Last updated: 2022.03.23
Research
Musicality    

The research of the Music Cognition Group (MCG) has a special focus on the everyday listener, using theoretical, empirical and computational methods. The research program aims to identify the basic (neuro)cognitive mechanisms that constitute musicality (and effective ways to study these in human and nonhuman animals) and to develop methods to unravel the cognitive, biological and environmental mechanisms that underpin our capacity for music.
"Over the years it has become clear that we all share a predisposition for music, just like we have for language. Even those of us who can’t play a musical instrument or lack a sense of rhythm can perceive and enjoy music. We will refer to this unique predisposition, in all its complexity, as 'musicality', defined as a natural, spontaneously developing set of traits that are based on and constrained by our cognitive abilities and its underlying biology. As such, 'music', in all its diversity, can be defined as a social and cultural construct that is built on this musicality" (Honing et al., 2015).
In the coming years (2022-2025) we will focus on the following research questions:
  1. What are the core cognitive components of musicality?
  2. What are the biological and environmental factors contributing to musicality?

  3. NWO Musicality is an ability that nearly all human beings possess: a set of traits that allows us to appreciate music. This research aims to identify these constituent traits by means of a series of listening experiments in the form of engaging memory-based games. Researchers: Dave J. Baker, Jiaxin Li, J. Ashley Burgoyne, Makiko Sadakata, Karline Janmaat, Henkjan Honing. This project is funded by NWO-OC (2022-2025).
    Read full research proposal here...

  4. What computational mechanisms and neural networks underly temporal expectations?

  5. ABC LogoOne core component, that currently gets special attention, is beat perception, using complementary evidence from computational modelling and neuroimaging. Researchers: Atser Damsma, Fleur L. Bouwer, Pilou Bazin, Henkjan Honing. This project is funded by UvA-ABC (2021-2023).
    Read more ...

  6. UvAHow does music differ from other sounds, such as language and environmental sounds?

  7. Another unresolved question is what is shared between music and language. For this we use the speech-to-song illusion. Principal investigator: Makiko Sadakata.
    Read more ...

  8. UvAWhat do everyday listeners attend to when they listen to music?

  9. We study everyday listening by developing listening games to find out about how listeners hear music, how their listening style compares to others, and providing a place where the music industry can test new ideas with the forefront of music cognition research. Principal investigator: J. Ashley Burgoyne.
    Read more ...

    Infrastructural support for the projects listed above will be developed in the context of MCGs Amsterdam Music Lab:

  10. AMLHow to develop intrinsically motivating music listening games?

  11. In this project we will design and implement a flexible and sustainable infrastructure for MUSic-related Citizen Science Listening Experiments (MUSCLE). Management: J. Ashley Burgoyne, Berit Janssen, Henkjan Honing. This project is funded by PDI-SSH (2022-2024).
    Read more ...
Current Funding
  • NWO Open Competition - SSH Unravelling our capacity for music: The contour hypothesis (2022-2025)
    Read more ...
  • UvA-ABC Project How temporal expectations shape musical experience in the human brain (2021-2023)
    Read more ...
  • KNAW-Pilotfonds Wetenschapscommunicatie Iedereen is muzikaal: Wat muziekcognitieonderzoek kan zeggen over de alledaagse luisteraar (2021-2022)
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  • Platform Digitale Infrastructuur (PDI-SSH) A flexible and sustainable infrastructure for MUSic-related Citizen Science Listening Experiments [MUSCLE] (2022-2024)
    Read more ...
Past Funding / Main Grants
  • NWO-Horizon Knowledge and Culture | New Methods for the Humanities: Empirical, Computational and Mathematical advances (2013-2019)
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  • NWO-CATCH COGITCH (COgnition Guided Interoperability beTween Collections of musical Heritage) (2012-2015)
    Read more ...
  • KNAW-Computational Humanities Tunes & Tales. Modeling Oral Transmission (2012-2015)
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  • UvA-CSCA The role of neural plasticity in conscious perception (2011-2015)
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  • NIAS/Lorentz Center Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship (2013-2014)
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  • KNAW-Hendrik Muller chair (2010-2013)
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  • EU-COST TIMELY (Network Grant) (2010-2013)
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  • NWO-GW Music matters: On music and the cognitive sciences (2008-2009)
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  • EU FP6-IST Emergent cognition through active perception (EmCAP), a three-year research project in the field of music cognition (2005-2008)
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  • NWO-STW Practice Space: exploration and training of music performance skills (realized at RU, 2005-2009)
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  • NWO-GW Foundations of the Humanities: a cognitive revolution in musicology (2005-2007)
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  • EU FP5-IHP MOSART: European network on music technology (2001-2003)
  • NWO-GW/MAGW Music Mind Machine (MMM) PIONIER project (1997-2003)
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  • NWO-STW Quantization of temporal patterns by neural networks (1997-2001)
  • NWO-SION Disclosure of large musical databases using a metric for temporal patterns (1997-1998)
  • KNAW A formalism for knowledge representation in music (1992-1997)



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