Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

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jserraglio
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Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jserraglio » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:35 am

WAPO—Even if you’re a longtime music fan, the name Terry Woodford might not ring a bell. But some of the artists with whom he worked as a songwriter, producer or engineer probably do: the Supremes, the Temptations and the Commodores.
In a music career that started in the early 1960s and spanned a quarter-century, Woodford was involved in generating successful songs for marquee names as well as less-famous acts. Some of Woodford’s collaborations still resonate: “Scratchin’,” an instrumental by Magic Disco Machine, has been sampled by Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC and dozens of other artists.
These days, however, Woodford’s musical creations don’t get played on the radio, haven’t been sampled by Cardi B and aren’t a powerful presence on Spotify. They’re played to dogs — lots of dogs.
“Canine Lullabies,” as Woodford calls his latest works, marry the sound of a human heartbeat to traditional lullabies. Imagine “London Bridge” but with New Age-y music and vocals atop an insistent thump-thump.
The tracks have been played at animal shelters across the country and beyond — including in Britain, India and Australia — to help reduce barking and generally lower the stress levels of their canine constituencies. And the folks who care for these homeless pooches give the tunes strong reviews.
Lisa Morrissey, a dog trainer and behaviorist who consults with shelters in Pasco County, Fla., said she heard about “Canine Lullabies” in 2016 while researching the burgeoning genre of music meant to pacify shelter dogs.
“I was looking for aids to help calm dogs arriving into a high-volume, high-anxiety and incredibly stressful environment,” she wrote in an email. “I have found the shelter dogs respond and calm faster listening to ‘Canine Lullabies,’ versus other calming/separation anxiety music.”
But Woodford’s dog music wasn’t originally intended for dogs. The origin of “Canine Lullabies” was something of a happy accident, a byproduct of one of Woodford’s previous missions: to create tunes that would quiet crying babies. Woodford, 75, said he was serving as a judge at an arts festival in Huntsville, Ala., in 1985 when he met a woman who worked as a recreational therapist at day-care centers. She challenged him to create music “that’s not so condescending for our kids.”
“Are you kidding me? I’m a big-time record producer!” he recalled thinking, affecting a puffed-up, self-mocking tone. “I don’t want to make music for kids!”
Yet he rose to the challenge. Rather than reinvent the wheel and compose entirely fresh music, Woodford figured he’d use traditional lullabies, devising the wrinkle of adding the heartbeat. The notion was that listening to it would remind babies of hearing the heartbeat of a person holding them. He says it worked, both at hospital nurseries and at the homes of newborns.
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“If we’re in a chaotic environment, we’re drawn towards structure and order,” Woodford said, offering his explanation for the music’s cross-species enchantment. “So these songs, the lullabies, are very simply structured. And then I think not only the babies, but also the animals are drawn to the human compassion in the singer’s voice, and the familiarity of the heartbeat.”
So what was previously called “Heartbeat Lullabies” is now known as “Canine Lullabies,” and it represents part of a tiny subgenre of music now used to soothe shelter dogs. Other offerings include iCalm for Dogs, “Relax My Dog” and what may constitute the latest, if unofficial, entry in the field: “Song for Daisy,” a 15-minute track by singer-songwriter Gnash — best known for his hit “i hate u, i love u” — composed last year to help pacify his adopted Maltese terrier, Daisy.
Research exploring music’s impact on animal shelter residents has tended to yield positive findings. For example, a 2002 study that tested the impact of a variety of musical styles on the behavior and barking of shelter dogs found that classical music encourages relaxation and quiet, while heavy metal does largely the opposite; a 2012 study largely echoed those findings. A 2017 study determined that shelter dogs responded slightly better when exposed to reggae or soft rock, as opposed to Motown, pop or classical. (As a measure of the seriousness of his undertaking, Gnash consulted the researchers of the 2017 study before fashioning “Song for Daisy.”)
Meanwhile, although Woodford says he is not uninterested in science, he will be the first to tell you that research played no role in spawning “Canine Lullabies.” Neither, for a long time, did anecdotal evidence from parents of newborn babies.
“I hate to admit this,” Woodford said, “but I got emails and phone calls for 13 years about how people would play the ‘Heartbeat Lullabies’ for their dog, and it would calm them and keep them from barking, and I just kind of said: ‘Oh, come on. . . . I mean, is this really real? Are you people reading things into this?’ ”
During those years, some shelters had started playing the music in their facilities. One was in Colorado Springs, where Woodford was living at the time. Upon paying a visit, he became a believer.
“I’m walking down the aisle, and all the dogs are jumping and barking, and [the shelter employee] had an old boombox in the corner,” said Woodford, who now lives in Muscle Shoals, Ala. “She turned it on, and within 15 seconds every dog laid down in their kennel, and it freaked me out.”
He soon took the same music and packaged it for dogs. Now, he estimates, it’s played in about 2,500 shelters.
The “Canine Lullabies” income hasn’t exactly dwarfed Woodford’s earnings from his music biz days: He provides CDs, or downloads, for free to shelters, rescues and animal clinics. And some have come back for more.
Recently, Woodford said, he received an email from a manager at the Humane Society for Hamilton County in Noblesville, Ind., requesting a CD. She noted that the shelter already has a copy.
“But we play it so much,” the manager wrote, “it has become worn and damaged.”
Duncan Strauss is a longtime journalist and host of WMNF Tampa’s weekly radio program “Talking Animals.”
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jbuck919
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:29 am

