Henkjan Honing

Professor in Music Cognition, Principal Investigator

Henkjan Honing is a professor of Music Cognition at both the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He studies what musicality is and to what extent human beings share musicality with other animals. His aim is to define the cognitive and biological mechanisms that underpin musicality.

In addition to a research agenda (The Origins of Musicality), Honing has published several books for the general public, including the English-language publications Music Cognition: The Basics and The Evolving Animal Orchestra. Honing's books and lectures are popular with a broad audience and are appreciated both inside and outside the scientific world.

For a more elaborate cv see the UvA website.

Latest publications

Li, J., Baker, D. J., Burgoyne, J. A., & Honing, H. (2023). Is Pitch Information Indispensable for Music Recognition? A Pilot Study Based on a Musical Matching Pairs Game. Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, 65–71.

Media attention

Marathon interview met Henkjan HoningNPO1
Mooie muziek, maar waarom?VPRO Gids
Ieder mens kan muziek herkennen, maken en waarderenNewScientist
Is music an exclusively human thing? A new study says noNPR
Apensoort Gibbons zingen samen duettenNPO1
Henkjan Honing over ToontjeHogerNPO2
Testen hoe muzikaal je bent met ToontjeHogerFolia
Zelfs een houten klaas heeft nog gevoel voor melodieHet Parool
Benieuwd hoe muzikaal je bent? Test het op dit platform, ook als je gestopt bent met blokfluitlesHet Parool
The dissenter talks with Henkjan Honing about musicalityDissenter


Evolution of Language and Music
BSc Psychobiology6 ECTSCode: 5102EVTM6Y
How Music Works II: Music Cognition
MSc Brain & Cognitive Sciences (Research Master)6 ECTSCode: 5244HMWM6Y


Pablo Dumenil
ENSEA, Paris, F2023
Caroline Kellner
Master of Logic, UvA2023
Lot Wolters
MSc Psychology, RUG2022
Ivan Bobrov
MSc Computational Science, UvA2021
Joost de Fretes
BSc Artificial Intelligence, UvA2021
MSc Computational Science, UvA2020
Olivier Teerling
MSc Brain & Cognitive Sciences, UvA2020
Milan Simas
MA Musicology, UvA2018
Sophie van Weeren
MA Musicology, UvA2018
Elke de Jong
MSc Biomedical Sciences, UvA2017
Eline Bekkers
MSc Brain & Cognitive Sciences, UvA2017
Tiarma Witte
MSc Brain & Cognitive Sciences, UvA2017
Iza Korsmit
MSc Brain & Cognitive Sciences, UvA2016
Nelson Mooren
MSc Brain & Cognitive Sciences, UvA2016
Yasmin Mzayek
MSc Brain & Cognitive Sciences, UvA2016
Myrthe Knetemann
MSc Brain & Cognitive Sciences, UvA2016
Carola Werner
MSc Brain & Cognitive Sciences, UvA2016
Master of Logic, UvA2016
Tom Hendriks
Master of Logic, UvA2016
Annike Bekius
MSc Brain & Cognitive Sciences, UvA2015
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