International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Call for Papers - 13th Symposium of the Mediterranean Music Study Group, Tangier, June 15-20, 2020

***French and Arabic versions attached as PDF dcouments at the bottom of this post****

The ICTM Study Group on Mediterranean Music is pleased to announce its 13th Symposium on the theme

Music, Power, and Space: a Mediterranean perspective

The symposium will be hosted by the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies and the Al-Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures and will be held at both venues in Tangier, Morroco, on June 15-20, 2020

In the history of the Mediterranean, the flow of power - in the form of trade, conquest, colonization, migration, or shifts within political borders - has always gone hand in hand with the flow of cultures, and music among them: conquerors bringing with them their music, or adopting the traditions of the conquered; exiled or resettled populations carrying their sounds into new contexts; distant seats of power projecting their aural cultures through various networks of transmissions, from imperial bureaucracy, through religious orders, to commercial digital platforms. Place, region, area, locality and territory are all multi-layered geographical concepts: the sense of belonging or not belonging to a space is closely intertwined with ideas about place and territory, city, village, administrative district; whereas the regional or the local are seen as sites of authenticity and lived meanings such as neighbourhood, community, home, and more broadly landscape and microclimate. Sound and music contest territoriality by investing space with contrasting notions of legitimacy.

In addition to these flows, music has always been a site for articulating and safeguarding collective identities (of concentrated or dispersed groups); for engaging in dialogue with others sharing the same - often contested - spaces, and for resisting ossified cultural patterns. It serves both to sound an individual voice and to drown-out and discipline othered voices. It holds the power both to obfuscate and to enforce hierarchical, ethnic, gendered, or religious divisions, to cultivate national sentiments, or perform different kinds of exclusion. Considering Deleuze and Guattari’s statement that "sound is a means of territorialization […] to organize a limited space" (1987), we explore the role that sound and space play in creating evocations of territories that are mediated through music. As such, music and sound permeate various spaces marked by societal asymmetries of power.

The next symposium of the MMSTG will highlight the role music plays in the dynamics of power that characterize such spaces: public vs private, urban vs rural, collective vs individual, seats of economic power vs economic peripheries, spaces of political power vs. spaces occupied by the general public, or state cultural institutions vs. grassroots entities.

We welcome proposals for contributions (papers, organized panels, roundtables, lecture demonstrations, musical performances, or ethnographic films/sound pieces) addressing relevant questions including (but not limited to) ethnicity, minorities, gender and sexual orientation, aesthetic authority, or the social status of professional/hereditary musicians, as well as macro-political themes such as empire, colonization/decolonization, occupation, international media corporations, and the recent refugee crisis, etc.

We hope to stimulate debate and new insights around questions such as: what can ethnomusicologists tell about music, power and space in private and public spaces, sacred and religious – _and more broadly – _in lands, desert and sea, lakes and rivers of the Mediterranean? How can a musical ethnography of the Mediterranean inform or re-focus sound and space? What methods can be applied to the analysis and ethnography of musical traditions in different spaces and environments? Can an identifiably particular relationship to music and power be defined in the Mediterranean space?

The Program Committee will also welcome papers that address this topic as a platform to think critically about the relationships between different parts of the Mediterranean as they were addressed in the previous two Symposia. Works in progress on this theme and research on other topics by members of the study group will also be considered.

We are excited to plan this second conference in the Maghreb, following on the wonderfully successful experience in Essaouira in 2018. Tangier, poised as it is at the entrance (or exit) to/from the Mediterranean is in a physical conceptually strategic and symbolic position. Its long history as an international city and crossroads of cultures makes it particularly appropriate for the convergence of scholarly conversations on this topic. Holding our symposium in this city, and interacting with musicians and scholars from that very region as well as other points in the Mediterranean specifically furthers the goals of the MMS study group.


Call for paper and panel proposals:

While English will be the general medium for the symposium, submissions and presentations in Arabic and French are also welcome.

Proposals for individual papers must include the following:

Title and an abstract not exceeding 250 words; full contact information including address, phone and e-mail.

Please submit abstracts in English, French or Arabic to or .

Fully formed panel proposals must include the following:

The Panel: Title and a short abstract not exceeding 250 words; contact information including address, phone, fax, and e-mail for the panel chair.

Individual Papers: Each panel must submit, for each participant, title and an abstract not exceeding 250 words and contact information including address, phone, and e-mail.

Participants may present only one paper, but may also serve as a chair on their own and/or another panel.

Important Dates:

Deadline submission for all individual papers and organized (i.e., fully formed) panels is November 15, 2019.

Notifications of acceptance will be circulated on January 3, 2020.


Program Committee:

Vanessa Paloma Elbaz (chair)

Fulvia Caruso

Oded Erez

Anis Fariji

Salvatore Morra

Olivier Tourny


Local Arrangements Committee:

Yhtimad Bouziane

Mohammed Elmedlaoui

Brahim Salimi