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Centre for Music and Science



Arild Stenberg is Research Associate in the project Text designs for the facilitation of reading: Linguistic and musical approaches, led by Professor I. Cross (Centre for Music and Science, University of Cambridge) and Professor R. Kolinsky (Unité de Recherche en Neurosciences Cognitives, Université Libre de Bruxelles).


This start-up project is exploring parallels between processes involved in reading linguistic text and in reading music. An abundant literature shows that listening to language and to music relies on common brain processes, but common systems involved in reading have not been explored yet. The research will increase our understanding of the behavioural and brain processes that underpin literacy, and should clarify whether presentation of music or text on the page can be easily modified for more fluent reading.

Collaborating institutions:

Centre for Performance Science, Royal College of Music, London

Département de Musique Classique et Contemporaine, Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles

The project is funded by:

Isaac Newton Trust, University of Cambridge, Start-up Research Grant awarded to the PI, Prof. I Cross;

Fondation Wiener Anspach, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bourse Postdoctorale de Mobilité, awarded to Dr Arild Stenberg;

Society for Education, Music, and Psychology Research [SEMPRE], Arnold Bentley New Initiatives Fund, for the implementation of collaborative experiments.


Academic Supervisor for the Music Tripos Courses:

Introduction to Music and Science (Part IB)

Music Psychology: From Theory to Practice (Part II).

Current graduate students include:

Vincent Bruyninckx (PhD). In collaboration with the Faculté des Sciences Psychologiques, Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Patricio Calatayud (PhD). In collaboration with the Facultad de Música, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.


Key publications: 

Peer reviewed articles

STENBERG, A., & CROSS, I. [2019]. White spaces, music notation and the facilitation of sight-reading. Scientific Reports, 9.

PhD Thesis

STENBERG, A. [2017]. Legibility of musical scores and parallels with language reading (PhD). University of Cambridge.


STENBERG, A. [2016, March]. Can layout and spacing rules affect the readability of musical scores? Proceedings of the MET16 - Researching Music, Education & Technology, University College, London.

STENBERG, A. [2010]. Cognition of musical notation in present-day practice and its parallels with language. Performing Musicology Conference, City University, London.

STENBERG, A. [2007]. Formal reductionism in Ligeti’s Musica Ricercata. Remembering Ligeti Festival, Dublin.

Music Editions

Cruz de Castro, C. [2009]. Boceto de Palermo, for mixed ensemble. (A. Stenberg Ed.). Madrid: Ediciones DLH. / Premiere: Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2010

Volans, K. [2005]. Piano Trio. (A. Stenberg Ed.). Madrid: Ediciones DLH. / Premiere: Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, 2006

Research Associate
Dr Arild  Stenberg

Contact Details

Not available for consultancy


Departments and institutes: