International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

2012 - Report on the 3rd Biannual Symposium and 5th General Assembly of the ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology

The ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology met for a stimulating third symposium at the University of Nicosia in Nicosia, Cyprus from 18 to 22 April 2012. Attended by approximately 40 scholars from Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia, the symposium concentrated on the three themes of politics and practices of applied ethnomusicology in relation to social activism, censorship and state control; disability and music; and music and conflict. The symposium opened with brief lectures by Panikos Giorgoudes, chair of the Local Organising Committee, conflict mediator Maria Hadjipavlou, and sociologist and university president Nicos Peristianis on the relevance of the music and conflict theme for scholars of music in Nicosia. The cosmopolitan and culturally rich city is also the last divided capital in Europe between a Greek south and Turkish-occupied north part. Study Group Chair and Program Committee Chair Klisala Harrison (Finland/Canada) introduced her theoretical idea of epistemic communities of applied ethnomusicology for collective projects that address problems and issue areas while ICTM Secretary General Svanibor Pettan shared a history of applied ethnomusicology at the ICTM.



The following days featured academic papers that introduced relevant research and praxis on a highly diverse range of topics. One group of papers focused on the topic of conflict, mediation and reconciliation. Sarah Ross and Britta Sweers (Switzerland) discussed the role of the ethnomusicologist as mediator in Switzerland, while Leila Qashu (Canada) looked at conflict resolution processes through music in Ethiopia and Mike Hajimichael (Cyprus) shed light on the difficult collaboration processes across the so-called Green Line separating Greeks and Turks in Cyprus. The issue of public conflict resolution was taken up by Inna Naroditskaya (USA) who presented material on recent protest movements. Focusing also on the issue of conflict, Ray Casserley (Ireland) analysed the use of music in parades in Northern Ireland by Protestants and Catholics. Kai Åberg (Finland) discussed boasting songs of the Finnish Roma or Kale, while Anthea Skinner (Australia) highlighted the role of music in Australian military bands.



A second group of papers displayed a fascinating range of approaches in the area of social activism. Carolyn Landau (UK) presented a highly stimulating paper on applied research within Muslim communities, Pamela Costes Onishi (Singapore) gave insights into cultural policies of the National Arts Council of Singapore’s drumming workshops at community centres, while Paola Barzan (Italy) offered an ethnographic analysis of a music therapy project in a junior high school and a film presentation by Permius Matiure (Zimbabwe/South Africa) revealed the situation of a blind street musician in Zimbabwe. Particularly memorable were also Bernhard Bleibinger’s (South Africa) fascinating paper on the complexity of responses to disabilities in a university music program in South Africa, and a strong Australian focus—represented by Aaron Corn (Australia), Sally Treloyn (Australia) and Andrea Emberly (Canada)—that addressed the complexities and intercultural challenges of social activism with regard to indigenous Australian groups. Marija Dumnić highlighted issues of urgent ethnomusicology in photo-archival work in Serbia, while Sofia Weissenegger (Austria) added insights on the applied school project “With all Senses”. Other engaging presenters included Dimitris Papanikolaou, Andreas Tsiartas and Nefen Michaelides.



As already indicated with the Australian papers, this symposium marked the development towards a more theoretical reflection on applied ethnomusicology, as became apparent in the papers of Klisala Harrison on applied ethnomusicology as an evaluative research method; Samuel Araújo (Brazil; transmitted via Skype) who reflected on the challenges of social activism in post-industrial urban societies; and Jonathan Stock (UK) who discussed human research ethics and related challenges for applied work within an institutionalised context.



The study group’s unique format of talking circles focused this year on applied ethnomusicology in relation to institutions. Other highlights included exchanges between Cypriot and international scholars on music as a tool in conflict resolution, for instance through a panel focused on conflict in the Mediterranean and Middle East featuring speakers Edwin Seroussi, Nicos Peristianis, Costas Constantinou, Maria Hadjipavlou and Engul Atamert.


However, academic presentations and discussions were also interspersed with performances of rebetiko music, music and dance from the Paphos district in Cyprus as well as music from Asia Minor and the greater Mediterranean. This included the presentation of traditional folk and art music from Asia Minor and the greater area of the Mediterranean presented by the groups Karsi and Oi Las, which focused on Cypriot music (19 April), and on 21 April, a performance of rebetiko music by the group Neorebetes. Framed by a wonderful buffet at the Hilton Park Hotel, the event set conference participants rebetiko dancing as well. Thanks again to Panikos Giorgoudes and his team for having organised this rich and stimulating event!




Minutes of the 5th General Assembly of the ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology


The fifth general assembly of the ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology was held on 20 April 2012 from 11:00 to 11:35. Klisala Harrison and Study Group Secretary Britta Sweers co-chaired the business meeting. Introductory remarks and a welcome conveyed greetings sent by Samuel Araújo (the Study Group’s Vice Chair) who was active as a program committee member. The next point on the meeting agenda, Study Group activities and publications, discussed the format in which Study Group members would prefer to publish writings associated with the Study Group. The publication developed from the Study Group’s first symposium was a peer-reviewed book, Applied Ethnomusicology: Historical and Contemporary Approaches (2010). The assembly strongly agreed not to publish conference proceedings from each symposium, but rather to work towards another peer-reviewed book with a reputable publisher. Samuel Araújo, Klisala Harrison and Britta Sweers have been approached by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, which, however, does not have an editing staff (the editors would have to undertake copy editing themselves). Svanibor Pettan offered the journal Musicological Annual (Editor’s Note: Muzikološki zbornik, a Slovene language publication), although an English language copy editor would also be needed. At this point, study group members including Caroline Landau, Sally Treloyn, Klisala Harrison, Paola Barzan and Svanibor Pettan announced their recent and forthcoming publications on applied ethnomusicology. Regarding membership matters, attendees were reminded that being a presenter at the Study Group symposium requires the status of an ICTM member in good standing. Payment is now possible through PayPal via the ICTM website.



The Study Group’s mailing list is also being updated. The next agenda item, location of the next symposium, produced a generous number of offers. Paola Barzan pointed out that Venice, Italy is an available location. Bernhard Bleibinger offered the newly established University of Fort Hare campus in East London, South Africa as well as a second University of Fort Hare campus in Alice and a university conference facility in Hogsback (i.e., we have the choice of three different locations in South Africa). Svanibor Pettan informed that Elena Shishkina offered Astrakhan as a location. Cyprus was offered again.


Last, possible themes for a 2014 symposium were solicited. The following list also may serve as an outline of current and prospective scholarly interests of study group members: *Intercultural encounters in music education with disabilities *Music and poverty *Legal implications of music; music, law and ethics (These were highly favourite topics during the meeting.) *Music and media, particularly regarding mass media and conflict, and relationships between film or video and ethnomusicology *Reverse migration including the role of institutions therein *Post-colonialism in the southern hemisphere *An imaginary Europe (How do we imagine Europe from the outside?); occidentalism and economic *Diasporic identities and re-enculturation processes involving music *Immigration and emigration (and the children of immigrants) *Ethnomusicology in contemporary artistic and multimedia performances; the creative handling of ethnomusicology (e.g., by composers) *National and international policy frameworks and frame-working (e.g., UNESCO declarations and covenants, or South African institutional frameworks for cultural production) *Infrastructure: What can we do in terms of establishing infrastructure? *Economy and festival *The roles, developments and mechanisms of state-approved cultures (e.g., involving folklorisation)



Klisala Harrison, Chairperson

Britta Sweers, Secretary