Description: Listening to music can trigger vivid lifetime memories, bringing one back to the sights, sounds, and feelings of past events. Music is often intimately associated with self-defining moments from our lives, and can play a significant role in shaping a person’s identity. Research on the link between music and autobiographical memories is crucial for critically assessing the validity of claims about the “power of music,” informing theoretical accounts of the mechanisms by which music induces emotions, and developing music-based interventions for people with memory disorders.

This conference aims to bring together researchers from music, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, and other relevant disciplines to address the relationship between music and autobiographical memory, including, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • How and why does music become linked to lifetime memories?
  • How do music and personal memories interact in shaping one’s identity and self-concept?
  • What role does music play in the maintenance and retrieval of memories?
  • How does music relate to notions of collective memory and cultural transmission?
  • What role do cultural practices play in shaping the link between music and memories?
  • Can music be an effective cue for autobiographical memories in populations in which memory function has otherwise been compromised?

Call for contributions: Submissions for oral research presentations (approx. 20 minutes in duration) are now being accepted. To be considered for participation, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words in length. Both empirical and theoretical contributions will be considered, provided the link to music and lifetime memories is clear. To submit, please send your abstract, formatted using the Abstract Template, by email to the Organising Committee at

Support for students and unwaged delegates: A limited number of Conference Awards will be available from SEMPRE for students and unwaged delegates to cover expenses (e.g. travel and accommodation). If you would like to apply, please state your interest in the body of the email message when you submit your abstract. A further application form for the SEMPRE Awards will then be provided if your submission is accepted for the conference programme.

Remote presentations: To encourage inclusion of participants from diverse locations and backgrounds, there will also be an option to give a remote presentation, if you are unable to travel to Durham. If you would like to give a remote presentation, please state your interest in the body of the email message when you submit your abstract.

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 May 2019

Notification of acceptance by:  30 June 2019