This weekend the music cognition group from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) will be officially nominated for the Academische Jaarprijs, an initiative of the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and two scientific organizations (NWO and KNAW) to promote the dissemination and popularization of science. The UvA-team will participate with the project proposal ‘Zonder luisteraar geen muziek’ ['No Music without a listener'].*
The aim of the UvA-project is to show that we all have a talent for music. While some people might think they have no sense for rhythm or claim not to be able to sing a melody in tune, most of us do appreciate music and are perfectly capable of distinguishing between one performance or another. In other words, we will stress the musical competence of the average listener (as opposed to musical competence associated with musicianship).
The nominated communication plan aims to design an interactive website that allows listeners to test their musical listening capabilities (based on research by our group and that of authors like Bigand, Dalla Bella, Hannon, Peretz and Schellenberg). Participants might be surprised of what they are able to hear!
* See special issue of NRC Handelsblad