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On October 6, 2018 at the TKP Ichigaya Conference Center in Tokyo, the Min-On Music Research Institue Annual Report Conference 2018 was held with the theme of “Human Rights and Musicking.” “Musicking” can be defined as “any action related to music.” The atmosphere of the venue was electric, with a full house of over 100 people attending the annual report conference, now in its third year.

The organization Musicians Without Borders is based in Amsterdam, Holland. Its founder and director, Laura Hassler, was influenced by her father who was a peace activist, and founded Music without Borders to be a “creator of peace in a world where war dominates.”

The organization actively adheres to principles of non-violence to build a just and peaceful society. Its philosophy is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with a belief that empathy and bonds can be strengthened through music. The organization introduced its activities in Rwanda, Kosovo, Palestine, El Salvador and has hosted refugee support programs to make its philosophy a reality over the past 20 years.

In addition, vice president of the International Council for Traditional Music, Dr. Svanibor Pettan, who is fully aware of the reality of the effects of war on families through his experiences with conflict in The Balkans, advocated applied ethnomusicology, which explores practical studies related to cycles of war and peace. In order to respect one another and remind ourselves of the advantages of living together in peace, he emphasized the possibilities of applied ethnomusicology and the importance of strategic musicking, human rights and living our lives with courage. His speech received a wonderfully positive reception, and many attendees were moved by his real-life experiences.

Presenters included:

Craig Robertson, MOMRI Research Fellow
Michael Golden, MOMRI Research Fellow; Prof. of Music at Soka University of America
Elaine Sandoval, MOMRI Associate Research Fellow and PhD candidate, CUNY
Svanibor Pettan, International Council for Traditional Music
Musicians without Borders, Laura Hassler