbara Barnard Smith (1920–2021) established the ethnomusicology programme at the University of Hawai‘i in 1959 after teaching there from 1949. In 2000, in recognition of her service to the university during which she mentored many students of ethnomusicology, she was celebrated as a “living treasure of the Colleges of Arts and Science.” Since then, among other honours, in 2008 she received the State of Hawai‘i Governor’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in Culture, Arts, and Humanities, and in 2009 the Koizumi Fumio Prize for Ethnomusicology.  

Barbara joined the International Folk Music Council (now ICTMD) in the late 1950s, being particularly interested in music research, the music cultures of Oceania and Asia, and music education. She was co-opted to the Executive Board in 1966 and was Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 1977 World Conference, held in Honolulu, at which time a Study Group on Musics of Oceania was established. She served as Chair of this Study Group from 1983 to 2001. Members of the Study Group honoured her with a festschrift: Traditionalism and Modernity in the Music and Dance of Oceania: Essays in Honour of Barbara B. Smith (2001). She was made an honorary member of ICTM (now ICTMD) in 2013.

A fund was established in 2006 by Barbara Smith to provide an award to one or more individuals whose participation in an ICTMD World Conference would contribute significantly to both the conference programme and to the recipient’s professional career, but who, for financial reasons, would otherwise be unable to participate.

The award is intended to provide funds for (a) transportation to a World Conference site; and (b) food and lodging during the conference. In addition, ICTMD will cover the conference registration fees for the awardees.

An applicant for the award may be:

  1. An emerging scholar (advanced graduate student or young scholar with recently awarded doctorate);
  2. A practicing musician without advanced scholarly credentials from a country without an appropriate institution of higher education for such study or without resources for such study in a foreign country;
  3. A senior scholar whose institution does not support conference participation or a retiree who continues to contribute actively to the field.

The awardees will be chosen by the Executive Board Committee concerning the Maud Karpeles, Young Scholars, and Other Funds, in consultation with the conference's Programme and Local Arrangements Committees.


  1. Submit an abstract to the Programme Committee of the World Conference for which you would need financial assistance.
  2. If your abstract is accepted and wish to apply to the award, please fill out this form


This award has been made possible by a substantial donation from Barbara Smith. She agreed that the Executive Board may invite members to contribute to the fund to ensure its continuation in the future. Donations should be made to the “Barbara Barnard Smith Travel Award Fund” and sent to the Secretariat.