Refined Audition: Music and Speech

A conference on the perception of music and speech as part of the ‘Perceiving Representations’ project. In particular, we are interested in whether there are interesting similarities between the perception of these two auditory phenomena, and in gathering together specialists who are working on each to foster fruitful discussions and novel insights.

Sound wave transforming into a piano keyboard

Illustration: Colourbox


The ‘Perceiving Representations’ project is holding a conference on the perception of music and speech.

Research questions include, but are not limited to:

  • What objects and properties do we perceive in music and speech?
  • How do these objects and properties relate to the auditory stimulus?
  • In what sense, if any, is perception of music and speech perception of representations?
  • What multisensory experiences can there be of perception of music and speech?
  • What role does learning and expertise play in music and speech perception?

The conference will take place on 14th and 15th October 2019 in Room 452 on the 4th floor of Georg Morgenstiernes hus at the University of Oslo’s Blindern campus.


Monday 14th October

  • 9.30: Registration and coffee
  • 10.00: Welcome and introduction, Solveig Aasen and Keith Wilson (University of Oslo)
  • 10.05–11.20: ‘Pitch Perception as Refined Audition’, Casey O’Callaghan (University of Washington in St. Louis)
  • 11.45–13.00: ‘On the Auditory Experience of Chimericity’, Elvira Di Bona (Polonsky Fellow, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute)
  • Lunch
  • 14.30–15.45: ‘Musical Mental Effort’, Bruno Laeng (RITMO, University of Oslo)
  • 16.15–17.30: ‘From Meter to Meaning: The Embodiment of Linguistic Structure in Rhythm’, Alistair Isaac (University of Edinburgh)
  • 19.00: Dinner at Tekehtopa

Tuesday 15th October

  • 9.30–10.45: ‘The What and How of Hearing Speech’, Barry C. Smith (Institute of Philosophy, University of London)
  • 11.15–12.30: ‘What Do Expert Musicians Hear When They Perform?’, Simon Høffding (RITMO, University of Oslo)
  • Lunch
  • 13.45–15.00: ‘Hearing Sounds as Music’, Matthew Nudds (University of Warwick)
  • 15.15–16.00: Roundtable discussion


Registration is free and open to all, but please email us in advance to confirm attendance along with any access or dietary requirements.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided on both days for registered attendees. Attendance at the conference dinner is optional, though unfortunately we are only able to cover speakers’ expenses. If you would like to attend the conference dinner at your own expense (approx. 700 NOK), please indicate this in your registration email using the link above.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any assistance towards travel or accommodation expenses for conference attendees at this time.

Travel and accommodation

You can find further information about how to get to Oslo and the conference venue on the University of Oslo’s website. Note that we are on the Blindern campus, which is outside the main city centre, though easily accessible by public transport via T-bane (subway), bus or tram.

For accommodation suggestions, please refer to the ISMO website or, which is the official tourist site for Oslo. Airbnb ( also operates in Norway.


The ‘Perceiving Representations’ project is funded by The Research Council of Norway.

Tags: Perception, Representation, Music, Speech, Rhythm
Published July 3, 2019 2:19 PM - Last modified Apr. 12, 2022 9:42 AM