Java Sparrows Go for Baroque

For the last for a while of the lighter side series of classical music research, it so happens that S. Watanabe and and M. Nemoto continued their work with Java Sparrows:

The reinforcing property of music for Java sparrows was examined in a chamber with three perches. One of the end perches produced music by Bach while the other perch produced music by Schoenberg. Two of four birds significantly stayed longer on the perch associated with Bach music and retained their preference of Bach to Schoenberg when other pieces of music by Bach and Schoenberg were used. These two birds also preferred Vivaldi to Carter, suggesting preference for classical music over modern music [emphasis added]. One of the two birds that did not show a preference between Bach and Schoenberg preferred Bach to a white noise, but the remaining one did not show any musical preference to noise. These results suggest that Java sparrows have musical preference and that the reinforcing properties depend on individuals.


a mating pair of java sparrows perched on a branch just long enough for the two of them

Java Sparrows, Cream (Padda Oryzivora)

Admittedly this is a small sample, but if these birds prefer Bach, perhaps your pets will, too! My own pets used to line up by the door when I sang (I no longer have pets) when they could easily have wandered off to another part of the yard. And what classical pianist with a cat hasn’t had the cat jumping up on the piano when practice begins?

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