MetaSB2. Can dogs hear music?
Reasons why dogs cannot hear music as music
The answer to the question can dogs hear music is "No." There are many good reasons to support this absolute denial.
It is true, of course, that dogs can hear the sounds that are being produced during musical production, but this obviously is insufficient since recognition of the sounds AS music is required. Or is it?
Suppose you are listening to very odd sounds as a normal adult human. The sounds are highly unusual and occasionally drop out from your hearing altogether and then they return. You can discern no particular pattern of musical interest to you during your experience of the sonic event. It turns out you were listening to ancient Martian music. The Martians had extremely good hearing even into the thirty thousand hertz range beyond human hearing capacities. This explains the drop outs of sound while you were listening.
Did you just listen to and hear Martian music? Well, you definitely heard something, but did you hear music. Is it required that the individual hear it AS music to be perceiving music.
Consider a more down to Earth (fantastically good pun) example. Suppose you have never heard Gamelan music. Here's a sample thanks to Utube where not only can you hear it, but you can also learn its history: History of Gamelan Music. Some people may not recognize this as music, but think it is just some one banging on metal. Suppose that happens. Did the person hear Gamelan music? I think most people's answer would be "Yes, the person heard Gamelan music, but they just didn't recognize it as music." Why can't the dog situation be like this one?
The reply is that the normal adult human has the capacity to hear music, even if she or he doesn't recognize it as music, but the dog does not have the relevant capacities. So, what are the relevant capacities to be capable of hearing music as music?
Behavioral evidence for the dog never hearing music as music is that no dog ever responds by dancing in rhythm to the music, or has any other behavior that would suggest or indicate that the dog hears these sounds as music. Dogs don't have a favorite tune, for example.