Reports to the General Meeting of 
IASPM - The International Association
for the Study of Popular Music
in Sydney/ Australia, July 12, 1999

The following reports were presented by the IASPM Executive Committee to the international General Meeting of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). The minutes of the meeting including resolutions and relevant information updates to these reports will be published on the IASPM website as soon as possible. 

1. Report of the Executive Committee 1997-1999
2. Treasurer/Membership Secretary's Report 1998-9

of the Executive Committee 1997-1999


The current Executive committee, elected at the IX General Meeting in Kanazawa, Japan (July 30, 1997), comprises of the following persons:

Tony Mitchell - Chair
Motti Regev - General Secretary
David Hesmondhalgh - Treasurer and Membership Secretary
Heinz-Peter Katlewski - Publication Officer
Anna Szemere - Member-at-large

Since its election, the Executive Committee had two meetings. One immediately after its election in Kanazawa; a second meeting took place in Liverpool over three days, September 12-14, 1998. In addition, the Executive Committee had continuous discussions through the ec-iaspm list.

The Executive Committee would like to thank Steve Jones for his prolonged services in maintaining the iaspm-list and the ec-iaspm list on the web. The Executive Committee would also like to thank IASPM-UK and the Institute of Popular Music at Liverpool University for hosting its meeting.

Board of Representatives

The Board of Representatives comprises representatives from each branch and two representatives of individual members. Its task, since it was first elected in 1991 in Berlin, is to communicate between the Executive Committee and members at large. In Kanazawa, Shuhei Hosokawa was elected as the coordinator of this body. However, there seems to be much confusion as to the functioning of this body. Responses from Board members to Shuhei Hosokawa's attempts to get this body into some activity were few. In the last two years there was practically no activity there.


Strengthening the financial situation of IASPM is an issue that has not been solved yet. The major logic behind strengthening the finances of IASPM is the wish to secure regular publication of rich issues of RPM; allow more travel support for members from economically weak countries to come to the International Conference; and participate in the organization of the International Conferences. Various ideas in this direction have been entertained in the past, but none ever materialized. It seems that people engaged in IASPM activities to not posses the sort of entrepreneurial drive needed for such initiatives. On the other hand, constant and regular payment of membership fees by all members and branches, does seem to provide the amounts needed to publish RPM and occasionally support some travel.

The current ideas that the Executive Committee wants to propose in this regard are:
1. Leasing of the IASPM database (i.e. address list) to interested bodies;
2. Allowing advertisements in RPM (and possibly on the website??)


RPM 25, published on December 1997, was the first issue edited by Heinz-Peter Katlewski. It was followed by no.26 in August 1998, and a double issue (27-28), published just in time for the Sydney conference. They all contained the newly established supplement Ex Omnibus Linguis, carrying review of books, journals and dissertation in various languages.

Following a decision at the IX General Meeting in Kanazawa, the Executive Committee had several discussions regarding the publication of a yearbook. Given the tight timetable of such a project, and the complicated task of commissioning and editing papers, the Executive Committee believes that publishing a regular yearbook is not a feasible project. Moreover, as the proceeding of the last three conferences (Stockton, Glasgow, Kanazawa) have all been published approximately one year after the respective conferences, the Committee feels that the goal of regular publication of IASPM papers is achieved.

The Executive Committee wants however to propose the idea of a second book of IASPM papers. The first book, World Music, Politics and Social Change, was edited by Simon Frith and published by Manchester University Press in 1989. It was a collection of papers from the first three IASPM conferences. The Committee believes that a book containing a selection of papers from the Berlin, Stockton, Glasgow, Kanazawa and possibly Sydney conferences could serve the image and profile of IASPM. The Committee therefore proposes that one of the next Executive Committee's tasks will be to appoint an editor and to seek the possibility of publishing such a book with an academic press.

E-mail lists and website

Debates and discussions on canonization, copyright, censorship, musical instruments and gender, have made the iaspm-list a vibrant forum. In addition, the list serves as an efficient information channel for various subjects. It seems however that not all IASPM members subscribe to the list. The Committee therefore encourages all members with e-mail access to join the iaspm-list.

In addition, the ec-iaspm list, set up for communication between the Executive Committee members, proves an excellent tool for handling IASPM affairs.

