About the Rhythm Research Cluster

The research interests of six UBC faculty members in the fields of music theory and ethnomusicology converge on the study of musical time, and more specifically on aspects of the production and experience of musical rhythm, timing, and periodicity. 

This convergence has arisen organically over a period of several years and has mainly been developed through sole- and joint-authored analytical case studies on aspects of rhythmic production and experience in diverse repertories and traditions. The recent hiring of a specialist in music cognition has added a new dimension to our endeavors and opened new opportunities for research collaboration and cross-fertilization within the School of Music and beyond. To that end, the UBC Rhythm Research Cluster was formally established in 2017 with seed funding from the Office of the Vice President, Research & Innovation, in the form of a Grant for Catalyzing Research Clusters.

Follow the Rhythm Research Cluster on Twitter



Inaugural 2017-2018 Event Series: “Exploring Musical Time”

The distinctly human capacity for sophisticated rhythmic play is engaged in diverse musical traditions found the world over.

“Exploring Musical Time” is a series of three symposiums that will investigate three questions fundamental to our understanding of musical rhythm and rhythmic play:

Symposium 1: What is the impact of technologies of musical coordination (from the metronome to the click track) upon our collective engagement with music as a temporal art?

Symposium 2: How do the perceptual processes and cognitive limits governing human rhythmic behavior interact with musical creativity and expression?

Symposium 3: What is the relationship between small-scale rhythmic variations (measureable at the millisecond level) and the embodied experience of musical motion?

To pursue these questions, the cluster will bring together scholars from the fields of music theory, ethnomusicology, music cognition, and computational musicology, as well as practitioners from the applied fields of composition, performance, and music production.

More details about the symposia