International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Memorandum on ICTMD Study Groups

In accordance with ICTM Statute 6:

6. Study Groups

  1. Study Groups consist of ICTMD members who share a common scholarly interest.
  2. Study Groups are approved by the Executive Board.
  3. Study Groups manage their activities independently and report annually to the Executive Board.
  4. Each Study Group elects a chair to act as a liaison between the Study Group and the Executive Board.
  5. The Assembly of Study Group Chairs consists of the chair or designated representative of each Study Group and the Secretary General.
  6. A meeting of the Assembly is convened and chaired by the Secretary General at each World Conference.
  7. At the Assembly, the chairs or designated representatives report on their past, present, and future activities, exchange experiences, and raise any concerns they may have.

General Provisions

Study Groups shall be thematic or regional in scope. The name of a Study Group shall give a good indication of the group’s subject matter of scholarly study and be compatible with the concerns of the ICTMD.

Members of Study Groups shall also be members of the ICTMD. ICTMD members may join as many Study Groups as they wish. A Study Group may allow others who are not members of the ICTMD to participate in its activities on a temporary basis. While their participation is welcome, they cannot become members of the Study Group until they become members of the ICTMD.

Study Groups shall regularly organize Symposia to further the exchange of research results and ideas on a given theme, with the objective of gaining and disseminating new insights.

The Study Group shall be designed to provide an environment conducive to overcoming cultural and other barriers that may interfere with the recognition and appreciation of differing systems of thought.

The results of Study Group symposia and other activities shall normally be documented and made available to the members of the ICTMD and the general public. Any Study Group publications shall be prepared in accordance with the ICTMD’s Guidelines on Publications.

While symposia are the Study Group’s scholarly events for presentations and discussions, business meetings are held to discuss matters relating to the Study Group’s functioning, review past activities, plan future events and publications, elect Executive Committee members or announce election results, introduce the Study Group to new members, and raise any other issues of relevance. Study Groups shall hold business meetings at symposia. Study Groups shall also hold Welcome Meetings at World Conferences to introduce the Study Group and its activities to prospective members, to discuss any matters of concern, and to attend to Study-Group business, as needed. If the Chair is not available to host such meetings, the Chair or the Executive Committee of a Study Group shall appoint another representative to do so.

Establishing a Study Group

An interested group of ICTMD members should inform the Secretariat about its intention in a detailed letter. The Secretary General will then discuss the issue with them and consult with the Executive Board Committee on Study Groups to prepare a proposal for the status of Study-Group-in-the-Making. The Secretary General will then submit the proposal to the Executive Board.

Once approved, the members of the Study-Group-in-the-Making shall organize an international, preparatory scholarly event. A report on this event, a mission statement, an organizational plan, and a request for official recognition, explaining how the proposed new Study Group would contribute to the concerns of the ICTMD and its Study Groups, should then be submitted to the Executive Board. As soon as the Executive Board has approved the request, the Study Group is officially affiliated to the ICTMD.

In consultation with the Study Group, the Executive Board may change the name of a Study Group if it deems the name is incompatible with the concerns of the ICTMD, potentially confusing, too broad in scope, or too close to that of an existing Study Group. The Executive Board can cancel affiliation of a Study Group which fails to comply with the ICTMD Statutes or the content of this Memorandum. The Executive Board may also close Study Groups that the Board has determined to be inactive.

Coordination of Study Groups

The Secretariat will work in conjunction with an advisory Study Group Committee, appointed by the ICTMD Executive Board, to resolve any issues that are not covered by the Memorandum or any bylaws governing individual Study Groups. While Study Groups are expected to manage their own internal affairs, any member of a Study Group may consult with the Secretariat over matters that are unresolvable through such means.


Members of Study Groups shall elect a Chair and other members of the Executive Committee as deemed appropriate by Study Group members. Study Groups may consult the Secretariat for assistance in the proper running of their elections and other matters.

The Chair is responsible for the general running of the Study Group, and acts as a liaison to the Secretariat and Executive Board. The Chair shall also liaise with the Secretariat to:

  • coordinate the dates of the Study Group’s symposia in order to avoid different ICTMD events taking place at the same time;
  • ensure that Study Group Business Meetings take place at symposia;
  • ensure that Study Group Welcome Meetings take place at World Conferences;
  • ensure that the Study Group is represented at the Assembly of Study Group Chairs, held during World Conferences;
  • collect and disseminate information on Study Group activities;
  • maintain a list of the Study Group’s membership;
  • prepare reports on the activities of the Study Group to be published in the Bulletin of the ICTMD;
  • ensure that the ICTMD Statutes and this Memorandum are observed.

A person may not simultaneously chair more than one Study Group.

Study Groups may have Sub-Study Groups or other subdivisions within them, focused on more specific areas of interest to their members. While such subdivisions should be managed by one or more individuals elected from its members, they are ultimately responsible to the Chair.

Study Groups shall report on their symposia and other activities in the Bulletin of the ICTMD. Any matters of special concern can be brought to the attention of the Secretariat.

Study Groups are encouraged to set up, maintain, and keep their websites up to date. The Secretariat shall also cooperate with Study Groups to maintain a section on the ICTMD website concerning their activities.

Established in August 2005 (Sheffield); revised in October 2005 (online), September 2006 (Ljubljana), July 2014 (Astana), July 2017 (Limerick), July 2018 (Bangkok), July 2019 (Bangkok), July 2021 (online), May 2023 (online), August 2023 (online).