The Shepherd School of Music
Rice: Unconventional Wisdom
The Shepherd School of Music
Exploring the Mind Through Music



Gregory Barnett

Gregory BarnettGREGORY BARNETT is the author of Bolognese Instrumental Music, 1660-1710: Spiritual Comfort, Courtly Delight, and Commercial Triumph, published by Ashgate Press. He has also published articles in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Early Music, The Journal of Musicology, the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, Theoria, theBasler Jahrbuch für Historische Musikpraxis, the Quaderni della Rivista Italiana di Musicologia, and in five volumes of conference proceedings of the Antiquae Musicae Italicae Studiosi—Como. He is a contributor to The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory, The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music, Geminiani Studies (Ut Orpheus Edizioni), and Regole Armoniche (1775) by Vincenzo Manfredini (Brepols).

In his research, Dr. Barnett has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Program, and the American Musicological Society. His research interests include the history of modal theory, Baroque-era instrumental music and instruments, and the music of Handel. Before coming to Rice University, he held positions at the University of Iowa and the University of Michigan. He has taught early opera, American music, Baroque music, and seminars on 17th- and 18th-century performance practice, the history of music theory, and J. S. Bach. Along with Dr. Peter Loewen, Dr. Barnett is co-director of the Shepherd School Collegium Musicum.


Anthony Brandt, Conference Co-director

Anthony Brandt is an Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.  His compositional honors include a Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, the Houston Arts Alliance and the New England Foundation for the Arts. He has been a fellow at the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Tanglewood Institute, the MacDowell Colony and the Djerassi Resident Artists Colony.  Recent commissions include a chamber opera about post-traumatic disorder, Ulysses, Home, with a libretto by playwright Neena Beber, works for the SOLI ensemble, the Moores School Percussion Ensemble, and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, and a six-month installation in Houston’s Market created with artist Jo Ann Fleischhauer and composer Chapman Welch.  An album of his vocal music, including his chamber opera The Birth of Something with a libretto by playwright Will Eno, is available on Albany Records.

Dr. Brandt is also Artistic Director of the contemporary music ensemble Musiqa, winner of a 2013 Adventurous Programming Award from Chamber Music America and ASCAP, commissioning grants from Chamber Music America and New Music USA and seven awards from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This is the third “Exploring the Mind through Music” Conference that Dr. Brandt has organized at Rice.  Among his other projects, he has created an innovative open access music appreciation course for Rice’s OpenStax, co-authored a paper on music’s role in early language acquisition for the journal Frontiers and is a principal investigator in a study about music and stroke recovery at Methodist’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine.  He is currently co-authoring a book about creativity with neuroscientist David Eagleman.


Ian Cross

IIan Crossan Cross is Professor of Music & Science in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Centre for Music & Science, where his research uses scientific methods to investigate a wide range of musical issues.  Initial research focused on cognitive processes underpinning the experience of musical pitch; subsequent work studied the development of these processes, as well as the experience of multi-levelled harmonic structures. In parallel with this experimental research, theoretical work addressed tensions between scientific and hermeneutic approaches to understanding music within a framework derived from evolutionary theory in a substantial set of publications.  This theoretical work led to a concern with understanding music as an interactive medium, resulting in a research focus on music and speech as primary components of a broad human communicative toolkit, and in projects exploring social effects of collaborative engagement in music.

His evolutionary interests and experience as a practising musician have extended his research into, respectively, the domains of experimental archaeology, and of instrumental acoustics and psychoacoustics. Research interests across the broad field of music and science have been maintained in numerous doctoral projects he has supervised, embracing areas including computer applications to music, music and emotion, cognitive dynamics of musical pitch and timing, and the role of culture in shaping musical cognitions.  His published work has had a substantial impact on the development of music and science, two co-edited volumes in 1985 and 1991 (Musical Structure and Cognition, and Representing Musical Structure) helping set the agenda for the emerging field of music cognition.  Two more recent volumes in 2009 and 2012 (The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology, and Language and Music as Cognitive Systems) provide broad overviews of the current state of the broad field of music and science and of its central debates.


Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis

Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis is Professor and Director of the Music Cognition Lab at the University of Arkansas. Elizabeth Margulis

Her research approaches music from the perspective of cognitive science. She is interested in the interface between musical structure and engagement, especially in listeners without formal training, and especially as it occurs dynamically across the course of the listening experience. Her 2014 book On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind (Oxford University Press) won the Wallace Berry Award from the Society for Music Theory.

Her work appears in diverse journals including Music Perception, Journal of Music Theory, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Music Theory Spectrum, Frontiers in Psychology, Computer Music Journal, Psychology of Music, Journal of New Music Research, Empirical Studies of the Arts, Review of General Psychology, Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain, and Human Brain Mapping. It has been featured in media outlets ranging from New Scientist Magazine to Readers Digest to the London Times, and on BBC and NPR. She blogs about music cognition at Psychology Today - Looking at Listening.

