Sensitivity to tone distributions has been proposed as a mechanism underlying tonality induction. This sensitivity is considered in a cross-cultural context using two styles of music, Finnish spiritual folk hymns and North Sami yoiks. Previous research on melodic continuation judgments showed strong correlations with the statistics of the musical style, specifically, the tone distributions and two- and three-tone transitions. This article develops models using these three kinds of statistics to categorize short initial segments as coming from one style or the other. The model using tone distributions was found to make numerous categorization errors, which can be understood because the tone distributions for these styles are similar. However, categorization was better for the models that used two- and three-tone transitions. The major differences between the transitional probabilities in the styles were analyzed, and these differences were used to account for the cases that the models found difficult. These results point to listeners' sensitivity to higher order transition information and its utility for style identification.


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