Music Cognition Reading Group

The Music Cognition Reading Group Amsterdam meets monthly to discuss recent findings from the literature and present research from the Music Cognition Group Amsterdam and other music research groups.

The meetings usually take place on the last Friday of each calendar month and are held at the Science Park in Amsterdam (directions to the ILLC). If you want to stay informed about upcoming sessions, please go to our group page and click “apply to join mailing list”.

Next meeting:


Upcoming meetings:


Previous meetings:

– NED MCGOWAN (with live piano demonstration on piano by Laurens de Boer). Speed in Music, Brain and Body. December 1, 15:30–17:00. 1.01A. Universiteitstheater. Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16. All details and abstract here.

– PETER HARRISON (INVITED SPEAKER). 27 October, 15:30–17:00. F1.15, Science Park 105. Representing Harmony in Statistical Theories of Western Tonal MusicAll details and abstract here.

– BENJAMIN G. SCHULTZ (INVITED SPEAKER). 6 October, 15:30–17:00. B0.208, Science Park 904. Get into the groove: Stimulating the motor system with salient acoustic features. All details and abstract here.

– [cancelled] NEURAL CORRELATES OF SONG AND SPEECH. 9 June, 15:00–16:30. F1.15, Science Park 107. Discussion of a paper: Julia Merrill, Daniela Sammler, Marc Bangert, Dirk Goldhahn, Gabriele Lohmann, Robert Turner and Angela D. Friederici (2012). Perception of words and pitch patterns in song and speech. Frontiers in Psychology. The paper will be introduced by Joey Weidema.


– ITERATED LEARNING. 9 February, 14:00–16:00. F1.15, Science Park 107. Discussion of a paper: Jacoby, N. and McDermott, J. H. (2017). Integer Ratio Priors on Musical Rhythm Revealed Cross-culturally by Iterated Reproduction. Current Biology. Bas Cornelissen will open the discussion.

– EARWORMS. 2 December, 16:00–17:30. SP B1.25, Science Park 904. Discussion of a paper: Jakubowski K., Finkel S., Stewart L., Müllensiefen D. (2016). Dissecting an earworm: Melodic features and song popularity predict involuntary musical imagery. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts.

– EVOLUTION POP MUSIC. 28 October 2016, 16:00–17:30. SP B0.208, Science Park 904. Discussion of a paper: Mauch, M., MacCallum, R. M., Levy, M., and Leroi, A.M. (2015). The evolution of popular music: USA 1960-2010. Royal Society Open Science.


– EXPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE. 30 September 2016, 15:00–16:00. F3.20 (third floor, directly above the ILLC) Science Park 107 (Access via the NIKHEF entrance at Science Park 105). Discussion of a paper: Gingras, B., Pearce, M. T., Goodchild, M., Dean, R. T., Wiggins, G. A., & McAdams, S. (2015). Linking Melodic Expectation to Expressive Performance Timing and Perceived Musical Tension. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 42(4), 594–609. Carlos will introduce the paper.

10 June 2016, 15:00–16:30. F3.20 (one floor above the ILLC) Science Park 107 (Access via the NIKHEF entrance at Science Park 105). Presentation by Romke Rouw on: Individual Differences in Sensations.

– 29 April 2016, 15:00–16:30. A1.06 (SP 904). Discussion of a paper: Large, E. W., Herrera, J. A., & Velasco, M. J. (2015). Neural networks for beat perception in musical rhythm. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 9, 1–14.

– 1 April 2016, 14:30–16:00. Discussion of a paper: Bregman et al (2016). “Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition”. See first: Shannon, R. V. (in press). “Is Birdsong More Like Speech or Music?”Discussant: Henkjan Honing.

26 February 2016, 15:00–16:30. Presentation by Kjetil Vikene, PhD research fellow at the University of Bergen, on: “Perception of complexity in musical rhythm in Parkinson’s disease and healthy subjects

– 22 January 2016, 15:00–16:30. Discussion of Patel and Iversen (2014): “The evolutionary neuroscience of musical beat perception: the Action Simulation for Auditory Prediction (ASAP) hypothesis.

