Moves from rock to jazz

Strange drummers blow their trunks, with a loop cry and grab their instrument, to roll a drum using the roots of thick trees in a Ugandan forest and create their own rhythms, according to a study published Tuesday.

Everyone has their own style: some are hard rock drumming and others are “jazzy,” notes the study, published in the British Journal. animal behavior. But in addition, these animals know how to modify it so as not to reveal its whereabouts.

The researchers followed a group of chimpanzees and ibira through the western Budongo forest in Uganda, recording and analyzing the strokes of seven males. Their voices spread more than a kilometer through the dense forest, and served as a means of communication for chimpanzees on the move, according to Vesta Eleuteri, lead author of the study.

The PhD student explained that she was able to identify who had been playing alone for a few weeks. “Tristan, the ‘John Bonham’ of the woods, beats drums so fast with many separate rhythms on a regular basis,” Elleuteri said, referring to rock band famous drummer Led Zeppelin. He adds that his playing is “so fast you can barely see his hands.”

John Paul Jones, John Bonham, Robert Plant, and Jimmy Page, members of Led Zeppelin. Bonham, the monster of drums, died in 1980, but he will always be remembered for his rhythm and power. – picture:

Tristan, “John Bonham” of the woods, plays the drum very quickly with many regularly spaced rhythms

British primatologist Catherine Hopiter, who led the study, explained that other chimpanzees, such as Alpha or Ella, have a more tactile style, and with a different technique: They hit the root with both feet at about the same time.

(COMBO) This set of undated photos released by the University of St Andrews on September 6, 2022 shows chimpanzees drumming on a tree in the Budongo Forest in Uganda.  - Chimpanzee drummers puff out their chests and shriek before stepping up into their groups and striking with the force of their signature rhythm so everyone can see who's playing.  A new study published on September 6, 2022 found that chimpanzees not only have their own patterns, some prefer the rhythms of live rock while others prefer a freeform like jazz, but they also know how to mask their signature sound in case they don't want to.  reveal their location.  (Photo by Adrien Soldati/University of St Andrews/AFP) / Restricted in editorial use - mandatory accreditation "Photo by AFP/University of St Andrews/Adrian Soldati" - No marketing or advertising campaigns - distributed as a service to customers
Each one has its own style: some practice rock drums and others are “jazzy,” the study notes. But in addition, these animals know how to modify it so as not to reveal its whereabouts. Photo by Adrian Soldati / University of St Andrews / AFP – Photo: AFP

drum solo

The research is the work of scientists from the Scottish University of St Andrews, which explains why many chimpanzees are named after whiskey, such as Talisker. Chimpanzees have long been known to play drums. “But with this study, we understand that they use their own style when they seek to communicate with other individuals, when traveling, or when they are alone or in small groups,” Catherine Houpeter explained.

The researchers also discovered that chimpanzees sometimes choose not to sign their messages, in order not to betray their identity. “They have remarkable flexibility to express their identity and style, but also to conceal it,” the researcher added. And while many animals produce sounds that can be associated with music, such as the sounds of birdsong, chimpanzees may appreciate their music even more. Similar to what humans do.

“I think chimpanzees, like us, potentially have a sense of rhythm, a sense of music, and something that affects them on an emotional level, like the thrill of a solo drum or other important musical sound.” Primate scientist pointed out. He said studies of chimpanzees focus on their tools or diet.

“When we think of human culture, we don’t think of the instruments used, but the way we dress, and the music we listen to,” he said. The researchers plan to study how other chimpanzee communities produce sounds. They are interested in a species in Guineqa, which lives in a savanna almost devoid of trees that could be used as a drum.

“We have indications that they can throw stones at other stones,” he said, making noises. “Literally rock music,” said Catherine Habiter.

* AFP information.

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