Dr Renee Timmers

image of Renee Timmers

Department of Music
The University of Sheffield
Jessop Building
34 Leavygreave Road
S3 7RD

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 0477
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 0469

email : r.timmers@sheffield.ac.uk


Renee Timmers is Lecturer in Psychology of Music and teaches courses on music perception, psychological approaches to performance, music cognition, empirical musicology, and quantitative research techniques. She was educated in the Netherlands in musicology (MA from the University of Amsterdam) and psychology (PhD from the Radboud University Nijmegen) and as a performer. Before joining the Department of Music in Sheffield in 2009, she was a research fellow at a number of institutes, including the Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music at King´s College London, the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Vienna and the Donders´ Insitute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen. She was part-time lecturer at the department of Sonology of the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague from 2000-2008 and has lectured at the Radboud University Nijmegen and the University of Amsterdam on music cognition, auditory perception, and the philosophy of science.

Her research has focussed on expressive performance of music, emotion and meaning in music, and influences of emotion on music perception and cognition. Most of her work has a strong interdisciplinary focus, combining theory and computer modelling with empirical testing and exploration. She has published widely in international journals and conference proceedings. Many of her publications are the result of interdisciplinary collaborative work with among others Peter Desain, Henkjan Honing, Richard Ashley, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson and Zohar Eitan.

Research interests

  • Expectation in music listening
  • Expressive performance of music
  • Perception of performance
  • Emotional experience of music
  • Perception of music in cochlear implant users
  • Performance skills and mechanisms for timing and performing music expressively
  • Perception of time and temporal aspects of music
  • Computational models of music cognition

Current projects

  • Influences of emotions on expectation and attention in music perception. Collaboration with Harriet Crook.Practice Space: exploration and training of music performance skills by way of adaptive monitoring and visual feedback. Collaboration with Peter Desain, Makiko Sadakata and Alex Brandmeyer.
  • Practice Space: exploration and training of music performance skills by way of adaptive monitoring and visual feedback. Collaboration with Peter Desain, Makiko Sadakata and Alex Brandmeyer.

Scholarships and prizes

British Academy Small Research Grant for the project "The influence of emotional responses on attention and expectation in music perception" 2009.
TALENT stipend from NWO for a five months visit to School of Music, Northwestern University, USA in 2003-2004
Hickman best paper award, London 2002, given at the SRPMME conference "Investigating Music Performance"
NWO Scholarship to visit music cognition group of Caroline Palmer in summer of 1999, Ohio University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

PhD students

  • Marilyn Blank. Communication and coordination in piano duo’s.

Main publications

Brandmeyer, A., Timmers, R., Sadakata, M., & Desain, P. (in press). Learning expressive percussion performance under different visual feedback conditions. Psychological Research.
Eitan, Z., & Timmers, R. (2010). Beethoven´s last piano sonata and those who follow crocodiles: Cross-domain mappings of auditory pitch in a musical context. Cognition 114, 405-422.
Juslin, P.N., & Timmers, R. (2010). Expression and communication of emotion in music performance. In Juslin, P.N. & Sloboda, J.A. (Eds) Handbook of Music and Emotion: Theory, Research, and Applications. Oxford University Press (pp. 453-489).
Timmers, R. (2007). Perception of music performance on historical and modern commercial recordings. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 122 (5), 2872-2880.
Timmers, R. (2007). Vocal expression in recorded performances of Schubert songs. Musicae Scientiae XI (2), 237-268.
Timmers, R. & Ashley, R. (2007). Emotional ornamentation in performances of a Handel sonata. Music Perception 25 (2), 117-134.
Timmers, R., Marolt, M, Camurri, A., & Volpe, G. (2006) Listeners´ emotional engagement with performances of a Scriabin etude: An explorative case study. Psychology of Music, 34 (4), 481-510.
Timmers, R. (2005) Predicting the similarity between expressive performances of music from measurements of tempo and dynamics. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 117 (1), 391-399.
Timmers, R. (2003). On the contextual appropriateness of expression. Music Perception, 20 (3). 225-240.
Timmers, R. (2002). Freedom and constraints in timing and ornamentation: Investigations of music performance. Maastricht: Shaker Publishing.
Timmers, R., & Honing, H. (2002). On music performance, theories, measurement and diversity. In special issue on timing. M. A. Belardinelli (ed.). Cognitive Processing (International Quarterly of Cognitive Sciences) 1-2, 1-19.
Timmers, R., Ashley, R., Desain, P., Honing, H., & Windsor, L. W. (2002). Timing of ornaments in the theme of Beethoven´s Paisiello Variations: Empirical Data and a Model. Music Perception, 20 (1). 3-33.
Timmers, R., Ashley, R., Desain, P., & Heijink, H. (2000). The Influence of Musical Context on Tempo Rubato. Journal of New Music Research, 29 (2), 131-158.
Windsor, W. L., Desain, P., Aarts, R., Heijink, H., & Timmers, R. (2001). The timing of grace notes in skilled musical performance at different tempi: a case study. Psychology of Music, 29, 149-169.