Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Music & Performing Arts

First Advisor

Lanier Sammons


This project involves exploring the presence of music and rhythmic abilities in specific animal species. The main subjects are whales, sea lions, gorillas, elephants, birds, and mice. The goal of this project was to compare their abilities to those of humans, and overall, determine whether such abilities are considered musical. Cases where animals demonstrate the ability, both learned and innate, to move to a beat are analyzed, along with animals who demonstrate musical vocal abilities naturally in the wild. The previously unknown frequencies of whales, mice, and elephants, are brought to light. These findings bring up the possibility of even more animals having musical abilities than those examined in this project.

Additional Files

EBuffordPoster.pdf (162 kB)