About ICTM Ireland

The International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) is a UNESCO NGO (non governmental organisation), and is one of the largest and most international, organisations for the study of traditional music and dance in culture. Its aims are “to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries.”

ICTM International was founded on 22 September, 1947, in London, England, by scholars and musicians as The International Folk Music Council. Ralph Vaughan Williams became its first president, followed by Jaap Kunst, Zoltan Kodaly, Willard Rhodes, Klaus P. Wachsmann, Poul Rovsing Olsen, Erich Stockmann, Anthony Seeger, Krister Malm, and currently, Adrienne L. Kaeppler. In 1949, the Council was one of the Founding Members of the International Music Council: UNESCO, and is currently an NGO in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO. Through its wide international representation the Council acts as a bond among peoples of different cultures and thus serves the peace of humankind. www.ictmusic.org

The Irish National Committee of ICTM is one of thirty-three National Committees of ICTM. As such, ICTM (Ireland) brings a local focus to the activities of ICTM and provides a regional forum for scholars of diverse musical traditions. While Irish traditional music is at the very core of ICTM (Ireland) the range of music played, studied, and researched on the island of Ireland and by Irish people abroad has a particular relevance for the organisation.

The specific aims of ICTM (Ireland) are to support the scholarly study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of musical expression in Ireland, alongside but independently of, academic institutions. Providing local activities, research networks and support groups, ICTM (Ireland) encourages excellence in the work of its members. From its initial focus on discourse on Irish traditional music, the conferences of ICTM (Ireland) have grown to encompass musical expressions found throughout Ireland and the world, thus providing a much-needed local forum for the recently burgeoning ethnomusicological research culture on the island. The scope of the Society’s activities is intended to reflect the interests of all its members, including ethnomusicologists, folklorists, performers, music enthusiasts, and the traditional music community at large.

ICTM (Ireland) is composed of scholars, students, performers, publishers, museum specialists, and librarians from numerous disciplines. Some of these disciplines include anthropology, musicology, cultural studies, acoustics, popular music studies, music education, folklore, composition, archiving, and the performing arts. ICTM (Ireland) undertakes to involve all these professions in its work, but anybody with an interest in the scholarly study of music is welcome and encouraged to join.

The functions of ICTM Ireland include:

  • (a) the holding of conferences and colloquia in Ireland;
  • (b) publications;
  • (c) forming of national sub-committees and study groups;
  • (d) issuing of audio-visual materials
  • (e) encouraging national and international archives for all types of music and dance in Ireland, including traditional, folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance
  • (f) facilitating the exchange of information in any form pertaining to all types of music and dance in Ireland, including electronic files, films, recordings and publications
  • (g) supporting the organisation of festivals of performing arts in Ireland
  • (h) cooperating with broadcasting organizations.

Since its inception in 2005, ICTM Ireland has held conferences annually:

  • “Ethnomusicology in the Digital Age” Belfast (2013)
  • “Movement and Music” Dublin (2012)
  • “Listening” University of Ulster, Magee Campus, Derry/Londonderry (2011)
  • “Ensemble: Playing Together” Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick (2010)
  • “Recording” and a Tribute to Hugh Shields, UCD School of Music (2009).
  • “Fieldwork” and a Tribute to Tom Munnelly, Institute of Technology, Tralee (2008)
  • “Irish Music and Dance in History”, University College Cork (2007)
  • “National Ethnomusicologies”, University of Limerick (2006)

Current Committee Members

Dr. Jaime Jones


Jaime Jones is Lecturer in Ethnomusicology in the School of Music, University College Dublin, and her research centres on the musical traditions of South Asia. Before turning to the study of ethnomusicology, she trained as a pianist and composer at the Hartt School of Music and Sarah Lawrence College. She completed a Masters in Composition at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and had works performed in Amherst, New York, Chicago, and the Aspen Music Festival.

Jaime earned her PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Chicago in 2009. Her doctoral research, for which she received a Fulbright grant, was based on two years of fieldwork in Maharashtra, India, where she worked closely with musicians of the Varkari devotional tradition. Her thesis examined ritual genres of Hinduism, and focused on the ways in which the aesthetic systems of these genres inscribe devotional efficacy, identity, and cultural resonance within the larger context of a changing Indian modernity, sustaining questions regarding the role of performance in the sacred by looking at how and why musical practice and worship coincide.

