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Articles of Association

The by-laws of the WMA, as amended in 2017 and notified in 2018

Article 1. Name, Membership and Period

The Association's name is: International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA). The Association’s Registered Office is to be situated in Graz, Austria. The Association is entered into for an indeterminate period of time and is open to members from all nations. The Association is a continuation of an international cooperation started on June 1, 1997. The working language of the Association is English.

Article 2. Aims

The Association’s aims are to advance the scholarly study of word and music relations, to advance everything directly or indirectly connected with the scholarly study of word and music relations, and to advance everything that could be directly or indirectly beneficial to that purpose.
The Association is a non-profit organization.

Article 3. Activities

The Association pursues this aim by advancing research and education in the field at universities and other institutions of higher education; advancing contacts between members of the Association and assisting members in their activities in the field; organizing meetings and conferences devoted to subjects in the field; maintaining relations with national and international societies with related aims; and by all other legal means considered useful or necessary for the pursuit of the stated goals.

Article 4. Membership

All those who carry out research and/or higher educational activities in the field of word and music studies can be accepted for membership.
Prospective members may apply for membership by letter to the Executive Board. Membership may be declined by the Executive Board without giving reasons. Membership of institutions is possible. The General Assembly may bestow Honorary Memberships at the proposal of the Executive Board.

Article 5. Termination of Membership

Membership shall be terminated by the member’s decease; the member’s notice by letter to the Executive Board; expulsion. A member can be expelled when two written requests of payment of the annual membership fee with a reasonable grace period of six months remain unanswered. Expulsion can also be enacted when a member seriously violates other membership duties or on account of disreputable conduct.

Article 6. Organs of the Association

Organs of the Association are the General Assembly, the Governing Body, consisting of the Executive Board and the Advisory Board, and the Court of Arbitration. The General Assembly may elect official liaisons to other organizations. In addition, auditors are elected by the General Assembly.

Article 7. The General Assembly

At regular intervals, not exceeding a period of three years, a General Assembly shall be convened. At the meeting, elections shall be held and announcements shall be made in accordance with these Articles of Association, the regulations or the wishes of the Governing Body. At the meeting, the Executive Board shall give account of the policy pursued. An extraordinary General Assembly is convened
1. on a decision of the Executive Board or the General Assembly 
2. on the written request of at least one tenth of the membership. 

Notification of a General Assembly shall be sent to the members no later than two months prior to the meeting, on the understanding that the deadline for notification of a second meeting shall be one month. The Association’s meetings shall be open to the members. Each member shall have one vote and shall be authorized to have his or her vote entered by another member, acting as his or her Authorized Agent. One member may not carry more than two such authorized votes. At General Assembly half the number of members is the quorum. If fewer members are present, the General Assembly takes place 30 minutes later and the number of members present is the quorum. Non-members who want to attend a meeting shall have to hand in a request for this purpose to the Executive Board in due time. The Executive Board shall decide whether the request will be granted. During the period of time when suspensions or dismissals of Governing Body members are discussed, meetings take place behind closed doors.

Article 8. Activities of the General Assembly

The following activities are reserved for the General Assembly:

1. decisions on the budget; 
2. acceptance and approval of the financial report and the closing of the accounts in conjunction with the auditors; 
3. approval of the activities of the Executive Board; 
4. election and dismissal of Executive Board members and auditors; 
5. determination of the amount of annual membership fees; 
6. bestowal and revocation of Honorary Memberships; 
7. decision on amendments of these Articles of Constitution and on the voluntary dissolution of the Association; 
8. discussion and decisions on any other issues on a meeting’s agenda. 

Article 9. The Governing Body

The Governing Body of WMA consists of the Executive Board and the Advisory Board. Only members of the Association can be elected Governing Body members. Members of the Governing Body are elected by the General Assembly.

Article 10. The Executive Board

The Executive Board consists of at least four and at most ten members, the exact number being determined by the General Assembly. Functions on the Executive Board are the President, one or two Vice Presidents, the Secretary, and the Treasurer; they are appointed by the General Assembly. The positions of Secretary and Treasurer may be combined. If no more than one position on the Executive Board is vacant, the Board will be considered to be complete and thus able to function. The Association shall be externally represented by the President. He may delegate this function to any member of the Executive Board. An Executive Board member may represent another Board member, provided that this is done in writing. Provided that all Executive Board members have given their written opinions about a given proposal, the Board may make decisions without convening in a meeting.
The Executive Board is responsible for the scholarly organization of the conferences.

