Report on the ICTM Study Group for Music Archaeology

By Both, Arnd Adje | Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music, April 2010 | Go to article overview

Report on the ICTM Study Group for Music Archaeology


Both, Arnd Adje, Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music


The ICTM Study Group for Music Archaeology held its biannual conference in New York, 23-26 September 2009. The conference DRAWING ON THE MUSICAL PAST: MUSIC ICONOLOGY, EMSTRUMENT MAKING, AND EXPERIMENTAL PLAYING IN MUSIC ARCHAEOLOGY was co-organized by Arnd Adje Both, chair of the STG, and Zdravko Blazckovic for the Research Center for Music Iconography. The venues were the Graduate Center, City University of New York (23-25 September 2009), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (26 September 2009). There were 30 presenters and about 50 in attendance, which represents a successful grow of the study group.

The topic of the conference was approached from different angles. Introductions, overviews, and case studies from a variety of ancient music cultures from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Mediterranean were presented, shedding light on the advantages, risks, and limits of music iconological interpretation in music archaeology. Unfortunately, problems of instrument making and experimental playing in music archaeological research were only marginally discussed. This was compensated by the lively concerts given on two evenings of the conference. On the final day ancient musical instruments of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Department of Musical Instruments, were presented to the conference participants. …

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