International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

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). 

Musical styles, repertoires, manner of performance, instruments are not only often translated in space, as a result of culture contacts and migration, but also frequently “translated,” in the sense that they are made comprehensible, meaningful, palatable and, also, in some way useful, to the cultures and social groups adopting them. When a musical style or repertoire is absorbed into the overall sense of identity of a social group which is not the one originally producing it, the translation process allows insights into the symbolic connotations of the music and/or on the sound characteristics that make it compatible with the new social and geographic environment, as well as its new functions. As in the case of literature, translation may reveal a total misunderstanding of the original sense of the music undergoing the process; a creative form of misunderstanding that brings us closer to the fundamental question of why organized sound is so important for human beings, regardless of how foreign to them is the context that saw its production. 

Collegues interested in submitting a paper are cordially invited to send a one-page abstract, before January 31, 2010, to Marcello Sorce Keller: Papers will be screened by Martin Stokes, Philip Ciantar, Marcello Sorce Keller. 

The program committee is made up of: Lucienne Bugeja (Foundation for International Studies Ltd., Malta), Philip Ciantar (University of Malta), Ruth F. Davis (University of Cambridge), Simon Mercieca (University of Malta), Marcello Sorce Keller (Study Group Chair), Martin Stokes (University of Oxford). 

Assistance in finding accommodation and access to cultural events accompanying the Meeting will be provided. Anyone wishing to attend may contact Lucienne Buggeja (Foundation for International Studies Ltd., Malta):

Marcello Sorce Keller, Study Group Chair