– 11 December 2015, 15:00. Discussion of paper by Fujioka, Ross and Trainor (2015): “Beta-Band Oscillations Represent Auditory Beats and Its Metrical Hierarchy in Perception and Imagery”, discussant: Fleur Bouwer.

– 27 November 2015, 16:00. Presentation by Varun deCastro-Arrazola: “Detection of deviants in pseudo-verse lines”.

– 30 October 2015, 15:00. Discussion of papers by Saffran & Griepentrog (2001) and Saffran (2003) on Absolute Pitch and language acquisition, moderated by Paula Roncaglia Denissen and Joey Weidema.

– 25 September 2015, 16:00. Presentation by Andrew Lambert: “Generating Time: Rhythmic Perception, Prediction and Production with Recurrent Neural Networks”.

– 26 June 2015, 16:00. Presentation by Carola Werner: “Influence of attention and musical training on beat perception”.

– 29 May 2015, 16:00. Presentation by Cynthia Liem: “Music as multimedia and music for multimedia”.

– 24 April 2015, 16:00. Discussion of paper: Hauser (2009). “The possibility of impossible cultures.” Nature, 460 (7252), 190-196.

– 20 March 2015, 16:00. Discussion of paper: Fitch (2014). “Toward a computational framework for cognitive biology: Unifying approaches from cognitive neuroscience and comparative cognition”. Physics of Life Reviews, 11(3), 329–364.

– 20 February 2015, 16:00. Discussion of paper: Margulis (2012). “Musical Repetition Detection Across Multiple Exposures”. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 29(4), 377-385.

– 30 January 2015, 16:00. Discussion of paper: Vuust and Witek (2014). “Rhythmic complexity and predictive coding: a novel approach to modeling rhythm and meter perception in music”. Frontiers in Psychology 5: 1111.

– 19 December 2014, 14:30. Presentation by Rebecca Schaefer: “fMRI measures of cued movement: Motor network effects of metronome, music, and imagined musical cues”.

– 21 November 2014, 16:00. Discussion of paper: Collins et al. (2011). Modeling Pattern Importance in Chopin’s Mazurkas. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 28(4), 387-414.

– 10 October 2014, 16:00. Presentation by Richard Kunert on shared resources for language and music.

– 25 July 2014, 16:00. Short presentations and discussion of 2014 conference papers

– 27 June 2014, 16:00. Discussion of paper: Aucouturier and Bigand (2013). Seven problems that keep MIR from attracting the interest of cognition and neuroscience. Journal of Intelligent Information Systems, 41, 483-497.

– 15 May 2014, 16:00. Presentation by Dan Cameron, PhD student with Jessica Grahn at Western University, Canada, on his work on the neural basis of beat perception.

– 25 April 2014, 16:00. Discussion of paper: Sturm (2013). Classification accuracy is not enough. On the evaluation of music genre recognition systems. Journal of Intelligent Information Systems, 41, 371-406.

– 28 March 2014, 16:00. Presentation by Maria Panteli on detecting musical similarity in Electronic Dance Music.

– 28 February 2014, 16:00. Discussion of paper: Koelsch et al. (2013). Processing of hierarchical syntactic structure in music. PNAS, 110 (38), 15443-15448.

–  31st January 2014, 16.00. Presentation by Geert Maessen, a scholar in Gregorian Chant associated with the University of Tilburg on “A Computational Approach to Old Hispanic Chant”.

– 20 December 2013. 16.00. Discussion of paper: Fitch (2013). Rhythmic cognition in humans and animals: distinguishing meter and pulse perception. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 7, 1–16.

– 22 November 2013. 15.30. Presentation by Paula Roncaglia-Denissen on her work in the NWO-Horizon project “Knowledge and Culture”.

– 25 October 2013. 16.00. Discussion of paper: Rodriguez Zivic, Shifres & Cecchi (2013). Perceptual basis of evolving Western musical styles. PNAS, 110, 10034-10038.

– 26 July 2013. 16.00. Short presentations and discussions about submitted papers for SMPC 2013.

