I'm not totally sure what to make of this, but here it is:
...and the PDF of the actual article is here:
The results of their research is that the best type of music for relaxing stressed animals is Classical music (Beethoven, Strauss, and Bach).
I'm always dismayed at the practice of equating animals and humans, so portions of the article were blatantly dehumanizing and anti-Christian.
This quote, however, is worth highlighting, if only to offer some evidence against the machinations of the "Music is entirely subjective/neutral/meaningless," crowd:
Auditory stimulation is one aspect of sensory stimulation that has received increased attention in current years with a variety of species. Listening to music has been found to be a mood-regulatory behavior, and several studies involving humans have found mood regulation and emotional management to be among the most important reasons for music consumption.
Numerous studies on humans have found listening to relaxing or classical music to be beneficial in a variety of areas, including a decrease in anxiety, increase in prosocial behaviors, improvement in satisfaction with medical procedures, decrease in blood pressure and heart rate, increased tolerance for uncomfortable procedures, reduction in pain perception, and decreased need for sedative medications.
The "numerous studies" are cited, so it might be worth investigating.
If we put aside our aesthetic arguments (let's pretend they don't exist for a moment), and we can Prove a physiological/biological response to music, is that enough to gain a concession from the "music is entirely cultural" crowd?
How far does a biological/cognitive connection go against a postmodern subjectivity?
Would a Proven connection validate, or obliterate, one side or the other?
Chomsky was successful, for a time, as a linguist--advocating a Universal Grammar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_grammar), though his theory faces strong headwinds from the subjectivists.