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How Animals Respond to Music

Claudia Miclaus
Beautiful music is thought to have a wonderful effect on man's mind and spirit. It is known to have a leading effect on the human soul, as it leads it to states like joy or sadness. The same thing is likely to happen to animals. You might have noticed your cat leaving the room when you listen to a hard rock piece, and seen it relaxing to a slow tune.
If animals like a particular piece of music, they come closer to the source that produces it in order to fully enjoy it. Music can even have a soothing effect on an animal that is ill. The same thing is known to happen to plants, which can blossom to certain musical works.
One explanation to this phenomenon might be that plants and animals are a part of the same creation as humans, and are likely to respond to the same stimuli and find peace, bliss, beauty, and joy in the same things.
Tranquility-inducing music is believed to ease both physical pain and psychological disturbances caused by loneliness, sadness, different traumas, or any other negative emotions in an animal.
It is also believed that animals that are very fond of their owners are likely to absorb their feelings and sicknesses, and music can have a positive influence on their spirits as well. It probably comes from the environment, where birds of all sorts produce wonderful, calming, and soothing music which is in perfect harmony with the various sounds of nature.
One thing that many people are unaware of is that animals, just like children, suffer from things they cannot understand. They are also affected by things like financial problems, broken or difficult relationships, and many other worries that their owners have.
All these are the side-effects of the much-praised civilization and technological evolution of today. Although they cannot explain it or completely grasp it, animals have certain negative sensations related to the negative aspects of modern life.
Animals living in the wilderness may never have to go through all this stress, as they follow their natural cycle of life, living where they are meant to, and being at ease.
However, for our pets, it can sometimes be quite damaging to adapt to our unnatural lifestyle. We can still try to use civilization for a good purpose and help them cope with the stress, by giving them the opportunity to enjoy some calming music.
In Chicago, Lincoln Park, a study was conducted to see what effects were produced by playing the violin to some animals there. The results were very interesting. The panthers seemed to greatly enjoy peaceful tunes like 'Home, Sweet Home', as did a lioness and her cubs, and a jaguar.
The lioness and her cubs were interested from the start, though when the violinist approached the cage, the mother gave a hiss and the cubs hid behind her. When the violinist played a lively jig, the cubs stood up on their hind legs and peeped over at the player.
When the musician retreated from the cage, the animals came to the front and did not move back when he gradually drew near, so close as to almost touch their paws which were thrust through the bars. When playing 'Home, Sweet Home,' the entire family seemed very attentive, and were motionless except for the cubs turning their heads from side to side.
The coyotes in the den squatted in a semicircle and sat silently while the music continued. When it ceased, they ran up and pawed at the player through the bars. He began afresh, and they again formed a silent semicircle. This experiment was tried several times with the same results.
It is proven that music does affect animals. It can be a great medium for putting any distressed animal at ease, thus helping it.