Researchers have unwrapped the first evidence for bimusicalism in untrained music listeners.
Elizabeth Margulis, who studies music cognition, University of Arkansas, and colleagues Patrick C.M. Wong and Anil K. Roy, Northwestern University, sought to determine whether music listeners understand aspects of unfamiliar music from a different culture as well as they do the music of their own culture.
Margulis said: "It is interesting that bimusicalism may be more prevalent than bilingualism, yet bimusicalism had not been studied in a laboratory setting."
Boffins discovered that listeners showed more understanding for the music from their own culture when they had not heard another culture's music and those who had had significant exposure to both cultures' music showed equal responses to music from either tradition.
She said: "These research results provide a scaffolding for more research on bilingualism and bimusicalism."he team also stressed on the need for further reserach"at this critical junction of globalization where few monocultural experiences of music remain and numerous multicultural experiences are emerging."
The research was published in Music Perception.