Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

John Williamson


The purpose of this study was to examine expatriate students' World music preferences and investigate the relationship between the number of years students have spent in international school education and their preferences for World music, and their ability to identify its origins. The researcher was of the view that two prime determinants probably influence World music preferences: a) the length of stay in an international school. b) positive cultural exposure in a harmonious, multi-cultural society. The research methodology used in examining the above determinants on World music preferences involved two separate tests, taken consecutively. Firstly, The World Music Preference Inventory (WMPI), formulated by Dr C V Fung (1994). The WMPI is a listening test requiring students to make three types of responses to 24 excerpts from eight different geographic regions: Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Western Europe, Malaysia, India, China, and South America. The researcher modified the WMPI to tailor the questions to the expatriate students being tested. Secondly, a Student Profile Questionnaire (SPQ) was administered to ascertain the effect of variables, such as the students’ nationalities, involvement in instrumental music studies, the number of languages spoken and the length of exposure to foreign cultures, on students’ preferences. The WMPI and the SPQ were administered to 105 students, aged 11 to 16 years, selected from a large international school in Singapore (United World College of South East Asia) with a population of 1,787 students from 57 different nationalities. A significant correlation between World music preference and the number of years in international schools would have tended to support the view that exposure to other cultures plays an important role in World music preference. In addition, a significant correlation between the number of languages spoken and World music preference would add further support. Contrary to expectations, the results indicated no significant correlation between either the number of years in an international school or multi-lingualism and World music preferences. With regard to World music preferences in the group, Asian music was generally rated as not liked, even by Asian students. Possible reasons for this result have been postulated. In general, students did not tend to prefer music from their own cultures although they were able to identify it.