Remembering melodies from another culture: Turkish and American listeners demonstrate implicit knowledge of musical scales

Abstract

Beyond the major-minor tonality that characterizes classical and contemporary Western musical genres, Turkish classical and folk music offer experimental psychologists a rich modal system in which cognition, development, and enculturation can be studied. Here, we present a cross-cultural experiment concerning implicit knowledge of musical scales. Five groups of participants—American musicians and nonmusicians, Turkish musicians and nonmusicians, and Turkish classical and folk music listeners—were asked to listen to brief melodies composed using the member tones of either the major scale or the rast makam, a microtonal mode found within Turkish classical and folk genres with no equivalent in Western music. Following each melody, participants were asked to identify whether a probe tone had been presented in the melody, providing confidence ratings on a six-point scale. In general, participants’ short-term memory was influenced by implicit knowledge of musical scales, with the major scale eclipsing the rast makam even in listeners experienced with Turkish genres. Prior work and future directions in cross-cultural music cognition research are discussed.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,694

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-12-28

Downloads
13 (#775,675)

6 months
4 (#163,373)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Musical Perceptions.Rita Aiello & John A. Sloboda (eds.) - 1994 - Oxford University Press.
Cognitive Foundations of Musical Pitch.Carol L. Krumhansl - 2001 - Oxford University Press USA.
The Future of Tonality.A. E. Denham - 2009 - British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (4):427-450.
Against Nature? Or, Confessions of a Darwinian Modernist.Murray Smith - 2014 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 75:151-182.