– 14 June 2013. 14.00. Presentation by Merwin Olthof, master student in the Research Master Brain & Cognitive Science about his master thesis on memory for absolute pitch.

– 17 May 2013. 16.00. Discussion of papers on musical preference: Schäfer & Sedlmeier, 2010; Rentfrow, Goldberg & Levitin, 2011

– 11 April 2013. 16.00.  Presentation by Marek Zabka, Assistant Professor at the Department of Music, Comenius University, Slovakia and EURIAS fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies on “Music as a Navigation Through Abstract Spaces”.

– 22 February 2013. 14.00.  Presentation by Sylvie Nozaradan, PhD student at the University of Leuven, on the neural correlates of rhythm and beat perception.

– 01 February 2013. 16.00. Discussion of papers by Ray Jackendoff: Jackendoff & Lehrdall, 2006; Jackendoff, 2009

– 07 December 2012. 16.00. Presentation by Jeroen van der Aa: On the origins of music: Can zebra finches distinguish between interval-based and beat based rhythms?

– 02 November 2012. 16.00. Discussion of papers on the evolution of populair music. Schellenberg & Von Scheve, 2012; Serrà et al., 2012.

– 05 October 2012. 14.00. Presentation by Bruno Rocha on the topic of music information retrieval in general and his own research in the Digital Humanities Project in particular.

– 08 June 2012. 14.00. Discussion on music in animals. Short presentation on research in monkeys by Dr. Gabor Haden and discussion of the paper: Patel, Hopkins & Diego (2010). Music, biological evolution and the brain.

– 20 April 2012. 14.00. Discussion of paper: Tecumseh Fitch: The biology and evolution of music: a comparative perspective. Cognition, 100(1), 173-215.

– 23 March 2012. 14.00. Short presentations and discussions about submitted papers for ICMPC 2012.

– 17 February 2012. 1400. Presentation by Makiko Sadakata. Title TBA.

– 27 January 2012. 14.00. Presentation by Michiel Schuijer on ‘Pitch-Class Set Theory and the Notion of Distance in Music’.

– 18 November 2011. 14.00. Discussion of paper: Jamshed Bharucha: From frequency to pitch, and from pitch class to musical key: shared principles of learning and perception. Connection Science Vol. 21. no 2-3. 177-192, 2009.

– 21 October 2011. 14.00. 5 minute presentations by all participants on their research.

– 23 September 2011. 14.00. Discussion of paper: David Huron: Why is sad music pleasurable? A possible role for prolactin. Musicae Scientiae 15(2): 146-158.

– 8 July 2011. 14.00. Presentation by Loes Bazen on “Auditory Motor Mapping Training for nonverbal children with ASD: linking treatment outcome with oral-motor and joint attention skills”.

– 20 May 2011. 14.00. Discussion of paper: E. Cambouropoulos. How similar is similar? Musicae Scientiae, Discussion Forum 4B, 2009, 7-24.

– 15 April 2011. 14.00. Discussion of paper: G.A. Wiggins, D. Muellensiefen, M.T. Pearce. On the non-existence of music; Why music theory is a figment of the imagination. Musicae Scientiae, Discussion Forum 5, 2010, 231-255.

– 11 March 2011. 14.00. Presentation by Peter van Kranenburg on “A pattern recognition approach to the attribution of early seventeenth-century keyboard compositions using repeating melodic patterns in diminutions in solo parts”.

– 11 February 2011, 13.30. Presentation by Annerose Engel on “Learning Piano Melodies in merely visual or auditory training conditions and the neural correlates of their crossmodal recognition”.

– 14 January 2011, 14.00. Discussion of paper: P. Mavromatis (2009). Minimum description length modeling of musical structure. Journal of Mathematics and Music 3:117-136

– 10 December 2010, 14.00. Presentation by Aline Honingh on “Pitch class set categories and its applications”.

– 12 November 2010, 13.30. Presentations and discussions of several papers from the ICMPC 2010. list of papers to be presented:

  • B. Duane. Information content in melodic and non-melodic lines.
  • J.H. McDermott et al. (2010). Musical intervals and relative pitch: Frequency resolution, not interval resolution, is special. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 128(4), pp 1943-1951. (paper presented within two symposia)
  • D. Huron and M.J. Davis. The Effect of Scale Degree Modifications on Average Interval Size.

