4th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance of the Slavic World

4th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance of the Slavic World

03. 02. 2023

Symposium dates: 5–7 October 2023

Abstract submission deadline: 26 March 2023

Call for Proposals


4th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance of the Slavic World


Organized by the Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the Faculty of Music and Dance, Academy of Performing Arts.


Symposium dates: 5–7 October 2023

Symposium venue: Faculty of Music and Dance, Academy of Performing Arts, Prague.


Important dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: 26 March 2023
  • Notification of acceptance (with or without revision): 30 April 2023
  • Revised abstract submission deadline: 15 May 2023
  • Notification of final acceptance or non-acceptance of revised abstracts: 30 May 2023


Presentation formats

Individual papers (20+10 minutes)

Panels (three or four papers, including that of the coordinator, 90 or 120 minutes)
Film presentations.


The conference will be organized in a hybrid form. It is possible to present online.

Format of the proposal

  • Name
  • Institutional affiliation or other professional references
  • Email address
  • Topic according to the call
  • Type of presentation 
  • Abstract: (max. 250 words for individual proposals, 150 words for panel descriptions and panel contributions)

Abstracts should be sent to the Program Committee Chair, Zita Skořepová, at the following e-mail address:



  1. Traditional music and dance: identity, politics, and heritization

Traditional music and dance have been consciously used to both express and create identities based on the concept of national, regional, and/or ethnic belonging. Particular musical and dance expressions have been and are connected to various identities; these connections can change over time and space. This also makes music and dance a part of politics, being used as a symbol and manipulated to serve the goals of different groups. During the 20th century, the notion of “heritage” arose as a specifically important and protected part of the culture and identity. Elements belonging to the heritage are usually presented in more official and conservative ways, preventing further changes and development.

Applicants are invited to discuss the following:

  • How are music and dance used to create and maintain national, regional, ethnic, and other identities?
  • How can music and dance move between different identities, and transform through migration or changes in political regimes?
  • How the idea of music and dance as a “heritage” is created? How do individual, local, and state, actors influence this process? How are the musical and dance forms fixed or manipulated to fit a particular idea of the heritage?
  1. Traditional music and dance in pedagogy and education

Transmission of traditional music and dance repertoire and performance skills have been a domain of a spectrum of learning and teaching systems reflecting the specific needs of each society (cf. Milan Holas 2004). Nevertheless, the most common was the informal and participatory performance-based didactic system in which family, local experts, and the local community played a crucial role. Over time, more formalized institutional forms of music and dance education took place that often pursued particular political and cultural agendas. The second half of the 20th century was characterized by further changes in traditional forms of music and dance transmission and by significant paradigm changes in European formal music or dance education, too (cf. Bennett Reimer 2022). The Dance House movement became popular in urban areas, and new forms of knowledge and skills dissemination emerged thanks to various NGOs or cultural centers, folklore ensembles, cultural events, individuals, and activist groups. The teaching process has been accelerated and shaped by affordable technologies, mass media including the Internet, and lately by social networks and video platforms.

Traditional music/dance teaching and learning is a social process (Timothy Rice 1996) embedded in the political, economic, and cultural systems. Each education process focused on (or involving) traditional music or dance has its own approach to its conceptualization, selection, and style of artistic performance. It differs in teaching methods and didactic tools, targets diverse social groups, and attributes specific social values and functions to traditional music and dance heritage. It differs in social affordability and accessibility, in its character and preferred mode of teacher-student relationship and hierarchy. Each education system or project can also have a special reverse effect on music and dance existence in original communities and source social environment.

Applicants are invited to discuss the following topics:


  • Transformation of traditional modes of music and dance teaching and learning, their character and position in contemporary societies;
  • Traditional music or dance in the curricula of primary and secondary education;
  • The cultural and social value of the Western formal music education and theory in traditional music cultures; a concept of professionalism and role of education in traditional music/dance in local communities or cultural cohorts;
  • New didactic approaches to teaching traditional music and dance as “living heritage”; safeguarding, preservation, stylization, heritization, instrumentalization, or transformation of traditional music/dance through the education process;
  • Innovative educative projects of NGOs, culture and edification centers, individuals, or activist groups;
  • Impact of technology, the Internet, and social networks on traditional music and dance teaching and learning.


  1. Experience and representation of war and violence in music, dance, and in ethnomusicology of Slavic-speaking countries

While war and conflict are established fields in ethnomusicology there are few studies on how traditional cultures encourage, evaluate and control violence using music and dance. Anthropology had its Mead vs. Freeman controversy; popular music studies are aware of The Dark Side of the Tune (Johnson and Cloonan 2009). But why ethnomusicologists are largely reluctant to raise painful questions on the role of violence in the cultures under study? Is this a consequence of the idealist credo “The culture is not to blame?”

The exceptional horrors of the Russian invasion of Ukraine give reason to reformulate traditional positions of ethnomusicology of violence and to elaborate new systematic perspectives on how cultural practices in the Slavic-speaking world in the past and present are related to war and violence. Obviously, we are entering a field shaped by long-lasting stereotypes, be it of an inherent peacefulness of Slavic peoples (Johann Gottfried Herder, Pavel Jozef Šafárik) or of “Slavic barbarians” (Friedrich Engels and others). An unbiased study of expressive culture in Slavic-speaking countries and communities may address (among many others) questions such as the following:

  • How is war experience represented in recruit songs and laments, funeral dirges, and soldiers’ and Cossacks’ songs?
  • How intrafamily violence is described and evaluated in ballads?
  • How sexual violence appears in different folklore genres?
  • How can music and dance performances legitimate, encourage, and control violent behavior?


  1. New research

Applicants for Topic 4 are invited to submit proposals addressing issues of general interest. The Program Committee expects new insights with regard to theory and methods or unique findings with innovative potential for the study of the traditional music and dance of the Slavic world.



The Program Committee will only consider proposals by current members of the ICTM in good standing for 2023. Membership application forms are available at the ICTM website. For membership questions, contact the ICTM Secretariat at

Symposium fee

€ 50.00 – normal fee
€ 40.00 – early-bird fee (until 30 June)
€ 30.00 – Ph.D. students’ fee
€ 25.00 – Ph.D. students’ early-bird fee (until 30 June)


The Program Committee

Zita Skořepová (Prague, Czechia), Chair

Jana Ambrózová (Nitra, Slovakia)

Matěj Kratochvíl (Prague, Czechia)

Anastasiia Mazurenko (Kyiv, Ukraine)

Ulrich Morgenstern (Vienna, Austria)

Łukasz Smoluch (Poznań, Poland)

Ieva Weaver (Riga, Latvia)


Local Arrangements Committee

Matěj Kratochvíl (Co-chair)

Zita Skořepová (Co-chair)

Daniela Stavělová

Zdeněk Vejvoda

Download pdf here.