International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO


Dear fellow members of ICTM, it is our pleasure to announce the official establishment of a study group devoted to music and dance in southeastern Europe within the International Council for Traditional Music.

The intention for a study group first appeared at the international symposium "Urban music in the Balkans: Drop-out ethnic identities or a historical case of tolerance and global thinking," held in Dures, Albania, 28 September – 1 October 2006. Under local organization of the Documentation & Communication Center for Regional Music (DCCRM) the symposium’s organizational team was led by Prof. Sokol Shupo, ICTM’s liaison officer for Albania. Sixty-six scholars from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Kosovo, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and USA participated. During the symposium, which was organized on a high professional level, forty-two papers were presented, and in addition one photo exhibition, six new books and four CDs with Balkan music were promoted. As a result of the meeting Prof. Sokol Shupo edited and published the proceedings Urban Music in the Balkans which included all the papers presented at the symposium.
Inspired by the constructive mutual discussions during the sessions, Svanibor Pettan initiated the possibility of establishing an ICTM Study Group with focus on research of the region’s music and dances. As a first step toward this, he also encouraged the idea that the scholars from the region organize a panel session at the upcoming ICTM world conference in Vienna, 4-11 July 2007. Soon after the symposium in Albania, Ms. Selena Rakočević and Prof. Dimitrije Golemović from Serbia, organized a panel session “History and perspectives of national ethnomusicologies and ethnochoreologies in the Balkans” for the Vienna world conference. Once again the idea of establishing an ICTM Study Group which would focus on music and dance of southeastern Europe was discussed. At a meeting in Sofia on 26 September 2007 Lozanka Peycheva from the Institute of Folklore at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences proposed to publish the papers based on the panel session from the 39th ICTM World Conference in Vienna. The editorial board of the journal Bulgarian Musicology accepted her proposal. The forthcoming volume will be accompanied by a CD.
During the ICTM world conference in Vienna, the subject of music and dance research in the region of southeastern Europe appeared in several sessions. Besides the individual papers, yet another well-received panel session named "Post-Yugoslavian ethnomusicologies in dialogue: three case studies" took place. It was organized by Naila Ceribašić (Croatia) and the participants included Ana Hofman, Naila Ceribašić and Ljerka Vidić-Rasmussen.
Shortly after the ICTM world conferene in Vienna, a scientific conference "The Balkan Peninsula as a musical crossroad" was held in Struga, Republic of Macedonia, 19-24 September 2007. The conference was made possible under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia. The themes of the meeting were: "Iconography of Balkan music and dance", "Historical sources of music and dance in the Balkans"; and "The role of minorities in transferring, preserving and creating music and dance tradition in the Balkans." Together with the invited guest of honor, Prof. Dieter Christensen, forty-five participants from Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Sweden, UK and USA took part in the meeting. Twenty-eight papers regarding Balkan music and dance were presented and two concerts were performed. The local organizational team was led by Velika Stojkova Serafimovska and Ivona Opetčeska Tatarčevska, while the program committee consisted of Svanibor Pettan, Elsie Ivancich Dunin, Sokol Shupo, Stojan Stojkov, Velika Stojkova Serafimovska and Ivona Opetčeska Tatarčevska. At the end of the conference, on 24 September 2007 a meeting was held to make the proposal for its formal establishment. Chaired by Svanibor Pettan, himself a member of the ICTM’s Executive Board, and attended by the participants of the conference, most of them ICTM members, an agreement was reached about the working definition and the mission statement of the proposed study group.