Chimpanzees prefer African and Indian music over silence.
[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 40(4) of Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition (see record 2014-35305-001). For the article, the below files were used to create the audio used in this study. The original West African akan and North Indian raga pieces were used in their entirety and the Japanese taiko piece was used from the 0:19 second mark through the end. The tempo of each piece was adjusted so that they maintained an identical base tempo of 90 beats per minute, then looped to create 40 minutes of continuous music. Additionally, the volume of the music was standardized at 50 dB so that the all music maintained the same average amplitude. All audio manipulations were completed using GarageBand © (Apple Inc.).] All primates have an ability to distinguish between temporal and melodic features of music, but unlike humans, in previous studies, nonhuman primates have not demonstrated a preference for music. However, previous research has not tested the wide range of acoustic parameters present in many different types of world music. The purpose of the present study is to determine the spontaneous preference of common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) for 3 acoustically contrasting types of world music: West African akan, North Indian raga, and Japanese taiko. Sixteen chimpanzees housed in 2 groups were exposed to 40 min of music from a speaker placed 1.5 m outside the fence of their outdoor enclosure; the proximity of each subject to the acoustic stimulus was recorded every 2 min. When compared with controls, subjects spent significantly more time in areas where the acoustic stimulus was loudest in African and Indian music conditions. This preference for African and Indian music could indicate homologies in acoustic preferences between nonhuman and human primates. .