skip to content

Centre for Music and Science




PhD in Music, CMS, University of Cambridge

MMus in musicology; MMus in piano performance, The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (USA)

BA in linguistics; BMus in piano performance, Northwestern University (USA)

Research Interests

Music cognition, Musical timbre and structure, Semantics-syntax interface

Current research

Musical timbre lacks a concrete definition despite copious descriptions and attempted measurements. Instrumentation and sound colour are immediate associations to timbral studies; however, examining the timbral soundscapes of one single instrument and even within just one performance technique could further clarify the function and significance of musical timbre. My research questions are thus framed within the view that timbre acts as part of the pragmatics that aids the transference of the melodic and harmonic semantics in music communication.

My hope is that these studies would foremost offer an improved understanding of timbre’s role in the process of music communication. Furthermore, the results would provide insight into what shapes a performer’s choices for musical expression as well as what factors influence musical meaning as intentionally performed and perceived.


I am a classically-trained pianist with particular interest in contemporary music. I am also an avid cook and food enthusiast who enjoys culinary cultural exchange. Other interests include functional DIY art, archery, and hiking.

Dr Jiaxi  Liu

Contact Details

Email address: 
Not available for consultancy