International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

XV Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology & Workshop of the European Music Archaeology Project (EMAP)

Music in the Stone Age

Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana

August 24-27, 2017

The XV Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology will be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from August 24-27, 2017. The symposium is intended to establish a platform of current research on topics such as prehistoric human music cultures and their respective sound tools, or the archaeoacoustics of caves and other prehistoric sites. Besides reflecting current projects and results, it is intended to deepen ongoing discussions, and to publish the information in an anthology.

Possible sessions of the symposium are the making, playing, and meaning of bird bone pipes or any other sound artefacts believed to be Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic musical instruments, the evolution of human neurobiology in relation to sound production/music-making, the archaeoacoustics of prehistoric sites, or organological developments and cultural interactions in the earliest phase of human music.

During the symposium, a panel and round table funded by the European Music Archaeology Project will be held. The event is intended to reconsider divergent views on the perforated thighbone of a cave bear excavated in the Divje babe I cave, Slovenia, which lead to the heated controversy if this object could be a flute produced in the time of the Neanderthals. The find stimulated research over the last two decades, and the debate is still going on in the light of latest laboratorial results. On the workshop and round table both pro- and counter-arguments will be addressed and openly discussed.

Please come back to the organisers with a title of your presentation. If you like to organise a session with four to five presenters, feel free to contact the organisers.


During the symposium a visit to the Archaeomusica exhibition, shown during the summer of 2017 in the National Museum of Slovenia, will be organised. The parallel Street Music Festival »Noči v Stari Ljubljani« provides the program for evening events. After the symposium participants are invited to join a tour to the beautiful castle of Ptuj with its collection of musical instruments.


ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology & German Archaeological Institute, for the EMAP

Arnd Adje Both ( & Dorotheee Judith Arndt (


National Museum of Slovenia, Ljubljana (Barbara Ravnik & Peter Turk)

Department of Musicology, Faculty of the Arts, University of Ljubljana (Svanibor Pettan)

Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana (Matija Turk)

Imago Sloveniae (Janoš Kern)