THE PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY WAS TO TEST THE cross-cultural musical understanding of trained and untrained listeners from two distinct musical cultures by exploring the influence of enculturation on musical memory performance. Trained and untrained participants (N = 150) from the United States and Turkey listened to a series of novel musical excerpts from both familiar and unfamiliar cultures and then completed a recognition memory task for each set of examples. All participants were significantly better at remembering novel music from their native culture and there were no performance differences based on musical expertise. In addition, Turkish participants were better at remembering Western music, a familiar but nonnative musical culture, than Chinese music. The results suggest that our cognitive schemata for musical information are culturally derived and that enculturation influences musical memory at a structural level.
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