Western Music Cognition Research Presented in Tokyo

In August 2023, Dr. Jonathan De Souza gave two presentations at the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC) in Tokyo. Dr. De Souza is an Associate Professor of Music Theory in the Don Wright Faculty of Music and an Associate Member of Western’s Brain and Mind Institute. The five-day conference at Nihon University involved music scholars, psychologists, neuroscientists, and other researchers from across the globe.

One of Dr. De Souza’s presentations was co-authored with Dr. Kristen Wallentinsen (Rutgers University), who completed her Ph.D. at Western in 2017, and Dr. Andrew Goldman (Indiana University), a former postdoctoral associate in the Don Wright Faculty of Music. In it, they reported on a series of experiments that investigated how listeners group melodies into families.

The other presentation was a collaboration with three colleagues from McMaster University, Max Delle Grazie, Cameron Anderson, and Dr. Michael Schutz. Their project was conducted while Dr. Schutz was a Visiting Western Research Chair in Fall 2022, and it employed five graduate students from the Don Wright Faculty of Music. Together they examined how composers mix major and minor in keyboard music from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries. At the same time, the project developed novel research methods that connect music theory and cognitive science.

Dr. Jessica Grahn of the Brain and Mind Institute was also on the ICMPC program. She and Dr. De Souza are Core Faculty for the Collaborative Specialization in Music Cognition and members of Western’s Music, Cognition, and the Brain Research Group. Their participation in the conference reflects the exciting interdisciplinary music research happening at Western.

Jonathan De Souza at Tokyo ICMPC Jonathan De Souza and Michael Shultz at Tokyo ICMPC
Photo 1: Kristen Wallentinsen, PhD (Music Theory) graduate, left; Jonathan De Souza, right
Photo 2: Jonathan De Souza, left; Michael Shultz, right