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Organizing Meeting 2008

To the ICTM Secretariat:  

A Proposal for a



The ICTM Study Group on Performing Arts of Southeast Asia is dedicated to the study and research of music, dance and theater as found throughout Southeast Asia, and includes Southeast Asian performing arts that are found elsewhere in the world.  The Study Group intends to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, new approaches and current research among established as well as young ICTM scholars around the world.  The Study Group will also strive to increase communication and interaction among scholars working in Southeast Asian performing arts, and to promote future research initiatives in areas of Southeast Asia where there has been little or no research.



During the 38th and the 39th World Conferences of the International Council of Traditional Music, a handful of scholars involved in Southeast Asian music and dance began speaking of the possibility of a study group that would provide for closer lines of communication among those working in the music and dance of Southeast Asia.  As some early ideas were considered and the East Asian Music Study Group became established, it became evident that a Study Group encompassing music, dance and theater would be appropriate for Southeast Asia given that many music and dance genres are part of a larger context that usually includes dance, theater and even proto-theater forms.  As discussion ensued among the Southeast Asianists at the ICTM and other academic music conferences in 2007-2008, it was clear that better communication and interaction was needed among established scholars, and greater encouragement should be given especially to the young scholars in our field.  Also, it was noted that a study group focusing on Southeast Asia could encourage and even promote research in some areas of both the mainland and archipelago where little research has taken place.

As we individually strive to do our research and produce publications on the performing arts of Southeast Asia, we also attempt to keep in contact with our colleagues across the many national borders of the region as well as around the world.  In view of the many disparate languages across the region, we sometimes find that meaningful interaction among our Southeast Asia colleagues is difficult. We believe that the study group proposed here is one of the best ways to address the aims of regional and international scholars, and to extend the mission of the ICTM into Southeast Asia.  We seek not only to establish a Study Group of interested scholars and musicians to collaborate and communicate, but also that, through this ever-growing Study Group, the general membership of ICTM also grows, broadens and diversifies.  We expect that such a study group will stimulate greater interest in the development of music research and performance, and foster inter-country collaboration throughout the region.



·      To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and current research among ICTM scholars involved in Southeast Asian performing arts,

·      To bring scholars together to explore approaches to research, and to encourage and support collaborative work among scholars working within a given area or across ethnic/geographical areas within Southeast Asia,

·      To provide a platform for young scholars to present and discuss their work and current research, including research in progress,

·      To promote future research initiatives in areas of Southeast Asia where there has been little or no research to date,

·      To produce publications as a result of the Study Group’s meetings and collaborative projects,

·      To establish a List Serve for the dissemination of information among the Study Group members, and to set up a Southeast Asian component in the Study Group section of the website of the parent organization; this Study Group will also consider setting up its own website in the future (with a link to the parent organization) and a possible blogsite or forum mainly for use by the members of the Study Group.



1.     This Study Group will meet on a biennial basis, usually on a year in alternation with the ICTM world conferences, and at a different location in Southeast Asia for each meeting,

2.     The first organizing meeting of this Study Group was held on 18 August 2008 at the Royale Bintang Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; a liaison person, Dr. Patricia Matusky (Adjunct Professor, Grand Valley State University, Northwest Michigan Academic Programs at Traverse City, Michigan, USA), was selected to communicate with the Secretariat of the ICTM,

3.     A working committee comprised all the members present at the first organizing meeting on 18 August 2008; the current ICTM members of this working committee will become the first membership of the Study Group, and other scholars will be encouraged to join.