She has served on the Executive Board of the Society for Music Theory (SMT), as well as on the Board of Directors for the Society for Music Perception and Cognition (SMPC), and the Board of Associate Editors for the journal Music Perception. She received the Faculty Gold Medal for Mentoring Undergraduates, and won two grants to design new interdisciplinary courses at the University of Arkansas. She also continues to play and teach the piano.

She has a B.M. in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Veda Kaplinsky, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. Before coming to the University of Arkansas, she was on the faculty of the music cognition program at Northwestern University. During the 2011-2012 academic year, she was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, UK.


Isabelle Peretz

Isabelle PeretzDr. Peretz is a cognitive neuropsychologist and a professor of Psychology at the University of Montreal. Dr. Peretz was born and educated in Brussels, Belgium. She earned her Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles under José Morais in 1984. Shortly therafter she took on a faculty position at Université de Montréal where she has remained ever since. Dr. Peretz’s focuses on the musical potential of ordinary people, its neural correlates, its heritability and its specificity relative to language. She has published over 240 scientific papers on a variety of topics in neurocognition of music, from perception, memory, and emotions to singing and dancing (for her publications see She is renowned for her work on congenital and acquired musical disorders (amusia) and on the biological foundations of music processing in general. Dr. Peretz’s research has received continued support from the Canadian Natural Science and Engineering Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research since 1986. In 2004, the Université de Montréal earned her an endowed Casavant chair in neurocognition of music and in 2007, a Canada Research Chair in neurocognition of music. In 2005, Dr. Peretz became the founding co-director of the international laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound research (BRAMS), a unique multi-university consortium that is jointly affiliated to Université de Montréal and McGill University (, with state-of-the art facilities dedicated to the cognitive neuroscience of music. She has been awarded several prizes, the Prix Justine & Yves Sergent, Prix ACFAS Jacques Rousseau, Prix Adrien Pinard, Neuronal Plasticity prize 2011, IPSEN Foundation and Prix d’excellence of FRQNT. Dr. Peretz is the founding Editor-in-chief of the new open-access Frontiers of Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Psychological Association.


Dr. Xaq Pitkow, Conference Co-director

Dr. Xaq Pitkow is an Assistant Professor of Computational Neuroscience jointly in the Department of Neuroscience aDr. Xaq Pitkowt the Baylor College of Medicine and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University. He received his A.B. in Physics from Princeton University in 1997, and Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard University in 2006. Dr. Pitkow held a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Columbia University from 2007-2010, followed by a postdoctoral research scientist position in the Department of Brain of Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester. Dr. Pitkow's primary focus is on developing theories of the computational functions of neural networks, especially how they compute properties of the world using ambiguous sensory evidence. Dr. Pitkow also plays some piano, tabla, saxophone, trumpet, and a smattering of world instruments, and has particular interest in the physics and neuroscience of music perception.


Tatiana Schnur

Tatiana Schnur was born in Washington, D.C. She went to the University of Virginia for college, and worked at theTatiana Schnur Massachusetts General Hospital in a Neuropsychology Laboratory during her summers. She graduated in 1995 with a B.A. in Cognitive Science. She worked the next couple years at the Institute of Neuroscience and Bioimaging at the San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy. She recommends living in Italy to everyone. She received her Ph.D. in Cognition, Brain, and Behavior in the Psychology Department of Harvard University. Her advisor was Prof. Alfonso Caramazza. Dr. Schnur did her post-doctoral work in Philadelphia at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute and at the University of Pennsylvania. She moved further south (Houston) to take an assistant professor position in the psychology department at Rice University. The aim of her research is to understand how language speakers successfully select words during fluent speech. When we produce an utterance, we usually produce it without error. Sounds correctly form words which correspond to the ideas we want to convey. Out of a spoken vocabulary of 40,000 words, how do we successfully select the intended word during fluent speech? What are the brain mechanisms that support this ability and how do they break down after brain damage? Viewed more broadly, selecting words is relevant to how we retrieve all mental representations, from retrieving memories, recognizing a face in a crowd or catching a ball with the correct hand movements. To address these questions, Dr. Schnur uses a combination of behavioral, neuropsychological, and neuroscience methods. Her mission is to conduct good, rigorous science while training students to be outstanding scientists and develop their full potential.


