Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Professor Luke Windsor

Deputy Dean of Arts, Humanities and Cultures & Professor of Music Psychology

0113 343 2603

3 Cavendish Road, Room 1.01

Office hours: email Luke (w.l.windsor@leeds.ac.uk) to book appointment as his office is not in Music

BSc, MA, PhD (City), PGCLTHE (Leeds), FHEA

  • Professor Luke Windsor joined the School of Music in 1998. His published research has focused on the perception and production of musical rhythm and metre, expressive and cooperative timing in musical performance, musical collaboration, and the analysis and aesthetics of electroacoustic music. He is Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures.


Professor Luke Windsor joined the School of Music in 1998. Prior to this, he completed his doctorate (on the perception and analysis of electroacoustic music (opens in a new window) at City University, held a postdoc position at the NICI (opens in a new window) researching timing in performance, and coordinated the development of a postgraduate distance learning programme in music psychology at the University of Sheffield (opens in a new window), where he also worked as a research assistant investigating the modelling of expressive timing and dynamics in performance. His published research has focused on the perception and production of musical rhythm and metre, expressive and cooperative timing in musical performance, musical collaboration, the analysis and aesthetics of electroacoustic music, and ecological approaches to musical behaviour.

Luke was appointed Pro-Dean for Student Education in the Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications in 2012, and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures in 2016.

Research Interests

  • Expression and interpretation in musical performance
  • Timing and motor control in music
  • Creativity, collaboration and improvisation
  • Ecological psychology (and its application to music)
  • Semiotics, Critical Theory and music analysis
  • Electroacoustic music
  • Improvisation
  • Barbershop Harmony

Luke’s research and teaching is mainly concerned with how we listen to, perform and interpret music and the critical and empirical tools we use to study musical behaviour. Current and past collaborators include former colleagues in the Music, Mind, Machine team at the NICI, Karen Burland (University of Leeds) Eric Clarke (University of Sheffield), Nikki Dibben (University of Sheffield), Amandine Penel (University of Provence), Bruno Repp (Haskins Labs) and Sam Hayden. Between 2002 and 2012 he was an associate editor of the journal Psychology of Music.

His more recent work focuses on audiovisual perception (with Dave Ireland; in preparation); the application of ecological design theory to musical practice and instrument design (forthcoming, 2017); music in detention and interrogation (forthcoming, 2018); musical interaction and the critical history of music psychology.


Deputy Dean, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures



  • Desain P, Windsor WL (2000). Rhythm Perception and Production. Studies on New Music Research. Swets and Zeitlinger.

Journal articles

  • Ainscough SL, Windsor WL, Tahmassebi J (2018). A review of the effect of music on dental anxiety in children. European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry,. . (Accepted)

  • Windsor WL, de Bézenac C (2012). Music and affordances. Musicae Scientiae. 16(1), 102-120.
    DOI: 10.1177/1029864911435734, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/75863/

  • Windsor WL (2009). Music and Probability . By David Temperley . Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 26(4), 387-388.
    DOI: 10.1525/mp.2009.26.4.387

    DOI: 10.1017/S0040298207000113

  • Windsor WL, Desain P, Penel A, Borkent M (2006). A structurally guided method for the decomposition of expression in music performance. J ACOUST SOC AM. 119(2), 1182-1193.
    DOI: 10.1121/1.2146091

  • Windsor WL, Desain P, Penel A, Borkent M (2006). A structurally guided method for the decomposition of expression in music performance. JOURNAL OF THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA. 119, 1182-1193.
    DOI: 10.1121/1.2146091

  • Windsor WL (2005). Musical Performance: A Guide to Understanding (John Rink, editor). Musicae Scientiae : the journal of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music. 9(1), 183-189.

  • Windsor WL (2005). Analysing Coordination in Western Art Music: Lessons for Ethnomusicology. European Meetings in Ethnomusicology. 11, 111-115.

