Do Animals Like Music?

Eddy Villa

The question of whether animals like music is one that has long been debated by animal behavior experts and the general public alike. While it is difficult to say definitively whether or not animals have preferences for certain types of music, many animals do seem to respond to music in various ways.

Some studies have shown that certain types of music can have a calming effect on animals, while other types of music may cause them to become agitated. Additionally, certain animals, such as birds, seem to be more sensitive to the rhythms and melodies of music and may be more likely to respond to music that is similar to their own vocalizations.

In this article, we will explore the various ways in which animals may respond to music and discuss the research that has been carried out on the topic. We will also consider the individual differences among animals and the importance of considering each animal’s unique personality and preferences.

Individual differences among animals

It is important to consider that each animal is an individual, and what one animal finds calming or enjoyable may not be the same for another.

Classical music and dogs

Research has shown that classical music can have a calming effect on dogs. For example, a 2020 study by Animals MDPI Basel found that classical music had a calming effect on dogs in a shelter. The study exposed the dogs to different types of music and found that they were more relaxed and behaved better when classical music was played. The researchers suggested that the calming effect of classical music on dogs may be due to the slow tempo and lack of lyrics, which could be less stimulating for the animals.

Slow music and cows

Some research has suggested that playing slow music for cows can increase their milk production. For example, a 2001 study from the University Of Lincolnshire found that cows produced more milk when slow music was played for them. The researchers suggested that the calming effect of the slow music may have contributed to the increased milk production.

Music made for cats

Composer creates music just for cats and they love it - listen here

Some researchers have composed music specifically for cats, with the aim of creating a calming effect on the animals. For example, a 2016 study by Frontiers In Psychology found that cats showed a preference for music that was specifically composed for them and that had a similar rhythm to their purring. The researchers suggested that the music may have had a calming effect on the cats, as they tended to spend more time resting when the music was played.

Music and baboons

Some research has suggested that music can have a calming effect on baboons and can lead to a lower heart rate. For example, a study published in 1996 found that baboons exposed to music had a lower heart rate than those that were not exposed to music. The researchers suggested that the calming effect of the music may have contributed to the lower heart rate.

Overall, it is clear that the effects of music on animals can vary depending on the species, the individual animal, and the type of music being played. It is important to consider these individual differences when exposing animals to music and to be mindful of the potential effects on their behavior and well-being.

Calming effects of music on animals

Calming Music for Your Dog

Research has shown that certain types of music can have a calming effect on animals, particularly in situations where they may be stressed or anxious.

For example, a 2020 study by Animals MDPI Basel found that classical music had a calming effect on dogs in a shelter. The study exposed the dogs to different types of music and found that they were more relaxed and behaved better when classical music was played. The researchers suggested that the calming effect of classical music on dogs may be due to the slow tempo and lack of lyrics, which could be less stimulating for the animals.

Similarly, a 2021 study from Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University found that horses were more relaxed when exposed to classical music, and that they tended to be more agitated when exposed to heavy metal music. The researchers suggested that the calming effect of classical music on horses may be due to its slow tempo and repetitive structure, which could be perceived as less threatening by the animals.

Agitation caused by music

ANIMALS and POWER OF MUSIC 🎼🎷📢

While some types of music may have a calming effect on animals, other types of music can cause them to become agitated.

For example, a 2021 study from Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University found that horses were more agitated when exposed to heavy metal music. The researchers observed that the horses had an increased heart rate, respiration rate, and behavior changes when exposed to the heavy metal music, compared to when they were exposed to classical music or no music at all.

It is important to note that what may be perceived as agitated behavior in animals may not necessarily be negative or unpleasant for the animal. For instance, some animals may become more active or energetic when exposed to certain types of music, which could be seen as a positive response.

It is also important to consider the individual differences among animals and the specific context in which the music is being played. What may cause one animal to become agitated may not have the same effect on another animal, and the same type of music may have different effects on an animal depending on the situation. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the potential effects of music on animals and to use caution when exposing them to music, especially in situations where they may be stressed or anxious.

Sensitivity to rhythms and melodies

Dave Grohl and Animal Drum Battle - The Muppets

Certain animals, such as birds, seem to be particularly sensitive to the rhythms and melodies of music and may be more likely to respond to music that is similar to their own vocalizations.

For example, some bird species are known to sing complex melodies and to mimic sounds, including music. In fact, some research has suggested that birds may be more likely to respond to music that is similar to their own vocalizations, as they may perceive it as a form of communication.

Other research has suggested that birds may be more responsive to music that is played in a similar way to their own vocalizations, such as through the use of repetition and variation.

It is worth noting that the extent to which animals are sensitive to music may vary depending on the species and individual. Some animals may show little or no response to music, while others may seem to be more attuned to it. Additionally, the specific effects of music on animals may depend on the type of music and the individual animal’s personality and preferences.

Previous research on the topic

Zoo gives animals musical instruments

There have been a number of studies conducted on the topic of animals and music, which have provided insights into the ways in which animals may respond to music and the potential effects on their behavior and well-being.

Calming effects of classical music on dogs

One example of research on the topic is a 2020 study by Animals MDPI Basel, which found that classical music had a calming effect on dogs in a shelter. The study exposed the dogs to different types of music and found that they were more relaxed and behaved better when classical music was played.

Agitation caused by heavy metal music on horses

Another example of research on the topic is a 2021 study from Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University, which found that horses were more agitated when exposed to heavy metal music. The researchers observed that the horses had an increased heart rate, respiration rate, and behavior changes when exposed to the heavy metal music, compared to when they were exposed to classical music or no music at all.

Sensitivity to rhythms and melodies in birds

A further example of research on the topic is a 2016 study by Frontiers In Psychology, which found that some bird species are sensitive to the rhythms and melodies of music and may be more likely to respond to music that is similar to their own vocalizations. The study exposed birds to different types of music and found that they were more likely to respond to music that was similar to their own vocalizations and that was played in a similar way to their own vocalizations, through the use of repetition and variation.

Overall, these and other studies have provided valuable insights into the ways in which animals may respond to music and the potential effects on their behavior and well-being. However, it is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of music on animals and to determine the best ways to use music to enhance their well-being.

Final Thoughts On Do Animals Like Music

Animalia's Orangutan Rambo is a musical genius ASMR

In conclusion, animals do have the capacity to perceive and respond to music in various ways. Some research has shown that certain types of music can have a calming effect on animals, while other types of music may cause them to become agitated. Certain animals, such as birds, seem to be particularly sensitive to the rhythms and melodies of music and may be more likely to respond to music that is similar to their own vocalizations.

It is important to consider that each animal is an individual, and what one animal finds calming or enjoyable may not be the same for another. The specific effects of music on animals may depend on the type of music and the individual animal’s personality and preferences.

Previous research on the topic has provided valuable insights into the ways in which animals may respond to music and the potential effects on their behavior and well-being. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of music on animals and to determine the best ways to use music to enhance their well-being.