International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

2013 - Minutes of the 6th General Assembly of the ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology

Date: July 12, 2013

Location: Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Shanghai, ICTM World Conference in Shanghai

Co-chairs: Klisala Harrison (Study Group Chairperson), Samuel Araujo (Vice Chairperson), Britta Sweers (Secretary)

Approximately 30 members were present, also including Oh-sung Kwon, Bo-Hyung Lee, Heejin Kim, Anthony Seeger, Keith Howard, Sabrina Salis, Evert Bisschop Boele, Dan Lundberg, Min Y. Ong, Denis Crowdy, Beverley Diamond, Shzr Ee Tan, Daniel Milosavljevic, Genevieve Campbell, Nathan Watkins, Anthea Skinner, Aaron Corn, Nina Graeff, Marcelo Lopes, Marie Christine Parent, François Picard, Mary Saurman, Todd Saurman, Ana Hofman, Svanibor Pettan, Pirkko Moisala and Huib Schippers.



Klisala Harrison informed about the history and biannual symposia of the study group, which was initiated by Svanibor Pettan in 2007. The study group has had three meetings so far – in Ljubljana, Slovenia (2008), in Hanoi, Vietnam (2010), and in Nicosia, Cyprus (2012). A summary was provided of the Cyprus meeting and the main themes covered so far, including the topics of the highly interactive “talking circles” that have been a central feature of all study group symposia.

The assembly discussed the option of a creating Facebook page for the study group. Ana Hofman volunteered to make the Facebook page.


The assembly decided that the 4th biannual symposium of the study group will take place on South Africa’s Eastern Cape in 2014. The main organizer who is very keen to host the study group, Bernhard Bleibinger of the University of Fort Hare, gave a presentation via Skype. The assembly discussed venue options of various campuses of the University of Fort Hare in East London, Alice and Hogsback. While also considering options to meet either between the 21st of March and early April or around the 24th of May-25th of June, the majority of the assembly preferred to meet in late June-early July.

Bleibinger will take care to select a range of affordable accommodation. It was suggested that it would be reasonable to visit the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, which takes place in early July.

Security was discussed. As Bleibinger pointed out, it is no problem to walk in groups; likewise, one can take taxis. One can fly to an airport in East London via Johannesburg and Capetown. Anthony Seeger and Keith Howard also asked for the option of visiting the International Library of African Music (ILAM) and African Musical Instruments (AMI) in Grahamstown during the symposium.


The themes of the 2014 symposium were announced. They are:

  • Applied ethnomusicology and institutions
  • Music and media
  • New work in applied ethnomusicology


It is planned to publish a mega-volume from the Cyprus and South Africa study group symposia. Klisala Harrison has approached Ashgate and Routledge. Ashgate is interested. Routledge prefers textbooks. Svanibor Pettan suggested the option of his university department’s journal, Musicology Annual. The World of Music was mentioned as another possible venue. The intention is to produce a peer-reviewed volume.

The assembly discussed delays regarding a volume planned in 2010 that suffered from the withdrawal of its two editors. The assembly was informed that a number of papers were collected, and there also exists a table of contents. As the past and present study group chairs have never had access to these papers, the authors are being asked to send in their last version to get the process started again. Huib Schippers and Beverley Diamond suggested an online publication in this case.

A book featuring the work of study group members, Applied Ethnomusicology: Historical and Contemporary Approaches (2010), continues to attract interest and readership.


Members informed about recent publications and projects. For Australian examples, Aaron Corn spoke about the Information Technology and Indigenous Communities project, while Genevieve Campbell described The Strong Kids’ Songs project. Examples of publications on applied ethnomusicology within the past year include an interview with Anthony Seeger published in the journal El oído pensante (vol. 1, no. 2) and an article by Klisala Harrison in Ethnomusicology (vol. 56, no. 3). Publications in development include the Oxford Handbook of Applied Ethnomusicology, edited by Svanibor Pettan and Jeff Todd Titon.


Minutes taken by Britta Sweers