Research shows that all humans have a predisposition for music, just as they do for language. All of us can perceive and enjoy music, even if we can’t carry a tune and consider ourselves “unmusical.” This Summer School offers interdisciplinary perspectives on the capacity to perceive, appreciate, and make music. Scholars from biology, musicology, (cognitive) neuroscience, philosophy of science, genetics, computer science, psychology, and other fields consider what music is for and why every human culture has it; whether musicality is a uniquely human capacity; and what biological and cognitive mechanisms underlie it.


The ABC Summer School’s topic is musicality, defined as a natural, spontaneously developing set of traits based on and constrained by our cognitive abilities and its underlying biology. We will take an interdisciplinary journey in which we will consider principles, constraints, and theories of musicality; review musicality from cross-cultural, cross-species, and cross-domain perspectives; discuss the cognitive mechanisms underlying the perception of music; discuss computational modelling approaches; and offer a historical context for the study of musicality.

A provisional time schedule can be found here.

Interdisciplinary perspectives on the capacity to perceive, make, and appreciate music


Online ABC Summer School

Musicality : Unraveling our capacity for music

14-24 June 2021



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