Cultural experiences come in many different forms, such as immersion in a particular linguistic community, exposure to faces of people with different racial backgrounds, or repeated encounters with music of a particular tradition. In most circumstances, these cultural experiences are asymmetric, meaning one type of experience occurs more frequently than other types (e.g., a person raised in India will likely encounter the Indian todi scale more so than a Westerner). In this paper, we will discuss recent findings from our laboratories that reveal the impact of short- and long-term asymmetric musical experiences on how the nervous system responds to complex sounds. We will discuss experiments examining how musical experience may facilitate the learning of a tone language, how musicians develop neural circuitries that are sensitive to musical melodies played on their instrument of expertise, and how even everyday listeners who have little formal training are particularly sensitive to music of their own culture(s). An understanding of these cultural asymmetries is useful in formulating a more comprehensive model of auditory perceptual expertise that considers how experiences shape auditory skill levels. Such a model has the potential to aid in the development of rehabilitation programs for the efficacious treatment of neurologic impairments.