Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
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How goldfish feel about music will interest you

It's obvious that songbirds have musical ability.  But fish?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying it's true.

Researchers at Japan’s Keio University have found that goldfish can tell one composer from another.

The scientists played music by two composers near a fish tank. They trained half the fish to nibble on a bead hanging in the tank when they heard classical music—Bach's Toccata in Fugue.  They trained the other half to nibble when they heard modern music—Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. When tested later, the fish chose the composer they were trained for, showing that they could distinguish between the properties of each piece of music.

The scientists had earlier trained sparrows on the same task with similar results.  The birds, however, seemed to prefer Bach over Stravinsky.  The researchers think this might be due to the tonal complexity and dissonance in the more modern Stravinsky works.

The experimenters did not rule out that it might be possible to tailor music to please animals.

By far the fish’s favorite music?  Scales!  Sorry.  Couldn’t resist.

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