David Teie, an accomplished orchestral cellist, put his theory on music appreciation in mammals into action by launching a Kickstarter campaign to compose an album designed to appeal specifically to cats.
Photo by David Teie/Kickstarter
WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 (UPI) — David Teie, an accomplished orchestral cellist, put his theory on music appreciation in mammals into action by launching a Kickstarter campaign to compose an album designed to appeal specifically to cats.
Teie’s campaign became a massive success raising over $200,000, 10 times itsoriginal goal, after just a month on Kickstarter.
Teie’s research was founded on the principle that all mammals develop an appreciation for music based on sounds present in the early stages of their development.
“Most of [humans’] sense of music comes from the womb. We form an understanding of rhythm from our mother’s pulse,” Teie said in his Kickstarter campaign video. “But cats establish theirs after birth through the sounds around them, like birds chirping or suckling for milk.”
He incorporated these sounds along with cats natural vocalizations and matched it to their frequency range to create Music for Cats.
His theory was backed up by a scientific study as well as by sending his music to famous Internet cats.
Most animals don’t groove to human beats, but they will respond to music that’s tailored to their hearing abilities, ongoing research shows.
Enter Music for Cats, the team’s latest project. Created by University of Maryland composer David Teie, these songs are meant for felines, whose vocalizations have more sliding qualities and pitch changes than do human speech or music.
The tempos for their meow mix includes purring and the sucking sound of kittens nursing. (See “What Do Cats Think About Us? You May Be Surprised.“)
Listen to one of the two cat songs from Music for Cats.
The kitty ditties, cat ballads, and feline airs—as the various tunes are called—aren’t just cat sounds. They’re “actual music that has themes, repetitions, and variations,” Snowdon notes.
But are they music to cat ears? In recent experiments, Snowdon and Megan Savage—now a Ph.D. student at the University of Binghamton, in New York—visited the homes of 47 pet cats and played four sound samples in each home: two classical music clips and two “cat songs.”
The pets responded most positively to these custom cat compositions by approaching or rubbing up against the speaker more quickly than when they heard the other songs, according to the study, published in February in the journal Applied Animal Behavior.
Such cat music may have the benefit of calming stressed shelter cats or pet kitties left home alone, Snowdon notes.