Master in Sound and Music Computing

Music Perception and Cognition

Master in Sound and Music Computing
Perfecto Herrera-Boyer
Music Technology Group, UPF
Departament de Sonologia, ESMUC

First trimester, Tuesdays and Thursdays (room 52S27), 18.00-19.30

Goals of the course
Competences to be acquired
Enrollment requirements
Interesting links

Goals of the course

The course "Music perception and cognition" will present, from an empirical and computational point of view, the structural and functional principles and structures that make possible humans to perceive and understand sound and music. We will deal with the psychophisics of the transduction, the neural encoding of the acoustic input, the perceptual organization of audio streams, musical memory, melodic, rhythmic and tonal cognition, emotion and music, and the development and learning of musical abilities.

Competences to be acquired
ECTS breakdown (1 ECTS = 25 hours of  work)

Earning the 5 ECTS Credits for this subject will require, approximately:

Enrollment requirements

To take this course it is desirable to have a scientific and musical background. Basic knowledge on music, engineering, signal processing, mathematics, statistics and physiology is desirable.



Students will be graded according to:
Participation in ALL of them is compulsory. Failure to on-time deliver the required reports or assignments will automatically yield the grade "Suspens".



Introductory level

Technical level

Interesting links

An ongoing study on personality and music preferences

The EMCAP (Emergent Cognition throuogh active perception) showcase

A series of short articles on Music and Science published by the journal "Nature"

The Human Ear, animations from the book  "Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience" by Purves et al.; see also here.

Auditory demonstrations by the University of Sheffield

Music Cognition website by the University of Amsterdam (Henkjan  Honing)
Henkjan Honing's blog on music cognition

David Huron, Music Cognition @ Ohio State University, Music Cognition Resource Center and the Music Cognition Handbook are probably very good pages to search about this topic.

Elaine Chew

David Meredith

Roger Kendall

Richard Parncutt

Institute for Music and Brain Science

Cerebro, Música y Lenguaje (in Spanish): Una introducción al Procesamiento Auditivo Cerebral en Músicos y en No-músicos

European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM): They issue a news bulletin and a journal with articles in different languages: MUSICAE SCIENTIAE.

Society of Music Perception and Cognition. ç

Video lectures on music topics (including psychoacoustics, music cognition, music content processing, etc.)


Distorted melodies
Musical skills, based on Isabelle Peretz's research


Computer Music Journal

Journal of New Music Research

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Music Perception

Psychology of Music


CAIRSS for Music This is a search engine for articles in the area of research on music, particularly the psychology of music.


Page created and maintained by Perfecto Herrera.