chimpanse

photo by Thomas Lersch (source: wikimedia commons)

A recent study shows that chimpanzees may actually enjoy music.

Labeled as the closest animal cousin to humans, chimpanzees were never really previously tested when it came to a love for music. In order to do any such testing, researchers would need to find a subject of any species that has never been exposed to music (which is a difficult thing to do these days). Luckily, Kazuhide Hashiya of Kyushu University in Fukoka, Japan, discovered a chimpanzee who fit the bill perfectly.

Sakura, a 17-week-old female rejected by her mother, was raised by humans away from sources like CD players, radios and televisions. Posted in the journal Primates, the study involved giving this little chimp a string to pull, in order to replay classical minuets after hearing snippets of them. Some of the minuets were consonant (harmonious) while others were dissonant (inconsistent).

Survey says: Sakura prefers harmonious music 55% more often than its discordant counterpart. At the very least, this much may prove that humans and chimps have a similar taste in music, not to mention that both also seem to get more pleasure out of harmonious things than absolute chaos. More research needs to be done, however, but it is an interesting start, to say the least.