Published Sep 03, 2009In a new UK study that we can only describe as absolutely awesome, researchers have found that Metallica's music (at least circa '91) calms monkeys. Yes, it calms the little guys.
The study was released on Tuesday (September 1) in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters and here's how it went down, according to the Guardian.
Researchers composed music inspired by monkey sounds and played 14 cotton-top tamarins 30-second snippets of human music, as well as said monkey tunage. The monkeys reacted positively to the monkey music that was inspired by calming monkey sounds and were agitated by the monkey music that was inspired by more alarming monkey sounds.
Of the human music played, which included Nine Inch Nails' "The Fragile," Tool's "The Grudge" and American modern classical composer Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings," only Metallica's 1991 tune "Of Wolf and Man" got any reaction from the monkeys. The weird thing is, the Metallica song - like the calming monkey music - actually calmed the monkeys down, instead of aggravating them, which would be the obvious prediction.
Perhaps this is anecdotal but we recall a lot of long-haired apes getting pretty angry about Metallica's music in 1991. Had the researchers played something off of the band's 1983 debut, Kill 'Em All, the simians' responses may have been different.
But, seriously, this Metallica finding is actually a pretty big deal, says the Guardian, and could lead researchers to rethink "animal husbandry guidelines," as it showed that monkeys rarely respond positively to human music.
But as Chuck Snowdon, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, was quoted as saying rather humourously, "Lots of primate research laboratories use radios to provide what is called 'enrichment' for their animals, but you can't expect another species to be interested in our music just because we are human. Why should a tamarin find our music comforting? I find the monkey music quite irritating."