In UCD, Jaime teaches modules on world musics, ethnomusicology, Indian music, popular music, music and religion, and film music.


Dr. Ioannis Tsioulakis


Ioannis Tsioulakis is a Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at University College Cork. He completed his undergraduate studies in the Department of Music Studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Following this, Ioannis specialised in ethnomusicology and social anthropology, completing his MA (2006) and PhD (2011) at Queen’s University Belfast.

Ioannis’s doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Working or Playing? Power, Aesthetics and Cosmopolitanism among Professional Musicians in Athens’, concentrates on the diverse socio-cultural worlds of music-making in the Greek capital. His particular focus was on cosmopolitan aspirations among local music practitioners and the way that they affect social relations, markets of musical labour, and discourses of value and aesthetics in popular music. More specifically, Ioannis’s doctoral dissertation elaborated on the dichotomy between ‘work’ and ‘play’ and its role as a conceptual framework for the experience of professional musicking in Athens.

Ioannis has also worked as a piano and music theory teacher in Greece and the UK, and has been extensively involved in the professional Athenian music scene as a performer, arranger and composer, specialising in Greek popular music and jazz.



Michael Hackett

Membership Officer


From Dublin, singer and bodhrán player Michael Hackett is a 2010 graduate of the Irish World Academy’s BA in Irish Traditional Music and Dance. In 2011, under the supervision of Colin Quigley PhD Michael completed his MA in ethnomusicology,  his MA thesis titled, “Singing Our Place: Local Songs and the Performance of Place in Irish Balladry” which focuses on the phenomenon of the social singing session common in Ireland. The thesis investigates the processes by which local cultural identities are created and performed by singers and songmakers who regularly engage in the activity of social singing.

Michael has taught Singing and Bodhrán at the Irish world Academy and lectures on social singing he has appeared on Irish Television and Radio. He is a regular performer at signing festivals in Ireland, Europe and the US. Michael recently embarked upon preliminary PhD research into the cultural, historical, geographical and social significance of community sports songs; locally composed songs which celebrate and commemorate the successes of  local parish and county teams who regularly compete in the indigenous Irish sports of Hurling, Gaelic Football and Handball.


Dr. Daithí Kearney



Ethnomusicologist, geographer and performer Dr Daithí Kearney is a lecturer in Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology.  His research is primarily focused on Irish traditional music but extends to include performance studies, community music, music education and the connection between music and place.
A graduate of University College Cork and a Government of Ireland scholar (IRCHSS), his PhD thesis concentrated on the construction of geographies and regional identities in Irish traditional music. His research interests include the negotiation, mediation and construction of identities through music and the relationship between music and place.
Daithí has toured regularly as a musician, singer and dancer with a number of groups including Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland and was Artistic Director of the The Cork International Folk Dance Festival 2005.  An All-Ireland champion musician, he has recorded with a number of ensembles his compositions feature on these recordings.  In 2009 he performed for President Obama in The White House for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  In 2012 he released an album with Cork accordion player John Cronin which is related to a wider research project on the music and musicians of the Sliabh Luachra region.
As well as lecturing in DkIT, Daithí regularly contributes to courses at University College Cork, is an examiner with London College of Music and has also worked in Primary and Second level education.  He teaches with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and continues to provide masterclasses on banjo, group performance and the history of Irish traditional music.


Dr. Ray Casserly

Communications Officer


Ray Casserly is Resident Director of the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) study abroad programs at Queen’s University, Belfast (QUB). Ray currently directs and lectures on the Society, Conflict, and Peace semester program based within the Institute of Irish Studies at QUB.


Sheryl Lynch

Education Officer


Sheryl’s research interests include the music of North West Cameroon and musical identities in the diasporic context. In 2009, Sheryl co-edited The Musicology Review, the only postgraduate journal dedicated to musicology in Ireland. She currently tutors in UCD and is a part-time ethnomusicology lecturer in St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.
In addition to teaching music in a community youth project, Sheryl continues to work as a performer and has played the clarinet in a variety of musical groups including the UCD Symphony Orchestra, Engine Room Orchestra and the new music ensemble, NODE.
Sheryl drums with the Afro-Caribbean Society and is currently studying for the PhD under the supervision of Dr. Jaime Jones.