Conference reviews,  Music Psychology

Exciting conference time!

Hello dear reader,

Spanish desert!How lovely to see you on this sunny Sunday. I should explain that today you find me in Spain with my parents; and it is very…very hot. My folks live in the south of Spain, the area where many cowboy films were filmed in the 60s, and there is a lot of sun. This means that we can’t go outside between 1pm and 3pm so I am sat beside a fan writing to you while the heat of the day passes.

First I would like to say a big thank you to all of you who took part in or passed on the link to Guang Yi’s (my Masters student) test for absolute pitch and tone-colour synaesthesia. He and I saw a nice big jump in our data for which we are hugely grateful. There is still time to take part if you would like so please follow/ pass around this link.

SMPCThe initial results of Guang Yi’s study will be presented very soon, hot off the press, at one of the biggest conferences in our field, the Society for Music Perception and Cognition or SMPC.  I am so excited about this upcoming conference – this meeting gives everyone a chance to find out about the very latest research in music psychology.

SMPC 2013 will be held in Toronto from August 8th – August 11th at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. The meeting looks like it will be one of the largest if not THE largest meeting of SMPC to date. The website now hosts the timetable for talks as well as the list of posters that will be presented in sessions across three days. Both look absolteuly fascinating. You can find the links to the conference here.

For those of you who like to get more bang for you buck there are also two satellite meetings attached to the conference: The 3rd Annual Seminar on Cognitively Based Music Informatics (CogMIR), August 7 and The 5th Annual Meeting of Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing (AIRS), August 11-12.

There will be a keynote from the amazing Dr. Carol L. Krumhansl, Cornell University,  entitled: “Musical Tension: Statistics, Structure, and Style.” For more information on Dr. Krumhansl’s work please click here. Furthermore,  in order to promote broad interest in music psychology, SMPC are offering a public lecture  by Dr. Daniel Levitin (Author of: “This is Your Brain on Music”) on Sunday August 11th. Admission is free, and open to SMPC delegates as well as the general public. Delegates must indicate their interest on the conference registration form. The general public can reserve a spot here.

I am very excited about this big conference. It will be my first visit to SMPC and I am looking forward to meeting with friends and colleagues from across the Atlantic. I am also keen to meet some of the students who will make up a significant proportion of the presenters; it certainly appears that our discipline is growing from the bottom up and is blessed with some really creative and clever students.

Music_by_BalakovOf course, I don’t intend to sit passively at this conference. On the work side, I will be presenting some of my latest earworm research, looking at reactions to tunes that get stuck in our heads. This research marks the first step in the development of coping strategies for this sometimes irritating or even distressing phenomenon. I can’t wait to get some feedback from the conference attendees.

On the work/fun side I intend to blog my way through SMPC in the same manner that I adopted for the 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC12) last summer. These ICMPC blogs are still available in a free e-book that you can find here.

I find blogging is a great way to focus my mind on what I see and hear, and I love the idea that the blogs may provide useful reviews for people who are not at the conference.

Dr. Vicky WilliamsonAs you will see from the SMPC timetable and poster outlines, there is no shortage of really exciting presentations to attend. I almost wish I could split myself up into four (there are 4 parallel sessions) and attend everything! Despite my physical limitations I will do my best to bring as much of SMPC to you, dear reader, as possible. So stay tuned for a tour of SMPC this August, with me as your host!

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