Keynote speakers

There will be three outstanding international keynotes at SysMus.




Justin London is Professor of Music at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where he teaches courses in Music Theory, Music Psychology, Cognitive Science, and American Popular Music. He received his B.M. degree in Classical Guitar and his M.M. degree 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. He has published widely in music theory, music perception and cognition, and musical aesthetics. His current research is on micro-timing in the complex rhythms found in Malian drumming (with Rainer Polak of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt, and Nori Jacoby of MIT) and on the cross-modal perception of musical tempo (with Petri Toiviainen of the University of Jyväskylä). Professor London was co-director of the 2005 Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory on Rhythm and Temporality and in 2012 he served as co-chair of the Interdisciplinary College (IK) for cognitive science in Günne, Germany. He has held two Fulbright Fellowships, in 2005-2006 at University of Cambridge in 2014 at the University of Jyväskylä. He served President of the Society for Music Theory in 2007-2009, and is President-elect of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition.  



Prof. Mari Tervaniemi is a well-known expert in neurosciences of music. She obtained her PhD in psychology in 1997 (University of Helsinki). In addition to University of Helsinki, she has worked at the University of Jyväskylä as a professor and in Leipzig as a visiting Marie Curie fellow at the University of Leipzig in close collaboration with the researchers at the MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Currently she is the co-head of Cognitive Brain Research Unit, the head of Brain and Music team, and research director in the Cicero Learning network.

Prof. Tervaniemi has published about 150 empirical papers and reviews in peer-reviewed international journals and several invited book chapters. Her research topics cover auditory neurocognition as well as the brain basis of musical expertise and music emotions. Of particular interest to her is to apply knowledge acquired within the framework of basic science into rehabilitation, education, and special education. For further information, see




Dr. med. Ralph Spintge is the director of the Regional Pain Centre DGS at Sportklinik Hellersen, Lüdenscheid, Germany. He is Board Certified for Anesthesiology, Pain medicine and Occupational Health, Lifetime Professor for Music Medicine and lecturer within the Music Therapy Master Course at the Institute for Music Therapy a the University of Music and Drama, Hamburg. Beginning in 1977 Spintge conducted a series of psychophysiological studies about the anxioalgolytic effects of music in Surgery, Anaesthesia, PainTherapy, Obstetrics, and Dentistry at various institutions around the world. He was co-investigator within a 10-year research programme on "Rhythmicity, Heart Rate Variability and Cardiorespiratory Variability: The Neurovegetative Status in Man” in co-operation with the German Max-Planck Society, based on a grant from Sporthilfe e.V. 

His current research is focuses on the impact of medicofunctional music on Heart Rate Variability in chronic pain. Spintge’s publications comprise numerous articles and 22 books about innovations in anaesthesia and pain medicine, as well as applications of medicofunctional music. He is a founding member (1982) and currently President of the International Society for Music in Medicine (ISMM), honorary member of The International Association for Music and Medicine (IAMM), member of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), the German Society for Medical Psychology, and an Honorary Member of the Music Therapy Association of Catalonia/Spain.