Thursday, 3 September 2009

monkeys and metallica

What do you get when you combine a cellist/composer, a psychology professor, and monkeys? Monkey music, and research into the relationship between certain types of music and the emotional responses they provoke.

Music to Monkeys' Ears? Try Metallica, or the Metro
Making Music for Monkey Minds

The research is geared toward understanding human responses to music and the possibility of manipulating emotions through music. But the researchers needed test subjects who didn't already have emotional associations with particular kinds of tunes. So they turned to monkeys.

Twist two is that monkeys apparently don't think much of human music, so our composer/cellist/researcher had to write music just for monkeys, derived from the tones and tempos of their calls to each other. According to one Scientific American report, this monkey music sounded like a subway car in need of a tune-up or speed metal on speed.

As it turns out, of all the human music the monkeys were exposed to, they seemed to prefer Tool's "The Grudge" and Metallica's "Of Wolf and Man". I wonder if anyone tried playing blast beats for the monkeys?

see new american mind

No comments: