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Centre for Music and Science

Xi Zhang is supervised by Ian Cross, studying the interaction between speech and music in tone languages, focusing specifically on the Chaozhou dialect and Chaozhou songs of South China. Xi completed a BA in Music Education and an MA in Psychology of Music in China. After six years working at Xinghai Conservatory of Music (Guangzhou, China) as a research assistant, a lecturer and an editor of the Journal of Xinghai Conservatory of Music, she came to the UK and studied Ethnomusicology at SOAS, University of London in 2014 and joined the Centre for Music and Science in 2017. Xi’s interdisciplinary research interests were developed during over 10 years fieldwork and empirical studies on the traditional music of South China.
Nicky Swett is supervised by Ian Cross and Nicholas Marston. His doctoral thesis investigates the wordless musical analyses of critic and broadcaster Hans Keller from biographical, analytical, and cognitive perspectives. His research interests include musical pattern learning and pedagogy, analogy and comparison, audiovisual processing, arrangement and transcription, and the relationships between diverse musical styles. He holds previous degrees from Northwestern University (B.M. in Cello Performance and B.A./M.A. in Comparative Literature) and the University of Sheffield (M.A. in Psychology of Music), and he spent two years as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He currently holds a Gates Scholarship.
Huw Cheston is supervised by Peter Harrison and Ian Cross. His PhD research focuses on using empirical and psychological methods to gain insight into the communicative and interactive processes involved in the performance of improvised music, especially jazz. He also performs widely across the UK as a guitarist. He received his Master’s and Undergraduate degrees in Music from Oxford University, graduating from both programmes with the highest overall mark in his cohort. He currently holds a Lewis Research Scholarship in the Humanities and a Vice-Chancellor’s Award.
Eden Mikula is supervised by Peter Harrison. Originally from the West of Scotland, Eden completed both her Master’s and Undergraduate degrees at the University of Aberdeen as a Derek Ogston Music Scholar. She has also been involved with Oxford University’s UNIQ+ Research Internship program where she explored the creative correlation between “Music, Algorithms and AI”. She currently holds a Wolfson College and Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.

Katya Ness joined the Faculty of Music in April 2023 as a research assistant on the Leverhulme-funded project Score Design for Music Reading, and doctoral student under the supervision of Prof Ian Cross. The Score Design Project (led by Prof Ian Cross and Dr Arild Stenberg) explores whether standard notation can be redesigned so as to make it more effective for at least some of the purposes for which it is employed. Their preliminary experiments suggest that simple but systematic and structured modifications can lead to increased fluency and accuracy in sightreading. Katya holds degrees from Keele University (BA in Music) and the Royal College of Music (MSc in Performance Science). A majority of her previous research observed how students perceived, interacted with, and developed sight-reading and specific sight-reading skills. Hence, she is very enthusiastic to be working on the Score Design Project and exploring the effects of modified notation on students’ learning and performance. Katya also has extensive experience as an instrumental teacher, orchestral violinist, and piano accompanist.


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Latest news

ICMPC17 presentation - Huw Cheston - Coordination Strategies in Networked Jazz Performances

4 September 2023

We just got back from from an inspiring ICMPC17 (International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition) in Tokyo. It was so great to hear from music psychology laboratories over the world, and to reconnect with old friends and colleagues. Several of our CMS members presented at this conference, including PhD student...

Michaelmas 2023 seminars announced

30 August 2023

The seminar list for Michaelmas 2023 has now been published on the CMS seminars page ! We are excited to have guests joining us from institutes around the world, including Europe, the United States, and Australia, to talk about a variety of topics spanning pitch, rhythm, timbre, and memory.

Research associate position for managing a randomised controlled trial of music therapy with autistic children

30 August 2023

The Autism Research Centre at the Cambridge Department of Psychiatry is looking to appoint a research associate (fixed-term) to manage a randomised controlled trial of music therapy with autistic children. The application deadline is 10 September 2023. For more details see the following link: