Projects

Microtiming, Meter, and Ensemble Coordination in West African Percussion Music: collaborative research with Rainer Polak and Nori Jacoby (Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt).  Rainer Polak was the PI on a research project funded by the Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft, 2011–2014 to investigate micro-timings in percussion music. Our research has developed a cross-culturally comparative perspective on structures of micro-rhythmic asymmetry—colloquially referred to as rhythmic “feel” or “swing”—in Malian percussion ensemble music. Research to date has been presented at the Society for Music Theory (SMT), GFMT, RPPW, SMPC, and ICMPC conferences, and has been published in Music Theory OnlineFrontiers in Human Neuroscience, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, and Music Perception.

Auditory and Visual Factors in Musical Tempo Judgments: collaborative research with Petri Toiviainen, Birgitta Burger, and Marc Thompson (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)This project is a sustained investigation into the various cues for musical tempo, including the cross-modal integration of visual and auditory information.  Initial work in Finland in 2014 used motion capture to assess the effect of tempo on participants movements, and used movement data to construct stimuli for perceptual experiments.  We have also documented an illusory exaggeration of the increase or decrease of perceived tempo when music is digitally manipulated with "time stretching" programs.  Research has been presented at  the APCAM/Psychonomic Society, RPPW, SMPC, SysMus, and ICMPC conferences, and has appeared in Acta Psychologica, Psychological Research, and Human Movement Science.

TIME: Timing and Sound in Musical Micro-rhythm: collaborative research project with Anne Danielsen (PI), Kristian Nymoen, and Alexander Refsum Jensenius at the University of Oslo, supported by the Norwegian Research Council through 2020.  This project explores the microstructure of musical sounds, such as temporal shape, intensity, and timbre, and the ways they influence our sense of when a sound occurs in time. This in turn will affect how we are able to hear the ebb and flow of a series of sounds, and how we can coordinate our attention and action with them. This project combines sonic and musical analysis, perceptual studies, and cultural comparisons to show how both the microstructure of a sound as well as a listener's musical background will affect how the sounds are heard and responded to.  Research has been presented at the RPPW, SMPC, TimingForum, and ICMPC conferences.

How to To Talk About Music. A short (150 page) book project is a combined introduction to music psychology and music theory and analysis.  It will explore how our current knowledge of music perception, cognition, and neuroscience informs our understanding of rhythm, harmony, melody, tone color, musical form, and musical expression.  Illustrated with musical examples from a wide range of musical styles and genres, and requires little or no musical background, other than the ability to follow a simple musical score.