David Temperley

David Temperley is a music theorist, cognitive scientist, and composer. He received his PhD in music theory fromDavid Temperley Columbia University, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Ohio State University. Since 2000, he has been professor of music theory at Eastman School of Music. Temperley’s primary research area is computational modeling of music cognition; he has explored issues such as meter perception, key perception, harmonic analysis, stream segregation, and transcription. His first book, "The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures" (MIT, 2001) won the Society for Music Theory's Emerging Scholar Award; his second book, "Music and Probability" (MIT, 2007) explores computational music cognition from a probabilistic perspective. Recent projects include a corpus study of harmony and melody in rock, and an experimental study of the emotional connotations of diatonic modes.

Temperley has also worked on a variety of linguistic issues. He is co-inventor of the Link Grammar Parser, a widely used syntactic parser of English. Recent language projects include a study of dependency length minimization in English and German, and a study of repetition and information flow in English. He has also explored cross-cultural correlations between linguistic and musical rhythm, and the alignment between stress and meter in French vocal music.

Temperley has been a keynote speaker at the International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition, the North American Association for Computational Linguistics, and the CogMIR workshop. He is also an Associate Editor for the journal _Music Perception_. As a composer, Temperley’s works have been performed by the Quintet of the Americas, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, cellist Scott Kluksdahl, violist Rudolf Haken, and pianist Ian Hobson, among others.


Michael H Thaut

Michael ThautMichael H. Thaut received his PhD in music with a cognate minor in movement science in 1983 and his masters in music 1980, both from Michigan State University. He also studied at the Mozarteum Music University in Salzburg, Austria. He holds a German Diploma degree in psychology/education. At Colorado State University (CSU) he was Professor Music since 1986-2015 and Director of the School of the Arts 2001-2010. He received a joint appointment as Professor of Neuroscience in 1998. He was Director of the Center for Biomedical Research in Music since 1994. Since 2016 he is Professor of Music with cross appointments in Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Toronto where he directs the Music and Health Research Collaboratory (MaHRC) and the Masters/PhD programs in Music and Health Sciences. He has been a Visiting Professor in medical and music schools around the world (Germany, Italy, USA, Japan), and 2010-2012 was chancellor of the SRH University System in Germany.

Over the past decade he and his co-investigators have received over 4 million in prestigious and highly competitive research funding from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and private foundations. He has received the American Music Therapy Association's National Research Award 1993 and its National Service Award 2001. His recent publication (with Volker Hoemberg), The Oxford Handbook of Neurologic Music Therapy (2014), was second overall in the British Medical Association (BMA) 2015 Book Awards for 'Best New Book in Neurology' (60 entries), an unprecedented achievement for a work in music therapy/medicine. Dr. Thaut has authored/co-authored about 250 scientific publications in multiple fields. His publications have appeared in journals like Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Brain Sciences, Neuroimage, Music Perception, Biological Cybernetics, Movement Disorders, etc. His books have been translated into Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. He is globally in demand as a keynote speaker on music, brain, and neurorehabilitation.

His research career has been focused on the neural and psychophysical basis of music and rhythm perception and clinical application of music and rhythm to motor, speech/language, and cognitive training in neurologic disorders. He is the founder of the evidence-based treatment system of Neurologic Music Therapy whose certificate training has been endorsed by the World Federation of Neurorehabilitation. He is President of the International Society for Clinical Neuromusicology, Vice President of the International Society for Music and Medicine, a Management Board Member of the World Federation of Neurorehabilitation, and an elected Overseas Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (U.K.). In addition to his groundbreaking work as a researcher and clinician, Dr. Thaut is an accomplished musician and violinist in the classical and folk genre, having toured and recorded extensively, especially in folk music. His anthology of European and North American Fiddle Music (Das grosse Fiddlebuch) has been in print since 1981.


Lawrence M. Zbikowski

Lawrence ZbikowskiLawrence M. Zbikowski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Music at the University of Chicago. He has served as Chair of the Department of Music, and also as Deputy Provost for the Arts. His research focuses on the application of recent work in cognitive science to various problems confronted by music scholars, including the nature of musical syntax, text-music relations, the relationship between music and movement, and the structure of theories of music. He is the author of Conceptualizing Music: Cognitive Structure, Theory, and Analysis (Oxford, 2002), which was awarded the 2004 Wallace Berry prize by the Society for Music Theory, and Toward a Cognitive Grammar of Music (in preparation). He has contributed chapters to The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought, Communication in Eighteenth Century Music, New Perspectives on Music and Gesture, Music and Consciousness, Bewegungen zwischen Hören und Sehen, Speaking of Music, and the Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory, and has published articles and reviews in Music Humana, Musicæ Scientiæ, Music Analysis, Music Theory Spectrum, Ethnomusicology, the Dutch Journal of Music Theory, and the Journal of Musicological Research. He was co-chair, with David Huron, of the 2009 Mannes Institute on music and the mind, at which he also served on the faculty. During the 2010–11 academic year he held a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, and was also Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at McGill University.