by Natalie Wilson
Music is a universal art form appreciated by every culture around the globe. Music has existed for thousands of years and has accompanied humans throughout their evolutionary processes. Two bone flutes, dating back to between 42,000 and 43,000 years ago, were found in 2012 and demonstrate the strong bond humans have had with music throughout history. Since music is such an integral part of the human experience, it’s only natural to want to share the art form with your pet.
Music has the power to bring us joy, but it’s important to keep in mind that the music we listen to has been designed for human ears. Your pet won’t necessarily process music the same way you do. Therefore, the first step to finding music your pet will like is identifying some key characteristics of your animal.
Here are some tips for finding music your pet will enjoy:
1. Identify their preferred natural environments
By identifying the natural environments of your pet, you’ll be able to determine what kinds of sounds will appeal most to your animal. For example, Music for Cats has incorporated sounds that are natural to felines, such as sounds that mimic purring or meowing. Music for dogs will incorporate sounds that your dog would hear when enjoying a walk, such as crickets, seagulls, and the sound of a human voice. In order to choose music that your pet will love, ask yourself when your pet is the happiest.
What kind of sounds is typically floating around in the air in these moments? Your pets ideal music will likely contain some of these sounds.
2. Consider their natural acoustic range
If you consider the music many of us enjoy, much of it tends to fall within our natural vocal range. This allows us to sing along to songs we enjoy and prevents the tones from becoming too murky for our brains to process. Other animals have a much different acoustic range than we do.
For example, elephants can produce sounds as low as 1 to 20 Hz, which is much too low for human ears to pick up. To give you a better idea of how low these sounds truly are, the lowest key on the piano is about 27 Hz. By considering the natural acoustic range your pet’s ears are designed to listen to, you’ll be able to pick music accordingly.
3. Consider their hearing abilities
Another important thing to consider is your pet’s hearing abilities. The music we listen to is designed for our human ears, so it’s important to remember that biologically, hearing abilities change from species to species. “Loud” music is played at a level humans would consider loud. Likewise, soft music is played at a level humans would consider soft. Have you ever considered that soft music for us might be loud music for an animal with sophisticated hearing abilities, such as a dog? This might mean that human loud music will be overwhelming for these animals, and they may not even be able to appreciate the pitches and harmonies because the volume is simply too much for their ears.
When choosing music for your pet, pick a volume range that you think will leave your animal feeling relaxed. Classical guitars are a great instrument to use when playing a pet with strong hearing abilities music because they are usually very soft and relaxing. If you’d like to learn more about the difference between classical and acoustic guitars, take a look at this article. Additionally, some animals rely more on vibrations from the ground than sound waves in the air.
For example, mole rats use head-banging actions to communicate with their neighbors. This means they are naturally accustomed to “listening” by feeling a vibration with their bodies. Mole rats and other pets with a similar biologic make-up will most likely enjoy music that produces a noticeable vibration for them to feel.
Hopefully, these tips on how to find music your pet will like were helpful. Remember to consider your pet’s biology when choosing appropriate music. What is your pet’s ideal environment? What kind of range should their music incorporate? Do they have really sensitive hearing abilities? All of these questions will allow you to introduce music to your pet in the best way possible.
About the author:
I work as a session guitarist, and guitar teacher, and I would like to use my music blog as a personal outlet to share my six-string knowledge with the world.