Yes, animals do enjoy music. But not OUR music.
- One has to wonder, if nonhuman animals could talk, would they be as naturally uninterested in our voices as they are our music? Even if the rate of their heartbeat is too fast or slow for the pace of conversation, the pitch of vocalizations is still vastly different between us and them.
- They have no relative pitch. Interpretation of pitch relationships is associated with language. My guess is that regularly paying attention to linguistic pitch patterning in every day speech is the reason that humans have relative pitch. Any musician knows that relative pitch is developed as you progress in your studies. So, do other species have the capacity for relative pitch latent until they start up with conversation? Or is it something they can't have?
- I generally lean towards any species-based differentiation that keeps the fundamental differences to a lower number. Occam's razor. I'm inclined to believe that relative pitch develops from discrimination of pitches and the ability to discern patterns and individually recreate crystallized paradigms - the same ability that we use to learn language as toddlers.
- Furthermore, some other species have better absolute pitch than us, which is something that many musicians would give their nose for. Perhaps this means that, when animals learn to talk, they'll be better musicians than us? Of course, we'll probably hate everything they make until it's played down two octaves and far slower than 'a tempo Canis'. But, my goodness, this image just gives me the collywobbles: a bunch of dogs in tails playing violins at the Met.
- Without language, we probably wouldn't have relative pitch, and therefore probably wouldn't have come up with music.
Listening to: St. Vincent, The National