Richard Parncutt

Richard Parncutt is a music psychologist. He holds an interdisciplinary PhD in Psychology, Music and Physics and an Honours (Master's) degree in Physics from the University of New England, Australia, and a Bachelor's degree in Music from the University of Melbourne. Since 1998, he has been Professor of Systematic Musicology at the University of Graz, Austria and since 2009 he has directed the university's Centre for Systematic Musicology. From 2015 to 2018 he is president of ESCOM, the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music. He is or was a board member of all leading music psychology journals, founding academic editor of the Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies (JIMS), and (co-) founder of three conference series: Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology (CIM), Conference on Applied Interculturality Research (cAIR), and International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology (SysMus). His research involves music theory, music acoustics, psychoacoustics, sound and music computing, music information retrieval, music sociology, music philosophy, music history, ethnomusicologymusic education, interculturality, and interdisciplinarityHis publications address musical structure (pitch, consonance, harmony, tonality, tension, rhythm, meter, accent), music performance (psychology, piano, applications), the origins of tonality and of music, and musicological interdisciplinarity. His research has appeared in Music Perception, Musicae Scientiae, Perception & Psychophysics, Journal of New Music Research, Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies, Music Performance Research, Australian Journal of Psychology, Contemporary Music Review, Perspectives of New Music, and Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale. He was guest researcher with Ernst Terhardt (Munich), Johan Sundberg (Stockholm), Annabel Cohen (Halifax, Canada), Al Bregman (Montreal), and John Sloboda (Keele, England).

Best recent publications
  • Parncutt, R. (2014). The emotional connotations of major versus minor tonality: One or more origins? Musicae Scientiae, 18, 324-353. (pdf on request)
  • Kruse-Weber, S., & Parncutt, R. (2014). Error management for musicians: An interdisciplinary conceptual framework. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 777. html pdf
  • Koegeler, M., & Parncutt, R. (Eds., 2013). Interculturality: Practice meets research. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. html pdf
  • Parncutt, R. (2012). ESF Exploratory Workshop “Cognition of Early Polyphony”: Scientific report. pdf
  • Parncutt, R. (2011). The tonic as triad: Key profiles as pitch salience profiles of tonic triads. Music Perception, 28, 333-365. pdf 
  • Parncutt, R., & Hair, G. (2011). Consonance and dissonance in theory and psychology: Disentangling dissonant dichotomies. Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies, 5 (2), 119-166. pdf

Best older publications
  • Parncutt, R. (2009). Prenatal and infant conditioning, the mother schema, and the origins of music and religion. Musicae Scientiae, Special issue on Music and Evolution (Ed. O. Vitouch & O. Ladinig), 119-150. pdf 
  • Parncutt, R., & McPherson, G. E. (Eds., 2002). The science and psychology of music performance: Creative strategies for teaching and learning. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 0-19-513810-4. oup info abstracts and reviews
  • Parncutt, R., Sloboda, J. A., Clarke, E. F., Raekallio, M., & Desain, P. (1997). An ergonomic model of keyboard fingering for melodic fragments. Music Perception, 14, 341-382. pdf 0.3 MB
  • Parncutt, R. (1994). A perceptual model of pulse salience and metrical accent in musical rhythms. Music Perception, 11, 409-464. pdf 1.5 MB
  • Parncutt, R. (1989). Harmony: A psychoacoustical approach. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-51279-9; 0-387-51279-9. reviews and downloads citations
  • Parncutt, R. (1988). Revision of Terhardt's psychoacoustical model of the root(s) of a musical chord. Music Perception, 6, 65-94. pdf 1.3 MB

Curriculum vitae

Photography: Sissi Furgler


Richard Parncutt, Centre for Systematic Musicology, University of Graz