Niels Christian Hansen

niels christian hansen 3_beskaer
N. C. Hansen

Niels Chr. Hansen is currently doing a PhD on musical expectation mechanisms and statistical learning under the supervision of Prof Peter Vuust and Dr Marcus Pearce. In 2011/2012 he worked as a research assistant at Queen Mary, University of London, as an organist at The Danish Church in London, and carried out external consultancy work for two Danish conservatoires. Previous to this, Niels Chr. Hansen was awarded distinction in his MSc in Music, Mind & Brain from Goldsmiths College (UK). He also holds an MMus in music theory and a BA in classical piano and music theory, both from the Royal Academy of Music Aarhus. Moreover, in 2008/09 he studied at the Conservatory and University of Amsterdam.

Niels Chr. Hansen’s primary research interests include music cognition, music theory & analysis, ethnomusicology, and neuroscience. In his MSc thesis he investigated entropy as a model of perceptual uncertainty in melodic pitch expectation. His music-theoretical work places a special emphasis on North-American, theory-based analysis and on the works of Tōru Takemitsu. Niels Chr. Hansen’s MMus thesis established a status report of music theory in Denmark focusing on analytical methodology towards the Western, postwar repertoire. His research has been published in Dutch Journal of Music Theory, Music Education Research, Danish Yearbook of Musicology, and Journal of Music and Meaning and has been presented on conferences in DK, DE, BE, NL, UK, SE, GR, IT, and SRB.

Niels Chr. Hansen has performed Central Javanese gamelan music for a number of years, and as a classical pianist he has attended master classes and performed concerts in DK, SE, PL, NL, DE, UK, LV, and IT. In 2006-08 Niels Chr. Hansen was the president of the National Board of Music Students in Denmark organising the national, humanitarian event ‘Day of Music’ in 2007 and 2008.

Contact:, ph. +45 25 33 88 33.

More @ 

* Hansen, N. C., Loui, P., Pearce, M., & Vuust, P. (in prep.). Modelling short-term statistical learning as entropy reduction.
* Hansen, N. C., Sadakata, M., & Pearce, M. (in prep.). Is music really becoming more stress-timed? The need for considering non-linear, stylistic trends in musical nPVI values.
* Hansen, N. C., & Pearce, M. (in review). Predictive uncertainty reflects statistical learning of sensory input.
* Hansen, N. C. (in press). Cognitive approaches to analysis of emotions in music listening. In: M. Zatkalik, D. Collins, & M. Medic, Histories and Narratives of Music Analysis, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
* Hansen, N. C., & Pearce, M. (2012). Shannon entropy predicts perceptual uncertainty in the generation of melodic pitch expectations. In: E. Cambouropoulos, C. Tsougras, P. Mavromatis, K. Pastiadis (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition & the 8th Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music.
* Hansen, N. C. (2011). The Legacy of Lerdahl & Jackendoff’s A Generative Theory of Tonal Music: Bridging a significant event in the history of music theory and recent developments in cognitive music research. Danish Yearbook of Musicology 38. (LINK:
* Hansen, N. C. (2011). Luciano Berio’s ‘Sequenza V’ analyzed along the lines of four analytical dimensions proposed by the composer. Journal of Music and Meaning 9, 16-37 (LINK:<>).
* Hansen, N. C. (2010). ‘Japanese in Tradition, Western in Innovation’: Influences from Traditional Japanese Music in Tōru Takemitsu’s Piano Works. Dutch Journal of Music Theory 15/2, 97-114.
* Vuust, P., Gebauer, L., Hansen, N. C., Jørgensen, S. R., Møller, A. & Linnet, J. (2010). Personality influences career choice: Sensation seeking in professional musicians. Music Education Research 12/2, 219-30.
* Hansen, N. C. (2008). Different approaches to an improvisational practice based on the piano music of Toru Takemitsu. Journal of Music and Meaning 6 (LINK:<>).