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Music, Culture, Cognition

The minor Music, Culture, Cognition enables students to establish links between culture and cognition through the study of music across cultures (and potentially even across species). It offers a unique combination of cultural theory and methods from the cognitive sciences through a focus on music, its workings, functions and origins. You will be working with experts from the fields of both 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 Beyoncé. 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.

This minor is offered by the Faculty of Humanities. The faculty’s minors consist of 30 ECTS credits and earn you a second qualification that will be listed on the transcript accompanying your degree certificate. 

Study schedule

  • How Rhythm Works
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  • An Introduction to Cultural Musicology
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  • Research Project Musicology
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  • Cultural Musicology
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  • Cognitive Musicology
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Master's programme

The minor Music, Culture and Cognition offers broad insight into the recent comparative approaches to music all over the world. This minor may serve as a good preparation for academic Bachelor’s students who want to apply for admission to a Master's programme in non-historical variants of the Master's programme Music Studies. Always check the entry requirements on the Application and Admission page of the Master’s programme you are interested in.

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, as completing a minor is not enough to grant you access to Master’s programmes. 


The enrolment for the academic year of 2022-2023 will start in the course of 2022.

Facts & Figures
Credits 30 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in September