skip to content

Centre for Music and Science



Ghofur Eliot Woodruff has completed his Ph.D. at the Centre for Music and Science, working under the supervision of Dr Ian Cross. Ghofur’s thesis investigates musical meaning from a naturalist perspective, focusing on how theories of human and non-human vocal communication can elucidate our auditory engagement with music. Other research interests include music cognition, metric theory, the music of Igor Stravinsky, and the philosophy of language and mind.

Ghofur received a distinction for his Masters dissertation at the University of Canterbury where he published his first paper in Music Theory Online. He reviewed Aniruddh Patel’s Music, Language and the Brain for the journal Psychology of Music, has rpesented his work at numerous conferences and co-wrote a chapter for the volume The Prehistory of Language. As a performer, Ghofur plays electric guitar and bass in a number of rock ensembles and has extensive experience as a chorister.


Key publications: 

Sole author

- (2009). Aniruddh D. Patel: Music, language, and the brain [review of]. Psychology of Music, 37(3), 381-386

- (2009). A consumer-based semantics and its implications for music. Paper presented at the weekly colloquium, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge

- (2008). Towards an ecological theory of musical semantics. Paper presented at the 10th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC 10), Sapporo, Japan

- (2008). Stravinsky, Greek metrics, and the pragmatic/aesthetic inverse. Paper presented at the Society for Music Analysis TAGS Day for Music Postgraduates, University of Cambridge

- (2008). Biological speech codes and the communication of attitude in music: The effort code. Poster presented at the Prosody of Expressivity in Music and Speech Conference (EMUS), Paris, France

- (2006). Metrical phase shifts in Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Music Theory Online, 12(1)

Joint author

Cross, I., & Woodruff, G. E. (2009). The pragmatic bases of musical meaning. Paper presented at the Linguistic Society, University of Cambridge

Cross, I., & Woodruff, G. E. (2008). Music as a communicative medium. Book Chapter in K. Knight & C. Henshilwood (Eds.), The prehistory of language (Vol. 1). Oxford: Oxford University Press

Cross, I., Gill, S., Knight, S., Nash, C., Rabinowitch, T., Slobodian, L., Spiro, N., Woodruff, G., & Woolhouse, M. (2008). Commentary on the perception and cognition of time in Balinese music, by Andrew Clay McGraw. Empirical Musicology Review, 3(2), 54-57

 Ghofur Eliot Woodruff
Not available for consultancy