(From the blog "Practical Parenting")
There’s nothing sweeter than the sight and sound of a baby laughing. Fascinated by what makes babies laugh, researchers set out to create a song that will do just that.
With the help of music psychologist Lauren Stewart and musician Imogen Heap, Lecturer in Developmental Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, Caspar Addyman shared their findings in an article published on The Conversation.
“The first step was to discover what was already known about the sounds and music that might make babies happy,” he explained.
“The next step was to find the right composer: Grammy-award winner Imogen Heap, who happened to have an 18-month-old daughter.
As for the song, Addyman said it, “ought to be in a major key with a simple and repetitive main melody with musical devices like drum rolls, key changes and rising pitch glides to provide opportunities for anticipation and surprise.
“Because babies’ heart rates are much faster than ours so the music ought to be more uptempo than we would expect. And finally, it should have an energetic female vocal, ideally recorded in the presence of an actual baby.”
Heap took on the task of creating four melodies to test in the lab, two fast and two slow tempos. 26 babies then put the music to the test.
“Amazingly most of the parents and 20 out of 26 babies seemed to share a clear preference for one particular melody.”
Heap then turned it into a full-length song, using silly sounds that were voted on by around 2,500 parents.
“The top ten sounds included “boo!” (66%), raspberries (57%), sneezing (51%), animal sounds (23%) and baby laughter (28%).”
Most importantly, parents had to enjoy it too.