Biological Harmonics

Applied Therapeutic Sound for Rural, Domestic, Marine and Native Animals

Biological Harmonics is the name Robert Boyd has given to his application of therapeutic music for animals both domestic, rural, marine and native. Robert has been involved in this interesting field for many years as a parallel to his work with people, on the basis that animals of any kind suffer stress in similar ways to humans. Robert has devised interesting and unique methods and techniques using sounds to enhance the wellbeing of animals.

A Bio Harmonics sound module on a farm at Eneabba Western Australia. The cattle are Wagyu beef cattle. The module is weather proof and needs no attention from the farmer except an occasional check of the backup battery. This unit is solar powered and fully programmable to play daily at specific intervals.

More Information on My Work With Animals.

Animals are very sensitive to sound. If you have had an association with an animal (bird, fish or reptile) domestic or wild, you would know that they respond to music.

However it depends greatly on the animal concerned as to the type of frequencies, harmonics and rythmn of the music and sounds with which it is compatible.

Most animals have a greater hearing range than a human being and in most cases they are much more sensitive to sounds. Sound is an important component in an animal's survival instincts even in domesticated animals, whereas a great number of humans have lost this sensitivity over the centuries of urban living, where survival has a very different meaning these days.

The cattle experiment has been very interesting. For example the musical sounds I have composed for the cattle photographed on this page are very different to the sounds I have produced for dogs, cats or horses, and it follows that each species of animal responds to different musical harmonies and frequencies.

When I first produced the music for the cattle, I played it to the animals via a small but reasonable quality portable CD player. The farmer and I remained in the cab of the vehicle so as not to influence the cattle by our presence.

The first reaction from the different herds we confronted was similar in each case where, for the duration of the music the entire group listened intently. There was no shuffling about, the animals stood perfectly still till the end of the session. The herd of cows with calves reacted likewise except the calves slowly moved to the front and ventured very close to the vehicle obviously extremely fascinated by the music with their juvenile curiosity overwelming any fear.

We then played the music to a small herd of 35 Steers in the feed lot with the same initial results, but this time I played the music for a second time.

Within 15 minutes of the second play 24 of the 35 steers were lying on the ground asleep, some of them dropped so close to each other that they were partially leaning on each other. When they first lay down they attempted to chew their cud but they soon dropped off to sleep with only a handfull remaining standing.

This experiment occured at around 11 am in the morning when the animals are normally quite active, the farmer's comment was "I don't believe this!".

The object of the music however is not to expect the cattle to listen to a concert two or three times a day but more for the calming sounds to become part of their environment to which after a time the animals appear to ignore.

The benefits of this kind of application are two fold:

Because the music played on the farm becomes part of the environmental sounds to the cattle - part of their happy home life so to speak - then the music played as often as possible during transit creates a psychological link in the animal's mind to that comfort time, thus keeping the animal as calm as possible, reducing the stress factor considerably and therefore, increasing the value of the animal.

This is not just an economics exercise, it also plays a large contribution to the animal's wellfare. I refer to the incredible stress factors which plague the unfortunate animals shipped live overseas. Surely these animals would be relieved of some stress by the introduction of musical and nature sounds to their alien shipboard environment.

Please note
I do conduct lectures and workshops on this subject. If you would like me to speak to your group or association please contact me for further details
Robert Boyd  Queensland
Telephone: +61 (0)438 801 203
Email: Robert J Boyd

Bio Harmonics Publications

Harmony on the Hoof
Report: Mike Wakeham
The West Australian, July 22 1998
(front page photograph and centrefold spread, You Magazine)

Making Moosic
Report: Mike Wakeham
The West Australian, July 22 1998
(sidebar article to centrefold spread, You Magazine

Sound Therapy
Keren Bellos
Pets & Vets Magazine, Vol 1, Issue 9, 1999

The Magic of Music
By Debby Mandat
Albany Advertiser
Down South supplement (front page spread)

and other regional and metropolitan newspapers