ASCC Ethnomusicology Forum Recognized by ICTM

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

Published on February 18, 2016, Issue 2

ASCC Fine Arts Dept faculty and guest
ASCC Community Artists and partners

In its February 2016 newsletter, the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Study Group on Music and Dance of Oceania (SGMDO) provides a detailed account of the Ethnomusicology Forum held this past October by the Fine Arts Department at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC). “The SGMDO is a prestigious Pacific-wide organization of scholars dedicated to the responsible study of the music and dance of our region,” explained ASCC Fine Arts chairman Mr. Kuki Tuiasosopo, “and for them to recognize our forum marks a significant accomplishment in the College’s efforts to promote awareness of the music and art of Samoa and the rest of the Pacific.”

The forum, titled “Sounds of Samoa,” was attended by ASCC students and the public, and featured local music scholars and teachers, as well as distinguished guests from off-island including renowned authority on Samoan music Dr. Richard Moyle and composer/ conductor Matatumua Opeloge Ah Sam, both from New Zealand. The event highlighted the diversity of musical expression within both Samoa and American Samoa. In addition to Dr. Moyle and Matatumua, other presenters included Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin from Samoa, local authorities Chande Lutu Drabble and Tapaau Dr. Daniel Aga, and Fine Arts faculty Tuiasosopo, Poe Mageo, Loretta Leagatonu Puaauli and Regina Meredith.

“I was very happy with the turnout of the forum,” reflected Tuiasosopo. “I particularly liked the variety of topics presented, and the students and faculty in the audience were also very impressed. For me, the interesting thing was that all of the papers were focused on the cultural aspects of Samoan music, including history and language.” In addition to its article on the forum at ASCC, the ICTM newsletter also notes the appointment of Tuiasosopo as the ICTM Liaison Officer for American Samoa.

The International Council for Traditional Music is a scholarly organization which aims to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation, and dissemination of traditional music and dance of all countries. To these ends the Council organizes world conferences, symposia, and colloquia, and publishes the “Yearbook for Traditional Music” and the online Bulletin of the ICTM. Council members interested in particular areas of world music also form Study Groups that periodically meet at group symposia, one of these being the Study Group on Music and Dance of Oceania.

As a non-governmental organization in formal consultative relations with UNESCO and by means of its wide international representation and the activities of its Study Groups, the ICTM acts as a bond among peoples of different cultures and thus contributes to the peace of mankind. For more information on the ICTM, see their web page at:

The latter site also offers a link to the newsletter of the Study Group on Music and Dance of Oceania, where more details on the ASCC Ethnomusicology Forum can be found.