The science of animal music preferences

Featured on Episode 2
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Dr. Charles Snowdon's research started with monkey sounds.

It was back in 1969 when he began studying the squirrel-sized cotton-toptamarin monkey.

 A cotton-top tamarin © Wikimedia

A cotton-top tamarin
© Wikimedia

HOW HIS RESEARCH STARTED

Dr. Snowdon was researching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, investigating the vocal and chemical communication signals as well as their social development and cognition of the cotton-top tamarin monkey. 

SHIFTING TO MUSIC MAKING

It happened in 2009 when he teamed up with a cellist from the National Symphony Orchestra, David Teie to craft music for the monkeys. The pair identified the vocalizations made by the mammals and composed music to mirror it.

The study showed that it's not just humans who engage with music. 

COMPOSING FOR CATS

From there, Snowdon and Teie started composing music for cats. They used the same technique as they did when developing the monkey music.

They began by identifying how felines communicate and what frequencies they are able to hear. 

The result is music for cats. 

You can buy or listen to the music over at Music for Cats