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Top Cogn Sci. 2012 Oct;4(4):485-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2012.01217.x. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Music cognition: a developmental perspective.

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Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Mississauga, ON, USA.


Although music is universal, there is a great deal of cultural variability in music structures. Nevertheless, some aspects of music processing generalize across cultures, whereas others rely heavily on the listening environment. Here, we discuss the development of musical knowledge, focusing on four themes: (a) capabilities that are present early in development; (b) culture-general and culture-specific aspects of pitch and rhythm processing; (c) age-related changes in pitch perception; and (d) developmental changes in how listeners perceive emotion in music.

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