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. Honing has published over 250 scientific publications in journals ranging from Computer Music Journal, Topics in Cognitive Science and Cognition to PNAS, Philosophical Transactions B. and Animal Cognition. Next to a research agenda (The Origins of Musicality, The MIT Press), he has published several books for the general public, including the English-language publications Music Cognition: The Basics (Routledge) and The Evolving Animal Orchestra (The MIT Press). Henkjan Honing's books and lectures are popular with a broad audience and are appreciated both inside and outside the scientific world.

Latest publications

Media attention

Why do humans sing? ヒトはなぜ歌うのかNHK | Frontiers
We Were Born to Groove - narrated by Fat TonyNautilus
Samenwerken in harmonie, van het bos tot de cloudSURF
Ook jij hebt ritmegevoel, we bewijzen het hierUvN
Hoe muzikaal zijn vogels?Vroege Vogels
It turns out we were born to grooveScientific American
A year in music science; Wonder, volume and animals that grooveNPR
Pasgeboren baby’s hebben een muzikale aanlegDe Morgen
Onderzoek naar zingende papegaaien gaat wereldwijdRTV West
Baby’s van twee dagen oud hebben al maatgevoelTrouw


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


Frans van Schaik
Biology, UvA2024
Matthias van der Vlist
Biology, UvA2024
Kate Schwarz
MSc Brain & Cognitive Sciences, UvA2024
Parsa Jouyan
Music Studies, UvA2024
William Wells
Music Studies, UvA2024
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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