International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

The Second Conference of the ICTM Study Group for Musics of East Asia (MEA) 24-26 August 2010, The Academy of Korean Studies, Korea (ROK)

The Second Conference of the ICTM Study Group for Musics of East Asia (MEA)
24-26 August 2010
The Academy of Korean Studies, Korea (ROK)

The Study Group for Musics of East Asia (MEA), which was formed within the framework of ICTM in 2006, is pleased to announce its second meeting, to be held 24, 25 and 26 August 2010 in Korea, at the Academy of Korean Studies. Those interested in East Asian musical cultures are welcome to become members and attend the conference to exchange knowledge and ideas and further develop the field.

The conference themes for the 2010 meeting are as follows:

1. Intangible Cultural Heritage in East Asia: History and Practical Results
Japan and the Republic of Korea were early pioneers in recognizing the importance of intangible cultural heritage. Following the implementation of their seminal laws for cultural property protection in 1950 and 1962 respectively, they have experimented with ways to preserve and transmit intangible cultural heritage and have provided inspiration and practical assistance to UNESCO and other countries in this sphere. More recently, in the last decade mainland China has seen a flurry of high-profile initiatives dedicated to the same purpose, while Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mongolia too have implemented policies aimed at honouring and ensuring transmission of their local heritages. What are the similarities and differences among all these regional initiatives? What are the practical effects on the ground, and do these differ markedly from place to place? Is intangible cultural heritage more likely to survive because of top-down or bottom-up initiatives?

2. ‘Recordings and Films’ or ‘The Potential and Pitfalls of Audio-Visual Technology and Materials’
The invention of recording and reproducing technologies was definitely an epoch- making event in the history of performing arts. Recently, many old recordings of the early 20th century have been restored. What kind of technical attention do we need to pay when utilizing them, and what can we learn from the materials? These recordings were often produced by colonizers exploiting the culture of the colonized. How, then, should they share and utilize the resulting materials as common heritage in the post-colonial context? Technology has also been used not only for documentation but also for more creative art works. What has become possible and what is still impossible or has been omitted in the development of technology? Why is it that the more virtual sound and computer graphics look ‘real’, the more they lose ‘reality’?

3. Reconsidering Sacred and Profane in East Asian Ritual Music
The dichotomy between ‘sacred’ and ‘profane’ has become one of the most important theoretical frameworks in the study of ritual in general. Exploring elements of the ‘sacred’ and the ‘profane’ in particular rituals is an acknowledged approach in anthropological writings. The issue has also become very influential in the study of ritual music. Recent studies of East Asia, however, have demonstrated the complex relationship between music and ritual, and showed how the concepts of ‘sacred’ and ‘profane’ in relation to music are in fact intertwined rather than in opposition. Is the idea of ‘incomparable categories’ still valid today, and to what extent? Can the case of East Asia offer an alternative perspective on the relationship between ‘sacred’ and ‘profane’ rather than their simply being viewed as existing in a dichotomous relationship?

4. Asian Music in Music Textbooks for Primary and Secondary Schools in East Asia
Textbooks should help students to form a desired cognitive faculty for mapping out their future through diverse and objective knowledge. Music textbooks should help students do this through musical knowledge. This session attempts to address such questions as given below: What kind of musical knowledge is conveyed in the music textbooks in East Asia? How does each country in East Asia handle its traditional music in music textbooks? Do the music textbooks of East Asia sufficiently introduce both traditional music of the children’s own country and the full diversity of Asian music, especially East Asian music, qualitatively as well as quantitatively? If so, how is this achieved? Is there room for improvement in these matters in the music textbooks of East Asia? The aim of this session is to study and discuss these matters in order to find ways to improve future education in primary and secondary schools of East Asia on the diverse music cultures of Asia.

