Tuire Kuusi

  • Professor, supervising doctoral theses and dissertations, performance studies, music and well-being, DocMus Doctoral School, Sibelius Academy
  • +358407104337

Job description

Professor Tuire Kuusi works as a professor of music research in the DocMus Doctoral School (Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts, Helsinki). Her research interests are in music-theoretical concepts and their concrete representatives in music. She has conducted research on the perception of harmony and continues this as the PI in an ongoing project ”Unveiling the mystery of harmony” with PhD Iván Jimenéz (five years; KONE foundation and Wihuri foundation; see projects). She has also carried out research on effects of music in an individual’s life and has participated in research projects examining the biological effects of musical performance and creative activities on humans. Currently she works in a project studying psychological distress of workers at the Finnish church (see projects). She has also studied topics related to teaching and supervising university students. Further, she Her work as a teacher involves seminars, lecture series, and supervising doctoral students (dissertations, theses, work as supervisor-in-charge). 

Tuire Kuusi is a member of the Education, Culture and Communication Anticipation Group of the Finnish National Agency for Education (Opetushallitus / osaamisen ennakointifoorum / koulutus, kulttuuri ja viestintä -ennakoinitryhmä) and the ERA4 working group (European freamework for research careers). Additionally, she has acted as the Chair of the Tbilisi Conservatoire International Advisory Board. She is the former vice dean responible for research and doctoral education and has been the chair or a member in various governing bodies of the Sibelius Academy, and is currently the chair of the University Collegium. Se also acted as the first vice chair of the Research Council for Culture and Society (Academy of Finland) for three years.


1) Unveiling the mystery of harmony; see

2) Kirkon työntekijöiden terveys ja työn kuormittavuus koronavuonna. Nais- ja miespuolisten pappien ja kanttorien kuormittavuuskokemuksien erot. Itä-Suomen yliopisto, Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos, Taideyliopisto. PI: Tuire Kuusi

3) Conservatory cultures: Nation and gender in the conservatoire music educations of Estonia, Finland, and Hungary. Södertörn University, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Liszt Academy, Uniarts Helsinki. PI: Ann Werner; funded by Östersjöstiftelsen.

4) Well-being of doctoral students in the arts / Taidealan tohtoriopiskelijoiden hyvinvointi. Partner university: Helsingin yliopisto.

Research and publications

1) Peer-reviewed scientific articles (in journals and books)

Jimenez, I., Kuusi, T., & Ojala, J. (In print). The Effect of Chord Duration on the Relative Salience of Chord-type and Voicing changes. Psychology of Music

Kuusi, T., Tervo-Niemelä, K. & Viertiö, S. (2024). Factors influencing psychological distress of workers in the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. BMC Public Health. Doi 10.1186/s12889-024-18165-x

Werner, A. & Kuusi, T. (2023). Gender equality discourse in classical music higher education: Women, individualisation, and change. International Journal of Music Education [Online first] 1 –13. Also available at

Jimenez, I., Kuusi, T., Czedik-Eysenberg, I., & Reuter, C. (2023). Identifying songs from their piano-driven opening chords. Musicae Scientiae 27(1), 27–53. DOI: 10.1177/10298649211003631.

Jimenez, I., Kuusi, T., & Ojala, J. (2022). Veridical and schematic memory for harmony in melody-and-accompaniment textures. Music Perception 40, 89–111.

Kuusi, T., Viertiö, S., Helenius, A., Tervo-Niemelä, K. (2022). Health and Well-Being of Church Musicians during the COVID-19 Pandemic – Experiences of Health and Work-Related Distress from Musicians of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland. International  Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, 9866.

Jimenez, I., Kuusi, T., & Ojala, J. (2022). Relative Salience of Chord-Type and Chord-Voicing Changes: A Two-oddball Paradigm. Psychology of Music, 50(5), 1566–1585.

Jimenez, I., Kuusi, T, & Doll, C. (2020). Common Chord Progressions and Feelings of Remembering. Music & Science 3, 1–16.

Jimenez, I. & Kuusi, T. (2020). What helps jazz musicians name tunes from harmony?  A study of the effect of general and specific work with harmony on the ability to identify music from chord progressions. Psychology of Music 48, 215–231.

Kuusi, T., Jimenez, I., Schulkind, M. (2021). Revisiting the Effect of Listener and Musical Factors on the Identification of Music from Chord Progressions. In J. Ojala and L. Suurpää (Eds.) Musical Performance in Context: A Festschrift in Celebration of Doctoral Education at the Sibelius Academy. DocMus Research Publications 17. Helsinki: Sibelius Academy.

