International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Celebrating the International Council for Traditional Music: Reflections on the First Seven Decades

Celebrating the International Council for Traditional Music brings together the reflections of more than a hundred scholars from various parts of the globe about the history, current dynamics, and perspectives of the International Council for Traditional Music, formerly known as the International Folk Music Council. The essays rely on expertise gained through examination of historical records and archival material, combined in many cases with authors’ personal experiences and involvements in the subjects discussed. Structured into sections on the Council’s origins and operation, governance, scholarly events, study groups, publications and expertise, and views of its members from around the world, the book covers the first seven decades of the Council’s existence in a systematic and comprehensive manner. It is by far the most ambitious publication on the history of the Council and its place in the academic and sociopolitical contexts of music and dance studies on a global scale. 

To order or download the book, please visit the publisher's website.

This is a truly original and remarkable history of the most important scholarly society devoted to the study of all the world’s music and dance traditions. The authors of its essays have all played central roles in the history of the organization and are among the leading scholars in ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology. The first-person perspectives on the major developments give this book an unquestioned authenticity and authority. 
Timothy Rice, Distinguished Professor Emeritus,  University of California, Los Angeles, USA

By presenting the history and the workings of IFMC/ICTM as a major international academic organization in music and dance studies, this book also demonstrates the growth of ethnomusicology and the dynamics of its paradigmatic shifts in both diachronic and synchronic perspectives. It is an important music-and-dance-centred contribution to humanities and social sciences worldwide.
Xiao Mei, Professor, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China

Svanibor Pettan is professor and chair in ethnomusicology at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and president of the ICTM.

Naila Ceribašić is a scholarly advisor at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, adjunct professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Zagreb, and a member of the ICTM Executive Board.

Don Niles is director and an ethnomusicologist at the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies, and a vice president of the ICTM.

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Preface, by Svanibor Pettan
  • Introduction, by Svanibor Pettan, Naila Ceribašić, and Don Niles
  • Abbreviations


  • Origins and Operations: Introductory Note
  • The Origins and Establishment of the International Folk Music Council, by Don Niles
  • Maud Karpeles: Her Contribution to Dance Research and to the Council, by Catherine E. Foley, Theresa Jill Buckland, Elsie Ivancich Dunin, Liz Mellish, Jeanette Mollenhauer, Derek Schofield, Stephanie Smith, Daniela Stavělová, and Ivona Opetcheska-Tatarchevska
  • The Council’s By-laws: From Provisional Constitution to Statutes, Memoranda, and Guidelines, by Don Niles
  • The World Network, by Svanibor Pettan
  • Meditating on Ideology in the History of IFMC/ICTM, by Bruno Nettl
  • The Council, the USSR, and the Issue of Political and Ideological Boundaries, by Razia Sultanova
  • ICTM Archive, by Stephen Wild, Kim Woo, and Lee Anne Proberts


  • Governance: Introductory Note


  • Ralph Vaughan Williams: IFMC President, 1947–1958, by Don Niles
  • Jaap Kunst: IFMC President, 1959–1960, by Wim van Zanten
  • Zoltán Kodály: IFMC President, 1961–1967, by Pál Richter
  • Willard Rhodes: IFMC President, 1967–1973, by Anthony Seeger
  • Klaus Wachsmann: IFMC President, 1973–1977, by Anthony Seeger
  • Poul Rovsing Olsen: IFMC/ICTM President, 1977–1982, by Peter Cooke
  • Erich Stockmann: ICTM President, 1982–1997, by Krister Malm
  • Anthony Seeger: ICTM President, 1997–1999, by Anthony Seeger
  • Krister Malm: ICTM President, 1999–2005, by Krister Malm
  • Adrienne L. Kaeppler: ICTM President, 2005–2013, by Adrienne L. Kaeppler
  • Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco: ICTM President, 2013–2021, by Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco

