International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

ICTM Study Group on Global History of Music


Reflecting a new interest in global histories outside music, the ICTM topic-based Study Group on Global History of Music would focus on the global interaction of regional musical cultures. Historical studies of music have almost always restricted themselves to specific geographically or culturally defined areas, but music is pursued in relation to the music of other areas and cultures, resulting in a global network of cross-cultural relationships largely neglected by conventional musical historiography. The Study Group on Global History of Music will aim to continue this work, bringing together musicologists and ethnomusicologists in an attempt to add value to work currently underway in both disciplines to get out of Euro- and America-centric approaches. It'd provide a space for historical musicologists within ICTM, which would be strategic. 

The mission of the ICTM Study Group on Global History of Music is to encourage, promote and support scholars and performers investigating music history in a global context. We are concerned not only with previously neglected musical traditions but also with how music and related sound genres have intersected cross-culturally and become entangled with each other. Furthermore, different research practices and views of history will also be regarded. Acting as an information exchange and providing workshops, symposia, performances, publication opportunities, and pedagogical resources, the ICTM Study Group on Global History of Music will bring together researchers from around the world to share and develop their research. 

We seek to address such questions as: What constitutes musical expression in different contexts, and why? How do different histories of music relate to those of sound, dance, drama, poetry, or prayer? Have traditional concepts of "music," "history," and "global" limited our access to, and understanding of, other histories and cultures, and if so, how might this be remedied? How can scholars and performers from across the world collaborate in the realisation of a global history of music? We invite scholars, performers, and others interested in this initiative to join us, especially the emerging and mid-career researchers who will contribute to the gradual shift away from a Eurocentric and nationalistic history of music towards one that meets that challenges of globalisation. 

Application Membership

All ICTM members are welcome to join our Study Group.To become a member please write a message to the Chair (Razia Sultanova),  Vice Chair (Xiao Mei), or Secretary (Margaret Walker)  to receive a further information.


Executive Advisers

  • Reinhard Strohm (University of Oxford)
  • Nicholas Cook (University of Cambridge)  

Executive Committee

Public - accessible to all site users

There is no content in this group.