The Jungle Book was wrong - chimpanzees and apes would not appreciate listening to music, and certainly would not form a band.
Scientists have learned that great apes including chimpanzees and orangutans like ape King Louie have absolutely no appreciation of music.
This lack of enjoyment of music is one of the most significant things which distinguishes us from other primates.
King Louie, if he was a real ape, would not play music or sing - unless, perhaps, he was trying to imitate human behaviour in "I Wanna Be Like You".
Chimps may share 96 per cent of human DNA, but they turn a deaf ear to music, the research shows. It makes no difference whether they are listening to Beethoven or Bieber - it is all just meaningless sound to them.
To carry out the study scientists at the University of York created a "chimpanzee jukebox" that allowed captive chimps to select their favourite classical, pop or rock melodies, or simply tune into silence.
The animals, housed at Edinburgh Zoo and the National Centre for Chimpanzee Care in Texas, got to listen to works by Mozart, Beethoven, Adele and Justin Bieber. But none of them showed any preference for any kind of music.
Nor were they any more likely to choose a musical offering than silence.
Lead scientist Dr Emma Wallace, from the University of York's Department of Psychology, said: "These results suggest that music is not something that is relevant to captive chimpanzees and are supported by recent work with zoo-housed orangutans that were unable to distinguish music from digitally scrambled noise.
"These results also highlight the possibility that music appreciation is something that is a uniquely human trait."
Many zoos broadcast music to their primates in the belief that it improves the animals' living conditions. It is also popular with zoo keepers.
Thanks to the Indian Stuff group for playing music for the apes today!— CenterForGreatApes (@CFGA) May 3, 2009
Dr Wallace said: "Whilst music does not appear to have a positive effect on captive chimpanzee welfare, it equally did not have any negative effects.
"As such it should not be considered a successful form of enrichment for these animals but, providing that the animals have the option to avoid it, music can still be played for animal care-givers."
The findings are published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE. The 1967 musical animation
The Jungle Book was the last film Walt Disney personally produced and he died while it was being made. A live action movie with the same name was released last year by Walt Disney Pictures.
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