It is "music hath charms to soothe the savage breast," not beast. It is the opening line of William Congreve's The Mourning Bride.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jserraglio » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:20 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:29 am
It is "music hath charms to soothe the savage breast," not beast. It is the opening line of William Congreve's The Mourning Bride.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, even in the present Age of Surfaces, that whosoever pursues trivial knowledge, foregoes that which is worth doing.

jbuck919
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:21 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:20 pm
jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:29 am
It is "music hath charms to soothe the savage breast," not beast. It is the opening line of William Congreve's The Mourning Bride.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, even in the present Age of Surfaces, that whosoever pursues trivial knowledge, foregoes that which is worth doing.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged" is a quotation from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and don't you ever again dare to criticize me for being good at what I am good at. May you be so lucky as to be good at something better. I have no intention of going down with the curse placed by the historian Macaulay when he observed a perfect pool shot. "Such perfection in a mere game is the sign of a wasted life." 😉

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by John F » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:35 pm

Actually, music does have charms to soothe at least one wild if not exactly savage beast. In the TV series "unlikely animal friends," a raccoon is shown in what looks like deep contentment with earbud headphones in its ears, and the narration says it's listening to classical music. Doesn't say what music in particular.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jserraglio » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:09 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:21 pm
"It is a truth universally acknowledged" is a quotation from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Q.E.D.
.

jbuck919
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:53 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:09 pm
jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:21 pm
"It is a truth universally acknowledged" is a quotation from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Q.E.D.
.
Which means "quod erat demonstrandum," meaning roughly "I have made my point." 😉
Last edited by jbuck919 on Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jserraglio » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:54 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:53 pm
jserraglio wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:09 pm
jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:21 pm
"It is a truth universally acknowledged" is a quotation from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Q.E.D.
.
Which means "quod est demonstrandum," meaning roughly "I have made my point." 😉
Ibid. But you missed the Oscar Wilde allusions.
Last edited by jserraglio on Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

lennygoran
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by lennygoran » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:19 am

John F wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:35 pm
Actually, music does have charms to soothe at least one wild if not exactly savage beast. In the TV series "unlikely animal friends," a raccoon is shown in what looks like deep contentment with earbud headphones in its ears, and the narration says it's listening to classical music.
We've had raccoons coming to our garden-that's why I have to take the bird feeders in every late afternoon-I hate them for this--I don't want them around-they don't deserve the Donizetti music I often play loudly as I work in the kitchen! Regards, Len :lol:

lennygoran
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by lennygoran » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:25 am

jserraglio wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:54 pm
Q.E.D.Which means "quod est demonstrandum," meaning roughly "I have made my point." 😉
Ibid.
I'm getting quite an education here-yeah I had to look up ibid too:

"Ibid. - Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibid.

Ibid. is an abbrevation for the Latin word ibīdem, meaning "in the same place", commonly used in an endnote, footnote, bibliography citation, or scholarly reference to refer to the source cited in the preceding note or list item.