With a new layout, RPM online, information on conferences, research and study centres, and links ton many other sites, the IASPM website is now a rich and highly efficient site - probably the best starting point on the internet - for anyone interested in popular music studies. The Executive Committee is extremely grateful to Heinz-Peter Katlewski for this excellent site.

Book Prize

The Executive Committee wants to propose the idea of a bin-annual book prize, to be awarded by IASPM to a book authored by one of its members. A committee consisting of five members - one each from the editorial boards of Popular Music, Perfect Beat and The Journal of Popular Music Studies, one Latin and one European (or at least non Anglophone) - will be appointed by the Executive Committee to evaluate books and decide on the prize.

Nominations for next Executive Committee

The following names were nominated by the current Committee as candidates for the next Executive Committee:

Anahid Kassabian (US) - Chair
Sheila Whiteley (UK) - General Secretary
Jan Pablo Gonzales (Chile) - General Secretary
Keith Harris (UK) - Treasurer / Membership Secretary
Heinz-Peter Katlewski - Publication Officer (extending his current role)
Claire Levy (Bulgaria) - Member-at-large

In addition, depending where the 2001 conference will be held (see next item), an additional member from the organizing country might be added for the purpose of organizing the conference.

Location of the 2001 conference

Following the decision at the General Meeting in Kanazawa (see the Kanazawa minutes), the Executive Committee has been in touch with people in Mexico who expressed willingness and seemed capable of organizing the International Conference in 2001 (Julia Palacios,Graciela Martinez, Artura Sucedo, Adrian de Garay Sanchez). However, as communication with these person remains erratic, and since there is no official invitation or a clear statement of commitment from any one of them, chances of holding the 2001 conference in Mexico seem now weaker.

On the other hand, in recent contacts with Henri Terho and Helmi Järviluoma from Finland, thy re-confirmed the interest of IASPM people in Finland, as well as in the Nordic branch, to host the 2001 conference. The Nordic branch will seriously consider this in its meeting in September.

Treasurer/ Membership Secretary's
Report 1998-9

Financial Report

Prepared by Dave Hesmondhalgh, 15 June 1999
All figures are in US dollars

Balance 31 March 1998


Branch dues




Total Income


Publication expenses


EC Travel expenses 1,167.46
Bank Charges 100.73
Total Expenditure 4,403.15
Total Income - Total Expenditure 2,470.44
Balance 31 May 1999 11,524.11


  1. Publication expenses include the development and maintenance of the IASPM website

  2. Significant payment still due from US, Japan, Canadian, Australia/New Zealand and other branches for 1998. Dues are sometimes difficult to estimate, but this should be roughly  US $ 5,000

  3. Significant outgoings still due - Costs of June 1999 RPM (app  US $ 2,000) travel expenses to Sydney (app US $ 3,500) sponsorship of two overseas scholars to Sydney (awarded US $ 800 each).


It is difficult to estimate current membership because:

  1. Some branches have not provided the EC with up-to-date membership lists, in spite of repeated requests.

  2. Some branches are dormant in years when no national conference is held.

But on the basis of the figures below, IASPM has approximately 520 paid-up members.

NB Branches pay dues a year in arrears and provide the previous year's membership lists. So the most up-to-date figures will be for 1998 with the exception of Turkey, which is a brand-new branch.

For more detailed reports on individual branches, see the IASPM website. Please forgive any inaccuracies in the list below.

IASPM Branches

Australia/New Zealand
Membership Secretary: Shane Homan
48 members (1998)

Membership Secretary: Hylke Tromp
21 members 1997, dormant 1998

Membership Secretary: Rosemary Statelova
6 members (1997)

Membership Secretary: Val Morrison
31 members 1997, dormant 1998

German speaking
Membership Secretary: Markus Heuger
45 members (1998)

Membership Secretary: Roberto Agostini
22 members (1997)

Membership Secretary: Takuya Iwamara
70 members (1998)

Nordic Countries
11 members (1996)

Membership Secretary: Marko Prpic
15 members (1997)

Membership Secretary: Ramon Belastegui Gimenez
18 members (1998)

Membership Secretary: Ayhan Erol
4 members (1998)

United Kingdom
Membership Secretary: Keith Harris
70 members (1998)

Membership Secretary: Gil Rodman
145 members (1997)

Individual members: approximately 15

I would like to thank all membership secretaries and national branch officers for their hard work - even those who are behind with their payments!

Dave Hesmondhalgh
21 June 1999