Henkjan Honing (1959) is professor of Music Cognition at both the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He conducts his research under the auspices of the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) and the University of Amsterdam’s Brain and Cognition (ABC) center.
Honing obtained his PhD at City University (London) in 1991 with research into the representation of time and temporal structure in music. During the period between 1992 and 1997, he worked as a KNAW Research Fellow (Academieonderzoeker) at the University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), where he conducted a study on the formalization of musical knowledge. Up until 2003, he worked as a research coordinator at the Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information (NICI; now Donders Centre) where he specialized in the computational modeling of music cognition. In 2007, he was appointed Associate Professor in Music Cognition at the University of Amsterdam’s Musicology capacity group. In 2010 he was awarded the KNAW-Hendrik Muller chair, designated on behalf of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). In 2012 he was appointed strategic Professor of Cognitive and Computational Musicology, and in 2014 he became full professor in Music Cognition at both the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. In 2013 he received a Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship, a prize granted by the Lorentz Center for the Sciences and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2019 Henkjan Honing was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). And last but not least, while Honing successfully passed the Dutch drivers license theory test in 2008, he has repeatedly failed the practical part of that exam, and since then decided to stick to travelling by bike, train and taxi.
Honing's research career can be characterized by four phases: (1) he started his academic career as a music scientist applying artificial intelligence techniques to the formalization of musical knowledge, pioneering the use of expert systems and connectionist models to the representation of time and temporal structure in music. (2) In 1997 Honing started working as a research coordinator at the Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information (NICI; now Donders), where he initiated research on the computational modelling of music cognition and pioneered the use of EEG techniques for probing rhythm perception. (3) In 2003 Honing started a new research group at the University of Amsterdam to further shape the cognitive sciences of music, bridging the fields of musicology, psychology and computer science. This group currently consists of two postdocs, three PhD students and around 20 Master’s students. (4) In recent years Henkjan Honing started collaborating with neurobiologists, neuroscientists, and behavioral biologists aiming to understand the potential biological basis of musicality.
Henkjan Honing is known as a passionate researcher in this new interdisciplinary field that gives us fundamental insights in the cognitive mechanisms underlying musicality. He authored over 250 international publications in the area of music cognition and music technology. He wrote several books for a general audience, including Iedereen is muzikaal. Wat we weten over het luisteren naar muziek (Nieuw Amsterdam, 2009/2012), published in English as Musical Cognition: A Science of Listening (Transaction Publishers, 2011/2013), and introduced at the 2011 edition of TEDxAmsterdam.
Recently three new books appeared: Music Cognition: The Basics (2021, Routledge), Aap slaat maat. Op zoek naar de oorsprong van muzikaliteit bij mens en dier (Nieuw Amsterdam, 2018), translated as The Evolving Animal Orchestra: In Search of What Makes Us Musical (2019, The MIT Press), and an editited volume with the title The Origins of Musicality (2018, The MIT Press).
For more information, see detailed CV.
For an online lecture series on music cognition (in Dutch), see Universiteit van Nederland.
For upcoming public talks, see Facebook.
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Prof. dr. H. Honing
University of Amsterdam (UvA)
Music Cognition Group (MCG)
Amsterdam Brain and Cognition (ABC)
Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC)
P.O. Box 94242, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Science Park 107, 1098 XG Amsterdam (via the main entrance of NIKHEF, Science Park 105) | Room F2.05
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16, 1012 CP Amsterdam | Room K1.06
E pa (at) henkjanhoning (dot) nl
I www.mcg.uva.nl/hh/ [this page]