Nair, P. S., Kuusi, T., Ahvenainen, M., Philips, A.K. & Järvelä, I. (2019). Music-performance regulates microRNAs in professional musicians. PeerJ 7:e6660

Kuusi, T., Haukka, J., Myllykangas, L. & Järvelä, I. (2019). The causes of death of professional musicians in the classical genre. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 34, 92–97.

Jimenez, I. & Kuusi, T. (2017). Connecting chord progressions with specific pieces of music. Psychology of Music, 46, 716–733. DOI: 10.1177/0305735617721638

Kuusi, T. & Haukola, P. (2017). Double Life. Music as Work and Serious Leisure. Journal of Arts & Humanities 6 (3), 18–32. (Available at

Oikkonen, J., Kuusi, T., Peltonen, P., Raijas, P., Ukkola-Vuoti, L., Karma, K., Onkakmo, P. & Järvelä, I. (2016) Creative activities in music – A genome-wide linkage analysis. PlosONE 11.  DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0148679.

Haukola, P. & Kuusi, T. (2015). Työn ja toisen tekemisen keskinäiset vaikutukset. [Mutual effects between work and other agency]. Trio 4 (1).

Kanduri, C., Kuusi, T., Ahvenainen, M., Philips, A.K., Lähdesmäki, H. & Järvelä, I. (2015). The effect of music performance on the transcriptiome of professional musicians. Scientific Reports, 5: 9506. DOI: 10.1038/srep09506.

Järvelä, I. & Kuusi, T. (2014). Geenitutkimukset, musiikki ja musikaalisuus [Genome technologies music and musical aptitude]. Trio 3 (1), 6–16.

Kuusi, T. (2014). Jatko-opiskelija ohjattavana. Itsenäisyys ja kriittisyys taidealan jatko-opiskelijoiden ominaisuuksina. [Doctoral student under supervision. Independence and self-criticism as qualities of doctoral students] Teoksessa Löytönen, T. (toim.) Tulevan tuntumassa. 196–235.

Kuusi, T. (2013). Musical training and musical ability: Effects on chord discrimination. Psychology of Music. DOI: 10.1177/0305735613511504.

Kuusi, T. (2012) Seminaariryhmä sosiaalipsykologisena pienryhmänä. Opiskelijoiden kokemuksia ryhmän toiminnasta. [Seminar group as a social-psychological small group. University students’ experiences of group processes.] Trio 1 (2),  7–32.

Kuusi, T. (2011). Kuulijoiden adjektiiviassosiaatiot soinnuista – sointujen laatuominaisuuksia, kuulijoiden kokemuksia vai musiikkiin liittyviä emootioita? Musiikki 2/2011, 63–93.

Kuusi, T. (2010a). Comparing non-tonal tetrachords and pentachords: Both abstract properties and chordal characteristics guide evaluations. Journal of New Music Research, 39, 215–225.

Kuusi, T. (2010b). Musiikinteoreettisten ilmiöiden suhde havaintoon. Teoksessa Louhivuori, J. ja Saarikallio S. (toim.) Musiikkipsykologia, 83-99. Jyväskylä: Atena-kustannus.

Kuusi, T. (2009). Discrimination and evaluation of trichords. Music Theory Online 15.5.

Kuusi, T. (2007a). Interval-class and order of presentation affect interval discrimination. Journal of New Music Research, 36, 95–104.

Kuusi, T. (2007b). Subset-class relation, common pitches, and common interval structure guiding estimations of similarity. Music Perception, 25, 1­–11.

Kuusi, T. (2005a). Chord Span and other Chordal Characteristics Affecting Connections Between Perceived Closeness and Set-Class Similarity. Journal of New Music Research 34, 259–271.

Kuusi, T. (2005b). The Consonance and the Context Guiding the Subjects’ Ratings of Chords Representing Different Set-Classes.  Musicae Scientiae IX, 313–339.

Kuusi, T. (2003a). Semanttisen differentiaalin käyttö sointututkimuksessa. [Using semantic differential in study of chords.] Musiikki 1/2003, 5–20.

Kuusi, T. (2003b). The Role of Set-Class Identity in the Estimation of Chords. Music Theory Online 9.3.

Kuusi, T. (2002). Theoretical Resemblance versus Perceived Closeness: Explaining Estimations of Pentachords by Abstract Properties of Pentad Classes. Journal of New Music Research, 31, 377–388.

