International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Call for Papers: 11th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Maqām

Maqāmāt in the History of Islamic Civilization:
Interrelations and Interactions.


The Russian Institute of Art History

(5, Isaacievskaya Square, St. Petersburg)

May 20 – 22, 2020 


Information Letter

The XIth Symposium of the Study Group “Maqām” of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) will be held on May 20-22, 2020 at the Russian Institute of Art History (RIAH) of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

The International Council for Traditional Music founded on September 22, 1947 is a scientific organization dealing with the in-depth study, practice, documentation, preservation and propagation of traditional music and dances of all countries. From 1988 through 2018, the Study Group “Maqām” of the International Council for Traditional Music managed to hold ten international symposia devoted to maqāmāt, the classical music of the Islamic world (in Berlin, Tampere, Istanbul, Samarkand, Urumqi, Baku, Sarajevo, Ankara, Shaki) with the participation of scholar and educational organizations of a series of countries. Numerous issues and problems related to this phenomenon were considered in different regional and national traditions, artistic practices, and concrete historical manifestations.

The next, XIth Symposium of the Study Group “Maqām” will be held for the first time in the Russian Federation, in St. Petersburg. The Organology Department of the Russian Institute of Art History acts as the organizer and host of the symposium. The issues and problems the Study Group “Maqām” deals with are of interest for the RIAH research activities. The experience in the research of classical musical tradition of the peoples of the Near and Middle East gained by musicology of the Russian Federation during the Soviet period is further  expanded in the course of international congresses and conferences held at the Institute (The Blagodatov Readings, Petersburg and National Musical Cultures, etc.). In present-day conditions, we realize the necessity for inclusion of this integral part of the Russian musicology school in the international research process.

The main theme of the upcoming XIth Symposium is “Maqāmāt in the History of Islamic Civilization: Interrelations and Interactions”.

The following topics will be offered for possible scholar presentations as part of the announced general theme, which focuses on the search of commonalities specified by the civilization factor:

  1. "The principle of maqām" and the maqām thinking in the regional and national traditions of maqāmāt: unity and diversity of manifestations;
  2. The secular and the religious-sacral and their correlation in different historical and cultural practices, canons and concepts of maqāmāt;
  3. Musical instruments (oud, tanbur, dutar, sitar and others) as a factor of formation of the all-Eastern, regional and national "models" of maqāmāt;
  4. Search for the authentic performing styles and models of maqāmāt: theory and practice;
  5. Ideas and concepts of the Soviet and Russian musicology in the study of maqāmāt and professional music of the oral tradition of the nations of the East;
  6. Other topics related to the problems of maqāmāt, classical music, and professional music of the oral tradition of the Islamic world.

The symposium will be held on May 20 - 22, 2020 in the Green Hall of the Russian Institute of Art History at the address: 190000, St. Petersburg, Isaacievskaya Square, 5.

Those willing to participate in the Symposium are required to submit abstracts in the Russian and English languages (up to 250 words) and brief biographical information (up to 200 words) to the email addresses of Alexander Djumaev, Chairman  of the Study Group “Maqām” ( and Dinara Bulatova, Local Coordinator of the Organology Department (

The deadline for submission of abstracts and biographical data is December 15, 2019.

The working languages of the symposium are Russian and English.

The Symposium participation format: 

An individual report lasting up to 20 minutes + 10 minutes questions and answers.

Each of those who have submitted materials will be personally notified about the inclusion of their report in the Symposium program - until January 20, 2020.

If you have any questions related to the participation in the Symposium, please contact the Local Coordinator Dinara Bulatova or the Head of the Program Committee Alexander Djumaev.

Information in English and Russian is available on the page of the Russian Institute of Art History:

Program Committee

  • Dr. Alexander Djumaev, Uzbekistan;
  • Prof., Dr. Ihor Macijewski, Russia, St. Petersburg; 
  • Prof., Dr. Mahmoud Guettat, Tunisia;
  • Surayya Agaeva, Azerbaijan; 
  • Prof., Dr. Jürgen Elsner, Germany; 
  • Prof., Dr. Mohammad Reza Azadehfar,  Iran;  
  • Dr. Anne Van Oostrum, the Netherlands; 
  • Dr. Dinara Bulatova, Russia, St. Petersburg;
  • Dr. Emin Soydas, Turkey
  • Dr. Okan Murat Öztürk, Turkey.