Do Animals Like Music?


Humans are obviously pretty excited about
music. But what if you’re a whale, or a cow, or a dog? Do animals like music? Hello music-lovers, Trace here with the beat
from the street on DNews — 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 penchance
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 over 120 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 and psychologists have studied
the human brain looking for clues to why we love music so much, and we’ve talked about
some of the connections in the past on DNews. 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? Comment
below and subscribe and you know what… tweet your favorite songs @DNews Jared will add
them to our Spotify playlist DNews Jamz! Come listen to music with us. Thanks for watching!