Walking down the main road of the sanctuary where I volunteer, I often hear the rhythmic drumming of chimpanzees and think it would be fun to make a music album. It would be wild, but full of spirit. Those chimps seem to enjoy the repeating beats and honestly with an electric guitar it would sound fantastic! After reading the summary of a recent study conducted at the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University, I am comforted in this idea that chimps can rock'n roll.
Researchers trained a group of three chimpanzees to hit keys on a keyboard and played distractor sounds as they were doing it. A female then aligned her tapping to the distractor sound. Although, this may not sound like much and more research is warranted, it could mean that humans are not the only ones who are able to synchronize sound with movement.
On the same subject, I recommend a very entertaining article from Psychology Today entitled "Why Chimpanzees Would Dance to Johnny Cash's Music" in which we meet a very unusual musician by the name of Harry Hmura head of "Musicians for Apes" who played for chimpanzees in a sanctuary outside of Montreal. He recalls how Toby (a chimpanzee) started swaying his head back and forth to the rhythm of the strumming and even began to "sing". He also played for orangutans in Florida and their reaction was different - they sat and listened very intently, interested in the guitar.
A rescued chimp playing a toy piano:
As the old saying goes: "Music has charms that soothes the savage beast"!