I would read this paper, its mighty interesting.
Snyder, B.(2000) Music and memory: An introduction. The MIT Press. Cambridge 291.
Hemispheric Coordination and Conflict
"...while listening to the melody of the popular carol "Silent Night", the
right hemisphere thinks, "Ah, yes, Silent Night", while the left
hemisphere thinks, "two sequences: the first a literal repetition, the
second a repetition at different pitch levels—ah, yes, Silent Night by
Franz Gruber, typical pastorate folk style." The brain for the most
part works well when each hemisphere performs its own function while
solving a task or problem; the two hemispheres are quite
complementary. However, situations arise when the two modes are in
conflict, resulting in one hemisphere interfering with the operation
of the other hemisphere." (Regalski 1977)
"Performance was greatest for the musicians, particularly for the
nontonal melody pairs. These differences were not primarily
attributable to pitch discrimination or pitch working memory
impairments. The findings point to differential contributions of the
left and right mesial temporal lobes to melodic memory, with
specificity of the right mesial temporal lobe emerging for melodic
learning within a tonal musical context." (Wilson, Saling 2008)
In general, tonal memory is supported by a wide network including
primary and secondary auditory areas more right lateralized, the
supramarginal gyrus particularly on the left, and dorsolateral
inferior frontal areas, more clearly seen under heavy memory load
conditions (Zatorre et al., 1994; Griffith et al., 1999; Gaab et al.,
2003). Premotor areas, the cerebellum, basal ganglia and the thalamus
are activated when subvocal tonal rehearsal is explicitly required
(Hickok et al., 2003; Koelsch et al., 2009). Importantly a direct
comparison of memory for verbal syllables and sung pitches under
rehearsal and under suppression elicited largely overlapping brain
areas consistent with this network (Schulze et al., 2011).
Quoted from this source.
Who Knows Where Music Lurks in the Mind of Man? New Brain Research Has The Answer.
Journal of Music Educators (May 1977, Vol.63, pages 31-38)
Contribution of the left and right Mesial Temporal Lobes to Musical Memory: Evidence from melodic learning difficulties
Sarah J. Wilson, Michael M. Saling
Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 25 No. 4, April 2008; (pp. 303-314)
￼Towards A Neural Basis Of Music Perception.
Stefan Koelsch and Walter A. Siebel
Trends in Cognitive Sciences Vol.9 No.12 December 2005
Functional anatomy of pitch memory—an fMRI study with sparse temporal sampling.
Gaab, N., Gaser, C., Zaehle, T., Jancke, L., and Schlaug, G. (2003).
Neuroimage 19, 1417–1426.
Neural mechanisms underlying melodic perception and memory for pitch.
Zatorre, R. J., Evans, A. C., and Meyer, E. (1994).
J. Neurosci. 14, 1908–1919.
Auditory-motorinteraction revealed by fMRI: speech, music, and working memory in area
Hickok, G., Buchsbaum, B., Humphries, C., and Muftuler, T. (2003).
Spt. J. Cogn. Neurosci. 15, 673–682.
Functional architecture of verbal and tonal working memory: an FMRI study.
Koelsch, S., Schulze, K., Sammler, D., Fritz, T., Müller, K., and Gruber, O. (2009).
Hum. Brain Mapp. 30, 859–873.
Neuroarchitecture of verbal and tonal working memory in nonmusicians and musicians.
Schulze, K., Zysset, S., Mueller, K., Friederici, A. D., and Koelsch, S. (2011).
Hum. Brain Mapp. 32, 771–783.