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 of the Turkic-speaking 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-speaking 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–speaking World helps to identify key issues of performance phenomenon allowing a better understanding of the vast Turkic speaking world to emerge.

Contact details


Prof. Dr Abdullah Akat

Istanbul University State Conservatory, Department of Ethnomusicology and Folklore,

Kadıköy/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:   

Assoc.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)

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 Con- servatory 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 

Minutes of the meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking World, 15 July 2013

On 15 July 2013, the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking World held its business meeting at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, in Shanghai, China.

Study Group Co-Chair Razia Sultanova called the meeting to order at 13:30, and welcomed all twenty-six members to the meeting.

Under general business, Sultanova announced that Co-Chair Dorit Klebe had so far been unable publish the proceedings of the Berlin symposium in 2010, but that work was being continued.

Report of the 3rd Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking World

“Popular Culture in Turkic Asia and Afghanistan: Performance and Belief” was the subject of the 3rd Symposium and Workshop of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking World, held at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. The event started with a roundtable revolving around "The study of Turkic languages in the University of Cambridge", where the representatives of the embassies of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan and the Deputy Secretary General of Turksoy (Ankara) actively participated of the discussion.

Third Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic Speaking World, 1-2 December, 2012, Cambridge, UK

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to announce that the Third Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic Speaking World will take place on 1-2 December 2012 at the University of Cambridge, UK.

The title of the Symposium is “Popular Culture in Turkic Asia and Afghanistan: Performance and Belief”

MINUTES of the Meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic Speaking World, 13 July 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

5:45 – 6:45

The School of Music, Memorial University St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada

During the 41st World Conference of the ICTM in Canada (July 13-19, 2011) the meeting of the Study Group Music of the Turkish Speaking World chaired by Razia Sultanova was called to order on Wednesday , July 13, 2011,  at 5:45 PM in the room 2017 .

1. The meeting started with warm welcome to present members of the Study Group

Sacred Knowledge: Schools or revelation? - Publication Details


Razia Sultanova (Ed.)

Sacred Knowledge: Schools or revelation?

Master-Apprentice System of Oral Transmission in the music of the Turkic Speaking world


PROGRAM: 2nd Meeting of the Study Group for Music of the Turkic-speaking World, May 26 – 30, 2010

The Study Group on “Music of the Turkic-speaking World“ within the ICTM International Council for Traditional Music (UNESCO/NGO) will set in its Second Meeting a focuss on free-metric singing traditions within a far-reaching and complexe cultural area, determined by its transcontinental hugeness as well as its manifold interactions of most different and partly also marginal cultures. Which are the genres containing free-metric singing? Which are the structures of poetry and music? What is their meaning for every individual person, f. i. of being an identifying marker?

Second Meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking World - May 26 – 30, 2010, at the Free University of Berlin, Germany

Second Meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking World,
May 26 – 30, 2010, at the Free University of Berlin, Germany

The Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking World has been formed in 2006.
The First Study Group Meeting was held at the SOAS, University of London in 2006.
(The proceedings of this meeting recently have been published, see ICTM Members recent publications). We are pleased to announce its second meeting, to be held May 26 – 30, 2010 in Germany, at the Free University of Berlin, hosted by the Institute of Turcology.

Organizational Plan

“Music of the Turkic Speaking World”

Organizational Plan

Executive members of the Study-Group in-the-Making are:
Dorit Klebe ( Germany) and Razia Sultanova ( UK)

The executive members Dorit Klebe (Germany) and Razia Sultanova ( UK)
will act as liaison to the ICTM Executive Board and its Coordinator of Study Groups as well as to the ICTM Secretariat. They will give reports on the Study Group’s activities to the Coordinator of Study Groups and to the ICTM Secretariat.

In addition, Executive Members of our large org. committee are:

Report on activities 2005-2006

Report on activities in 2005 and 2006
of the Study-Group in-the-Making on
“Music of the Turkic Speaking World”