The University of Western Australia will next week (30 November to 3 December) host the biggest international music conference to be held in Australia for many years.
Around 300 delegates from 29 countries are expected to attend the "Power of Music" conference, a joint venture of the International Conference on Music and Emotion and the Musicological Society of Australia (MSA).
Held over four days, it will feature presentations by international experts in fields including musicology, music therapy, music theory, ethno-musicology, psychology, anthropology, neuroscience, aesthetics and evolutionary biology.
Winthrop Professor Jane Davidson, Callaway/Tunley Chair of Music, said the conference demonstrated the growing interest in research into music's powerful social role and highlighted UWA's high profile in the field.
"It is a well known fact that music is powerful, pervasive and a crucial form of human communication and expression," Professor Davidson said.
"During the conference scholars will examine the relationship between emotion and music from all sides: how is emotion processed, experienced and understood through musical sounds and structures; and what practical applications does this have in our societies?"
Talks include an examination of the impact of music on the brain for cognitive and intellectual development and improvement; music's powerful role in rituals like mourning and wedding celebrations; the role of music in social and political movements; an examination of specific musical techniques and forms from the past which continue to have a powerful emotional effect today.
There will be special focus sessions on European art music of the seventeenth century; the impact of the recording industry on music's reception and development; contemporary music composition; and Australian music, including several indigenous sessions with representatives from Perth and the South West, the Kimberley, Northern Territory and the Tiwi Islands.