  • Windsor WL (2004). An Ecological Approach to Semiotics. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. 34(2), 179-198.
    DOI: 10.1111/j.0021-8308.2004.00242.x

  • Repp BH, Luke Windsor W, Desain P (2002). Effects of Tempo on the Timing of Simple Musical Rhythms. Music Perception. 19(4), 565-593.
    DOI: 10.1525/mp.2002.19.4.565

  • Timmers R, Ashley R, Desain P, Honing H, Windsor WL (2002). Timing of ornaments in the theme from Beethoven's Paisiello Variations: Empirical Data and a Model. Music Perception. 20(1), 3-34.
    DOI: 10.1525/mp.2002.20.1.3

  • Windsor L, Aarts R, Desain P, Heijink H, Timmers R (2001). The Timing of Grace Notes in Skilled Musical Performance at Different Tempi: A Preliminary Case Study. Psychology of Music. 29(2), 149-169.
    DOI: 10.1177/0305735601292005

  • Dibben N, Windsor L (2001). Constructivism in Nicholas Cook's introduction to music: tips for a “new'’ psychology of music. Musicae Scientiae. 5(2_suppl), 43-50.
    DOI: 10.1177/10298649010050S207

  • Dibben N, Windsor L (2001). Constructivism in Nicholas Cook's introduction to music: Tips for a 'new' psychology of music (Nicholas Cook, 'Music, a Very Short Introduction'). MUSICAE SCIENTIAE. , 43-50.

  • Heijink H, Windsor L, Desain P (2000). Data processing in music performance research: Using structural information to improve score-performance matching. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers. 32(4), 546-554.
    DOI: 10.3758/BF03200827

  • Clarke EF, Windsor WL (2000). Real and Simulated Expression: A Listening Study. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 17(3), 277-313.
    DOI: 10.2307/40285819

  • Heijink H, Desain P, Honing H, Windsor L (2000). Make Me a Match: An Evaluation of Different Approaches to Score—Performance Matching. Computer Music Journal. 24(1), 43-56.
    DOI: 10.1162/014892600559173

  • Desain P, Honing H, Vanthienen H, Windsor L (1998). Computational Modeling of Music Cognition: Problem or Solution?. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 16(1), 151-166.
    DOI: 10.2307/40285783

  • Windsor WL, Clarke EF (1997). Expressive Timing and Dynamics in Real and Artificial Musical Performances: Using an Algorithm as an Analytical Tool. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 15(2), 127-152.
    DOI: 10.2307/40285746

  • Windsor WL (1997). Frequency structure in electroacoustic music: ideology, function and perception. Organised Sound: an international journal of music and technology. 2(2), 77-82.
    DOI: 10.1017/S1355771897009023

  • Windsor WL (1996). Autonomy, mimesis and mechanical reproduction in contemporary music. Contemporary Music Review. 15(1-2), 139-150.
    DOI: 10.1080/07494469600640411

  • McAngus Todd NP, Clarke E, Windsor L (1994). Rhythmogram analysis of human and synthetic performance. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 96(5), 3301-3301.
    DOI: 10.1121/1.410816

  • Windsor WL (1994). Using auditory information for events in electroacoustic music. Contemporary Music Review. 10(2), 85-93.
    DOI: 10.1080/07494469400640321

  • WINDSOR WL (1993). Dynamic Accents and the Categorical Perception of Metre. Psychology of Music. 21(2), 127-140.
    DOI: 10.1177/030573569302100203


  • Windsor WL (2018). Music in Detention and Interrogation: the Musical Ecology of Fear. In Grimshaw M, Walther-Hansen M & Knakkergaard M (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Sound & Imagination()Oxford University Press. (Accepted)
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/130891/

  • Windsor WL (2017). Instruments, voices, bodies and spaces: Towards an ecology of performance. In Body, Sound and Space in Music and Beyond: Multimodal Explorations(113-128).
    DOI: 10.4324/9781315569628, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/111167/

  • Burland K, Spencer M, Windsor L (2017). Exploring, enhancing and evaluating musical ‘doctorateness’: Perspectives on performance and composition. In Perspectives on Research Assessment in Architecture, Music and the Arts: Discussing Doctorateness(114-128).
    DOI: 10.4324/9781315526652, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/116970/

  • Bisesi E, Windsor WL (2016). Expression and Communication of Structure in Music Performance: Measurements and Models. In Hallam S, Cross I & Thaut M (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology(2nd, 615-631)Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/91776/

