Beijing, China, October 11-14, 2007


Organized jointly by the International Music Council and the Chinese Musicians Association.

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 The IMC World Forum on Music 2007 - an Introduction

International Music Council (IMC) organised its first World Forum on Music (WFM) in Los Angeles, USA, in October 2005, in connection to its 31st General Assembly. The experiences gained two years ago inspired the IMC Executive Board and the Chinese hosts of the 2007 IMC General Assembly to organise a second World Forum on Music, and by doing so, establish a new tradition in the history of IMC, a tradition we are convinced the global community of leaders in the field of music will take advantage of for years to come. It is our belief that the outcomes of the WFMs will make an impact on the conditions for music in the world.

The aim of the WFM is to set a unique stage where artists, scholars, decision-makers and other influential actors in all areas of music, from all corners of the world, and with their roots in a wide variety of musical cultures can meet, share experience, and discuss challenges related to the future of music and music in the future. The WFM is the number one arena where the IMC membership, speaking on behalf of music production, transmission and promotion in all parts of the world, can meet and interact with colleagues working in areas directly or indirectly related to music. It is obvious for all working in the field of art and culture that to reach our goals, we are dependent on collaboration with a wide range of players - e.g. within politics, technology, law, education, and indeed the so-called commercial world. The WFM offers a unique opportunity for explorative encounters between the purely musical world and the wider world of which the musical world is but a part.

IMC's mission is rooted in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which underlines the right all people shall have to express themselves freely. IMC believes that music is one of people's most powerful means of expression and communication, and it is our aim to work for unlimited freedom with regard to musical expression. IMC has defined five rights which in our view is a prerequisite for such freedom.

At this point in history, IMC is focussing on music and development - that is on music as an important element in the development of open, sustainable and democratic societies, and on what a viable music life - in which the owners of a musical culture can practice and celebrate this ownership - is dependent on. Based on our observations, studies and reports from our members, we argue that few societies in the world do fully understand the potential of, take advantage of, or cater to the needs of their musical culture. The 2007 IMC WFM aims at studying and discussing some of the most important aspects relative to music in development and development in music.

The six WFM sessions will deal with basically four themes:

  • Music in Development with a focus on the importance of strengthening the musical sector in developing countries;
  • Intellectual Property Rights which offers an introduction to and a discussion of the implications of alternative regimes for ensuring artists' rights;
  • ManyMusics - Enhancing Musical Diversity with one session in which we will present the potential of the UNESCO Convention of the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression, and another sesson in which we will discuss our responsibility to establish sustainable futures for the magnitude of musical traditions in the world;
  • Music in the Future where one session will focus on how social, cultural, political and technological trends will influence music in the years to come, and another will discuss the implications of the general trends in society for the education of musical artists and educators.

Every session will provide a unique opportunity for all of us working in the field of music to acquire new knowledge and to contribute with our own insight to a broader understanding of important issues. Together, we may even aim at contributing to the wisdom which should underpin all decision-making relative to the future of music!

Einar Solbu
Programme co-ordinator

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