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By Anastasia Iliou

Music is more than a human phenomenon. It can gather emotional reactions from animals in the same way that it can from people. One 2012 study even proved that dogs are relaxed when listening to classical music, and stressed when listening to heavy metal - a reaction that is identical in most humans. It’s not just household pets, either - an earlier study from 2001 proved that cows produce more milk when provided with music (see how this herd reacted to jazz)!
Diary Farm Seranade
As humans, we tend to prefer music that falls within our own range. That’s why a female singer like Ariana Grande is more likely to be popular among young girls, while a man with a more gravelly voice like Zac Brown is more likely to be popular among older men. According to LiveScience.Com, animals work the same way. Your cat or dog is most likely to respond to music that happens right down the middle of their hearing range.  
Bigger dogs are likely to react to the same music as adult male humans. Think about the range at which a dog barks - it is often similar to male vocal artists. Cats meow at a much higher pitch and are less likely to react to human music than dogs (especially big dogs).
Cat with Instrument
It’s not only household pets that react to music, but also, maybe even more so, bigger land mammals like elephants - infact, a British pianist and composer spends his time playing for sick and injured elephants, who typically respond by swaying to the music, trumpeting, or even touching the piano; attempting to join in on the fun!
Elephants and Classical Music
Let’s not leave out the animals that make their own music! Birds are probably the first creature you think of when you think of animals making music, but what about frogs, whales, or bugs? These creatures emit sounds that most wouldn’t consider music, but they tend to keep an intentional rhythm and pitch, which, by definition, is music. Some of these creatures have what we might call talent. Scientists even tested birds and fish to see if they could differentiate between classical composers, and they could! Any cat or dog could run across a piano or claw at a guitar and make “music,” but not all animals can actually understand the sounds that they make and the structure that is rhythm and harmony.
Duck and Piano / Issue 195 - July 2018
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