  • Windsor WL (2015). Nature and Culture, Noise and Music: Perception and Action. In Allen AS & Dawe K (Ed.) Current Directions in Ecomusicology: Music, Culture, Nature(165-175) Routledge Research in Music. London: Routledge.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/87206/

  • Burland K, Windsor WL (2014). Moving the gong: exploring the contexts of improvisation and composition. In Burland, K & Pitts S (Ed.) Coughing and Clapping: Investigating Audience Experience(101-114)Farnham: Ashgate.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/80974/

  • Windsor WL (2013). The transforming power of the acousmatic: the perceptual traces of compositional gestures. In Erbe M & Blumröder CV (Ed.) François Bayle: Die Klangwelt der akusmatischen Musik(18, 143-150) Beiträge zur Music der Zeit. Köln: Signale aus Köln.

  • Windsor WL (2011). Gestures in music making: action, information and perception. In Gritten A & King E (Ed.) New Perspectives on Music and Gesture(45-66) SEMPRE Studies in The Psychology of Music. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/75862/

  • Windsor WL (2008). Measurement and models of performance. In Hallam S, Cross I & Thaut M (Ed.) Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology(323-331)Oxford University Press.

  • Windsor WL (2004). Data collection, experimental design and statistics in musical research. In Cook N & Clarke EF (Ed.) Empirical Musicology: Aims, Methods, Prospects(197-222)Oxford University Press.

  • Windsor WL (2001). Sound Objects or Sounding Objects: Electroacoustic Music and the Location of Musical Meaning. In Lasker GE, Rhodes J & Lily J (Ed.) Systems research in arts : music, environmental design and the choreography of space(2) Proceedings of the Symposium for Systems Research in the Arts. Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics.

  • Windsor WL (2000). Through and Around the Acousmatic: the Interpretation of Electroacoustic Sounds. In Emmerson S (Ed.) Music, Electronic Media and Culture(7-35)London: Ashgate.

  • Windsor WL (1997). Virtual and real listening environments in electroacoustic music. In Gabrielsson A (Ed.) Proceedings of the Third Triennial European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music Conference(386-391)Uppsala University.

  • Appleton L, Windsor WL, Clarke EF (1997). Cooperation in piano duet performance. In Gabrielsson A (Ed.) Proceedings of the Third Triennial European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music Conference(471-474)Uppsala University.

  • Windsor WL (1996). Autonomy, Mimesis and Mechanical Reproduction in Contemporary Music. In Norman K (Ed.) A Poetry of Reality: Composing with Recorded Sound(1-2, 15, 139-150) Contemporary Music Review. Harwood.

  • Windsor WL (1996). Perception and Signification in Electroacoustic Music. In Monelle R & Gray C (Ed.) Song and Signification(64-74)Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Faculty of Music.

  • Windsor WL (1994). Ecological constraints and the perceived structure of electroacoustic music. In Deliege I (Ed.) Proceedings of the 3rd International Congress on Music Perception and Cognition(305-306)European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music.

  • Clarke EF, Windsor WL (1994). Dynamic information for metre. In Auxiette C, Drake C & Gerard C (Ed.) Proceedings of the Fourth Rhythm Workshop: Rhythm Perception and Production(105-110)Proceedings of the Fourth Rhythm Workshop: Rhythm Perception and Production.

Conference papers

  • Ireland DI, Windsor WL ‘Exploring incongruence: Shared semantic properties and judgments of appropriateness in film-music pairings’ 14th International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition, San Francisco, 05/07/2016 - 09/07/2016

  • Ireland DI, Windsor WL ‘Measuring and modeling perceived emotion and audiovisual incongruence between film and music’ International Conference on the Multimodal Experience of Music, University of Sheffield, University of Sheffield, 23/03/2015 - 25/03/2015

Research Projects & Grants

Research Centres & Groups

WRoCAH Expressive Nonverbal Communication Network

External Appointments

External Examining

  • 2005-2008: MA Psychology for Musicians, University of Sheffield
  • MPhil: Yu-Lee Hong, Tempo and Timing Fluctuation in Violin Performance, University of Central England, 2004
  • PhD: Peter Lennox, Spatial Music and Spatial Perception in Auditory Environments, University of York, 2005
  • PhD: Rasmus Reed, University of Sheffield, 2006
  • PhD: Adrian Poole, Open University, 2013
  • 2013/14 – Undergraduate Music Programmes, Lancaster University
  • PhD: Magdalena Olivera Tovar-Espada, University of Geneva, 2014

