Music Cognition

My primary research interest focuses on the investigation of musical features which allow listeners to define and differentiate styles, specifically addressing the intersection of music cognition and popular music.

My dissertation, “Harmonic Expectation in Twelve-Bar Blues Progressions”, investigated, by way of three experimental studies, the degree of intersection between expectations of harmony in common-practice and popular music.

I’m currently undergoing two projects that take this work as a point of departure. First is a study that examines the impact of backbeat placement on listeners’ perception of tempo and metrical hierarchy in rock music. The second is a comparison of listeners’ expectations of three-chord successions placed in classical and rock contexts.


(2014). Probe Tone Method. Music in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by William Forde Thompson. Sage Publications: Los Angeles, California. 981-2.

Preprint Project