There are many observations people make about pets. Some things can be trained. For example, if you always sing a certain melody to your pet while feeding it, it will eventually automatically respond to this melody.
But it does seem to be the case that animals react to music just like that. There are a lot of cute videos on YouTube, in which, for example, a girl plays the accordion in the cow pasture and suddenly the whole herd arrives. Or budgerigars nodding their heads to flute music. And elephants hitting the piano keys with their trunks.
Do the animals only react to melodies or also to rhythm?
It has been observed in elephants and a few other animal species, for example, that animals also bob along with the rhythm. A study from Japan has proven this methodologically for the first time. For this purpose, rats were equipped with movement trackers. They were then played music by Mozart, but also by Lady Gaga and Queen, for example. This study shows not only that rats have an innate sense of tact, but also that they respond to rhythms very similar to humans.
Can you tell what kind of music animals like? Is there any research on this?
There are really very amusing anecdotes. A researcher, for example, put feeding stations with different music styles in front of birds. Most bird species stay seated the longest when listening to classical music, eg by Debussy. Finches and Sparrows took a liking to Metallica instead.
Cows also seem to like slow songs like Simon & Garfunkel. Researchers have found that they then produce 3 percent more milk. The Beatles, on the other hand, were not so well received.
Heavy Metal seems to be received very differently overall. Ladybugs and mosquitoes don’t seem to like it at all, while great whites like AC/DC’s music, or more likely the vibrations it creates in the water.
Is there music especially for animals?
Yes, for cats for example. They have much more sensitive hearing than we humans do and probably don’t like most music for humans. An American research team once composed music especially for cats. There are, for example, certain frequencies and speeds that cats supposedly particularly like. I also listened to it once, on musicforcats.com – it has a lot of classical music and relaxation music.