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TTI Conference: Conference description

Transformations of Musical Creativity in the 21st Century


A Conference of the Transtraditional Istanbul (TTI) Project


June 24-27, 2021

(Online with live-streamed concerts from Istanbul)

Keynote speakers
Juniper Hill
Professor and Chair of Ethnomusicology, Institute für Musikforschung, University of Würzburg, Germany
Valentina Süzükei 
Doctor of Cultural Studies, Lead Researcher
Tuvan Institute of the Humanities and Applied Socio-Economic Studies, Russian Federation

Bushra El-Turk
composer, London, UK
Wu Man 
Pipa virtuoso, educator, composer; China/USA


Dedicated to the memory of İhsan Özgen (1942-2021)

With increasing intensity, global institutions of music pedagogy seek to redress a fraught legacy of Eurocentrism. The dominance of ‘Eurological’ or ‘Eurogenetic’ paradigms in university music curricula has worked to create a possessive investment by musical schools in particular canons, traditions, and pedagogies (Lewis 1996, Reigle 2014, Kajikawa 2019, Ewell 2019, Brown 2020). In many countries across Eurasia, institutional actors created new hegemonies based on folk and regional musics alongside European art music. Music specialists often find themselves complicit in disconnecting or excluding contributions of musicians and non-hegemonic musical knowledge from centers of music teaching and learning.


In an effort to rethink how we learn, teach, and practice music, this conference seeks to assemble a diverse gathering of musicians, researchers, and educators in order to share knowledge about transformations and transmission of musical creativity in the 21st century. With the Transtraditional Istanbul Project, we join a global network of practitioners in redressing critical issues such as a history of compositional resourcing of Indigenous and ‘local’ music cultures, the tokenisation of diversity in ‘world music’ programs, and the erasure of the histories and experiences of minoritised musicians and educators (Ahmed 2012, Robinson 2020). We hope to advance a global exchange about how to redefine the structures of inclusion in music transmission ‘with, by and for’ — not only ‘on or about’ — minoritised musicians (Bissett Perea and Solis 2019), while respecting that certain communities may place limits on the knowledge that can be shared in the academy.


For full programme information

The Transtraditional Istanbul project has the mission to create a more equitable and plural global musical exchange through inclusive performance, interdisciplinary research, public engagement, and cross-cultural teaching and learning. We are inspired by the rich cosmopolitan history of musical encounters and exchanges in Istanbul, and invite proposals from musical practices and traditions connected with Anatolia, the Mediterranean, Eurasia, and beyond. The conference will take place via online presentations, with performances streamed online from Istanbul, Covid-19 permitting.



Free for all registered participants

Conference registration:

TTI Organising Committee:
Michael Ellison, Argun Çakır, Yingying Wen (Bristol University)
E. Şirin Özgün, Yelda Özgen, Robert O. Beahrs, Suna Başlantı (MIAM, Istanbul Technical University)

TTI Scientific Committee:

Asst. Prof. Mustafa Avcı, Altınbaş University; Dr. Robert O. Beahrs, MİAM/İTÜ; Dr. Argun Çakır, University of Bristol; Prof. Michael Ellison, University of Bristol; Assoc. Prof. Evrim Hikmet Öğüt, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University; Assoc. Prof. Yelda Özgen Öztürk, MİAM/İTÜ; Assoc. Prof. E. Şirin Özgün Tanır, MİAM/İTÜ; Yingying Wen, University of Bristol. 

Transtraditional Istanbul is funded by the Newton Fund UK-Turkey Creative Industries Research Networking Awards Programme, with grant awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and İstanbul Kalkınma Ajansı (Istanbul Development Agency). 


Partnership organizations of Transtraditional Istanbul (TTI): Center for Advanced Studies in Music - MIAM  (Istanbul Technical University), Turkish Music State Conservatory - TMDK, University of Bristol, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, Music for Peace Foundation (Istanbul)


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