Humans aren’t the only ones able to be moved by music.
Joining forces with the Animal-Computer Interaction research team at Aalto University’s Department of Computer Science, a team of Finnish scientists have developed a sound device for a group of saki monkeys at Helsinki’s Korkeasaari Zoo to use to play and listen to music.
The tunnel-shaped device, which has a plywood floor and transparent acrylic roof and is able to reproduce sound, was placed in the monkeys’ habitat in the zoo. The animals were able to physically turn it on by themselves, eventually developing tastes or aversion to certain types of beats and sounds—including electronic music.
Not much is known about the audio preferences of primates, so the researchers decided to load a quartet of different styles into the device and study the animals’ habits. According to Phys.org, the four different soundtracks they chose were carefully curated and refrained from including loud noises or any sounds that could be misconstrued as prey. The scientists allowed the sakis to choose “calm music,” “fast-paced electronic music,” or the sounds of traffic, rain, or silence.
“Sounds are really important to many animals in their communication with each other,” said Kirsi Pynnönen-Oudman, research coordinator at Korkeasaari Zoo. “The rainforest is full of different sounds, and little monkeys are supposed to be sensitive to different sounds.”
At the end of the day, the monkeys didn’t take to EDM. They preferred the sound of traffic instead. Maybe they need to be introduced to some bass music from Dirt Monkey.