Welcome to the Music Cognition Lab

Our research focuses mainly around musical structure and performance. The questions we are specifically interested in are:

  • What is the impact of the instantiation of a tonality (the structuring of the notes of the chromatic scale around a central, reference tone) on listeners’ perceptions, processing, and responses to music?
  • How can we model listeners’ perceptions of musical tonality? What information do listeners use in initially determining a musical tonality?
  • What is the role of melodic contour (the pattern of rises and falls in pitch) in musical processing?
  • What models are there for describing listeners’ perceptions of melodic contour?
  •  What factors are important in the formation of musical expectancies, which is the anticipation of upcoming events based on previous events?
  • How do tonality and contour influence musicians’ performances of music?



If you are interested in pursing graduate studies at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Mark Schmuckler, please email him directly at: marksch@utsc.utoronto.ca

Additional information about graduate programs at the University of Toronto can be found here.

The website for Dr. Schmuckler’s Laboratory for Infant Studies can be found here.