– 1 October 2010, 2pm. Discussion of the paper: F. Lerdahl, C.L. Krumhansl: Modeling tonal tension Music perception 24:4 329-366, 2007

– 18 December 2009, 2 pm. Presentation of Anders Bouwers with the title: “Feeling the Beat Where it Counts: Fostering Multi-limb Rhythm Skills with the Haptic Drum Kit”.

– 27 November 2009, 2pm. Discussion of the paper: Reid Swanson, Elaine Chew and Andrew S. Gordon, 2008. “Supporting Musical Creativity With Unsupervised Syntactic Parsing”. In Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Syposium on Creative Intelligent Systems, Stanford University, California.

– 16 October 2009, 2pm. Presentation of Bas de Haas on the paper: Bas de Haas, Martin Rohrmeier, Remco Veltkamp and Frans Wiering (2009). Modeling Harmonic Similarity Using a Generative Grammar of Tonal Harmony. In proceedings of ISMIR 2009.

– 06 February 2009, time tba, room tba: Discussion on Music Imagery. A presentation will be given by Rebecca Schaefer (Radboud University Nijmegen, NICI).

– 26 October 2007, 13-15:00, room 1.14: Fitch, W.T. & Rosenfeld, A.J. (2007). Perception and production of syncopated rhythms. Music Perception, 25, 43-58.

– 12 July 2007: Special discusison and feedback session on planned presentations forupcoming SMPC, Montreal.

– 27 April 2007: Repp, B.H. (2007). Hearing a melody in different ways: Multistability of metrical interpretation, reflected in rate limits of sensorimotor synchronization. Cognition, 102, 434 – 454.

– 16 March 2007: Todd, N.P.M., Cousins, R., & Lee, C.S. (2007). The contribution of anthropometric factors to individual differences in the perception of rhythm. Empirical Musicology Review, 2, 1-13. AND Repp, B.H. (2007). Embodied rhythm: Commentary on ‘The contribution ofanthropometric factors to individual differences in the perception of rhythm’. Empirical Musicology Review, 2, 14-16.

– 26 January 2007: Applying inner metric analysis to rhythm perception, analysis and classification. A talk is given by Anja Volk.

– 24 November 2006: Sadakata, M., Desain, P.W.M., & Honing, H.J. (2006). The Bayesian way to relate rhythm perception and production. Music Perception, 23 (3), 267-286. A presentation will be given by Makiko Sadakata.

– 27 October 2006: Temperley, D. (2004). An evaluation system for metrical models. Computer Music Journal, 28 (3), 28-44.

– 29 September 2006: Handel, S. (1993). The effect of tempo and tone duration on rhythm discrimination. Perception & Psychophysic, 54 (3), 370-382.

– 23 June 2006: Honing, H. (2006). Computational modeling of music cognition: a case study on model selection. Music Perception, 23(5), 365-376.

– 19 May 2006: cancelled

– 21 April 2006: Mark G. Orr & Stellan Ohlsson (2005). Relationship between complexity and liking as a function of expertise. Music Perception, 22 (4), 583-611.

– 17 March 2006: E. Bigand et al. (2005). Multidimensional scaling of emotional responses to music: The effect of musical expertise and of the duration of the excerpts. Cognition and Emotion, 19 (8), 1113-1139.

– 10 February 2006: E.G. Schellenberg (2001). Music and nonmusical abilities. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 930, 355-371. & K.M. Nantais & E.G. Schellenberg (1999). The mozart effect: An artifact of preference. Psychological Science, 10, 370-373.

– 20 January 2006: Leigh M. Smith & Peter Kovesi (1996). A continuous time-frequency approach to representing rhythmic strata. In: Proceedings of the 4th ICMPC, Montreal, 197-202.

– 14 December 2005 (Wednesday!!): Oliver Vitouch (2003). Absolutist Models of Absolute Pitch are Absolutely Misleading. Music Perception 2003, Vol. 21, No. 1, 111-117.

