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Category Archives: Music And Cats

Music To Your (Cat’s) Ears

You know that music you play for your cats when you’re away? It’s just white noise to them. But what they might really like is music for cats by David Teie.

 

Could this kitten be listening to music for cats by David Teie?

Could this kitten be listening to music for cats by David Teie?

If you leave a radio on for your cats when you’re not at home, they probably appreciate the “white noise.” But a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison psychologist Charles Snowdon shows that whatever they’re listening to isn’t exactly music to their ears.

Turns out that species other than humans can enjoy music, but it has to be in the frequency range that species use to communicate and with tempos they would normally use.

Snowdon first tested this theory, suggested by musician David Teie, on cotton-topped tamarin monkeys. While they showed little interest in music written for humans, Teie says they “displayed a marked increase of activity” when they heard music he composed just for them.

As he explains it on his website, “all mammals are born with templates of sound in the brain that govern emotional response. Many of these templates come as ‘standard equipment’ and are not always learned…

“If someone were to scream in your presence your heart rate would increase; there is no way for you to prevent it. You would not, however, respond similarly to the alarm call of a squirrel.