Business, Finance & Economics

Study: Goldfish listen to music, prefer Bach

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A pair of goldfish survived 134 days without food after the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Credit:

Justin Sullivan

A new study finds that not only do goldfish listen to music, but the famously forgetful fish can also distinguish between Bach and Stravinsky.

And they prefer the German maestro.

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Researchers in Japan played four goldfish Bach’s 'Toccata and Fugue in D Minor' and Stravinsky’s 'Rite of Spring,' training them to bite a red bead when they recognized the sounds.

According to the study, the fish were able to distinguish between the music 75 percent of the time during three testing sessions.

They also took more of a liking to Bach, just as pigeons did in earlier studies.

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The research adds to a growing body of evidence that many different animals understand music.

It also goes some way toward disproving myths that goldfish are relatively simple creatures with poor memories.

Popular myth puts their memory span as low as 15 seconds, but recent studies show it's closer to three months.