Friday, February 05, 2021

Interested in doing a Master in Amsterdam?

Become a Master in Music Studies at the University of Amsterdam: 'Three approaches in a one-year programme – specialize or combine.' Application for 2021/22 is now open!

Note that the deadline for non-EU/EEA students is 1 March 2021. (If you are an applicant with an EU/EEA nationality and wish to apply for housing, you must submit your application by 1 March. N.B. For Dutch/EU students the deadline is 15 May.)

For detailed information on our interdisciplinary program, see

But maybe you want to see and hear more first?  

Feel free to apply to UvA's online Open House. Open House is the perfect way to get to know UvA study programmes and university life from the comfort of your own home.

Monday, February 01, 2021

Interested in doing a PhD in Amsterdam?

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) currently has a PhD position available. Applications are invited from excellent candidates wishing to conduct research in an area within ILLC (i.e. mathematics, artificial intelligence, linguistics, philosophy, or music cognition) that fits naturally the Faculty of Humanities.

See webpage for more information. Deadline: 31 March 2021.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Where did music come from?

Credit: Erikacarreraph/Shutersttock

Where Did Music Come From? Did humans evolve to sing and dance? Or did we invent our musical pastimes? Asks Cody Cottier in Discovery Magazine:

'Look anywhere and you’ll find music. Without a single exception, every culture produces some form of it. Like language, it’s a universal trait in our species, and over the millennia it has bloomed into a diverse and stunning global symphony. Yet its origin remains one of the great secrets of human history. 

The oldest known instruments are 42,000-year-old bone flutes discovered in caves in Germany. Vocal music surely predates these, but the problem, according to University of Amsterdam musicologist Henkjan Honing, “is that music doesn’t fossilize and our brains don’t fossilize.” With little hard evidence, scientists still debate what evolutionary purpose music serves. And because its purpose is obscure enough to warrant debate, some skeptics question whether it serves any purpose at all.'

Opening text of a recent article in Discovery Magazine.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Interested in the Evolution of Language and Music?

Last semester we finalized a new edition of the course Evolution of Language and Music. As every year, we closed it off with a student mini-conference. You can find the output of this years online edition here: a website full of blog posts and pitch videos that were made by the participating students.

N.B. The next edition will be held in the Spring of 2022 (See UvA Studiegids).

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Interested in a Summer School on Musicality?

ABC Summerschool on Musicality
From 14-24 June 2021 an impressive cast of international lecturers (click on poster on the left), from a wide range of disciplines, will try to unravel our capacity for music. Students will, next to attending lectures, work groups and online social events, work in groups with a designated tutor on a research project, within the broad topic of musicality, which they will present towards the end of the Summer School.

Mode: The ABC Summer School will be taught online; The closing ABC Symposium will be hybrid (if pandemic allows). Credits: 4 ECTS. Tuition: €275. N.B. This fee will be waived for all students registered at a Dutch university.

More information will follow on February 1, 2021 at the website of the University of Amsterdam:

N.B. You can preregister here.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Was het ritme van alledaagse bewegingen het opstapje naar ons muziekgevoel? [Dutch]

De wetenschap barst van wilde ideeën die nog onbewezen zijn. Maar hoe overtuigend zijn ze? Deze week schrijft Ronald Veldhuizen in de Volkskrant over hoe mogelijk ons wandel- en renritme heeft bijgedragen aan ons talent voor muziek: zie Volkskrant.

Zie ook eerdere entry.

Proksch, S., Comstock, D. C., Médé, B., Pabst, A., & Balasubramaniam, R. (2020). Motor and Predictive Processes in Auditory Beat and Rhythm Perception. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2020.578546

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Interested in doing a postdoc on rhythm cognition in Amsterdam?

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) now invites applications from excellent candidates wishing to conduct postdoctoral research on the computational and (neuro)cognitive underpinnings of rhythm cognition. 

For details on the 2-year position and information on how to apply, see UvA-webpage.

Deadline: 31 December 2020.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Interested in a Summer School on Musicality?

Preliminary announcement: The Music Cognition Group (MCG) at the University of Amsterdam is currently preparing a two-week international online (and potentially hybrid) ABC Summer School on musicality from 21-24 June 2021. 
Lectures will include Isabelle Peretz, Sandra Trehub, Elizabeth Hellmuth-Margulis, Miriam Mosing, Patrick Savage, Julia Kursell, Carel ten Cate, members of MCG, and others. 
In the next few weeks more information will be made available online at

Ben jij de nieuwe webprogrammeur van het spraak- en muzieklab?

Hou je van het ontwerpen en implementeren van interactieve websites voor verschillende platforms (desktop, smartphone, tablet)? Zou je graag in een spannende academische omgeving willen werken? Ben je iemand die goed overzicht kan houden en goed kan samenwerken? De Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen van de Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) heeft per 1 februari een vacature voor een webprogrammeur voor het spraak- en muzieklab. Deadline voor sollicitaties: 15 december 2020.

Voor uitgebreide informatie zie: 20-694-webprogrammeur-spraak-en-muzieklab

Sunday, September 13, 2020

How different are these hypotheses?

An overview comparison of the Action Simulation for Auditory Prediction Hypothesis (ASAP) and the Gradual Audiomotor Evolution Hypothesis (GAE).  

This week a mini review paper appeared in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (Proksch et al, 2020), comparing two complementary hypotheses for the neural underpinnings of rhythm perception: The Action Simulation for Auditory Prediction hypothesis (ASAP; Patel and Iversen, 2014) and the Gradual Audiomotor Evolution hypothesis (GAE: Merchant and Honing, 2014), In addition to interpreting work under both hypotheses as converging evidence for the predictive role of the motor system in the perception of rhythm, the paper reviews recent experimental progress supporting each of these hypotheses. 

Honing, H., & Merchant, H. (2014). Differences in auditory timing between human and non-human primates. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27(6), 557–558.

Proksch, S., Comstock, D. C., Médé, B., Pabst, A., & Balasubramaniam, R. (2020). Motor and Predictive Processes in Auditory Beat and Rhythm Perception. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14.