International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Call for Papers: 5th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe



We are pleased to announce the Fifth Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe and invite proposals to be submitted by 20 September, 2015. Please note that in accordance with our aims and objectives as an ICTM Study Group, this biennial event is not a general conference but a Study Group meeting dedicated to three selected themes which will form the focus of our presentations and discussions.


Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

  • Beginning date – 2 May, 2016
  • Departure date – 8 May, 2016


1. Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe in post-1989

The year 1989 indicates the start of a new period of southeast European history, moving on from the collapse of socialist regimes to the processes of EU integration. This has involved broad cultural transformations and caused re-questioning of the dichotomies and hierarchies between East and West, national and transnational, local and regional, public and private, collective and individual, professional and amateur, official and unofficial. In those processes music and dance have played a significant and constructive role. We invite symposium participants to explore the interrelationships between music/dance and society on local or national/regional levels in the context of the post-socialist transition in Southeastern Europe. Topics to be considered could include: How has the process of (re)positioning and (re-evaluating) geopolitical and cultural affinities, politics and the official nation state within Southeastern Europe influenced its musical and dance practices? In which way has the shift of official state policies influenced music and dance performances? What is the role of the individuals in these processes? In what ways has the global consumption of music and dance from Southeastern Europe affected music and dance practice within the region? Has a change in attitudes towards cultural heritage reshaped local music and dance practices which are considered to form part of this? 

2. Representations of Music and Dance in audio-visual ethnographies in Southeastern Europe

Audiovisual representations of music and dance are used as one of the basic reference tools in ethnographic research. However the theoretical, practical and ethical implications connected to their use have rarely been discussed among ethnomusicologists and ethnochoreologists. As the available technology has expanded and real-time sources have become easier to access this has given new methods for communicating ethnographies in part replacing the written form. Access and consumption of these ethnographies is no longer restricted to researchers, as film media is also consumed and forms part of the culture within. Symposium participants are particularly invited to address their own various personal experiences of filming music and dance and to consider issues including: How are research methodologies expanding the potential use of ‘audio-visual’ beyond just a reference document? How does the historical perspective in film ethnographies relate to music and dance in Southeastern Europe? What are the relationships between the audiovisual ‘reality’ of music and dance performances and the ways of capturing them through recording processes? How are choices made at the time of visual recording of music and dance, of what to film, where to stand, whether to film at all? How do the editing, selecting and presenting of the recorded material influence its subsequent interpretation? Can these decisions lead to differences in representation in the fields of politics, marketing, media, and business? In which ways can film ethnographies of music and dance in Southeastern Europe contribute to the understanding of the historical, political and cultural uniqueness of this region?

3. Myth, ritual and interpretations in/of the music and dance in Southeastern Europe

Music and dance have an important place in the mythology and ritual of traditional cultures in Southeastern Europe. This topic may include a study of music and dance motifs in local mythological understandings and the role of music and dance in calendrical and life cycle rituals. Interpretation of local music and dance traditions implies a look at the "musicality" of the myth or the "mythology" of music. In addition, the study of music and dance events, as well as their social and public uses today, includes aspects of modern mythology and rituals: images and symbols, social mythology, ideology, etc.

We welcome proposals for individual presentations, panels and round tables that address one or more of these questions and other related issues that arise directly from the themes. They are to be sent by email before September 1, 2015.


English is the official language of the symposium, and only papers to be delivered in English can be accepted. Proposals must be submitted in English.


Please send your proposal by email. The text should be pasted into the body of the email and also sent as a Word.doc or Rich Text Format (RTF) attachment to ensure access. The proposal should include:

  • Name of person submitting:
  • Institutional affiliation:
  • Mailing address:
  • Phone/fax number:
  • Email address:
  • Are you a current member of the ICTM? Only abstracts from members will be considered.
  • Type of presentation (individual, media, panel, round table):
  • Title:
  • Technical equipment required (PC, slide projector, audio, other visual or spatial requirements, other technical requirements)
  • ABSTRACT TEXT (no more than 300 words)

Please label all communications clearly with your full contact details. It is expected that all individual presentations and panels will present new insights. Proposals for presentations that were previously given or have appeared in print, or in other formats, will be rejected.


