International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

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

A new issue of the Bulletin of the ICTM (Volume 144, Octobner 2020) is available for download, directly from the following links:

  1. Bulletin of the ICTM Vol. 144 (October 2020), good quality (3.6 MB). Recommended for reading on screen only, and for users of slower Internet connections. 
  2. Bulletin of the ICTM Vol. 144 (October 2020), best quality (12.3 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. 


The present issue of the Bulletin is very rich in contents, because, due to the 
COVID-19 pandemic, many things have happened in ICTM since April. At that time I mentioned that all of us were confronted with an absolutely challenging situation, both physically, psychologically, and concerning our working conditions. Unfortunately this situation has not changed, and it has had consequences for the Council. 

As you have been previously informed, the ICTM World Conference was postponed from 2021 to 2022 (see more on pages 3–4, Message from the President). Many Study Group meetings scheduled for 2020 were postponed as well (see Calendar of Events on page 35 for more), although some were successfully held online. Obviously this works—to a certain extent—and our international community continues to be very active in exchanging ideas, experiences, and knowledge. I am happy to see that ICTM is not in lockdown! 

On 18–21 September 2020, the Executive Board held its annual meeting via Zoom for the first time. The meeting was followed by the liveliest email discussion I have ever experienced during my mandate. One of the topics intensely discussed was the ICTM Statement and Activities in View of Decolonization of Music and Dance Studies. I very much agree with the statement’s socio-political message, highlighted for example in sentences like “acknowledging the epistemic, ethical, and political quest for dignity and equity of humanity in difference, renewed recently by the Black Lives Matter movement,” or “ongoing reflection and design activities aimed to overcome discriminatory and/or biased practices on the basis of nationality, race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexuality, age, body type, disability, socio-economic background, career hierarchy, research theories and methods, and other bases.” Of course, these thoughts are nothing new to ICTM, as they are based on the Declaration of Ethical Principles and Professional Integrity as well as on our 
Statutes. But this is not only a declaration; concrete actions will follow. One is the series of events ICTM Dialogues 2021: Towards Decolonization of Music and Dance Studies, a new format inspired by both the conversations around the decolonization statement and by the current situation that forces us to take advantage of online means for holding scholarly events. It is an innovative and timely political reaction to debates around the world appropriate for an international organization like ICTM. I want to thank the EB committee on Ethics for starting the process, as well as all members of ICTM who participated in the discussion. 

A debate about another innovation in ICTM is in the air as well. It will be up to the membership to decide, after 40 years, whether ICTM should change its name. The International Folk Music Council became the International Council for Traditional Music in 1981 at the Seoul World Conference. 

For several years, the need to include “dance” in the name of the Council has been argued; and the question of whether “traditional music” really represents what we study worldwide has also been debated. In November we will conduct a survey of the ICTM membership, the second in our history, and some questions will directly address these issues. The results will be analysed by the Executive Board and presented for consideration to the General Assembly of Members, which will be held online on 24 July 2021, as originally scheduled. Also in the survey, there will be an extended section on the identification of possible bases of discriminatory, biased, and/or alienating practices within the ICTM framework. We do hope that the results of the survey will help the decision makers in ICTM. Implementing this instrument of democracy was a big step forward, and I ask you to make use of it and make your voice heard! 

The ICTM elections are upcoming as well, another instrument of democracy, although not new. In 2019 we had the highest participation in elections ever, nearly 50% of the eligible voters, likely due to using a third-party online election platform that guaranteed transparency and anonymity. You can find the Call for Nominations to the 2021 ICTM Elections on page 6 of this Bulletin, so please consider nominating a candidate or standing for election. 

As you can see in the Reports section of this issue, Study Groups and the World Network are active. I want to announce that Belgium has founded a new National Committee, which I welcome warmly. The Study Group on Music and Dance in Latin America and the Caribbean held its first elections—congratulations to the newly elected officers!

For the first time in its history, the Council announces the winners of ICTM Prizes, another innovation from last year (see report on pages 8–10). Please consider nominating publications, articles, and film productions that you would find worthy of being awarded the 2021 prizes (see pages 15–17).

The sad note in this Bulletin is the obituary for Akin Euba, renowned composer, performer, and scholar of African music. He passed away in April 2020. 

In the end I want to congratulate and thank Barbara Smith. She is celebrating her 100th birthday this year, and is active as ever, how wonderful! (see contribution by her former student Ric Trimillos on pages 6–7). I want to thank her for her ongoing engagement, also financially. The ICTM does not have many private donors, Barbara is one of them, thank you so much!


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