5. Asian Soundscapes and Cyberspace
Since Murray Shafer’s influential book The Soundscape appeared three decades ago, we have seen a renewed interest in the sonic environment and acoustic ecology that is readily apparent in the 21st century. In this context the concept of the ‘soundscape’ is to be understood as both a physical manifestation and a social construct in the age of technological advancement. More specifically, digital and telecommunication technologies are closing the gap between physical soundscapes and cyberspace. For example, the production and consumption of music is increasingly shaped by internet distribution methods and means, such as MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, etc.
In this context of global technological interface and mediation, how is it possible to consider the production and consumption of a soundscape and cyberspace that are specifically (East) Asian? Do the ideas of locality and different regional and cultural specificities give shape to Asian soundscapes and cyberspace, and if so, how? Who are the producers and consumers? How are the sonic environments and cyberspace negotiated, managed and governed? What types of policies are implemented and what are their social, political and economic motivations and implications? Paper presentations that relate to these questions and related issues and their relevance to the musics of East Asia are welcome.

6. New Research
Current and ongoing research on ‘East Asian Musics’ that the author wishes to bring to international attention but does not fall into one of the main themes of the conference will be welcomed.

We invite two formats of presentation: 1) individual paper presentations, and 2) panel/roundtable discussion (each panel/roundtable discussion should have at least 3 but not more than 4 participants for the duration of 90 minutes). Individual paper presentations are 20 minutes long and will be followed by 10 minutes of discussion.

English is the official language for the meeting, and only presentations to be delivered in English can be accepted. Proposals must all be submitted in English as well.

1) Proposals for Individual Paper Presentations Must Include:
a) The Paper Proposal Form
b) A 350-word maximum abstract written in English
・Because abstract review is anonymous, please do not include your name in the body of the abstract.

2) Panel/ Roundtable Discussion Should Include:
a) The Panel/Roundtable Proposal Form
b) A panel/roundtable abstract written in English
c) Individual 350-word maximum abstracts written in English
・Because abstract review is anonymous, please do not include your name in the body of the abstract.


1) Proposal Deadline: 31 December 2009

2) Submissions of Proposals for Individual/Panel/Roundtable Paper Presentations

Proposals should be submitted by email. Please fill out the Paper Proposal Form from the ‘Upcoming Conference’ section of the MEA website
( and paste it into an email message for submission. There are two separate forms, one for individual papers and the other for panel or roundtables. If you are unable to submit your proposals by email, you may send a hard copy plus computer diskette. The submissions must be postmarked by the deadline of 31 December 2009.

Address for Paper Proposal Submissions:
Postal mail: ICTM Study Group for Musics of East Asia
Attn: Miss Madan HO
Graduate Institute of Musicology
National Taiwan University
#1, Roosevelt Road, Sec. 4
Taipei 106, Taiwan

Following ICTM policy, all participants who present papers must be ICTM members. Non-members whose proposals are accepted must join the ICTM in order to present their papers at the conference. Proposals from students are encouraged. Membership applications are available at the ICTM website ( For membership questions, contact the ICTM Secretariat at or write to: ICTM Secretariat, School of Music, Australian National University, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences Building 100, Canberra, A.C.T. 0200, Australia.

The Program Committee consists of the following MEA members: SHEEN Dae-Cheol (Korea), Hae-Kyung UM (UK), Helen REES (USA), XIAO Mei (China), TERAUCHI Naoko (Japan), WASEDA Minako (Japan), and TSAI Tsan Huang (Hong Kong) as chair. For further questions about the paper session program for MEA 2010, please contact TSAI Tsan Huang by email:

For further information and updates, please visit the MEA homepage:, then, click ‘Upcoming Conference’.


The Academy of Korean Studies (AKS, is a Korean research and educational institute with the purpose of establishing profound research and education on Korean culture. The AKS was established on June 30, 1978 by the Korean Government and it has been dedicated to seeking basic principles for the future development of Korea through raising and restoring the spirit of the Korean people, creating and developing Korean culture, cultivating scholars at home and abroad by encouraging global perspectives and values, and supporting and cooperating with domestic and international education and research institutions. About 200 students are enrolled in the Graduate School of the AKS, and nearly half of them are international students. Surrounded by very beautiful scenery, the AKS is located to the south of Seoul and it is about 20 minutes by car from the southern part of Seoul.