Regards, Len

PS: And also Terry Woodford did not ring a bell. :(

jserraglio
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jserraglio » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:25 am

lennygoran wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:19 am
John F wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:35 pm
Actually, music does have charms to soothe at least one wild if not exactly savage beast. In the TV series "unlikely animal friends," a raccoon is shown in what looks like deep contentment with earbud headphones in its ears, and the narration says it's listening to classical music.
We've had raccoons coming to our garden-that's why I have to take the bird feeders in every late afternoon-I hate them for this--I don't want them around-they don't deserve the Donizetti music I often play loudly as I work in the kitchen! Regards, Len :lol:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUstGYxNs5o

John F
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by John F » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:51 am

Try "The Rite of Spring" - maybe that will drive them away. But your plants may not like it either; dissonance isn't good for them, I hear.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by lennygoran » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:04 am

John F wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:51 am
Try "The Rite of Spring" - maybe that will drive them away. But your plants may not like it either; dissonance isn't good for them, I hear.
Thanks, I'll give it a try soon-might it work for rabbits-they've been a problem this year-have never seen more of them running all over. Where's the fox when I need him! Regards, Len :lol:

jbuck919
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:17 am

lennygoran wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:25 am
jserraglio wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:54 pm
Q.E.D.Which means "quod est demonstrandum," meaning roughly "I have made my point." 😉
Ibid.
I'm getting quite an education here-yeah I had to look up ibid too:

"Ibid. - Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibid.

Ibid. is an abbrevation for the Latin word ibīdem, meaning "in the same place", commonly used in an endnote, footnote, bibliography citation, or scholarly reference to refer to the source cited in the preceding note or list item.

Regards, Len

PS: And also Terry Woodford did not ring a bell. :(
I did not have to look that up. I thought I was out of here on this thread without having to up the ante with jserraglio again. What surprised me, in a rather pleasant way considering who it is coming from, was the idiotic notion that music has a meaningful effect on any organism but humans. (I am reminded of Prince Charles talking to his plants.) We may be animals, but we are unique. And Len, I have also had to take precautions against raccoons.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jserraglio » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:34 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:17 am
the idiotic notion that music has a meaningful effect on any organism but humans.

Alworth & Buerkle: The effects of music on animal physiology, behavior and welfare

College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23340788

Abstract:

Physiological and psychological effects of listening to music have been documented in humans. The changes in physiology, cognition and brain chemistry and morphology induced by music have been studied in animal models, providing evidence that music may affect animals similarly to humans. Information about the potential benefits of music to animals suggests that providing music may be used as a means of improving the welfare of laboratory animals, such as through environmental enrichment, stress relief and behavioral modification. The authors review the current research on music's effect on animals' physiology and behavior and discuss its potential for improving animal welfare. They conclude that the benefits of providing music to laboratory animals depend on the species and the type of music.

jbuck919
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:03 pm

If you can produce a study in which a true experiment was run to prove that cows give more milk when they have been listening to Mozart (or something on that level), then I will change my mind. Laboratory animals exist for only one reason, and that is to improve human well-being. I can understand piping The Grateful Dead into a lab, but that would be for the dubious enjoyment of the human attendants, not for the benefit of the mice and rats.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jserraglio » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:38 pm

A simple Google search will bring up info about scientific inquiries that explore he meaningful effect of music on animal species other than humans. The two pieces I posted being only the tip of the iceberg. The impact may not yet be provable but it is not, as you claim, an idiotic notion.

jbuck919
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:05 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:38 pm
A simple Google search will bring up info about scientific inquiries that explore he meaningful effect of music on animal species other than humans. The two pieces I posted being only the tip of the iceberg. The impact may not yet be provable but it is not, as you claim, an idiotic notion.
Scientific inquiries are not controlled experiments, or even reasonable observational studies. The tip of the iceberg, as you put it, would also yield many hits about such ridiculous ideas as animal rights.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Gimme shelter — music to soothe the savage beast

Post by jserraglio » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:57 pm

Controlled experiments on the meaningful impact of music on animals are being done. I cited one. The results of that study may be valid, or they may not. But an idea is not rendered 'idiotic' just b/c somebody who has decided the matter in advance issues a declaration to that effect.

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