International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

ICTM Book Prize

Submission Criteria and Guidelines

The International Council for Traditional Music Book Prize is awarded annually for an exceptional single-authored or co-authored monograph. Edited volumes are not eligible. The book should represent outstanding scholarship and make a significant contribution to the ICTM’s mission: “To promote research, documentation, safeguarding, and sustainability of music, dance, and related performing arts, taking into account the diversity of cultural practices, past and present, and scholarly traditions worldwide.”

Criteria: Books must be published in English within the previous two calendar years. Authors (or at least one of the co-authors) must be current ICTM members. Only one book by the same author (or co-author) will be considered in a given year, and no book will be considered more than once. Members of the Prize Committee or Subcommittee may not submit a book for which they are the author or a co-author. 

Submission Process: Submissions / nominations must be received by 31 January, accompanied by a brief statement (not more than 200 words) explaining why the book is worthy of being awarded the Prize. The statement must be submitted in PDF format to There are two options for submitting the book: (1) submit it in PDF format to the same address, or (2) mail hard copies to all members of the Book Prize Subcommittee (please contact the Prize Committee Chair at for mailing addresses).

Administration: The Prize Committee, in consultation with the Executive Board, will appoint a Subcommittee to evaluate the submissions. The winner of the previous year's Prize will be invited to join the next year's Subcommittee.

Award: The winner will receive a certificate and a two-year ICTM membership or an equivalent travel subsidy to attend an ICTM event. Prize winners will be announced at the World Conference or in the summer of a non-conference year.

Past recipients of the ICTM Book Prize



  • Lorenzo Ferrarini and Nicola Scaldaferri. Sonic Ethnography: Identity, Heritage and Creative Research Practice in Basilicata, Southern Italy. Manchester University Press, 2020.

Honourable mentions

    • Rebecca Dirksen. After the Dance, the Drums are Heavy: Carnival, Politics, and Musical Engagement in Haiti. Oxford University Press, 2020.
    • Sarah Weiss. Ritual Soundings: Women Performers and World Religions. University of Illinois Press, 2019.

    Read the announcement of the 2021 ICTM prizes here.



    • Lonán Ó Briain. Musical Minorities: The Sounds of Hmong Ethnicity in Northern Vietnam. Oxford University Press, 2018.

    Honourable mention

    • Frank Gunderson. The Legacy of Tanzanian Musicians Muhidin Guromo and Hassan Bitchuka: Rhumba Kiserebuka! Lexington Books, 2018.

    Read the announcement of the 2020 ICTM prizes here.