International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

The April 2020 issue of the Bulletin of the ICTM is available for download

A new issue of the Bulletin of the ICTM (Volume 143, April 2020) is available for download, directly from the following links:

  1. Bulletin of the ICTM Vol. 143 (April 2020), good quality (1.8 MB). Recommended for reading on screen only, and for users of slower Internet connections. 
  2. Bulletin of the ICTM Vol. 143 (April 2020), best quality (4.5 MB). Recommended for those intending to print the Bulletin.

As always, both editions are completely identical as content is concerned. The only difference resides in the quality of the inline images. The Bulletin is formatted as a PDF document, so please make sure your device has an updated PDF reader installed, or you may experience difficulties while reading and/or printing it. If you are unsure, you can try downloading Adobe Reader, one of the most popular PDF-reading software, directly from this link.

Below you will find the Message from the Secretary General, written by Ursula Hemetek, as included on page 2 of the issue. 


All of us are at the moment confronted with an absolutely challenging situation, both physically, psychologically, and concerning our working conditions. I want to encourage you to keep your spirits up and take care of yourselves. This crisis will not last forever, and when we will look back on it we will, at the very least, have gained new insights and probably will have learned many things about life in general, and the importance of communication. In her message, our President raises the topic from the ICTM’s perspective.

I wanted to add that the ICTM Secretariat is working well, as working from home is nothing new for Carlos—even though it is for me. We had to suspend our face-to-face meetings in Vienna, of course, but we maintain our weekly telephone conversations as we have always done.

It goes without saying that we are very much affected by the pandemic as we are part of the ICTM community. It is such a shame to see the cancellations and postponements of so many Study Group symposia. For those involved in the preparation of these, it is definitely a disaster, as so much work and dedication was put into them. In 2020 there should have been 21 Study Group symposia, but many have been postponed already. The last symposium that was actually held was the symposium of the Study Group on Music and Dance in Latin America and the Caribbean in Mexico (see pages 24–25 for a report). Hopefully, it will still be possible to hold those symposia scheduled for the latter part of the year, as originally planned.

In spite of COVID-19, however, there is some good Study Group news. A new Study-Group-in-the-Making on Music, Religion, and Spirituality was recently recognized by the Executive Board, and they will do their best to hold their inaugural meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in August. Congratulations!

Seeing our World Network functioning is truly a source for comfort in these difficult times. It is wonderful to be able to connect with colleagues from all over the world who are facing similar problems, and to read their supportive comments in this time of crisis. I want to greet the new Chair of the Regional Committee for Australia and New Zealand (Brigitta Scarfe, who succeeds Catherine Grant), the new Chair of the National Committee for Finland (Elina Seye, who succeeds Antti-Ville Kärjä), the new Chair of the National Committee for Ireland (Helen Lawlor, who succeeds Éamonn Costello), and the new Chair of the National Committee for Hungary (Dániel Lipták, who succeeds János Sipos). Included in this Bulletin there are fascinating reports by National Representatives from very diverse parts of the world, showing what an organization like ICTM is able to do: unite scholars the world over even in times of trouble.

I want to raise another positive issue. In my office I found the printed programmes and abstract books from several World Conferences (1989–1999) as well as some additional materials. These were scanned, and now are freely available on the Past Conferences section of our website. I encourage other members of the older generation to search if they might have anything similar that might be added to the website. Photographs are welcome too. Most of us are locked in our homes now, so we have time to tidy up! In my experience, during such a process you can find amazing things.

You might be aware that we sent our regular membership renewal notices a couple of weeks ago. I want to apologize if these messages came at the wrong moment, as at least one member had the impression that the renewal notice’s language was similar to an ultimatum. The truth is that ICTM is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is a European law that protects the privacy of individuals and came into force on 25 May 2018. GDPR dictates that organizations like ICTM cannot keep personally-identifiable information of former members in their databases without explicit consent. So, those members who do not renew by 15 April (i.e., after a generous grace period of more than 100 days since the year in question has begun) must be deleted from ICTM’s database, or we would be in infraction of GDPR. That is why the urgency had to be communicated in some way. Thanks for your understanding.

In this Bulletin you will also find a notice on the upcoming 2021 World Conference. Please do submit your proposals, as the World Conference should not be affected by the pandemic, and I imagine we will enjoy meeting each other in person more than ever before. 

There are two obituaries in this Bulletin. Bruno Nettl, one of the most prominent figures in ethnomusicology, passed away in January. This saddened all of us worldwide, both those who knew him in person, and the many generations of ethnomusicologists who read his works. 

The Austrian folk music researcher and musician Rudolf Pietsch also passed away some weeks after Bruno Nettl. He worked next door to me for 30 years. The obituary gives a fine insight into his merits, but I wanted to add my personal perception: his abilities as a University teacher were especially remarkable. In addition to his scholarly instruction, he was able to inspire generations of students of folk music as a “musician.” Many ensembles, which today are central figures in the Austrian music scene, have learned from him and have been encouraged by him. It was he who initiated the practical courses of my department. His model of teaching, his teaching style, and the involvement of masters of various styles of traditional music were truly trendsetting. We will miss you, Rudi!


Hoping you will enjoy reading the many reports, announcements, calls for proposals, reviews and other news, I kindly remind you that the Bulletin of the ICTM is not attached to any membership or subscription, so you are very welcome to forward this e-mail to your colleagues.

While we always strive to make the Bulletin richer and more useful, it is a task which cannot be done alone — so I warmly invite you to send your opinions, comments, suggestions, ideas, or any other kind of feedback, so we can make together a better Bulletin for everybody.

Carlos Yoder
Editor, Bulletin of the ICTM