This paper proposes a model that aims to illustrate how different human music cultures intersect and “dock in” to a set of music features that are universally perceived, while also displaying culture-specific features that must be learned. The model emphasizes that over historic time the music in a given culture can “dock into” and “dock out of” cues that are universally perceived, shifting its potential for cross-cultural perception and interaction. While this model accounts for music ethnological evidence reviewed here, it also explains why universals of music perception cannot simply be determined by specifying the common denominator between the formal music features of all cultures. This report suggests that the Dock-in Model can be generalized to account for cross-cultural perception more generally.

This content is only available via PDF.