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If there’s one area of music research that really grabs me, it’s music perception & cognition. With astonishing speed, considering it only took place at the end of August, the abstracts from the 11th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition are available online, all 95 pages of them. This is like a massive variety performance of all the top stars of the MP&C world.  One of my favourite papers is  ‘The Social Side of Avian Movement to Music’ by Aniruddh Patel, John  Iversen & Irena Schulz. To cut a long story short, the question is whether parrots dance differently if there’s another human in the room that’s dancing to a different beat through headphones – and the answer seems to be, yes they do – they adapt their dancing to co-ordinate somewhat with the human.

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist