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Musical Cognition
Musical Cognition 

Why do people attach importance to the wordless language we call music?


We often do not realize that the listener plays an active role in reaching the awareness that makes music so exhilarating, soothing, and inspiring. 


In reality, the author contends, listening does not happen in the outer world of audible sound, but in the inner world of our minds and brains.


Musical Cognition includes a selection of intriguing examples from recent literature exploring the role that an implicit or explicit knowledge of music plays when one listens to it. The evidence shows that music is second nature to most human beings--biologically and socially.      


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ISBN: 978-1-4128-4228-0 (cloth) 224 pp.


Photos and video clips for media use may be found here.


About the Author

Henkjan Honing is the KNAW-Hendrik Muller chair at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), University of Amsterdam. He conducts his research projects under the auspices of the ILLC and the University of Amsterdam's Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam (CSCA). Honing has authored over 150 international publications in the area of music cognition and music technology.


Professor Honing may be reached for interviews at:

Praise Comments

"Honing demonstrates that ordinary listeners, whether children or adults, are a lot more musically savvy than they think they are."


--Sandra Trehub, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto at Mississauga


"A graceful and precise introduction into the intricacy of what ordinary humans manage to learn about music, naturally and automatically, just by listening."  


--Gary Marcus, Professor of Psychology, New York University and author of Kluge: The Haphazard Evolution of The Human Mind


Review Copies and Ordering Information

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To order a copy of Musical Cognition, contact Transaction Publishers at 888-999-6778 or order online at 



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