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Music, Culture, Cognition

The minor Music, Culture, Cognition enables students to establish links between human culture and (human) cognition through the study of music. It offers a unique combination of cultural theory and cognition science methods through a focus on music, working with experts from the fields of cultural musicology and music cognition.

In this minor you will learn to consider music as a world-wide phenomenon, with special attention to music as a thought process and ideas about music in different cultures. You will study music in its full breadth, from singing Neanderthals to Madonna, from Aristoxenos to Xenakis, and from Ravi Shankar to Ari Barroso. Also, you will learn to interpret music in the context of the cognitive revolution in the humanities, in which the characteristics of music are considered as an acoustic, psychological, and cognitive phenomenon.

Study Schedule

Semester 1

  • How Rythm works (6 EC)
  • An Introduction to Cultural Musicology (6 EC)
  • Research Project Musicology (6 EC)

Semester 2

  • Cultural Musicology I (6 EC)
  • Cognitive Musicology (6 EC) 

Master's programme

The minor Music, Culture and Cognition offers broad insight into contemporary approaches to musicology and may grant access to non-historical variants of the Master’s programme in Music Studies, also for students with a Bachelor’s degree in, for exemple, Cultural Anthropology or Psychology.

Entry requirements

This minor is open for application to students who have obtained an academic first-year diploma or a positive Binding Study Advice from an academic Bachelor's programme. This entails that you must have obtained at least 48 ECTS in your propaedeutic year.

The minor is also open for application to students from a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO) who have completed their propaedeutic year. If you are an HBO student and if you are looking to do a Master's programme at the UvA, please check out our pre-Master's programmes.


It is no longer possible to apply for the minor in Music, Culture and Cognition in the academic year 2020-2021. The maximum number of participants has been reached.

A minor in humanities

This minor is offered by the Faculty of Humanities. The faculty’s minors consist of 30 credits and earn you a second qualification that will be listed on the transcript accompanying your degree certificate. You can find more information on the following website:

Feiten & cijfers
Studielast 30 EC,
Voertaal Engels
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