We are all born with a predisposition for music, a predisposition that develops spontaneously and is refined by listening to music. Nearly everyone possesses the musical skills essential to experiencing and appreciating music. Think of “relative pitch,” recognizing a melody separately from the exact pitch or tempo at which it is sung, and “beat perception,” hearing regularity in a varying rhythm. Even human newborns turn out to be sensitive to intonation or melody, rhythm, and the dynamics of the sounds in their surroundings. Everything suggests that human biology is already primed for music at birth with respect to both the perception and enjoyment of listening.
Human musicality is clearly special; Musicality being a set of natural, spontaneously developing traits based on, or constrained by, our cognitive abilities (attention, memory, expectation) and our biological predisposition. But what makes it special? Is it because we appear to be the only animals with such a vast musical repertoire? Is our musical predisposition unique, like our linguistic ability? Or is musicality something with a long evolutionary history that we share with other animals? (Honing, 2019).
On 12 September 2023 dr Sam Meher (School of Psychology, University of Auckland and Child Study Center, Yale University) will give a lecture entitled "Some principles of music perception". Free drinks afterwards.
In the context of the Musicality Genomics Consortium Conference, scientist, writer and broadcaster, Dr. Adam Rutherford will give a Keynote Lecture on 8 September 2023.
Researchers from the Music Cognition Group are currently working on a series of musical versions of Memory. It’s called TuneTwins . It was developed to help answer some important scientific questions about what we are listening for when we hear music.
The website of the Music Cognition Group has an unusually long history. Dating back to 1994, it served as the website of the Music, Mind, Machine (MMM) project until 2003. The 2003-website is archived here. After 2003 it became the website of the Music Cognition Group (MCG) at the University of Amsterdam, online from 2003 till 2023, a website that is archived here. The current website incorporates most information of both former websites, build on up-to-date technology that will make it more sustainable.