2) Reviewed articles in conference proceedings 

Kuusi, T., Jimenez, I. & Schulkind, M. (2021). Identifying Beatles Songs from Their Chord Progressions: New Evidence of the Effect of
Specialized Harmonic Familiarity, Melodic Cues, and Transposition on the Identification
of Songs from Chord Progressions. Proceedings of the Future Directions of Music Cognition International Conference, 6–7 March 2021.

Kuusi, T. (2014b). Adjective evaluations of nonfamiliar chords – Connections between chord characteristics, adjectives and emotions. Proceedings of the Nordic Musicological Congress (NMC) 2012, 3–13.

Kuusi, T.  (2009). Tune recognition from melody, rhythm and harmony. In J. Louhivuori, T. Eerola, S. Saarikallio, T. Himberg, P. Eerola (Editors) Proceedings of the 7th Triennial Conference of European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM 2009), 610–614. Jyväskylä, Finland. <URL:>

Ronkainen, S. & Kuusi, T.  (2009). The keyboard as a part of visual, auditory and kinesthetic processing in sight-reading at the piano. In J. Louhivuori, T. Eerola, S. Saarikallio, T. Himberg, P. Eerola (Editors) Proceedings of the 7th Triennial Conference of European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM 2009). Jyväskylä, Finland. <URL:>

Kuusi, T. (2006). Context affects chord discrimination. Baroni, M., Addessi, A. R., Caterina, R., ja Costa, M. (toim.) Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Music Perception & Cognition (ICMPC9), 1699­–1704. Bologna: Bononia University Press.

Brattico, E., Kuusi, T. and Tervaniemi, M. (2005). Brain mechanisms of musical chord categorization are modulated by expertise. Proceedings of the CogSci 2005 XXVII Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (Stresa, Italy).

Kuusi, T. (2003). Semantic Differential as a Method for Collecting Estimations of Chords. ESCOM5 proceedings, 471–474.

3) Doctoral dissertation (monography)

Kuusi, T. (2001). Set-Class and Chord: Examining Connection between Theoretical Resemblance and Perceived Closeness. Helsinki: Sibelius-Akatemia.

4) Other scientific publications

Kuusi, T. (2019). Kanttorien kuolinsyyt kertovat kanttorien työstä. Kirkkomusiikki 3/19.

Kuusi, T. (2007). Auditiivinen strukturointi osana musiikin perusteiden opettamista. <URL:>

Kuusi T. (2006). Solfaatteko joukkoteoriaa? Sävelluokkajoukkojen teorian käsitteiden käyttäminen osana säveltapailu A -kurssin opetusta. Sävellys ja musiikinteoria, 13, 19­–35. <URL:>

Kuusi, T. (2003). Eräät musiikinteorian käsitteet kuulohavainnon selittäjinä. Sävellys ja musiikinteoria 1-2/2003, 31–42.

Kuusi, T. (2000). Set-Class Similarity Comparisons. In Lasker & Rhodes & Lily (eds.): Systems Research in the Arts, Vol II: Music, Environmental Design and Coreography of Space. The international Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics.

Kuusi, T. (1999). Connecting Theoretical Resemblance and Perceived Similarity. In Lasker & Rhodes (eds.) Systems Research in the Arts, Vol I: Musicology. The international Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics.

4) Research reports

Pohjannoro, U., Kuusi, T. & Ojala, J. (2020). Vuosina 2012–2019 valmistuneet musiikin tohtorit työelämässä
Akateeminen urapolku vai ”mukava lisä”. Sibelius-Akatemian selvityksiä ja raportteja 22. Helsinki: Taideyliopisto.

Kuusi, T. & Boggasch, M. (2015). Students, their expectations and the nurturing of talent for the future. In AEC ’Polifonia’ Handbook Perspectives on 2nd-cycle programmes in Higher Music Education: Combining a research orientation with professional relevance, 30–34.

Kuusi, T. (2015). An Existing Masters Curriculum for Orchestral Instruments.  Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland. In AEC ’Polifonia’ Handbook Perspectives on 2nd-cycle programmes in Higher Music Education: Combining a research orientation with professional relevance, 111-114.

Kuusi, T. (2012). Musiikin tohtori työelämässä. Kysely Sibelius-Akatemian Solistiselta osastolta ja DocMus-yksiköstä valmistuneille tohtoreille. Sibelius-Akatemian selvityksiä ja raportteja 15. Helsinki: Sibelius-Akatemia.

Kuusi, T. & Valkeila, R. (2008). Intohimona musiikki. Työllistymiskysely Sävellyksen ja musiikinteorian osastolta valmistuneille. Helsinki: Sibelius-Akatemia.


  • harmony research
  • cognitive music research
  • research on music and wellbeing
  • musical ability
  • doctoral education
  • supervision