Caitlyn Trevor

I am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow working with Sascha Frühholz at the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at the University of Zurich.

I am a music cognition researcher interested in music and emotion (particularly fear), music and vocal affective cues, affective neuroscience, and applying topic theory to film music perception. For my Marie Curie project 'Emotional Musical Signals' (EMUSIG), I am working to decode how music operates as a fear signal both culturally and biologically using methods from music theory, behavioral psychology and affective neuroscience.

I received my PhD from Ohio State University (OSU) (December 2018). While there, I worked with David Huron as part of the Cognitive and Systematic Musicology Laboratory and taught undergraduate music theory and aural skills. Previously, I received a Masters of Music in Cello Performance (August 2018) and a Masters of the Arts for Music Theory (May 2016) from OSU, as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Music (May 2014) from Illinois Wesleyan University.

I have been playing cello since 2003 and am passionate about performing and teaching the instrument. Recently, I became the new Principal Cellist of the Orchestergesellschaft Zürich. I have also composed for film and theater, and performed electroacoustic work as part of the OSU Sonic Arts Ensemble. Go to the Media page for audio and film clips of some of my work.

Refereed Publications

  1. Trevor, C., Arnal, L., & Fruehholz, S. (2020). Terrifying film music mimics alarming acoustic feature of human screams. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 147( 6), EL540-EL545. (html) (pdf)

  2. Trevor, C. & Huron, D. (2018). Animated performance: 'Better' music means larger movements. Music Theory Online, 24(4), 6. (html) (pdf)

  3. Trevor, C. & Huron, D. (2018). Are humoresques humorous? On the similarity between laughter and staccato. Empirical Musicology Review, 13(1–2), 66–77. (html) (pdf)

  4. Huron, D. & Trevor C. (2016). Are stopped strings preferred in sad music? Empirical Musicology Review, 11(2), 261–269. (html) (pdf)

Non-refereed Publications

  1. Trevor, C. (2019, Spring/Summer). Methodological Considerations For Choreomusicology Influenced by Music Cognition. SEM Student News, 15(1), 14–17. (pdf)

  2. Trevor, C. & Huron, D. (2016). Animated performance: ‘better’ music means larger movements. Proceedings for the International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition, San Francisco, California, USA, 420–423. (pdf)

  3. Trevor, C. & Huron, D. (2016). Are stopped strings preferred in sad music? Proceedings for the International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition, San Francisco, California, USA, 578–581. (pdf)

  4. Trevor, C. & Plazak J. (2016). Imprinting emotion on music: transferring affective information from sight to sound. Proceedings for the International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition, San Francisco, California, USA, 265–268. (pdf)

Working Papers

  1. Trevor, C. (accepted for publication in Empirical Musicology Review on 9 May 2020). Methods of Measuring Musical Tension: Commentary on Teo (2020).

  2. Trevor, C., Devaney, J., & Huron, D. (under revisions for the Journal of New Music Research since 23 June 2020). The Expressive Potential of the Upper Fingerboard in Classical String Performance. (preprint)

  3. Trevor, C. (submitted to Music Theory Spectrum on 27 April 2020). Review of “Music, Analysis, and the Body: Experiments, Explorations, and Embodiments” edited by Nicholas Reyland and Rebecca Thumpston, 2018

Research In Progress

  1. Does scary music mimic biological voice signals of threat? (preregistration)

  2. Differentiating terror and anxiety in fearful musical stimuli for emotion research (preregistration)

  3. Ombra and tempesta in contemporary horror film music

  4. Eyetracking the impact of anxious music on film viewing