Executive Boards

  • An Overview of the IFMC/ICTM Executive Board, by Carlos Yoder


  • The Secretariat under Maud Karpeles: London, UK, 1947–1963, by Jeanette Mollenhauer
  • The Secretariat under Robin Band, Barbara Krader, Felicia Stallman, Christian Ejlers, and Connie Matthews: London, UK, and Copenhagen, Denmark, 1963–1969, by Don Niles and Carlos Yoder
  • The Secretariat under Graham George: Kingston, Canada, 1969–1980, by Beverley Diamond
  • The Secretariat under Dieter Christensen: New York, USA, 1981–2001, by Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco
  • The Secretariat under Anthony Seeger: Los Angeles, USA, 2001–2005, by Anthony Seeger
  • The Secretariat under Stephen Wild: Canberra, Australia, 2006–2011, by Stephen Wild
  • The Secretariat under Svanibor Pettan: Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2011–2017, by Svanibor Pettan
  • The Secretariat under Ursula Hemetek: Vienna, Austria, 2017–2021, by Ursula Hemetek


  • Scholarly Events: Introductory Note
  • World Conferences, General Assemblies, and Festivals, by Ursula Hemetek and Krister Malm
  • Symposia, by Don Niles
  • Colloquia, by Ricardo D. Trimillos
  • Fora, by Svanibor Pettan


  • Study Groups: Introductory Note
  • ICTM Study Groups: Origins and Issues, by Don Niles


  • ICTM Study Group on African Musics, by Patricia Opondo
  • ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology, by Huib Schippers
  • ICTM Study Group on Audiovisual Ethnomusicology, by Enrique Cámara de Landa and Leonardo D’Amico
  • ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology, by Elsie Ivancich Dunin and Catherine E. Foley
  • ICTM Study Group on Global History of Music, by Razia Sultanova
  • ICTM Study Group on Historical Sources, by Susanne Ziegler and Ingrid Åkesson
  • ICTM Study Group on Iconography of the Performing Arts, by Zdravko Blažeković
  • ICTM Study Group on Maqām, by Alexander Djumaev
  • ICTM Study Group on Mediterranean Music Studies, by Ruth F. Davis
  • ICTM Study Group on Multipart Music, by Ardian Ahmedaja
  • ICTM Study Group on Music and Allied Arts of Greater South Asia, by Richard K. Wolf
  • ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in Latin America and the Caribbean, by Marita Fornaro Bordolli
  • ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe, by Velika Stojkova Serafimovska
  • ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance of Oceania, by Barbara B. Smith, Brian Diettrich, and Kirsty Gillespie 
  • ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance of the Slavic World, by Ulrich Morgenstern
  • ICTM Study Group on Music and Minorities, by Ursula Hemetek
  • ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology, by Arnd Adje Both
  • ICTM Study Group on Music, Education and Social Inclusion, by Sara Selleri
  • ICTM Study Group on Music, Gender, and Sexuality, by Barbara L. Hampton
  • ICTM Study Group on Music in the Arab World, by Scheherazade Q. Hassan
  • ICTM Study Group on Music of the Turkic-speaking World, by Razia Sultanova
  • ICTM Study Group on Musical Instruments, by Gisa Jähnichen
  • ICTM Study Group on Musics of East Asia, by Ying-fen Wang, Terauchi Naoko, and Helen Rees
  • ICTM Study Group on Performing Arts of Southeast Asia, by Wayland Quintero and Patricia Matusky
  • ICTM Study Group on Sound, Movement, and the Sciences, by Kendra Stepputat, Lara Pearson, and Rafael Caro Repetto


  • Committee on Radio/Television and Sound/Film Archives, by Krister Malm
  • Some Reflections Concerning the Study Group on Analysis and Systematization of Folk Music and Other Early Study Groups, by Oskár Elschek
  • ICTM Study Group on Computer Aided Research, by Ewa Dahlig-Turek


  • Publications and Expertise: Introductory Note
  • The Council’s Journal, by Don Niles
  • The Bulletin, by Ursula Hemetek and Carlos Yoder
  • Other Council Publications, by Don Niles
  • ICTM, UNESCO, and Scholarly Expertise in the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, by Wim van Zanten


  • ICTM and Its Members: Views from Around the World, by Kirsty Gillespie, Daniel Kodzo Avorgbedor, María Gabriela López-Yánez, Mohd Anis Md Nor, Jennifer C. Post, and Selena Rakočević
  • Contributors
  • Index of People

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