Your parents’ HEIGHT is to blame for your taste in music: Study shows babies raised by shorter mothers and fathers prefer faster beats because their strides are quicker
- Cambridge researchers found babies’ natural rhythm is shaped by their parents
- A baby’s preferred musical beat is influenced by their parent’s walking pace
- Parents with shorter legs walk more swiftly so their baby’s prefer quick rhythms
A baby’s sense of natural rhythm is shaped by their parent’s height, a new study has revealed.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge found the tempo a child feels most comfortable with is shaped by the height of their parent who does the most child-care duties.
The study showed shorter parents tend to have babies who prefer a faster beat, while taller parents’ children tend to prefer slower tempos.
CNE BabyLab researchers looking into the roots of human musicality believe this is because parents with shorter legs take quicker strides and this is absorbed by babies while they are carried around.
A baby’s natural rhythm is a trait shaped by their parent’s height, a new study by the University of Cambridge has suggested
Parents instinctively rock and bounce their children while carrying them and this is believed to affect the baby’s sense of rhythm.
Dr Sinead Rocha, who led the work, believes modern rhythmical preferences can be traced back millions of years to when our ancestors began to stride on two legs.
She told The Times: ‘I’m interested in the idea that some of our musicality, some of our intrinsic rhythm comes from walking and that it’s a causal relationship.
‘Babies are a really good way of looking at this because they have a really long protracted development where they aren’t able to walk on their own.
‘Their experience of walking is at the rate of the person who’s carrying them around — they’re getting lots of experience at that tempo.’
The study showed shorter parents tend to have babies who prefer a faster beat, while taller parents’ children tend to prefer slower tempos
The study involved 115 babies who were given a drum and encouraged to make a noise with it at a science festival event in London.
Researchers then measured the height of the babies’ parents who accompanied them.
The babies ‘spontaneous motor tempo’ (SMT), or the tempo at which they feel most at ease, ranged from around 60 beats per minute to about 180.
The tempos were found to correlate with the height of the parent who they spend the most time with.
Dr Rocha said it was ‘exciting’ to find that infant tempo is not predicted by their own body size, but by their parents’ body size.
The study involved 115 babies who were given a drum and encouraged to make a noise with it at a science festival event in London, while the height of the baby’s parents were measured
The study found babies’ drumming tempo also became faster and more regular with age and babies as young as five months have a natural sense of rhythm.
The research is thought to be the first to look SMT in infants, with previous studies finding that it tends to decline with age.
Most people’s SMT hovers around 120 beats a minute, roughly the same as the average walking tempo and the beat of Poker Face by Lady Gaga and Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey.
The research paper Infant Spontaneous Motor Tempo was published in the journal Developmental Science.
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