Adapted and fully revised edition (Sept 2021)

‘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, author of

Kluge and Guitar Zero

‘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

‘Insights from one of the leading researchers working at the intersection of music,

psychology, and computer science.’

Dan Levitin, author of

This is your brain on music

‘[R]efreshing, engaging, enlightening and, most importantly, intelligible by all.’

The Psychologist

‘Honing [..] does something more of us in academe ought do: it summarizes his research for a lay audience and tries to show both just what this research is about, and why it is interesting and important.’

Justin London in


Music, Mind & Brain

‘An intriguing study of consciousness and the things that we listen to every day of our lives, Musical Cognition is a fascinating read, an excellent addition to music or psychology community and college library collections.’

Library Bookwatch

‘The big story on what precisely

we know about listening to music.’

Volkskrant [14-11-2009]

‘The listener is central in this book – an important contribution to music research.’

NRC Handelsblad [13-02-2010]

‘European researchers show rhythm to be an  innate ability, hard-wired into the human brain.’

USA Today [27-01-2009] 

‘What is so special about the research of Henkjan Honing is that he studies how music plays with the listener.’

Tijs Goldschmidt, author of

Darwin’s dreampond

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