– 18 November 2005: Steven Mithen (2005). The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body. Chapters 1,2 and 17.

– 21 October 2005: Henk Visser (2005). From Bach to Wagner (yet unpublished).

– 23 September 2005: William A. Sethares (1993). Local consonance and the relationship between timbre and scale. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. vol. 94, no. 3, pp. 1218-1228.

– 17 June 2005: Peter M. Todd (1999). Simulating the evolution of musical behavior. In N.L. Wallin, B. Merker, and S. Brown (Eds.), /The origins of music/ (pp. 361-388). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

– 27 May 2005: (1) Frans Wiering, Rainer Typke, Remco C. Veltkamp (2004) – Transportation Distances and Their Application in Music-Notation Retrieval. In: Music Query: Methods, Strategies, and User Studies (Computing in Musicology 13), pages 113-128.(2) Eleanor Selfridge-Field (2004) – Towards a Measure of Cognitive Distance in Melodic Similarity. In: Music Query: Methods, Strategies, and User Studies (Computing in Musicology 13), pages 93-111.

– 15 April 2005: Aline Honingh, Rens Bod (2004). The Notion of Convexity in Music. Under review.

– 17 March 2005 (Note that this is a Thursday!): (1) Longuet-Higgins, H. C. and Lee, C. S. (1987). The rhythmic interpretation of monophonic music. In H. C. Longuet-Higgins, editor, Mental Processes: Studies in Cognitive Science, pages 150-168. (2) Honing, H. (2004) Het geheim van de syncope. Over muziekcognitie, meten aan uitvoeringen, spannende ritmes en de aandacht van baby’s. De Groene Amsterdammer 45, 28-29.

– 11 February 2005: David Huron (2001). Tone and Voice: A Derivation of the Rules of Voice-leading from Perceptual Principles. Music Perception, Vol. 19, No. 1 (2001) pp. 1-64.

– 14 January 2005: (1) Rebecca Schaefer, Jaap M.J. Murre, Rens Bod (2004). Limits to Universality in Segmentation of Simple Melodies. Proceedings of the ICMPC8. (2) Rebecca Schaefer and Alexandra Lamont (2004). The effect of type of musical expertise on melody recognition: modular and interactive perspectives of musical information processing. A presentation is given by Rebecca Schaefer.

– 10 December 2004: Neta Spiro (2004). What is a musical phrase and what is its role in music perception? General conclusions resulting from a series of studies of excerpts of classical music by composers from Bach to Wagner.A presentation is given by Neta Spiro.

– 12 November 2004: (1) Sadakata, M., Ohgushi, K. & Desain, P. (2004). A cross-cultural comparison study of the production of simple rhythmic patterns. Psychology of Music 32(4): 389-403. (2) Patel, A.D. and Daniele, J.R. (2003). An empirical comparison of rhythm in language and music. Cognition 87: B35-B45. A presentation is given by Makiko Sadakata.

– 15 October 2004: Marvin Minsky (1981). Music, Mind and Meaning. Computer Music Journal, Vol. 5, Number 3. A presentation is given by Christer Hennix.

– 17 September 2004: Nicholas Cook (1994). A Guide to Music Analysis, chapter 4 (“Formal Approaches to Analysis”), section II (“Set-theoretical Analysis”). Michiel Schuijer (2004), PhD thesis, Chapter 7 (“Mise-en-Scene”), section 2 (“Historical Models and Topical Meanings”). A presentation is given by Michiel Schuijer.

– June 2004: Ralph Smeenk (2004). Towards a model of Parallelism. Proceeding of ICMC 2004.

– May 2004: Eleni Lapidaki (2000). Stability of Tempo Perception in Music Listening. Music Education Research, Vol. 2, No.1. A presentation is given by Eleni Lapidaki.

– April 2004: Edward M. Burns (1982). Intervals, scales and tuning. In D. Deutsch (ed.), The Psychology of Music. New York: Academic Press.

– March 2004: Henkjan Honing (2004). A Perception-based alternative to kinematic models of rubato? A presentation is given by Henkjan Honing.