Document Detail

Infants prefer the musical meter of their own culture: a cross-cultural comparison.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20053025     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Infants prefer native structures such as familiar faces and languages. Music is a universal human activity containing structures that vary cross-culturally. For example, Western music has temporally regular metric structures, whereas music of the Balkans (e.g., Bulgaria, Macedonia, Turkey) can have both regular and irregular structures. We presented 4- to 8-month-old American and Turkish infants with contrasting melodies to determine whether cultural background would influence their preferences for musical meter. In Experiment 1, American infants preferred Western over Balkan meter, whereas Turkish infants, who were familiar with both Western and Balkan meters, exhibited no preference. Experiments 2 and 3 presented infants with either a Western or Balkan meter paired with an arbitrary rhythm with complex ratios not common to any musical culture. Both Turkish and American infants preferred Western and Balkan meter to an arbitrary meter. Infants' musical preferences appear to be driven by culture-specific experience and a culture-general preference for simplicity.
Gaye Soley; Erin E Hannon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental psychology     Volume:  46     ISSN:  1939-0599     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Psychol     Publication Date:  2010 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-01-07     Completed Date:  2010-03-09     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0260564     Medline TA:  Dev Psychol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  286-92     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2009 APA, all rights reserved.
Department of Psychology, Harvard University, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Acoustic Stimulation / methods
Age Factors
Child Development / physiology*
Cross-Cultural Comparison*
Laboratory Techniques and Procedures
Pitch Discrimination*
Reaction Time / physiology
Recognition (Psychology) / physiology*
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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