International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

First Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Sound, Movement, and the Sciences

28-30 September 2020 (new dates!)
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Program  |  Registration  |  Contact and committees

The SoMoS 2020 symposium will be held online!

Due to the unforeseeable evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international public health and travel, the SoMoS Executive Committee together with the Symposium's Program Committee and Local Organiser have agreed to hold the symposium entirely online. Sessions will be organized into Zoom meetings, in which a pre-recorded version of each paper will be streamed. Authors will be present during the papers in order to respond to participants' questions in the discussions that follow each screening. In addition, there will be time allotted for open discussion, networking and socializing sessions according to specific interest topics.

We will send presenters more detailed instructions by email over the coming weeks. For those attending but not presenting, further details will be provided after registration is closed on 14 September.

We hope that you find this to be a positive response to the current situation, and look forward to a compelling and stimulating symposium.

Registration is now open!

Symposium themes:

The ICTM Study Group on Sound, Movement, and the Sciences (SoMoS) aims to bring together and support scholars whose work combines methods and approaches from ethnomusicology and/or ethnochoreology with those from the sciences to explore sound and movement in musical and dance contexts. Here, the sciences are broadly defined, including but not limited to disciplines such as cognitive science, psychology, linguistics, computer science, statistics, mathematics, biology, physics, and medical science.

We propose that ethnographic and science-based approaches can complement each other, producing insights that might be difficult to achieve otherwise. However, we acknowledge the difficulties associated with such complementary work. For our first official symposium, we welcome proposals on any topic that aligns with the aims and themes of the Study Group. In particular, we invite contributions that combine ethnographic and science-based approaches, explore the issues involved in such endeavors, or present reflective discussions on relevant theories and methodologies.

Keynote speaker:

Gediminas Karoblis (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)


All accepted papers will have a 20 minutes slot allotted for oral presentation, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. After the symposium, all authors will be required to submit an extended abstract of their papers (approx. 1200 words) for publication in the symposium proceedings.

(Download the SoMoS 2020 symposium's program in PDF format.)


(Times correspond to Central European Summer Time (CEST) corresponding to UCT+2)

  Monday, Sept 28 Tuesday, Sept 29 Wednesday, Sept 30
09.30-10.00 Opening Ceremony    
10.00-10.30 Presentation Presentation Presentation
10.30-11.00 Presentation Presentation Presentation
11.00-11.30 Coffee break Coffee break Closing comments
11.30-12.00 Presentation Presentation  
12.00-12.30 Presentation Presentation
12.30-13.00 Lunch break Lunch break
14.00-14.30 Presentation Presentation
14.30-15.00 Presentation Presentation
15.00-15.30 Presentation Presentation
  Coffee break Coffee break
16.30-18.00 Keynote Business meeting
18.00-18.30 Break Break
18.30-19.30 Open discussion Open discussion

Day 1 (Sept 28)

09.30-10.00 Opening ceremony Andre Holzapfel with members of Study Group Board and Programme Committee
10.00-10.30 Exploring beat connections in Swedish Folk music and dance Olof Misgeld, Andre Holzapfel and Ahlbäck Sven
10.30-11.00 Visualization of melodic motives for music understanding Rafael Caro Repetto
11.00-11.30 Coffee break  
11.30-12.00 Physiological Interpretation of ‘Bambara Walalla’, a Rotation Technique in Ritual Dance in Southern Sri Lanka Hasanthi Niriella
12.00-12.30 Considering a science perspective on dance structures: Romanian traditional hora chain dance as an example Nick Green
12.30-14.00 Lunch break  
14.00-14.30 Multi-modal recordings of Maracatu performances (Brazil): technical concerns and preliminary analyses Filippo Bonini Baraldi and Matthew E. P. Davies
14.30-15.00 Diversity of traditional dance expression in Crete: data collection, research questions, and method development. Andre Holzapfel and Michael Hagleitner
15.00-15.30 Determining style in tango movements with a triangulation research approach: motion capture, embodied expert knowledge, and Labanotation Kendra Stepputat
15.30-16.30 Coffee break  
16.30-18.00 Keynote Gediminas Karoblis
18.00-18.30 Break  
18.30-19.30 Voluntary virtual assembly Open discussion, topic to be nominated on the spot

Day 2 (Sept 29)

10.00-10.30 Computational approaches to aid ethnographic research on Maqam melodies Kaustuv Kanti Ganguli, Sertan Senturk, Andrew Eisenberg and Carlos Guedes
10.30-11.00 Decoding improvisation in Indian art music: A computational ethnomusicology approach Kaustuv Kanti Ganguli
11.00-11.30 Coffee break  
11.30-12.00 A preliminary approach to corpus driven research of Persian classical music Babak Nikzat and Rafael Caro Repetto
12.00-12.30 Quantitative Approaches to the Analysis of Central Javanese Pathet: First Steps Sarah Weiss
12.30-14.00 Lunch break  
14.00-14.30 A Socially Situated Aesthetics of Music: Arguments from Anthropology and Neuroscience Lara Pearson
14.30-15.00 Movement Synchronization in Capoeira Alex Rossi
15.00-15.30 Medicalization, Europeanization, and Musical Healing in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey Steven Moon
15.30-16.30 Coffee break  
16.30-18.00 Business meeting Members of study group
18.00-18.30 Break  
18.30-19.30 Voluntary virtual assembly Open discussion, topic to be nominated on the spot

Day 3 (Sept 30)

10.00-10.30 Aesthetics of timing: A comparative study of preferences and sensitivity for musical timing variations across cultural groups, musical styles, and expertise Rainer Polak
10.30-11.00 Folk Music Preservation by Encouragements of Computer Gaming: Case of Converting Body Movement in Azeri Music to Melodic and Rhythmic Patterns Afsaneh Yadaei, Mohammad Reza Azadehfar, Behnam Alizadehashrafi and Samad Roohi
11.00-11.15 Closing comments Andre Holzapfel with members of Study Group Board and Programme Committee


To participate in the symposium, please fill the SoMoS 2020 symposium registration form. The deadline for registration is September 14, 2020.

By the time of registration for the symposium you have to be an ICTM member. Here you can find information about membership to ICTM.


Please feel free to contact Rainer Polak ( or André Holzapfel ( with any questions regarding the symposium. If you have questions concerning the Study Group or ICTM membership, contact Kendra Stepputat (, Lara Pearson ( or Rafael Caro Repetto (

Symposium Program Committee:

Rainer Polak (Chair)
Siri Mæland
Babak Nikzat
Stella Paschalidou

Local Organising Committee:

André Holzapfel

SoMoS Executive Committee:

Kendra Stepputat
Lara Pearson
Rafael Caro Repetto