Department of Music
Northfield, MN 55057
JUSTIN LONDON is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music, Cognitive Science, and the Humanities at Carleton College. He teaches courses in Music Theory, The Philosophy of Music, Music Psychology, Cognitive Science, and American Popular Music. He received his B.M. degree in Classical Guitar and his M.M. degree in Music Theory from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and he holds a Ph.D. in Music History and Theory from the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked with Leonard Meyer.
His research interests include rhythm and meter, music perception and cognition, and musical aesthetics. His book Hearing in Time (Oxford University Press, 2004, 2nd edition 2012) is a cross-cultural exploration of the perception and cognition of musical meter. He is currently involved in several joint research projects: microtimings and ensemble coordination in Malian percussion music (with Rainer Polak and Nori Jacoby, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt), the effect of bodily movement on rhythm and tempo perception (with Petri Toiviainen, Birgitta Burger, and Marc Thompson, the University of Jyväskylä, Finland), the perception of musical duration and the passage of time (with Clemens Wöllner, University of Hamburg), and how the microstructure of musical sounds affects their rhythmic properties (with Anne Danielsen, University of Oslo).
Professor London has held two Fulbright Fellowships, the first in 2005-2006 at the Centre for Music and Science of the University of Cambridge, and the second at the Finnish Center of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music Research at the University of Jyväskylä in 2014. In 2016 and 2021 he was Visiting Professor of Musicology at the University of Oslo. He served as President of the Society for Music Theory in 2007-2009, and served as President of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition in 2016-2018.
Row Forms in the serial works of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern
Metric Fake Outs--An Excel spreadsheet which lists pop songs with metrically ambiguous openings
Pop Music Harmonic Surprises--Another Excel spreadsheet which lists pop songs which contain various harmonic & other surprises
Bad Text Setting Examples--Yet Another Excel spreadsheet which lists popular and art songs with both intentional and unintentional mis-matches of musical and prosodic accents
Recent Papers & Presentations
"Dansa" from Mali: Tempo-Metrical Types in Swing-based Meters, given at the 2014 meeting of the Society for Music Theory (PDF of Powerpoint presentation)
IK (Interdisciplinary College) 2017 Lectures on "Cooperative Music Making and Musical Virtuosity" (ZIP file of lectures)
Programming the 808: A Project Based Unit for Rhythm Pedagogy, given at the 2017 meeting of the Society for Music Theory (PDF of Powerpoint Presentation)
Tapping Doesn't Help: Perception-Action Dissociation in Musical Tempo Judgment, Musicology Department Colloquium, University of Oslo, March 2018. (PDF of Powerpoint Presentation)