What Are The Effects Of Music On Animals?

To animals’ ears, human music can be stressful. However, the researchers managed to “animate it”, making versions adapted to each species.
What are the effects of music on animals?

It has always intrigued us to know if music has an effect on animals. While it’s easy to experiment with our own pets, only science has managed to reveal how some animals react to musical stimulation.

Although there are several studies using different research strategies with different animal species,  there is still no unequivocal answer.  Below, we’ll look at some interesting examples to reflect on the subject.

The blue Danube, number one in canine music

A study of 161 dogs living in a shelter evaluated the effect of different melodies and genders on canine behavior. Classical music, more specifically Strauss’s Blue Danube, was found to reduce anxiety.

music effects on animals

Thus, a significant increase in sleep time and a decrease in barking were observed . On the other hand, the effect of  heavy metal seemed not to be so positive, as there was an increase in barking, less sleep time and constant agitation.

In short, all the symptoms that a true metalhead might not have when listening to his favorite genre before going to sleep.

Muuu music for the ears

Like dogs, cows also prefer classical music.  Significantly shorter milking times were reported while the cows listened to great classics.

Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony andSimon & Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water were big hits in the milking shed.

These songs produced modest increases of 3% in milk production. On the other hand, when cattle were exposed to loud songs such as  Mud’s Tiger Feet and  Wonder Stuff’s Size of a Cow , there was no increase in milk production.

music effects on animals

For quails, variety is the salt of life

In 2016, a Filipino group released a study on how different types of music influence the performance, egg quality, behavior and economics of raising Japanese quail.

In the study,  a total of 165 puppies, divided into 5 groups, were submitted to 12 continuous hours of music for four months.  The study groups were: control (no music) and mix of various genres: classical,  heavy metal, reggae.

The analysis revealed that  quail exposed to random and classical music had higher final body weight compared to the other groups. Egg quality was also higher in groups with random and classical music.

Mozart adapted for rodents

music effects on animals

Recently,  a study set out to determine the effect of music on memory and learning. The work used forty rats, exposed for ten minutes a day, for 10 weeks.

For this, a ‘rodent’ version of the Sonata for two pianos in D major, by Mozart , was produced  . The version was twice as fast and an octave higher than the original.

The groups of rats received the musical stimuli before (‘A’), during (‘D’) and before and during (‘AD’) the memory test. The control group of rats (‘C’) was kept silent.

The animals’ spatial learning and memory capacity were tested in an 8-arm radial maze. In the end, the authors reported that rats exposed to music before and during (‘AD’) showed significant improvement in task acquisition.

a passing improvement

It is interesting to note that the effect of the music was temporary. When testing the champion group  4 hours after treatment, the observed improvement had disappeared.

It was clear that modified music to fit the hearing range of rodents improves labyrinth learning ability and memory performance if they receive musical stimuli before and during the tests.

The results are promising, as they allow the development of a mouse model to study human memory disorders.

Music can be a positive stimulus

In conclusion, this body of studies shows that music can be a universal force for expression and care. Thus,  music can shape the emotions of humans and animals.

It remains to be seen what will be revealed by further research on the relationship between animals and music. Mainly songs adapted to your ears.

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