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Monkeys! Synthesizers! Nature and Tech Together!

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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If you gave an infinite number of (or six) monkeys (and related, which I think means mammals) an infinite (also six) number of synthesizers, will they eventually produce Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, or ACDC’s Back in Black or, well, anything?

Someone thought they’d give it a go as an advertisement for Voltfestivalen — The place to go to experience the best new electronic music and art.

Filmed at Skansenakvariet — The place to go to experience unique wildlife in Stockholm.

I was just tickled at this video. And, of course, it has a sloth. How musical are they? Take a look. :)

From the video description:

Monkeys + Synthesizers is a project where 6 different spieces of monkeys (and some others) were given different synthesizers. Do monkeys like music and do they enjoy creating music?

Humans is (sic) the only species on earth that actually compose music. Most birds and some mammals make beautiful sounds, but primarily to scare others away — or to get laid. The project explores if other primates can make music.

In the 60s, the Chimpanzee Congo became famous when he painted abstract paintings that got pretty good reviews by art critics. He had a distinct style in some sort of abstract expressionistic tradition. He liked red a lot but didn’t he like blue. Today, some of his paintings are worth up to 20.000 €.

Since the synthesizers was invented, the musicians have been asked “Is this really making music? You just press a button and out comes music, right?” Well… you do press buttons, twist knobs and faders, but there are endless ways of doing this. That is why the synthesizer probably is the greatest musical instrument in history. A great example of human ingenuity and engineering — something that makes us different from the monkeys.

Joanne Manaster About the Author: Joanne Manaster is a university level cell and molecular biology lecturer with an insatiable passion for science outreach to all ages. Enjoy her quirky videos at www.joannelovesscience.com, on twitter @sciencegoddess and on her Facebook page at JoanneLovesScience Follow on Twitter @sciencegoddess.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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