Don’t Bother Playing Music for Chimpanzees. They Don’t Care.

I have no idea what you can do with this, but it did appear at Phys.org.

Playing music to captive chimpanzees has no positive effect on their welfare, researchers have concluded.

Previous research conducted with living in laboratories has suggested that playing music has positive effects on the ‘ welfare, however, other research with zoo-housed primates has yielded mixed results.

Many zoos continue to broadcast music to their primates either as a form of enrichment or for the enjoyment of caregivers.

Research conducted by Dr Emma K Wallace, from the University of York’s Department of Psychology, investigated how classical and pop/rock music affected the behaviour of the chimpanzees at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo to establish if it impacted positively or negatively on their welfare.

Further research involved a ‘chimpanzee jukebox’ , which allowed the chimpanzees at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo and the National Centre for Chimpanzee Care, Texas, the option to choose whether they wanted to listen to classical music, pop/rock music or silence.

Some of the music that the chimpanzees were able to select included work by Mozart, Beethoven, Adele and Justin Bieber.

The combined results of these studies show that neither classical nor pop/rock music has a positive on the welfare of these chimpanzees. They also did not show any consistent or persistent preferences for either type of music or silence.

Dr Wallace said: “These results suggest that music is not something that is relevant to and are supported by recent work with zoo-housed orangutans that were unable to distinguish music from digitally scrambled noise.

Maybe they should have tried Gorillaz or Arctic Monkeys. Makes you wonder what Bubbles was thinking all those years he spent with Michael Jackson. Read more here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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