Effect of culture
Culturally bound preferences and familiarity for music begin in infancy and continue through adolescence and adulthood. People tend to prefer and remember music from their own cultural tradition.
Familiarity for culturally regular meter styles is already in place for young infants of only a few months' age. The looking times of 4- to 8-month old Western infants indicate that they prefer Western meter in music, while Turkish infants of the same age prefer both Turkish and Western meters (Western meters not being completely unfamiliar in Turkish culture). Both groups preferred either meter when compared with arbitrary meter.
In addition to influencing preference for meter, culture affects people's ability to correctly identify music styles. Adolescents from Singapore and the UK rated familiarity and preference for excerpts of Chinese, Malay, and Indian music styles. Neither group demonstrated a preference for the Indian music samples, although the Singaporean teenagers recognized them. Participants from Singapore showed higher preference for and ability to recognize the Chinese and Malay samples; UK participants showed little preference or recognition for any of the music samples, as those types of music are not present in their native culture.
Effect of musical experience
An individual's musical experience may affect how they formulate preferences for music from their own culture and other cultures. American and Japanese individuals (non-music majors) both indicated preference for Western music, but Japanese individuals were far more receptive to Eastern music. Among the participants, there was one group with little musical experience and one group that had received supplemental musical experience in their lifetimes. Although both American and Japanese participants disliked formal Eastern styles of music and preferred Western styles of music, participants with greater musical experience showed a wider range...