Skip to main content

News & Events


The ESM/UR/Cornell/Buffalo Music Cognition Symposium

Saturday, October 22, 2016
2:00 p.m.
ESM 305, Eastman School of Music

The ESM/UR/Cornell/Buffalo Music Cognition Symposium Saturday October

Saturday October 22, 2016

2:00-5:00 ESM 305

Eastman School of Music

Topic: Timing in Music Performance

Visiting Speaker: Caroline Palmer, McGill University

2:00-2:15 General introduction

2:15-2:45 Peter Pfordresher (U at Buffalo), Retrospective survey of themes in Caroline Palmer¹s research on music perception

2:45-3:15 Peter Pfordresher and Emma Greenspon (U at Buffalo), Recent
collaborative research on endogenous rhythms in music and speech production

3:15-3:30 Discussion

3:30-3:45 Break with refreshments

3:45-4:45 Caroline Palmer (McGill), Temporal coordination among performing musicians

4:45-5:00 Discussion

A complimentary lunch will be provided for all attendees before the session at the Golden Port Restaurant, 105 East Avenue, at 12:45.

If you wish to attend, please e-mail Ivan Tan at

Abstract for Caroline Palmer's talk:

Ensemble performance offers one of the finest examples of human temporal coordination. When people carry on a speech conversation, they usually adapt their timing, for example, when they take turns speaking. When musicians perform together, they must adapt their timing to each beat of their partners' productions in order to stay synchronous with each other. How musicians are able to generate a sequence of synchronous events while adapting to the timing of others' events is the focus of much research. I will describe experiments with musicians that manipulate the size and types of musical ensembles; the sensory cues available to musicians as they perform; and the role of endogenous rhythms (intrinsic oscillations that continue in the absence of external stimuli) that a) drives a regular rhythm and b) influences synchronization in ensemble performance.

Dr. Caroline Palmer is a Professor of Psychology and Canada Research Chair at McGill University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in auditory cognition, research methods, and music cognition. Her research interests include the memory, motor, and neural foundations of production in music and speech. Her work has been published in scholarly journals in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and music cognition fields. Her research on musical ensemble timing has been featured recently in the Washington Post, the London Times, and the Atlantic Monthly. She is a Fellow of the APA and APS, has received an NSERC Accelerator Award (Canada), and has served on NSF and NSERC grant panels.