University of Pittsburgh

Jimenez Receives Grant for Music Theory Research

Ivan Jimenez (PhD 2007) and Tuire Kuusi (Sibelius Academy, Helsinki) received a grant from the Kone Foundation (Finland) to study the way musicians and non-musicians mentally process and remember chord progressions. Jimenez and Kuusi’s previous research on listeners’ ability to identify tunes from their chord progressions provides some evidence that for listeners without extensive experience in composing, improvising, transcribing, or analyzing music, it is very difficult to connect two pieces of music by chord progressions alone, i.e, without the extra cues of rhythm and melody. Their research has raised an interesting question: Is it possible to implicitly internalize lasting mental representations of chord progressions that lack rhythmic and melodic information? The grant from the Kone Foundation will support Jimenez and Kuusi’s further research into this intriguing question. Findings from this type of music cognition research can have important implications for the fields of music theory and music theory pedagogy. Jimenez will spend one year at the Sibelius Academy as a post-doctoral researcher working with Kuusi and other musicians from that institution. Jimenez, a composer and music theorist, has worked as adjunct faculty for the University of Pittsburgh and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá, Colombia). His theoretical work has focused on music cognition research, and the way that type of research can impact the way music is conceptualized and taught. Jimenez has presented his research at numerous music cognition research, music theory, and music pedagogy conferences during the past several years. Congratulations, Ivan!

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