Music appreciation is a part of us. But when we consider animals, they have various reactions to music. They have mixed reactions to music created on their own or by humans. Let’s explore how different animals react to music.
According to research, dairy cows that listened to various kinds of music were very relaxed and produced extra milk. The study revealed that the music tempo affects the productivity of a cow. After listening to songs such as “Everybody Hurts” by REM and “Pastoral Symphony” by Beethoven, the cows produced 3% more milk.
When we consider music composed for kitty consumption, the females are more likely to listen. A study done by Charles Snowden showed that specific tempos and musical frequencies appeal to cats, yet overall, cats don’t care much about our music.
Birds and humans are pretty similar when it comes to music appreciation. It is a fact that birds love making music. Research done by the Emory University revealed that bird brains react to music the same way humans react.
Elephants are a species that love to make music. Conservationist Richard Lair created the Thai Elephant Orchestra to harness the creative power of elephants. There the elephants play instruments specially designed for them, such as steel drums and harmonicas. Scientists studied the music produced by the elephants and found that elephants could keep the rhythm much better than humans.
Researchers have found that classical music allows dogs to relax, especially in the case of kennel dogs. Classical music can put dogs to sleep very quickly. But dogs don’t respond well to metal music because listening to metal music increases their nervousness and agitation.
I found this interesting – Fish know the difference between composers.
Research that was published in the journal Behavioral Processes revealed that goldfish could be trained to distinguish between composers. At Keio University, researchers used pieces of music from Igor Stravinsky and Johann Sebastian Bach. The goal was to teach the goldfish to gnaw food in a ball when the correct composer’s music played.
Two groups were formed, and when the fish heard the music, they were rewarded with food in the ball. When the fish were associating a composer’s music with the reward, the researchers tried playing the other composer’s music. The goldfish didn’t gnaw on the ball at that point, indicating that they knew enough about their composer’s pitch and timbre to not associate the novel music with food.
Overall, music has the potential to reduce indicators of stress such as heart rate and blood pressure in some animal species, as in humans. Yet exposure to music seems to enhance stress in some circumstances, so it should not be concluded that playing any type of music for all species will have a calming effect.
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