International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Study Group Meeting at the Institut français d’archéologie orientale, Cairo, Egypt, January 2019: A Call for Papers

Music in the Arab World Study Group


Call for Papers


Deadline: September 15, 2018


ICTM’s Music in the Arab World Study Group invites papers for a meeting to be held at the Institut français d’archéologie orientale in Cairo, Egypt from January 7 through January 10, 2019.


Program: Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent to Scheherazade Hassan ( by September 15, 2018 to ensure consideration by the program committee. The suggested theme for the program is “A Socio-Musical Mapping of Music in the Arab World”:


      In a territory that stretches over 13 million square kilometres, that is the Arab world, a great number of musical genres and forms exist on every possible level of society whether urban, rural or nomadic, and in both Arab and the various ethnic communities who live in this large territory. With some rare exceptions, the rich variety of this wide musical culture, especially the practices of smaller traditions, are not known throughout the region. The growth of research and field surveys in the second half of the 20th century, usually centered on one genre, one community or geographical space in one particular modern Arab nation state, is for the moment reserved to small circles of researchers or/and to particular institutions. These have revealed, however, an important amount of musical and social information that deepened our knowledge.


      The Music in the Arab World Study Group invites presentations that


  • Locate existing traditional genres practiced in the geographical space of each Arab country, describing their structure and performance contexts, taking into consideration the cross-border traditions and their relation to neighboring or even remote traditions.
  • Describe the work of researchers in matters of field collecting, documenting and their research outcomes done in each geographical area.
  • Describe historical relations that might inform to what degree the different traditions of the Arab world are related to each other through historical exchange.
  • Analyze contemporary practice of musical genres and the degree of change and transformational processes that have occurred during the last decades in theory, practice and teaching methods and whether these are based on internal evolution or western influence. In other words, describe the possibly paradoxical relationship between the traditional field practice and the dominant new influences in modern institutions, and in media and technology.


Logistics: The conference will convene at the IFAO, thanks to the good offices of Séverine Gabry-Thienpont, who will help with local arrangements. The IFAO is located in the al-Munirah section of Cairo. Limited housing is available at the IFAO at optimal rates. Nearby hotels may be located through, for example, Many other options for accommodation may be found in Cairo, of course.