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Bay Area Bird Blog » Birds like music. Kinda.
January
23rd 2008
Birds like music. Kinda.

Posted under bird behavior & entertainment & science

A letter to the editor in the Science Magazine issue of September, 2007 (sorry, I’m a little behind) says that birds like music.  The letter is by Austen Gess, and cites the work of J. McDermott, M.D. Hauser, S. Watanabe, K. Sato, and M. Nemoto.  It says these researchers have shown that Java sparrows can discriminate between Bach and Schoenberg (OK, but how hard is that?), and between other classical and modern composers too.  Given the option of three perches — silent, or one or the other of the musicians — “the sparrows preferred Bach to Schoenberg and Vivaldi to Carter.”  They also preferred Bach to silence, which is perhaps more remarkable.  No word on whether they prefer listening to Bach or to other birds.    

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