International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

ICTM Study Group on Mediterranean Music Studies (formerly Anthropology of Music in Mediterranean Cultures)


The Study Group was founded in 1992 by Tullia Magrini during the conference "Anthropology of Music in Mediterranean Cultures" (Venice, 10-12 September 1992), organized by the ICTM Italian Committee with the support of the Fondazione Olga e Ugo Levi, Venezia. The Study Group was formally recognized by the Executive Board of the ICTM in 1993. It stated as its founding mission “to promote research and discussion about music considered as a human and social phenomenon, without distinction among oral, literate, and popular traditions. The Study Group fosters co-operation between ethnomusicologists, historical musicologists, and anthropologists”.

Under Tullia’s inspired leadership (1992–2005) the Study Group established a basic pattern of triennial meetings in Venice under the auspices of the Levi Foundation (, which generously funded the travel and hospitality of the all-invited participants. In 1996 Tullia launched Music & Anthropology (M&A) — the Study Group’s multimedia peer-reviewed online journal — a pioneering concept in musical scholarship at the time. The website is no longer active but is accessible for reference.

The last meeting of the Study Group hosted by the Levi Foundation was held in 2007 and was dedicated to the memory of Tullia Magrini, who had passed two years earlier. Marcello Sorce Keller was entrusted with carrying the work of the Study Group forward as Chair, with Ruth Davis as Vice-Chair. Thus began a new era for the Study Group marked by new venues (in Malta, Portugal and Cambridge UK), new thematic directions, and expanded participation. The Study Group changed its name to Mediterranean Music Studies (MMS) to reflect its more diversified disciplinary orientation. As M&A ceased to operate, the online journal Mediterranean Music Studies (MMS) (2010–2014) was launched under Marcello Sorce Keller’s editorship.  

At the 2014 Symposium in Cambridge, Marcello announced his intention to step down as Chair and Ruth Davis was elected to replace him; she was assisted (from 2015) by the Study Group's first Secretary, Cassandre Balosso-Bardin. In June 2016 the Study Group held its 11th Symposium jointly with the International Musicological Society in Naples on the theme “Musicians in the Mediterranean: Narratives of Movement”.  Alessandra Ciucci was elected Vice-Chair and Oded Erez was elected Secretary, taking over from Cassandre Balosso-Bardin.

In June 2018 Study Group members met in Essaouira, Morocco for the Symposium Music and Sound at the Mediterranean Crossroads. This was the very first meeting of the Study Group hosted in North Africa. A second symposium in Morocco planned in Tangeri (2020) was held only on-line. The last symposium was held in Marseille (MUCEM) and hosted by the Institut d'Ethnologie Méditerranéenne Européenne et Comparative and SNRS/Aix-Marseille Université. 

In May 2019 the Mediterranean Music Studies Blog was launched, as an affliated platform for conversation and community, hosting pieces of research across a variety of media (writing, video, audio, and photography), as well as reports and reflections from fieldwork. It is also posible to stay up to day with Blog activity by following our Twitter account: @MedMusicStudies


Chair: Vanessa Paloma Elbaz (UK– Morocco)
Vice-Chair: Salvatore Morra (Italy)
Secretary:  to be appointed 

Archive: Information for 2010 meeting - ENCOUNTERS WITH MEDITERRANEAN MUSIC

Mediterranean Institute - University of Malta

International Music Pedagogy Workshops
27-30 June 2010

“Introduction to Ethnomusicology and 
Mediterranean Soundscapes”
Taught by Philip Ciantar, University of Malta

“Applied Ethnomusicology in the Classroom”
Taught by Elita Maule, Conservatorio di Musica di Bolzano

With contributions by Mariella Cassar, Education Officer for Music – Ministry of Education – Malta
and Marcello Sorce Keller, Chair Study Group

in conjunction with 

Archive: Progress Report August 2009

Progress Report

ICTM Study Group for the Anthropology of Music in Mediterranean Cultures

Archive: 8th Meeting of the Study Group

“Anthropology of Music in Mediterranean Cultures” 
Mediterranean Institute, University of Malta, 
July 1-4, 2010

Call for Papers

Conference Theme: Musical Translations across the Mediterranean

Translation is a way of thinking about how languages, people, and cultures are transformed as they move between different places. It can also be used more metaphorically, as a way of describing how the individual or the group can be transformed by changing their sense of their own place in society. (R.C.J. Young, Postcolonialism, 2003). 

Archive: Report - Meeting Venice 2004

Anthropology of Music in Mediterranean Cultures
6th Meeting of the Study Group on Anthropology of Music in Mediterranean Cultures
10th - 12th June 2004, Venice, Italy