International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Call for Papers: 2016 Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology




The 5th Symposium of

the Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology,

International Council for Traditional Music

 Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia, Canada

October 5-9, 2016  

The ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology welcomes proposals for its first symposium in North America, hosted by the Canada Research Chair in Communities and Cultures at Cape Breton University, on the picturesque island of Cape Breton in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. This symposium is running immediately before the Celtic Colours International Festival, a festival showcasing international performing artists while building relationships with and promoting Cape Breton’s living Celtic culture (

The symposium welcomes proposals for standard academic papers. In addition, delegates have the option of offering an in-community workshop (e.g., at public library, school, cultural centre); proposing to perform at the Celtic Colours International Festival; and collaborating on applied ethnomusicology research projects, one of which will be focused on the festival.

Proposal submission deadline: December 10, 2015  


1. Music, Labour and Exchange

From protests involving music to concerns about the place of music in the academy, the focus on labour invites thinking on music as labour; music and labour movements; music of labourers; and musical labour within the academy, including its pedagogical and institutional dimensions vis-à-vis teaching applied ethnomusicology. Explorations into the monetary or other remuneration of musical labour leads to broader questions of how we can theorize music in economic terms as a form of socio-economic exchange. Furthermore, questions may interrogate the role of capitalism and neoliberalism in applied work with music in diverse international, national and regional contexts.

2. Research Methodologies for the 21st century: Collaboration and Criticality

How can people doing applied work with music critically approach socially engaged technology (new media), or other recent forms of public outreach that stress interaction with diverse publics, broad dissemination and public impact? How can we theorize and facilitate forms of collaboration attempted or common in applied or engaged ethnomusicology, involving academic interdisciplinarity and work across diverse sectors of society? Which new skills, capacities and ways of knowing are asked of applied researchers and practitioners? How are field techniques and applied practices being transformed for action research in ways that are sensitive to realities of the 21st century? And what is new about what they offer for the doing of and theorizing about ethnomusicology?

 3. Intangible Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Societies

Whether in everyday life or in policy-related contexts, intangible cultural heritage takes on a variety of meanings in contemporary societies. Papers are welcomed from the variety of perspectives on intangible heritage including but not limited to: actual musical practices that relate musical sound to social contexts and musical “ecosystems,” and that engage other “intangible” human expressions (e.g., different performing arts, oral traditions, social practices, rituals, festive events); the change of intangible cultural heritage as well as issues involved (e.g., musical sustainability), and theorizations and practices they inspire, for instance, conservation; and functions of musicking as intangible cultural heritage vis-à-vis applied work with music.

4. Other Issues of Applied Ethnomusicology


Chair: Marcia Ostashewski 


Canadian dollar = 0.75 US dollar or 0.67 euro

Travel information:

Delegates may either fly directly into Sydney, or into Halifax, a larger but more distant city.

To fly into Sydney: The airport code is YQY. Taxis to hotels cost approximately $10 – 15 CAD. Car rentals are also possible.

To travel from Halifax, Nova Scotia: After flying into Halifax airport (airport code: YHZ), take a shuttle (duration, 5-6 hours) or bus to Sydney. It is also possible to travel by car (4.5 hours).


Local Arrangements will provide transport from downtown Sydney to the university campus (10 km).

Closer to the symposium, information regarding a reduced rate at a designated hotel will be provided online. Roommate finder services will be organized for the main conference hotel.

We can suggest accommodations with a range of prices:


Due to the remote location, a reasonable registration fee will be charged to cover transportation from the hotel to conference site as well as basic meals during the symposium. 

Travel subsidies

A limited amount of travel subsidy is available. If you are applying for a subsidy, submit your abstract by Nov. 15, 2015 together with the abstract submission form stating that you wish to apply for a travel subsidy. Special consideration will be given to the underwaged, students, retirees and citizens of developing countries, and professional performing artists wishing to perform at the Celtic Colours Festival, but all delegates may be eligible for a subsidy. 


The Program Committee consists of Klisala Harrison, Chair (Finland), Adriana Helbig (USA), Pamela Onishi (Singapore), Anna Morcom (UK), Zhang Boyu (China), Marcia Ostashewski (Canada).

We invite proposals for individual papers, organized sessions and in-community workshops (e.g. at public library, school, cultural centre). Organized session proposals should include an abstract for the session as well as an abstract for each individual paper.

Additionally, delegates may wish to propose to perform at Celtic Colours, or to participate in the research project centred on that festival or other applied projects.

Submission process:

By November 15, 2015, please submit the following to

  • a 250-300 word abstract
  • a 100-word (short form) abstract;
  • an abstract submission form  - DOWNLOAD THE ABSTRACT FORM BELOW; and
  • a 1-page CV, highlighting relevant positions, publications and accomplishments. Please clearly state your complete affiliation and contact information.


  • a one-page document providing a performance/workshop resumé and 100 word-proposal for a performance or workshop that the person would like to give while in Cape Breton, with links to videos, websites, etc.
  • a title and 100-word proposal for a chapter you would like to write (co-author with project team members or solely author), based on research conducted at Celtic Colours 2016 (with possible comparison to other sites), that would contribute to an edited collection of research conducted at Celtic Colours 2016 by our Applied Ethnomusicology research team
  • a 100-word proposal for collaboration on ongoing research projects with local communities involving people with other shared interests in the ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology. Typically the study group symposia include small discussion groups or talking circles organized around shared academic interests. We are interested on this occasion on formalizing research networks that may lead practical outcomes such as shared research projects, grant applications and publication possibilities. If you wish to inspire and lead such a project, please make a short proposal here.