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date: 13 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although music is a universal phenomenon, the structural features that characterize specific music traditions reflect the unique cultures in which those traditions reside. Consequently, encounters with music from other cultures can present difficulties if the structures and patterns of that music are too different from those of one’s home culture. This chapter proposes cultural distance as a way to conceptualize the cognitive dimension of cross-cultural music interactions. It hypothesizes that an individual’s efficacy at processing a particular culture’s music depends on the degree to which the statistical patterns of pitch and rhythm in that tradition resemble those of one’s own music. The chapter employs a computational model (IDyOM) to determine the intervallic and rhythmic patterns within culture-specific music corpora and the extent of difference between cultures and between specific pieces within a culture. This computational approach offers a more fine-grained correlational means for modeling similarities and differences in cross-cultural music cognition research.

Keywords: enculturation, cultural distance, cross-cultural research, music learning, IDyOM

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