We were honoured to speak with Professor Henkjan Honing, one of the leading researchers of music cognition and biomusicology. The science behind musicality is at an exciting early stage, so there are at least as many intriguing questions as answers in this fascinating conversation.

Professor Honing has written two books exploring the science of musicality: The Evolving Animal Orchestra discusses what we can learn about musicality from the animal kingdom and The Origins of Musicality details the latest cutting-edge research on where human musicality comes from and how it works.

In this conversation we talk about:

  • The crucial research study with newborn infants that changed the whole trajectory of Professor Honing’s research.
  • Two surprising facts about absolute pitch (often called perfect pitch) that might completely change how you think about this seemingly-magical skill.
  • What the state-of-the-art scientific research tells us about how much musicality is an innate part of us versus a purely-learned skill.

Enjoy this dive into Professor Honing’s perspective on musicality – and gain new appreciation for your own inner musician.

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Professor Henkjan Honing, a leading researcher of biomusicology, shares results from his research on how human musicality works and where it comes from.