International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

ICTMD Study Group on Music and Dance in the Turkic World

Welcome to the ICTMD Study Group on the Music and Dance in the Turkic World

5th Symposium of the Study Group, Almaty, April 2016
5th Symposium of the Study Group, Almaty, April 2016

Founding Executive

Prof. Dr Razia Sultanova (University of Cambridge, UK - Uzbekistan)

Chairperson 2006 - 2019

Tel. +44-7946-870030, e-mail

Mission Statement

The Music and Dance in the Turkic World Study Group is dedicated to the practice, documentation, preservation, and dissemination of traditional music and dance as found throughout the wide area of the Turkic World, stretching from South Siberia to the shores of the Mediterranean and increasingly in diasporic locations elsewhere, comprises the art and music of numerous different ethnicities (Altai, Azerbaijanis, Balkars, Bashkirs, Chuvashes, Crimean Karaites, Dolgans, Gagauz, Karachays,  Karakalpaks, Kazakhs, Khakas, Krymchaks, Kyrgyz people, Nogais, Qashqai,  Shors, Tatars, Turkmens, Turks, Tuvans, Uyghurs, Uzbeks, and Yakuts, as well as ancient and medieval states such as Dingling, Bulgars, Chuban, Göktürks, Khazars,  Khiljis, Kipchaks, Kumans, Ottoman Turks, Seljuk Turks, Tiele, Timurids, Turgeshes, and possibly Huns, Tuoba, Wusun, and the Xiongnu). Today at a time of globalization and, for many countries, loosing identity, research and documentation music of the Turkic World helps to identify key issues of performance phenomenon allowing a better understanding of the vast Turkic World to emerge.

Contact details


Prof. Dr Abdullah Akat

Istanbul University State Conservatory, Department of Ethnomusicology,

Maltepe/Istanbul, Turkey, Tel: +90 543 9016578, e-mail:


Assoc.Prof. Dr Galina Sychenko

Independent scholar, Roma, Italy 

Tel: +39-39-21-279-251,  e-mail:


Assoc.Prof. Dr Valeria Nedlin 

Kazakh National Conservatory named after Kurmangazy

Tel. +7 707 353 99 25 email:   

Prof. Dr Anna Oldfield

Coastal Carolina University

Tel. +1 (843) 349-6591

Appointed Study Group members serving on the Board

Suraya Agaeva (National Academy of Sciences, Azerbaijan)

Alexander Djumaev (Union of the Uzbek Composers, Uzbekistan)

Keith Howard (SOAS, University of London, UK)

Zilia Imamutdinova (Russian Arts Study Insitute, Russia)

Fattah Khaligzade (Azerbaijani National Conservatory, Azerbaijan)

Rezeda Khurmatullina (Kazan Federal University, Russia)

Irene Markoff (York University, Canada)

Kanykei Mukhtarova (University of Alberta, Canada)

Inna Naroditskaya (Northwestern University, USA)

Hande Sağlam (University of Music and Performing Arts, Austria)

Guzel Sayfullina (Independent Scholar, The Netherland)

János Sipos (Hungarian Academy of Science, Hungary)

Alla Sokolova (Adyg State University, Russia)

Thomas Solomon (University of Bergen, Norway)

Feza Tansuğ (Hacettepe University, Turkey)

Saule Utegalieva (Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory, Kazakhstan)

Saida Yelemanova (Kazakh National Conservatory named after Kurmangazy, Kazakhstan)

Violetta Yunusova (Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, Russia)



Joint Symposium of the ICTMD Study Groups on

Music and Dance in the Turkic World and Global History of Music

Echoes of Heritage: Navigating the Legacy of Music and Dance

18-22 September 2024, Baku, Azerbaijan


Past Conferences and Symposia

The International Conference: "Music of the Turkic-Speaking World, Performance and the Master-Apprentice system of Oral Transmission” on the 3-4 February 2006 at SOAS, University of London, chaired by Dr Razia Sultanova with the keynote speaker Professor Hiromi Lorraine Sakata, was aimed to establish a new Study Group within the International Council for Traditional Music for regular meetings. The idea to run such an event came in August 2005 at the ICTM conference in Sheffield, when a large number of participants were attracted by the unity of thought and approach applied to neighbouring areas of research. It was considered important to pool our efforts to discover key issues of cultural phenomena of various musical traditions. More information: /group/111/post/report-activities-2005-2006

2nd Symposium: “Vocal Traditions of Free-metric Singing in Eurasia”,

 Institut für Turkologie, in Berlin 2010 by local Chair Dorit Klebe. More information:


3rd Symposium

“Popular Culture in Turkic Asia and Afghanistan: Performance and Belief”, at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge by local Chair Razia Sultanova.

