December 2014 - News!

Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops    view all upcoming

  • 2nd International Conference on Music and Consciousness, 14th-17th April 2015, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford, UK.   LINK

  • Ninth Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music, ESCOM 2015, August 17-22, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK. A Reminder: deadline for online submission of abstracts - 29 December 2014.  Notification of acceptances and opening of early-bird registration - February 23, 2015.  Deadline for submission of full-text papers to be published in the conference Proceedings is May 15, 2015.  LINK

  • Canadian Society for Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Science (CSBBCS) conference, June 5-7, Ottawa. This conference will be held in collaboration with the annual convention of the Canadian Psychological Association.   LINK


  • AIRS researchers Zheng Zhang and Rachel Haydon (editors) are pleased to announce that the L&L Special Issue on Language, Literacy, and Singing has been published, along with an editorial where acknowledgement of the support of the AIRS research project funded by a SSHRC Major Collaborative Research Initiative.  A permanent link to this publication is now available on the AIRS website on the right sidebar under "Publications, AIRS Books and Journal Special Issues".

  • SSHRC 3rd  Annual Storytellers Contest open to graduate and undergraduate students in Canadian postsecondary institutions.  LINK

Recent Publications

  • Recess as a Site for Language Play, June Countryman, Martha A Gabriel, L&L Special Issue on Language, Literacy, and Singing. LINK

Researchers in this study adopted an ethnomusicology perspective to explore the playground language and music-making practices of children at nine Canadian school playgrounds over a two-year period.  Using non-participant observation the researchers found that school children (ages 5-12) engaged in multimodal and multi-vocal play as they manipulated language, chanted or sang with rhythmic speech, and combined language play with gestures and kinetic movements.  The authors suggest a link between children’s out-of-school literacies (‘languaging’ and ‘musicking’ on the playground)—where children are active agents of their own learning—and children’s potential in-school literacies.

November 2014 - News!

Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops    view all upcoming

  • Journal of Youth Studies conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, March 30th – April 1st 2015. The conference theme is ‘Contemporary Youth, Contemporary Risks’, and the conference welcomes all with an interest in studying youth, regardless of discipline.  LINK

  • 23rd European Association for Music in Schools (EAS) Conference,  Rostock, Germany, March 25-28, 2015.  LINK

  • The Workshop on Infant Language Development (WILD) 2015, June 10-12, Stockholm, Sweden.  LINK

  • International Symposium in Learning and Teaching Music in the Twenty-First Century: The Contribution of Science and Technology (LTM21/AEM21), November 5 – 7, 2015, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, and Department of Music, Université du Québec à Montréal, Québec, Canada  LINK

  • Conference on Auditory Development (spanning cellular/molecular to behavioral levels), Aug. 14-15, 2015, University of Washington, Seattle.  Contact Dan Sanes,, for more information.

  • International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS) 2-5 September 2015 will be hosted by Ryukoku University, Kyoto. This conference is intended to provide a platform for new research and discussion on processes of learning, training and review that enable effective performance. Specific research topics, fields of study, and methodological approaches have been left open intentionally to encourage interdisciplinary exchange.



  • Virtual voice lends itself to all kinds of music games, written or improvised, from the accompanying chorus to complex polyphony, through the solo voice singing in the style of North India, baroque Opera or contemporary music.  Chorus Digitalis is the first choir in the world composed of synthetic voices controlled in real time by graphic tablet. The synthetic voice instrument is called Cantor Digitalis. Resulting from research on the gestural control of voice synthesis initiated in 2005 by Christophe d'Alessandro, Chorus Digitalis has performed for the first time in March 2011 in Vancouver with its designers, Sylvain Le Beux, Boris Doval, Lionel Feugère and Christophe d'Alessandro. The current project is led by Lionel Feugère and Olivier Perrotin.  LINK

Cantor Digitalis Performative Singing Synthesis is an open-source software governed by the CeCILL license. For Mac OS X version 10.6 or above, the software requires the use of a computer and a graphic tablet with a stylus and a tactile function.  LINK


Recent Publications

  • Sing-a-long DVD and activity package pilot study with older adults, Clements-Cortés, Amy, Journal of Music, Technology & Education, Volume 7, Number 2, 1 October 2014.  Link

This study investigated the utilization of an original sing-a-long DVD and activity package titled ‘Sing-A-Long of the 1930s’ to engage older adults’ participation in singing and therapeutic recreation activities. Participants (n=693) included a combination of persons residing and/or working at 25 long-term care facilities, retirement homes and adult day care centres across Canada engaging in a DVD sing-a-long and activity programme for five weeks. Following this experience, participants were individually interviewed or took part in one of 25 focus groups. The results focused on participant, caregiver and DVD facilitator’s perceived benefits and indicate the DVD was successful in engaging older adults with cognitive impairment in singing, social interaction and discussion, participation in meaningful activity, reminiscence, sensory stimulation, and quality of life in aging.


October 2014 - News!

Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops    view all upcoming

  • Music Care Conference - Music Through the Lifespan, October 25, 2014, 9 am - 4:30 pm, ROSZA CENTRE, University of CalgaryLINK

  • 32nd International Conference on Psychology and the Arts will be held at the University of Malta, Valletta, Malta, June 24-28, 2015. LINK

  • Ninth Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM) 17-22 August 2015, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK. Abstract deadline 29 December 2014. NB -  Singing is one of the topic areas for submissions.  LINK

  • Shared Processing in Language and Music - What Neurocognition and Disorders Reveal", March 27th & 28th 2015, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands Extended Abstract submission deadline: October 31st 2014. Notification of acceptance: November 30th. For more information contact   LINK



  • The latest AIRS newsletter provides an update on the activities that have engaged the members of AIRS over the last months, and also includes news about our current and future research directions.  LINK

  • Congratulations to Godfrey Baldacchino, co-leader of Sub-theme 3.1 Singing and Cultural Understanding, who has been elected President of the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA).

  • Employment Opportunity:  Assistant Professor, Applied Voice, School of Creative and Performing Arts, University of Calgary, Alberta.   LINK


Recent Publications

  • The Acoustic Correlates of Valence Depend on Emotion Family. Michel Belyk, Steven Brown. Journal of Voice, Volume 28, Issue 4, July 2014, Pages 523.e9–523.e18. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2013.12.007.  LINK

The voice expresses a wide range of emotions through modulations of acoustic parameters such as frequency and amplitude. Although the acoustics of individual emotions are well understood, attempts to describe the acoustic correlates of broad emotional categories such as valence have yielded mixed results. In the present study, we analyzed the acoustics of emotional valence for different families of emotion. We divided emotional vocalizations into “motivational,” “moral,” and “aesthetic” families as defined by the OCC (Ortony, Clore, and Collins) model of emotion. Subjects viewed emotional scenarios and were cued to vocalize congruent exclamations in response to them, for example, “Yay!” and “Damn!”. Positive valence was weakly associated with high-pitched and loud vocalizations. However, valence interacted with emotion family for both pitch and amplitude. A general acoustic code for valence does not hold across families of emotion, whereas family-specific codes provide a more accurate description of vocal emotions. These findings are consolidated into a set of “rules of expression” relating vocal dimensions to emotion dimensions.


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