Article 11. Activities of the Executive Board

The Executive Board is responsible for managing the Association and is its legally designated administrative organ. It executes all activities not delegated to other organs of the Association by these Articles of Association. It deals particularly with the following matters: 

1. setting up an accounting system in accordance with the Association’s needs, as a minimum requirement including day-to-day accounting on a cash basis and keeping a list of assets; 
2. setting up an annual estimate, a statement of accounts and a closing of accounts; 
3. preparing and convening General Assemblies; 
4. giving the membership account of the Association’s activities, its financial situation and the audited closing of accounts; 
5. control of the Association’s assets; 
6. admittance and exclusion of members; 
7. scholarly organization of the Association’s conferences and meetings; 
8. implementation of all further activities conducive to the Association’s aims. 


Article 12. The Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is not limited as to the number of its members. It includes ex officio the chief organizer of the next international conference (unless he or she is a member of the Executive Board) and former Presidents of the Association if they so wish.

Article 13. The Auditors

The General Assembly elects two auditors for the period between regular General Assemblies. They may be re-elected. The auditors control the closing of the accounts and report to the General Assembly.

Article 14. Membership of the Governing Body

The tenure of Governing Body members will be for the period between regular General Assemblies. They are nominated according to a list drawn up by the Executive Board. Residing Governing Body members may be re-elected. In case of a premature vacancy, by-elections may be held. The sitting members of the Executive Board will put forward one candidate for each vacancy in the Governing Body. The nomination will be made known to the members in the convocation to the General Assembly at which the election is held. Furthermore, members may be nominated by a written application, to be submitted to the Executive Board. This application shall have to be signed by at least five members and submitted at least two weeks before the meeting at which the election is to be held. The application shall have to be accompanied by a declaration in which the candidate expresses his willingness to accept the position on the Governing Body. Unless otherwise determined by the General Assembly, the candidates recommended by the Executive Board shall be appointed if no opposing candidates have been put forward. If one or more opposing candidates have been put forward a vote by ballot shall be taken at the meeting. Membership in the Governing Body terminates – apart from the termination of function-periods – with the termination of membership in the Association or by written resignation. Governing Body members may be dismissed or suspended by the General Assembly at any time. A suspension ends within three months, provided that it has not been commuted to dismissal. The Association’s members shall have authority to submit proposals regarding the dismissal or suspension of one or more members of the Governing Body. Such a recommendation, backed by weighty arguments, has to be signed by at least five members and has to be submitted to the Executive Board.

Article 15. Voting Procedures

Provided these Articles of Association do not state otherwise, all proposals, in order to be passed, require an absolute majority of the votes entered at a meeting. Votes concerning individuals will as a rule be taken by ballot, votes concerning non-personal matters shall be taken orally or by the raising of hands, unless a vote by ballot is requested by at least one member present. In a case where votes concerning non-personal matters end in a tie the proposal shall be deemed rejected. If, in an election, none of the candidates has won an absolute majority, a second ballot will be held between the two candidates who had acquired most of the votes in the first ballot. In a case where this second ballot ends in a tie, the lot will decide.

Article 16. Rules and Regulations

The General Assembly may draw up rules and regulations which shall not contain stipulations that violate the law or these Articles of Association.

Article 17. Means

The Association’s means shall consist of the compulsory annual membership fee in an amount to be determined by the General Assembly; voluntary contributions, donations and bequests; subsidies; all other assets.

Article 18. The Court of Arbitration

In case of serious differences within the Association decision is taken by the Court of Arbitration. It consists of five members of the Association. Each litigant party reports two members to the Executive Board. The four members elect a fifth member as chairman by a majority vote. Given an equal number of votes the decision about the chairman is taken by lot. The Court of Arbitration decides in the presence of all its members by simple majority. It decides to the best of its knowledge. Its decision is final within the Association.

Article 19. Amendment of the Articles of Association and Dissolution

Amendment of these Articles of Association or dissolution may only be decided at a General Assembly. The decision shall have to be passed by a two-thirds majority of the votes entered at the meeting. Other conditions of quorum follow Article 7 above. Those who have convened the meeting at which amendment of the Articles is to be discussed have to send a transcript of the proposal to all the members at least two months before the meeting. The transcript of the proposed amendment has to be verbatim. An amendment of the Articles of Association shall not take effect until it has been notarized. Any member of the Executive Board shall be authorized to execute the aforementioned notarial Act.
In case of dissolution the sitting Executive Board members will give instructions for the disposal of assets held by the Association. Any property remaining after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be diverted to a charitable cause to be decided on by the General Assembly in the dissolution meeting. The chosen cause shall have to be as closely related to the Association’s aims as possible.

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