Scientists create chill-out music for monkeys

By | September 4, 2009

MetallicaThe only human music that calmed the monkeys was Metallica. Photograph: Andy Fossum/Rex Features

Monkey melodies inspired by the animals’ calls had a calming effect, hinting at how human music may have evolved

Music inspired by the soothing calls of contented monkeys relaxes the animals when it is played back to them, researchers have discovered.

Researchers composed “monkey melodies” to investigate whether non-human primates are capable of responding to music with the same emotions as people.

They found that while monkeys were left cold by human music, they reacted emotionally to tunes that incorporated features commonly heard in monkey calls, such as rising and falling tones.

Tamarin monkeys lounged around and ate more when they heard music inspired by the calming sounds the animals make when they are safe, the study found.Music based on more fearful monkey calls made the animals agitated and anxious when it was played in their enclosure. …

In the study, 14 cotton-top tamarins were played 30-second blasts of music while the researchers noted any changes in their behaviour. The animals were played Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and a soft piano piece from The Fragile by rock band Nine Inch Nails, followed by Metallica‘s Of Wolf and Man and an excerpt from The Grudge by rock band Tool.

They then heard the specially composed monkey music.

The only human music that elicited any response was the heavy metal band Metallica, whose music had the unexpected effect of calming the monkeys.

via Scientists create chill-out music for monkeys | Science | guardian.co.uk.

Here is a link to the music researcher screated that soothes a monkey.  “This sample was inspired by the calm sounds the animals make when they are safe.” Comparing the two, the background vocals on “Shape Shift” and “Earth’s gift” rise in a similar way to a safe contented monkey.

Leave a Reply