A New Secretariat

By Pettan, Svanibor | Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music, October 2011 | Go to article overview

A New Secretariat


Pettan, Svanibor, Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music


Dear ICTM members, past, present and future!

Welcome to the October 2011 edition of the Bulletin of the ICTM, the first one being published exclusively online, which marks the start of the Council's four-year period of very active life in its new home in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Please, feel free to reward our new Executive Assistant Carlos Yoder with your compliments for dressing up the Bulletin in its brand new clothes, but make sure you pass on to me your -always welcomed-critical remarks.

Let me take this opportunity to briefly introduce you to the ICTM's base for period 2011-2015. Slovenia is a twenty-year old central European country with roughly 20.000 km2 of territory and 2 million inhabitants who use Slovene as the official language. A westernmost republic of Yugoslavia for most of the 20th century, Slovenia is a member state of the European Union and a part of the Eurozone (meaning that all payments to ICTM should be done in Euros). Its capital city, Ljubljana, has about a quarter of a million inhabitants and is home to Slovenia's leading, oldest and largest university, the University of Ljubljana. Established in 1919, it encompasses 23 faculties and 3 art academies, with as many as 60.000 students. The Faculty of Arts (not of Fine Arts, but of humanities and social sciences) is its largest unit, having about 7.000 students. The ICTM office is located in the Department of Musicology of that Faculty.

The Department of Musicology celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and welcomed the ICTM to its academic environment in August 2011 with the international symposium Traditional Music and Dance and European Musical Culture in Various Times and at Various Places.

The symposium related traditional music and dance to the legacies of colonialism and national movements, and to issues such as identity, hybridity power, conflict, globalisation, and others. Its program booklet with abstracts documented contributions of 41 scholars from 21 countries (Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, China, Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Korea (ROK), Malaysia, The Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, United States of America and Vietnam), including past and present ICTM Executives, National Representatives, and Study Group Chairs. The academic part of the event was complemented by four carefully planned concerts: Bomo eno po domace, featuring traditional music and dance of Slovenia, Tran Quang Hai & Friends from Slovenia, with whom he met for the first time right on stage, Drugacna Slovenija, presenting the art of immigrant musicians from several parts of the world living in Slovenia and Trio Alwan with Arabic music. More about the event can be found here.

Ever since my student days in the early 1980s, I regarded the ICTM as the key connection with the world of ethnomusicology, its themes and methodologies, which were much more diverse in comparison to those practiced in Yugoslavia at that time. Many years later, and thanks to its commitment to honouring and respecting academic pluralism, the ICTM continues to attract ethnomusicologists, ethnochoreologists and scholars rooted in other disciplines within the humanities and social sciences from all over the world. It was a great honour and pleasure for me to organise ICTM-related events in Slovenia in 2000, 2006, and 2008. However, the fact that Slovenia is the first non-English-speaking country hosting the ICTM Secretariat clearly represents a challenge, too. It required not only the translation of the Council's constitution into Slovene, but also its official registration under the extended, bilingual name: Mednarodno zdruzenje za tradicijsko glasbo / International Council for Traditional Music. Just keep repeating the pronunciation exercise as demonstrated at the closing ceremony of the 41st World Conference in St. John's.

Don Niles, Executive Board Member and General Editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music, recently reminded us that last month the ICTM turned 64 years of age. …

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