@telemnemonics ... Your posts are always engaging and I thoroughly enjoy reading them! In some ways my sample may be somewhat closed as well. Like I mentioned, LA is really diverse and it's always been one of those places where folks gravitate to when they're hard pressed to find acceptance anywhere else - especially in the arts. There's even a music school out here that's mission is to almost completely eschew the Western theory canon - Cal Arts. For myself, I straddle the two worlds. I tend to analyze in the trad Western way but I am quite aware of there being other ways of thinking and classifying. I have many friends and colleagues who aren't from the "west" or they're deeply rooted in their particular folk culture or whatever. Anyway, I always learn a lot when I play with them.