More information:


4th Symposium

For the first time, the Study Group had met outside a European country for the 4th Symposium “Turkic world and neighbors similarity and differences in music”. Şehvar Beşiroğlu (Istanbul Technical University) and Okan Murat Öztürk (Bas̜kent University) organized the academic panels, while a large team of volunteers led by  Burcu Yıldız and  Şirin Özgün  (both from Istanbul Technical University).  Held in the historic Architecture Faculty of Istanbul Technical University, the conference was generously supported by TÜRKSOY. The Symposium’s programme consisted of some forty papers organized into eleven sessions. Professor Timothy Rice gave the keynote presentation. More information:  /sites/default/files/documents/Program%20MTSW%20Last%20Version.pdf

5th Symposium

The 5th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking World “Sound Phenomenon in Traditional Heritage of the Turkic-speaking World” was held on 21- 23d April 2016 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, at the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory. The geography of the latest Study Group meeting expanded to the East, closer to the place of origin of the Turkic civilization. The jubilee character of the event—celebrating ten years of intensive work by our Study Group—resulted in a series of commemorative awards for its most active members. Saule Utegalieva and her team organized the programme of all sessions, as well as a very intensive cultural programme and workshops. The keynote speaker Professor Karl Reichl (Bonn University) gave in his inspiring paper an impulse to the comparative philological-music studies of the medieval epic forms.  The symposium was generously sponsored by TÜRKSOY, the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan—Leader of the Nation, and the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory. Scholars attended the Symposium from Azerbaijan, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom, USA, and Uzbekistan. The Russian delegation included representatives from Moscow, Novosibirsk, and the Republics of Adygea, Tatarstan, Tyva, and Sakha (Yakutia).   More information:


6th Symposium

The 6th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-Speaking World took place at the State Conservatory of Trabzon University in Trabzon, Turkey, on October 15-16, 2018. The theme of the Symposium was “Dance Phenomenon: Innovation and Creativity in Studying and Performing” with the following three sub-themes: (1) Dance Traditions Through Times, Cultures and Ethnicities; (2) Forms of Accompaniment in Dance Traditions; (3) New Directions in the Study of Music of Turkic People.The two-day Symposium comprised of two keynote presentations, eleven papers and three poster presentations. It also included two workshops, master class, video film demonstration, new books and journals presentation, concerts, and a business meeting.The symposium attracted participants from eleven countries including Azerbaijan, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UK, and Uzbekistan. The Programme Committee consisted of Dr. Abdullah Akat (Trabzon Uni- versity, Trabzon, Turkey), Dr. Alla Sokolova (Adyghe State University, Maykop, Russia), Dr. Galina B. Sychenko (Novosibirsk, Russia / Rome, Italy). Two keynote speakers were Dr. Ann R. David (University of Roehampton, London, UK) and Dr. Catherine Foley (University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland). At the closing ceremony all Symposium contributors were awarded honorary diplomas by the Rector of the Trabzon University Prof. Dr. Emin Aşıkkutlu, leaving all participants with lovely memory on the remarkable Study Group event at the State Conservatory of Trabzon University, Turkey.


  1. Sacred Knowledge: Schools or Revelation? Master-Apprentice System of Oral Transmission in the music of the Turkic Speaking world, Razia Sultanova (Ed), LAP, 2009, 124 pages, ISBN-13: 978-3838315584. /group/111/post/sacred-knowledge-schools-or-revelation-publication-details

  2. From Voice to Instrument: Sound phenomenon in Traditional cultural Heritage of the Turkic-speaking world. The Fifth Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking world, Conference Proceedings, Saule Utegalieva (Ed), 21-23d April 2016,  Almaty, Kazakh Kurmangazy National conservatory, 374 pp. ISBN 978-601-7848-05-7. «От голоса к инструменту: феномен звука в традиционном культурном наследии тюркоязычного мира». Материалы пятого  симпозиума исследовательской группы  (ICTM) «Музыка тюркоязычного мира», Сауле Утегалиева (Ред), 21-23 апреля, 2016. Алматы: КНК им.Курмангазы, 2016. – 374 c.

  3. Turkic Soundscapes: from Shamanic voices to Hip-hop, Razia Sultanova and Megan Rancier (Eds), London,  Routledge, 2018, 278 pp.  ISBN-10: 1138062405, ISBN-13: 978-1138062405 

The Encyclopaedia of Music Realities of Turkic-Speaking Peoples

Dear colleagues,

we would like to announce a new project entitled  “The Encyclopaedia of Music Realities of Turkic-Speaking Peoples”. The project in collaboration with Turksoy was initiated by the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-Speaking World and introduced/ approved  on 13th July 2019 at the SG business meeting during the 45th ICTM World Conference in Bangkok. We have a preliminary agreement with “Medina Publishing House” (Nizhny Novgorod-Moscow, Russia) to publish the Encyclopaedia in Russian, English and Turkish languages.

Programme: 5th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking World


 To mark the 10th anniversary of the Study Group establishment 

21-23 APRIL, 2016, Almaty, Kazakhstan


Call for Proposals: 5th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking World

Call for Papers: "From voice to instrument: sound phenomenon in traditional cultural heritage of the Turkic Speaking world" 

21-23d April 2016

Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory, Almaty, Kazakhstan