About Us

About Our Organisation

The International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) is a non-governmental organization in formal consultative relations with UNESCO. The  Irish National Committee of ICTM is one of thirty-three National  Committees of ICTM. ICTM Ireland brings a local focus to the activities of ICTM and provides a regional forum for scholars of diverse musical traditions. This site serves as an information hub for those interested in the study of music, song, dance and ethnomusicology in Ireland.

The functions of ICTM Ireland include


ICTM-IE hosts an annual conference every February, and, in conjunction with the Society of Musicology, ICTM-IE co-host an annual postgraduate conference every January.


‘Ethnomusicology Ireland’ our fully peer-reviewed online journal for research on music in its social and cultural context is published annually, as is ‘Spéis’, our bulletin, which keeps our members up to date on musical and (ethno)musicological developments in Ireland.

Forming Groups

Forming of national sub-committees and study groups;


As well has produced a Fieldwork CD, ICTM-IE have a YouTube channel that features member’s fieldwork recordings.

Encouraging Archives

Encouraging national and international archives for all types of music and dance in Ireland, including traditional, folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance.

Exchange of Information

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

Supporting Festivals

Supporting the organisation of festivals of performing arts in Ireland

Broadcasting Organizations

Cooperating with broadcasting organizations.

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.

Since 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)