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Justin London

Justin London

Education & Professional History

University of Cincinnati, BMus, MMus; University of Pennsylvania, PhD.

At Carleton since 1989.

Organizations & Scholarly Affiliations

Research Affiliate, Centre for Music and Science, University of Cambridge

Fulbright Professor, University of Jyväskylä (2014)

Visiting Professor of Musicology, University of Oslo (2016)

Visiting Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt (2018)

Society for Music Perception and Cognition, President (2017-18)

Society for Music Theory, President (2007-09)

American Society for Aesthetics

Acoustical Society of America

American Musicological Society

European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music 


As Listed on Department Faculty Pages


Justin London (Music Theory, Music Psychology, Cognitive Science, Musical Aesthetics, and American Popular Music) received his B.M. degree in Classical Guitar and his M.M. degree in Music Theory from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and he holds a Ph.D. in Music History and Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of several articles in the recent revision of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and the Cambridge History of Western Music Theory and his book, Hearing in Time, (Oxford University Press) is a cross-cultural exploration of musical meter. He is currently involved in several joint research projects: microtimings in Malian drumming (with Rainer Polak & Nori Jacoby, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt), the effect of bodily movement on tempo perception (with Petri Toiviainen, Birgitta Burger, and Marc Thompson), and how the microstructure of musical sounds affects our sense of beat and swing (with Anne Danielsen and Alexander Refsum Jensinus). Professor London has held visiting Professorships or Fellowships at the University of Cambridge, UK (2005), the University of Jyväskylä, Finland (2014), and the University of Oslo, Norway (2016). He served as President of the Society for Music Theory in 2007-2009, and is currently President of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition.

Cognitive Science

Professor London's primary research area is in the perception and cognition of musical rhythm, specifically the perceptual "speed limits" for rhythmic patterns, musical meter and its relationship to sensorimotor entrainment, and the factors that influence our perception of tempo.  He is an affiliated researcher with the Centre for Music and Science at the University of Cambridge, where he pursues joint research with Ian Cross and Sarah Hawkins, and he is currently involved in the study of microtiming in African Drumming with Rainer Polak (Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, Köln). His book Hearing in Time (2nd Edition 2012) is a cross-cultural study of the psychological aspects of musical meter.

Link to Professor London's Website:

Profile updated October 18, 2018

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