International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO


Study Group on Historical Sources of Traditional Music

As already announced in the ICTM Bulletin April 2007, the next meeting of our Study Group will take place by invitation of the Svenskt visarkiv, the Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research

from May 21 - 25, 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden

The meeting will be organized by the Svenskt visarkiv in cooperation with the Swedish committee of the ICTM. Information about the visarkiv can be found on the website . Ingrid Åkesson has kindly offered to serve as contact person for the forthcoming STGR meeting.

We have decided to focus the meeting on one broad topic:

"Historical sources and source criticism"
This topic offers the chance to discuss different kinds of historical sources under several aspects. Colleagues working with historical sources are encouraged to take part in the discussion, archivists, researchers, but also colleagues who are questioning what might be the use of historical sources in Ethnomusicology. The wide spectrum of the topic enables different approaches related to historical sources, including written, recorded or iconographic ones, which may be compared for example by studying written sources in the light of sound recordings. However, the focus could also be discussing historical sources on the background of related contemporary musical styles.

Paper proposals, not exceeding 300 words, should be sent to the program committee: Susanne Ziegler, Björn Aksdal, and Ingrid Åkesson before December 1st, 2007.

Please get in touch with Ingrid as soon as possible if you have any questions about travelling, accommodation, visa, funding etc. We are aware of the overlapping of our meeting with the meeting of the STGR of minorities May 24 – June1, 2008 in Prague. Unfortunately, there was no chance to avoid it, but the problem of overlapping STGR meetings has been brought to the attention of the ICTM office in Australia after the ICTM world conference in Vienna. If you want to attend both meetings, please announce this in advance so that we can arrange our program accordingly.

Looking forward to seeing you in Stockholm!
Best wishes and a successful work
Susanne Ziegler (
Björn Aksdal (

Ingrid Åkesson (

Chair: Dr. Susanne Ziegler & Prof. Björn Aksdal

Berlin, May 2005

Dear Colleagues,
We are happy to announce that the next STGR meeting will be held in Berlin from 8. – 12. March 2006. The meeting will be take place at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin-Dahlem and hosted by the department "Ethnomusicology, Media-Techniques, and Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv", headed by PD Dr. Lars-Christian Koch. The Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv, founded in 1900, will provide excellent facilities for our STGR meeting. Historical sources can be studied here in a broad spectrum, and especially give inside into the history of sound recordings from all over the world.

We would like to focus our meeting on the following two topics:

I. Preventing the "loss" of tradition.
In continuation of the discussion held in Seggau 2004 we would like to encourage papers focussing on the role of archives as a source for reconstruction and revitalisation of traditional music. Papers presenting regional musical styles based on the publication or re-interpretation of historical sources will also be welcome.

II. Repertoires and their characteristics in the early 20th century.
This topic offers the chance to discuss interchange and influences between traditional music and record industry in respect of the repertoire. Did one affect the other and how? Or did some repertoires remain untouched by the record industry? Papers should focus either on presenting one repertory in historical perspective or describing the characteristics of the local repertoire in a specific region.

In order to apply for financial support we kindly ask to send the titles of your paper proposals to Berlin as soon as possible, latest by 1 June, 2005. Abstracts of your paper proposals (German or English) should be sent to Berlin latest by the end of October, 2005 and not exceed 300 words.

Looking forward to hearing from you
Susanne Ziegler and Björn Aksdal

Dr. Susanne Ziegler
Ethnologisches Museum
Abt. Musikethnologie, Medien-Technik,
Arnimallee 27
D-14195 Berlin
Tel. +49.30.8301-201
Fax: +49.30.8301-292

Prof. Björn Aksdal
Norwegian Council for
Traditional Music and Dance
N-7491 Trondheim
Tel. +47-73-596576
Fax: +47-73-596573
Report from ICTM Study Group on Historical Sources of Traditional Music
15th Meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Historical Sources of Traditional Music
27 April – 1 May, 2004, Seggau, Austria

At the invitation of the Institut für Musikethnologie of the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz (Austria) the 15th Meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Historical Sources of Traditional Music was held in nearby Schloß Seggau, from April 27 until May 1, 2004. Scholars from Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria presented their papers and discussed historical aspects in ethnomusicology.

The meeting focused on two topics: I. Historical recordings of traditional music: commercial versus archival, and II. The relationship between instrumental and vocal interpretation in a historical perspective. The high quality of papers as well as lively discussions enabled a tight program on an outstanding high level. In comparison with previous meetings, this time there was a notable increase in papers dealing with extra-European music, thanks to the growing number of historical recordings available today. Thus, the role of archives that provide historical recordings for research was one of the central points of the discussions, especially evident in papers and discussions of topic I. Many archives possess valuable historical sound recordings; however, commercial recordings are often underestimated when compared with field recordings, which are regarded as more authentic.

