Music brings international experts together

Date: 18/07/2002

Music is everywhere - we hear it on TV and in supermarkets, we dance to it, tap our feet to it, and relax to it. But what actually goes on in the brain when we listen to music and why does music have such strong effects on emotion and memory?

These are some of the questions that will be discussed during an international conference on how we listen to, appreciate, think about and create music.

The International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, jointly organised by UWS's MARCS Auditory Laboratories and the University of NSW, will be held at UNSW from 17 - 21 July.

Held every two years, the conference attracts experts from around the world in the fields of psychology, music, music education, computer science, acoustics and engineering.

Four keynote addresses will be given at the conference by the following international academics:

- Professor Isabelle Peretz from the University of Montreal, Canada who is an expert in music and neuropsychology (or neuroscience);

- Professor Carol Krumhansl, from Cornell University, USA, who is a specialist in how the brain functions when listening to music and how we think about music;

- Professor Shin-ichiro Iwamiya, from the Kyushu Institute of Design, Japan - a specialist in psychological acoustics and acoustic engineering. He will present his work on communication in music and film; and

- Associate Professor Gary McPherson from the University of New South Wales who researches the ways children learn and practice (or don't practice!) musical instruments.

In addition there are sessions ranging over such diverse topics as timing and expressive performance; music and evolution; expressivity in music performance; ethnomusicology; memory for music; music and motivation; the links between musicality, communication and gesture.

The conference will also feature a world premiere on July 18 of The Art of Perception, a musical work commissioned for the conference that showcases principles of auditory perception and incorporates several musical illusions.

It is by Australian composer Raffæle Marcellino, whose works have been performed by many prominent ensembles and organisations including the Sydney, Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.

The Art of Perception will be performed at the conference by members of the Australia Ensemble, which is resident at the University of New South Wales.

There will be 248 papers presented over five days, and delegates will be travelling from 24 different countries.

It will be of interest for any who have a curiosity about music and human thinking and behaviour.

For more details see the ICMPC7 web page:

or contact organisers:
Dr Kate Stevens (; 9772 6324)
Dr Stephen Malloch (; 9772 6722)
Prof Denis Burnham (; 9772 6681)

Media contact: Lynda McKewen
Senior Media Officer
Ph: (02) 9678 7424
Mobile: 0419 244 595