Animals and Music: Feeling the Beat or Not so Sweet?
Virtually all humans universally enjoy listening to music - it helps us relax, amplify our mood,s and even helps bring us together. But what about our furry friends? Researchers have shown that animals can be quite indifferent, but others show that they can enjoy it just like the rest of us! Read on to hear about some scientific studies that have taught us more about the topic.
Cats Respond to Music Specifically Written for Them!
In 2015, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that while cats tend to ignore regular ‘human’ music, they are very responsive to music that is written especially for them. According to researcher Charles Snowdon, they are "trying to create music with a pitch and tempo that appeals to cats." Of the music they've created, one song replicated the tempo of purring while the other replicated the tempo of the suckling sound from feeding. The cats in the study showed positive responses, like purring and rubbing against the speaker as opposed to when they were exposed to classical music. A similar outcome occurred when music was created for cotton-top tamarins in Central and South America.
Image of a cotton-top tamarin. Source: Paignton Zoo.
2. Listening to Classical Music May Help Dogs in Kennels Relax
In 2012, a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior by researchers from Colorado State University monitored the behavior of over 100 dogs in a kennel, including their activity levels, shaking, and barking/whining. They found that dogs slept the most when listening to classical music, indicating that this may help them relax. This finding is key as kennels can be a source of high stress for many dogs. The finding is consistent with how classical music can benefit humans, as it can help us relieve stress, sleep better, and improve overall mood.
3. Parrots' Ability to Talk Helps Them Keep a Beat
A group of Harvard University researchers conducted a study in 2009 to determine whether parrots were able to stay in line with a musical rhythm. Surprisingly, they studied many YouTube videos to do so! They found that animals displaying vocal mimicry, or animals that can copy sounds, were also the best at staying in time with a rhythm.
Enjoy a short video of a parrot dancing along to Gangnam Style by Korean artist Psy as proof of their skills!
So while some animals can't keep the beat, some definitely can appreciate a nice tune! Interested in learning how to play music for your own pet? Check out our online music lessons! We offer them to all ages, regardless of prior experience! To book your first lesson with an experienced instructor for FREE today, please go to this page.
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