Prof Ian Cross

Ian Cross is Emeritus Professor of Music & Science, having retired in 2021 as Director of the Centre for Music and Science where he led a lively group of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in exploring music, its materials and its effects from a wide range of scientific perspectives. His early research helped set the agenda for the study of music cognition; he has since published widely in the field of music and science, from the psychoacoustics of violins to the evolutionary roots of musicality. His recent research has followed two main tracks in focusing on exploring relationships between speech and music as interactive media, and on the effects of engagement in group musical activities on capacity for empathy. He is an Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and is also a guitarist.

Dr Laura Bishop

Laura Bishop is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at RITMO (Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion) at the Department of Musicology, University of Oslo. Her research focusses on the cognitive processes involved in creative musical interaction, with a particular interest in how creative collaboration unfolds in the context of skilled music ensemble performance, when predictability and coordination must be balanced with flexibility and spontaneity. She has written on eye contact and visual attention during ensemble performance, the role of musical imagery in the creative process, and the perception of nonverbal communication by audience members. From 2013-2019, Dr Bishop was a postdoctoral research at the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence. She has an Associate Diploma in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Canada.

Prof Katherine Larson

Katherine Larson is a Professor of English at the University of Toronto and Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning, and Undergraduate Programs at University of Toronto Scarborough. Her research and teaching centre on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature and culture, with particular interests in early modern women’s writing, gender and language, rhetoric and embodiment, and music (especially opera and song). She has written on gender and conversational interactions, Renaissance poet Lady Mary Wroth, Richard Strauss, early modern games, and the music of Moulin Rouge!. Her most recent book, The Matter of Song in Early Modern England, which features a companion recording, situates song as a multi-dimensional form that demands to be considered in embodied, gendered, and performance-based terms. She is currently collaborating with Scott Trudell and Sarah Williams on the development of Early Modern Songscapes, an intermedia project that aims to animate song’s least tangible, yet essential facets: its generic fluidity; its ability to permeate boundaries in unexpected ways; and its rootedness in the air.

Dr Murphy McCaleb

Murphy McCaleb is a senior lecturer of music at York St John University, and currently is course lead for music programmes and learning and teaching lead for the School of the Arts. He received his doctorate in ensemble performance studies from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire after studying trombone performance and chamber music at the University of Alaska and the University of Michigan. As a bass trombonist and pianist, Murphy engages in a wide range of music, including classical, jazz, rock, folk, electronic, and experimental, and has performed in two Glastonbury Festivals as part of the New York Brass Band. He has recorded on multiple albums, most recently Mythical and Angry, a funk collaboration with progressive rock drummer Andy Edwards, and Flora Greysteel’s From the Ground. His background in musical direction includes an installation at the Illuminating York festival in 2016 and a four-star reviewed run of Gavin Bryars’ Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019. His first book, Embodied Knowledge in Ensemble Performance, was released by Ashgate in March 2014.

Dr Bettina Varwig

Bettina Varwig is a University Lecturer at the Faculty of Music, specialising in music of the early modern period. Her research concerns the cultural history of Western music in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, with a focus on the German-speaking countries. She has published extensively on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Heinrich Schütz and their contemporaries, exploring issues of musical meaning, listening practices and musical rhetoric, as well as historiography and reception, in particular the afterlife of J. S. Bach in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her current project explores how music and its perceived powerful impact on animate beings shaped contemporary ideas about human nature, its physiology and psychology; and how these past musical practices and discourses can aid in recovering particular historical forms of being-in-the-body. She completed my doctoral studies at Harvard University in 2006, followed by a Fellowship by Examination at Magdalen College, Oxford (2005-8) and a British Academy Fellowship at the University of Cambridge and Girton College (2008-9).

working group

Liam Coles

Jenny Grober

Milo Harries

Kaitlin Sandmann

Eliza Tewson


Maral Attar-Zadeh