The Program Committee reserves the right to accept those proposals that, in their opinion, fit best into the scheme of the symposium, and that can be accommodated within the time frame of the symposium.


  1. Selena Rakočević, Serbia - Chair
  2. Carol Silverman, USA
  3. Iva Niemčić, Croatia
  4. Belma Kurtişoğlu, Turkey
  5. Ventsislav Dimov, Bulgaria
  6. Ardian Ahmedaja, Austria/Albania 


South-West University "Neofit Rilski" – Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria), Faculty of Arts, Department of Music (

Contact persons:

  • Lozanka Peycheva, Institute for Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (
  • Ivanka Vlaeva, South-West University "Neofit Rilski", Faculty of Arts, Department of Music (


Proposals should be sent by email to both:

Liz Mellish, secretary of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe

Selena Rakočević – Chair of the Program Committee

The committee cannot consider proposals received after the deadline of September 1, 2015. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be announced by November 1, 2015. If you have a deadline for funding applications for travel, accommodation, and so on, please notify the Program Committee of your deadline date.


Please note that the Program Committee will only consider proposals by current members of the ICTM in good standing for 2015. Please contact the Chair, Velika Stojkova Serafimovska ( and/or the Secretary, Liz Mellish ( for membership of the Study Group. Members may join and submit a proposal at the same time. Membership application forms are available at the ICTM website. For membership questions, contact the ICTM Secretariat at 


You may present only once during the symposium. Please clearly indicate your preferred format. If members have any questions about the program, or the suitability of a proposal, please contact the Program Chair or a member of the Program Committee and ask for assistance. Colleagues are advised to bring alternative modes of presentation delivery if using PowerPoint, DVD, or other format in case of unexpected technical difficulties on the day of presentation.

Individual Presentations

The Program Committee will organize individual proposals that have been accepted into one and a half hour panel sessions. Each presentation will be allotted 20 minutes inclusive of all illustrations, audio-visual media or movement examples, plus 10 minutes for questions and discussion. There will be no deviation allowed from this time allotment. A 20-minute paper is normally around 5 pages of double spaced type. Please submit a one page abstract (about 300 words) outlining the content, argument and conclusion, its relation to the symposium theme you have chosen to address, plus a brief bibliography and/or statement of sources, if appropriate, on a second page. Please include the type of illustrations to be used in the presentation, such as slides, DVD, video (including format), or other materials.  

Media Presentations

Media presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in duration. You will be allotted 10 minutes extra for questions. Your presentation should engage critically with the media (video, CD, DVD, and so on) and key material for viewing should be pre-selected. It is essential that your presentation address one of the three themes. Please submit a one page abstract (about 300 words) outlining content, argument and conclusion, the relevance of the media presentation to the selected theme, plus a brief bibliography and/or other sources.


We encourage presentations in the form of panel sessions. Panel sessions are a group of papers that are entirely planned, coordinated, and prepared by a group of people, one of whom is the responsible coordinator. Proposals may be submitted for panels consisting of three or four presenters and the structure is at the discretion of the coordinator. The proposal must explain the overall purpose, the role of the individual participants, and indicate the commitment of all participants to attend the symposium. Each panel proposal will be accepted or rejected as a whole. Submit a short summary (one-page) of the panel overview, and an individual paper proposal, as described under Individual Papers above, for each presenter. All of the proposals for a panel should be sent together. Proposals should address one or more aspects of the established themes of this meeting. Total length of a panel will be one hour (with an additional 20 minutes for comments and responses).


We also encourage presentations in the form of roundtables. These are sessions that are entirely planned, coordinated, and prepared by a group of people, one of whom is the responsible coordinator. The aim is to generate discussion between members of the roundtable who present questions, issues, and/or material for about 5 minutes on the pre-selected unifying theme of the roundtable. The following discussion, at the convener’s discretion, may open into more general discussion with the audience. The total length of a roundtable will be one and a half hours inclusive of all discussion.

Proposals may be submitted for a roundtable consisting of up to 10 presenters, and the structure is at the discretion of the convener who will chair the event. The proposal must explain the overall purpose, the role of the individual participants, and signal the commitment of all participants to attend the symposium. Each roundtable proposal will be accepted or rejected as a whole.