Photo of Justin London

Justin London

Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music, Cognitive Science, and the Humanities, Music

Education & Professional History

University of Cincinnati, BMus, MMus; University of Pennsylvania, PhD

Justin London is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music, Cognitive Science, and the Humanities at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, where he teaches courses in Music Theory, Music Psychology, Cognitive Science, The Philosophy of Music, and American Popular Music.  He received his B.M. in Classical Guitar and M.M. in Music Theory from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and he holds a Ph.D. in Music History and Theory from the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked with Leonard Meyer.  His research interests include rhythm and meter in western and non-western music, music perception and cognition, and musical aesthetics. He has held teaching and research appointments at The University of Cambridge, the University of Jyäskylä, Finland (both on Fulbright Fellowships), as well as The University of Oslo, and the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt.  He served as President of the Society for Music Theory in 2007–2009, and as President of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition in 2017–2018.  In 2022 he received a lifetime achievement award for the Society for Music Perception and Cognition. He is also the guitarist in the “Spare Niche” jazz trio.

At Carleton since 1989.

Highlights & Recent Activity

Visiting Professor of Musicology, The University of Oslo, September-December 2016 & September-December 2023.

Housewright Visiting Scholar, Florida State University, December 2021.

Visiting Scholar, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt, September-December 2018.

Core Fulbright Scholar Grant, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music Research, University of Jyväskylä, January-May 2014.

Fulbright UK Distinguished Scholars Lecturing/Research Grant, Centre for Music and Science and Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, Fall 2005-Spring 2006.

Organizations & Scholarly Affiliations

Society for Music Perception and Cognition (President, 2017-18)

Society for Music Theory (President, 2007-2009)

European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music

Psychonomic Society

Cognitive Science Society

Acoustical Society of America

American Society for Aesthetics


Current Courses

  • Winter 2024
    MUSC 103: Musicianship I
    MUSC 110: Theory I: The Principles of Harmony
  • Spring 2024
    MUSC 104: Musicianship II
    MUSC 204: Theory II: Musical Structures
    MUSC 308: Seminar in Music Analysis
  • Winter 2025
    CGSC 399: Senior Thesis in Cognitive Science
  • Spring 2025
    MUSC 227: Perception and Cognition of Music
    MUSC 228: Perception and Cognition of Music Lab