Music and Animals – Doest it Matter?

Humans are obviously pretty excited about music. But what if you’re a whale, or a cow,or a dog? Do animals like music? Music is one of the most basic pleasures humans have. The oldest surviving musical instruments are some 40,000 year old bone flutes from southwestern Germany. These ancient bone flutes are of such high quality as to suggest we’d been making instruments for generations. Though,we don’t really NEED instruments to make it work, anthropologists have yet to find a culture that didn’t enjoy music, and according to zoologists it’s not just us.

Research out of Boston University and published in the journal Science, explores the tendency of birds and whales to follow the same rules as human music. Both birds and whales have the ability to make sounds that AREN’T musical, but they don’t. They naturally prefer to stay in the realm of human composition. Birds have been known to sing in phrases and rhythms,even adding percussion. Some use logs to amplify their song, and follow call and response methods favored by jazz musicians. Humpback whale-song uses the A-B-A format of a musical phrase,followed by a new phrase, and then a return to an altered form of the first! The Beatles are known for A-B-A style, too!The researchers conclude musical pen chance can’t just be a human trait, but that animals are programmed to enjoy or follow the laws of harmonics.

A study done in 2001 on English cows found when cows were played songs while being milked the speed of the music affected how much milk they produced! Specifically, the cows liked slow jams. Fast songs over120 beats per minute caused milk production to drop, but slow songs under 100 beats per minute increased production by three percent per day! Unfortunately, cows seem to hate Jamiroquai. Which makes me like them less. Neuroscientists at Harvard Medical School scanned the brains of people listening to music and found though the left hemisphere controls language and the right is considered the musical half, there was a QUOTE “subtle interplay,” between the two when listening to music. More recently, it was discovered jazz musicians process music not as an aesthetic pleasure, but as a LANGUAGE. Using fMRI scans on jazz musicians, they found our brains derive meaning from musical phrases — which sounds to ME a lot like like whales and birds!So why do animals like music? Scientists believe it’s built in! They like it for the same reasons we like it, it feels right, but more study is needed. Why do YOU think animals like music? If you are not into music, nor animals – check this out a new online.