James Mathes


Society for Music Perception and Cognition Conference reviewed by James MathesThe Society for Music Perception and Cognition conference held its annual conference August 14-17, 1999 on the beautiful campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. One of the attractions of the meetings of this society is the opportunity to listen to and interact with researchers within and outside of the discipline of music, including a large number of participants from outside of the USA. Institutions from Canada, the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Brazil, and Argentina were represented. Music addressed ranged from western classical music to jazz, popular and folk music, to Hindustani music. In all, twenty-seven paper sessions were held over a four-day period as the work of over 140 researchers was presented. These numbers are indicative of the wide range of topics that were addressed by the diverse group of participants. Although the field of music perception and cognition is traditionally associated with psychology, music theorists have taken more active research roles in recent decades, reflecting a growing interest across disciplines. The music theory departments from Northwestern and Ohio State Universities, particularly active in music perception and cognition research, were especially well represented on the programs. Though it was not possible to attend and to report on many intriguing sessions that were held - concurrent papers were continuously offered - I hope to give some idea of the types of research being conducted as evidenced by this conference.