Cotton-top tamarins grew calmer after they heard music compositions based on their own calm, friendly calls. But the monkeys became more agitated when University of Wisconsin-Madison psychology professor Charles Snowdon played music that contained elements of their own threatening or fearful calls.

Tamarins respond to music expressing monkey feelings: deep evolutionary roots for the musical elements of speech?

The catch is that they don’t care for “human” music. Tamarin optimized music samples are included with the article.

“…music based on soothing, friendly monkey calls tended to calm cotton-top tamarins, a species native of South America. Music based on fear and threat calls stimulated anxious behavior.”

[via:Tiede]