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

Current Research Students

  • Craig Steer: studio techniques and changes in popular music (with James Mooney)
  • Albini Akonaay Saragu: perceptions of music education in Tanzania (with Karen Burland)
  • Paul Hession: combined use of analogue and digital electroacoustic tools with live acoustic drumming (with Ewan Stefani)
  • Beatrice Bretherton: Musical expectation and HRV (with Jim Deuchars)
  • Sylvia Jen: Enterprise, entrepreneurship and music students (with Karen Burland)
  • Ryan Kirkbride: body movement in ensemble vocal performance (with Guy Brown, Sheffield; WRoCAH Expressive Nonverbal Communication Network)
  • Kate Blackstone: career transitions in music performance students (with Karen Burland)
  • Susan Donnelly: Musical interventions ins a women’s refuge (with Karen Burland)

Past Research Students

  • Rosemary Fitzgerald: Oboe timbre: perception and analysis (awarded PhD 2003; with David Cooper)
  • Petter Fadnes: Performance, improvisation, Saxophone (awarded PhD 2004);
  • Vicky Ward: analysis, performance and pedagogy (awarded PhD 2005)
  • Matt Bourne: Performance, improvisation, Piano (awarded PhD 2006);
  • Christophe de Bezenac: Performance, improvisation, Saxophone (awarded PhD 2007);
  • Ian Gallimore: Music and categorisation (awarded PhD 2009)
  • Adam Ferguson: Composition (with Mic Spencer; awarded PhD 2011)
  • Sue Miller: Performance, flute Improvisation in Cuban Charanga (awarded PhD 2011)
  • Dave Ireland: congruence and incongruence in film music (with David Cooper; awarded PhD 2012)
  • Diane Sapiro: playing by ear (with Karen Burland; awarded PhD 2012)
  • Michael Walters: composition (with Mic Spencer; awarded PhD 2014)
  • Maureen Mather: music, special needs and mainstream settings (with Karen Burland; awarded PhD 2014)
  • Dan Holden: mathematical approaches to thematic analysis in Mahler (with David Cooper; awarded PhD 2015)
  • Liz Brooker: treatment of musical performance anxiety with EMDR and Cognitive Hypnotherapy (with Karen Burland, awarded PhD January 2016)
  • Claire Slight: university to career transitions of UK music postgraduates (with Karen Burland, awarded PhD January 2016)

PhD Thesis


A Perceptual Approach to the Description and Analysis of Acousmatic Music

This thesis investigates the problems of describing and analysing music that is composed for, and presented from, a fixed medium, and diffused over loudspeakers with minimal intervention, especially where such music resembles everyday sounds as much as it does traditional musical material. It is argued that most existing theories of acousmatic music are closely tied to prescriptive rather than descriptive concerns, and concentrate upon intrinsic aspects of acousmatic music to the detriment of its extrinsic potential. In contrast to such approaches a method of description based upon an ecological theory of listening which accounts for the relationship between structured information and the perception of events is proposed. This descriptive approach is used as the basis for analysing acousmatic pieces, revealing a complex interpretative relationship between listener, piece and environment. Such an approach, it is argued, accounts for those aspects of acousmatic music excluded by most current approaches, but more importantly provides a theoretical framework within which descriptions may be arrived at which avoid the prescriptive bias of exisiting theories. The perspective provided by this analytical approach is reinterpreted through a critical approach to aesthetics, showing how acousmatic music can be seen as both autonomous and mimetic and how the dialectic between these two aspects is potentially critical of our relationship with the world. The relationship between musical techniques, materials and technology is discussed in response to this perspective showing how acousmatic music might be regarded as part of a broader aesthetic context. In conclusion, it is argued that acousmatic music does not merely challenge the view that music is primarily self-referential, but also that it reaffirms the possibility that music may be both intrinsically and extrinsically significant.


Professional Practice

  • Former member of experimental improvising rock band ‘Old Fruit’ described here by Adrian Bell in his book Aylesbury Bolton Wolverhampton Hove, A Little Man and 101 Cardiacs Gigs (Iron Bell, 2011)


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