The range of papers comprised more general contributions, such as Gerda Lechleitner (Vienna, Austria): Commercial and Archival Recordings: Antagonism and Symbiosis; Susanne Ziegler (Berlin, Germany): Erich M. von Hornbostel and the Early Publications of the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv: Scientific versus Commercial Recordings; Jürgen Mahrenholz (Berlin, Germany): Music Recordings made by the ‘Phonographische Kommission’ on Shellacs: Commercial Use and Scientific Reception; Dietrich Schüller (Vienna, Austria): Historical Sound Documents and Source Critiques. There were papers on regional studies as well, for example Astrid Ressem (Oslo, Norway): Commercial versus Archival Recordings of Traditional Songs in Norway: Developments through the last 100 Years; Helmut Brenner (Graz; Austria): Early Sound Recordings from Mexico: an Evaluation of Sources; Kendra Stepputat (Halle, Germany): What is Real? – Early Commercial and private Recordings of Balinese Music; Lars-Christian Koch (Berlin, Germany): Copyright and Notation in the History of Rabindra Sangit Interpretation; Annette Erler (Copenhagen, Denmark): Rediscovering a Mongolian Music Collection – Different Perspectives on Early Ethnographical Recordings; Ardian Ahmedaja (Vienna, Austria): Paul Traeger's Recordings of Albanian Traditional Music from 1903 as an Important Reference for the Research Today; Ingrid Bertleff (Freiburg i.Br., Germany) "The making of": Recordings of Chinese Music in the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv; Maria Samokovlieva (Sofija, Bulgaria): Historical Recordings of Traditional Music in Bulgaria from the first half of the 20th Century. During the discussions it was agreed that historical commercial recordings deserve more attention and should not be neglected in our studies. On the contrary, these recordings provide immense information, which helps us to understand more of the field recordings. Only by collecting and combining all kinds of historical recordings and by comparing historical commercial and archival recordings from the same region will it be possible for the historical soundscape of a musical culture to become complete, and the differences as well as the advantages of the respective group of recordings to become apparent.

The paper presentations on topic II discussed the different kinds of relationships between vocal and instrumental interpretation, not only from Europe, but also from other continents. Among the European examples were: Hana Urbancová (Bratislava, Slovakia): Night Watchman Repertoire between Vocal and Instrumental Performance. A Traditional Genre and its Historical Background; Lujza Tari (Budapest, Hungary): Lessons on the Relationship between Vocal and Instrumental Interpretation in Historical Perspective; Nice Fracile (Novi Sad, Yugoslavia): The Relationship between Instrumental and Vocal Interpretation in Folkmusic of Serbia-Montenegro and Changes; Björn Aksdal (Trondheim, Norway): One Tune – two Performance Styles. - The Relations between the Vocal “slåttestev” and the Instrumental “slått” in a Historic Perspective; Ulrich Morgenstern (Hamburg, Germany): Vocal Imitations of Instrumental Music in the Russian Tradition. Non-European contributions included Regine Allgayer (Vienna, Austria): The "Blind Man’s" Song and its Reinterpretation by the Armorial Movement in Brazil; Jürgen Elsner (Berlin, Germany): The Relationship between Vocal and Instrumental Principle in the Music of Arabian Countries in History and Present; Gerd Grupe (Graz, Austria): "Form Follows Function": Shifting the Focus from Lyrics to Artistic Performance in Qawwali and Jeliya. The variety of papers and the different approaches to the topic were met by the group with enthusiasm and evoked stimulating discussions.

In the business meeting plans for the next meetings and the publication of the conference proceedings were discussed. The next Study Group meeting will be held in Berlin and hosted by the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv in the spring of 2006. It was agreed to awaken interest in historical studies and to encourage younger colleagues, in particular, to participate in meetings.

Schloß Seggau offered excellent conference facilities. We are deeply obliged to the local organizer, Prof. Dr. Gerd Grupe and especially to Frau Schweinzer for providing a friendly and open atmosphere. It was through their efforts and generous financial support that this conference was made possible, for which we express our sincere gratitude. An excursion to Graz was organized, and the participants were also invited to visit the wine cellars in the castle as well as to an evening in a local pub with traditional Styrian music. Above all the program left enough time for private talks and enjoyment of the castle and its surroundings.
Susanne Ziegler