Opening Remarks


Opening Remarks


Mayumi Adachi, Chair
ICMPC10 Organizing Committee

Welcome to Sapporo. You made it! 
We are gathered here this week for the 10th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition. I’m Mayumi Adachi, the organizing chairperson, and an associate professor here at Hokkaido University. While many of you have come by a combination of international and domestic flights, trains, buses and taxis, all I had to do this morning was walk 20 minutes from my condo.

I am an early childhood developmental psychologist. I think music’s effect on infants is a fascinating field of research to be involved in. This is why, as a part of being organizing chair I arranged for two-year-old infants to be placed behind the seats of all conference attendee’s international flights.

Except for me, we have all traveled great distances to get here to come together to a community of peers who approach music from divergent perspectives. Conferences of this sort can give birth to new ideas: An acoustician might become intrigued by a path of research being taken by an ethnomusicologist. Over the next five days we have the opportunity to share our research with others, learn about others’ research in informal settings and possibly, just possibly, to steal someone else’s idea and take all the credit for it.

We all have our own reasons for being here, but I think I speak for most of us when I say that music is an important part of our lives. It is profoundly important. Music is an essential part of what separates mankind from our fellow mammals. It has evolved in every corner of the world. Since the dawn of time music has been a part of our happiness, indeed our humanness.

The ICMPC’s role is to advance our understanding of music on a scientific basis. We will discuss
   Neuroscience and Rhythm
   Harmony and Happiness
   Perception and Pitch
   Preference and Pathology
   Electrophysiological data and singing
   Performance and Psychophysics 
   Pianos and Psychology
   Strokes and scales

Such stuff of research seldom comes together in one place. Let us use this week well. We are all concerned about global climate change and the politics of petroleum dependency. As John Sloboda questions in his greeting in this year’s program: Will it even be possible or affordable to fly around the world to such conferences in twenty years? I will add “will it be conscious able? This is a challenge I would like to be a part of this year’s proceedings: Where are we going? What is our future?

This international society of music perception and cognition does have relevance and importance, and important contributions towards music research would not have been possible without our existence. Proof of which would be many papers presented this week report findings both interdisciplinary and international.

Such a gathering as this does not spontaneously come about. Actually I didn’t just “walk to work” this morning. None of us flew all this way for rice crackers and tea. There are too many people to thank here. I have expressed my gratitude to them in my welcoming message of our program. In addition to thanking them I want to thank each and every one of you for your attendance. It is our interaction that makes our conference worthwhile and successful and so… Welcome.

As a little matter of business I would like to mention something about our coffee breaks. A group of students calling themselves the Hokudai Café Project will be providing this service. As a part our ecological best practice please use the travel cups provided for the duration of this project. We suggest putting your name on your cups to identify them. The Hokudai Café Project would appreciate a donation of Y100 for each day’s coffee service. We have also included portable chopsticks to carry with you to use in place of waribashi or the disposable chopsticks you will find in the many cafes during your stay.

Let me now introduce you to Professor Yoshitaka Nakagima, who will serve as our facilitator for this morning’s presentations. Without further ado: Professor Nakajima.