The sections below provide a selected overview of recent projects and presentations. For a complete list of publications and presentations, please see my CV.

Harmonic Expectation: Computational Analysis of the McGill Billboard Corpus

This project includes various analytical queries involving the symbolic McGill Billboard Corpus in order to model our expectations for a popular style. This work relies on the assumption that we implicitly learn musical style through exposure. Using information theory methodology to segment harmonic successions of the corpus, I arrive at notions for expectation and tonal function based on measurable uncertainty (entropy).

You can see the manuscript for my 2017 presentation at the annual conference of the Society for Music Theory here.

Aspects of this work have been presented at:

  • Society for Music Theory Annual Conference (Arlington, VA: November 2017)
  • Society for Music Perception and Cognition Conference (San Diego, CA: August 2017).
  • The 14th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (San Francisco, CA: July 2016). Awarded SEMPRE Student Travel Award.
  • Beyond Boundaries: A Symposium on Hybrid Scholarship at Yale University (New Haven, CT: April 2016)
  • Northeast Music Cognition Group Meeting (Boston, MA: January 2016).

Diversity and Curriculum Research

As an advocate for equal representation of and opportunity for minorities and women, I have been part of many organizational efforts and programs. As such, I also develop projects for, research, and empirically study the gender and minority gap in academia and diverse curriculum reform.

  • In 2015, I created a survey to assess how women in interdisciplinary research (mainly in music cognition) had affected music theory. That survey is available here.
  • I also wrote a reflection blog post on the importance of minority mentorship programs for Women in Music Information Retrieval.
  • Recently, my colleague Toby Rush and I re-developed our music theory curriculum at the University of Dayton in order to be more inclusive across race, gender, and world traditions. More information on this work can be found in my teaching page.
  • Currently, I am working on a few translation projects that I hope will lead to wider accessibility to the fields of music theory and music cognition in and across Spanish-speaking countries.
    • One of these is a translation of Tan, Pfordresher, and Harré’s Psychology of Music: From Sound to Significance textbook, in collaboration with Julian Cespedes-Guevara.

Aspects of this work have been presented as:

  • What If We Throw It All Out and Start Over? Exchanging Tradition for Relevance in the Theory Curriculum. Twenty-first Meeting: Music Theory Midwest (Virtual conference: June 2020).
  • Interdisciplinary Female Mentorship and Influence on Music Theorists
    Keele Music Analysis Conference – Invited Plenary Speaker: Women and Analysis (Staffordshire, UK: July 2015).
  • Current Research on the Impact of Gender and Race on Negotiation and Self-Advocacy Society for Music Theory – Committee for the Status of Women Workshop on Self-Advocacy and Negotiation (Milwaukee, WI: November 2014).
  • Quantifying the needs of a 21st-century musician: A survey of practical skills and relevant pedagogical practices in music theory (Poster). International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (Virtual Conference: July-August 2021).

Harmonic Expectation: ERP correlates

In tandem with my computational work, this part of my research incorporates neuroscientific investigation to test harmonic expectations (the ERAN ERP) based on extended tonal idioms.

Aspects of this work have been presented at:

  • Society for Music Perception and Cognition Conference (San Diego, CA: August 2017). Awarded Student Travel Award for Best Abstract.

Interaction of Metrical and Motivic Perception

This work investigated how meter and motivic patterns (both tonal and atonal) interact to affect melodic memory. Results of this work have been published:

____, David Temperley, and Peter Q. Pfordresher. 2014. “Effects of metrical encoding on melody recognition.” Music Perception 31(4).

Aspects of this work have been presented at:

  • Behavior and Brain Sciences Symposium (Buffalo, NY: June 2012)
  • Northeast Music Cognition Group Meeting (New Haven, CT: April 2012)
  • 10th Annual Meeting: Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic (Newark, DE: March 2012)
  • 16th Annual Midwest Graduate Music Consortium (Evanston, IL: March 2012)
  • ESM/UR/Cornell Music Cognition Symposium (Rochester, NY: February 2012). Invited Talk.
  • 29th Annual Florida State University Music Theory Forum (Tallahassee, FL: January 2012)
  • Society for Music Perception and Cognition Conference (Rochester, NY: August 2011)

Other Work

‘You’re the Top’ and the Problem of Authenticity in the Broadway Musical
Exhibit: Peru to Paree: A Cole Porter Jubilee, Yale University Sterling Memorial Library (New Haven, CT: October 2013-January 2014).