Annual Conference 2023 – Call for Papers

Irish National Committee of the International Council for Traditional Music


18th Annual Conference

24-25 February 2023

University of Galway


Keynote Address: Professor Gregory Melchor-Barz, Boston University


Music and Time 

ICTM-Ireland is delighted to announce a return to an in-person annual conference (with some hybrid elements) this coming February, following two years of solely virtual events. In addition to the keynote taking place on campus at the University of Galway, the conference will also feature live musical events and the opportunity for attendees to learn about and experience ancient traditions of sound healing. The 2023 conference addresses the theme of music and time.

Music and time are inseparable. Jerrold Levinson claims that ‘music as people conceive it seems as essentially an art of time as it is an art of sound’ (Andrew Kania, ‘Music and Time’). From an early stage we are encouraged to keep time or to play in time, a concept that varies considerably across different musical cultures. Many scholars have examined these forms of musical time at the micro level, investigating how we perceive (or indeed perform) characteristics such as groove, swing, tightness, drive and others, often building on Charles Keil’s idea of participatory discrepancies. In another sense, music itself transforms our sense of time (Martin Clayton, ‘In Time With the Music’), and others have explored different ways of thinking of ‘musical time’ (for example Jonathan D. Kramer, Thérèse Smith, Eben Graves). Clayton is also among many to investigate the phenomenon of entrainment, and its connection to social cohesion, intra-group communication, and the expression of social identity. Time is experienced in oral/aural-based traditions as the past and the present simultaneously, as oral histories through song are used as a way to remember history and to experience that history in the present moment (Dylan Robinson, ‘Hungry Listening’). Time is also implicated in memory work, and has intrinsic connections with place as expressed in the concept of the chronotope. Our desire to recapture and revisit time – to utopianise certain chronotopes – has arguably led to the ‘simultaneity of pop time’ that characterises contemporary retromania (Simon Reynolds, Retromania). This itself depends on the nature of the recording as a ‘time capsule’, and the sound system as a ‘time machine’ (Evan Eisenberg, ‘The Recording Angel’). Away from the marketplace and among the people, Henry Glassie asks us to accept that ‘tradition is the creation of the future out of the past’ (Glassie, ‘Tradition’), a process continually enacted through traditional music projects, performances, and recordings.

We invite proposals on this theme – in all its forms – from scholars across the broad field of ethnomusicology, as well as from those researching traditional music, popular music, musicology, ethnochoreology, community music, music therapy, folklore studies, Irish studies, and applied research inside and outside the academy.

We also welcome papers on new research in the broader field of ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology and its related disciplines.

Proposals will be accepted for:

Individual papers: These should be 20 minutes long and will be followed by 10 minutes of discussion.

Panels: Organised panels of 3-4 papers (90 or 120 minutes).

Lecture-recital: These should be 20-30 minutes in length.

We welcome postgraduate presentations, including shorter 10 minute presentations. We also welcome short (10 minutes max.) video extract submissions, which will be shown between panel sessions.

For those not in a position to travel to Galway, there will be limited options to present papers virtually.

To submit a proposal, please email an attachment (.doc or .docx) to by 12 December 2022 including:

Title of paper

Name and institutional affiliation

Abstract (200 words; panels should include individual paper abstracts as well as a thematic abstract from the panel proposer)

Short biography (c.100 words)

Successful applicants will be notified promptly. A student travel bursary is available (see below).

All presenters need to be members of ICTM Ireland: sign up at the following link:



ICTM Student Travel Bursary

Purpose: To facilitate travel to the annual ICTM Ireland conference for a postgraduate student. The award is based on the quality of abstracts submitted. All applications will be judged by the ICTM Ireland committee.


  • Current postgraduate students at an Irish/international institute
  • Applicants who have applied for and been accepted to present at the ICTM Ireland conference
  • Applicants must be members of ICTM Ireland.

Prize: €100

Regularity: Annually

Applicants should email by 14 January. Awardees will be notified by 1 February. Successful applicants will receive a cheque at the annual conference for the award amount.