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How Does Music Affect Animal Behavior?

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Pippa Corbett Profile
Pippa Corbett answered
You may think that the relationship between music and animal behavior sounds like something you'd hear about in a modern dog-training class, but in actual fact 'zoomusicology' is a field that's been studied since the 11th century.

Music and its effect on animals
Zoomusicology is the term given to the study of how musical sounds affect animals, and one of the earliest studies into the subject was conducted by an Arab scientist called Ibn al-Haytham in the 11th century AD.

Whilst humans might find whale songs and bird chirps pleasant to the ear, a lot less is known about how animals react to our idea of music.

One article on healthypet.au suggests that playing your dog soothing music can help it to calm down.

Because animals ears and brains are wired differently from humans', it's probably safe to assume that animals 'hear' sounds very differently from the way in which people perceive them.

Nevertheless, I've come across many anecdotal stories of dogs and cats reacting to different types of music (my cats love it when I play The Cure's Lovecats to them).

On the other hand, an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle claims that scientists have been able to prove that human music has little effect on the mood of animals.

According to the study (conducted by an orchestra cellist and a university psychologist), the monkeys sampled in the research simply ignored the symphonic music played to them, but clearly reacted to pre-recorded 'musical' sounds made by shrieking tamarin monkeys.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Different animals have different behavior, and music affects animals in different ways.

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