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How easy is it to understand music and at what capacity do other animals understand it?

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This was the question that music composer David Teie wanted to find the answer to, sparking a comprehensive theory, called species-specific music, that attempts to explain the cognitive processes involved in any species’ comprehension and appreciation of different music.

Teie teamed up with Charles Snowdon, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies animal behavior, to create music that each species would have a unique response to. They first studied the effect of David’s species-specific music on cotton-top tamarin monkeys, resulting in the first controlled study that demonstrated significant and appropriate responses to music from any species other than human.

And now it’s the kitties’ turn.

The songs meant for felines have vocalizations with more sliding qualities and pitch changes than compared to human speech or music.

The tempos for Teie’s meow mix includes purring and the sucking sound of kittens nursing.

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The kitty ditties, cat ballads, and feline airs—as the various tunes are called—aren’t just cat sounds. They’re “actual music that has themes, repetitions, and variations,” Snowdon told National  Geographic.

To test the music, Snowdon visited 47 different homes with pet cats, and played 2 classical music songs and 2 songs that were specifically composed for the cats.

The pets responded most positively to these custom cat compositions by approaching or rubbing up against the speaker more quickly than when they heard the other songs, according to the study, published in February in the journal Applied Animal Behavior.

This specific type of music may be of great use for traumatized or sheltered cats, having a calming effect when played.

Here are a few other unique animal tracks:

For more species-specific tracks, check out this link.

What are your thoughts on animal specific music? Would you buy these tunes for your pets? Share with us below!


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