The experts have come together to answer a question that any parent looking to soothe or entertain a toddler would appreciate an answer to: What kind of music do kids like? British baby food manufacturer Cow & Gate asked Caspar Addiman, a child development expert, and Lauren Stewart, a music psychologist, to analyze existing scientific data on infant preferences to find the ideal parameters for a kid-friendly pop hit. one that is “proven to make kids happy”.
After extensive research, they hired Grammy-winning songwriter and vocalist Imogen Heap, former member of synth-pop duo Frou Frou and mother of an 18-month-old baby girl, to compose a melody following some basic rules: it had to be in a major key, be simple and repetitive, as well as have a wide range of dynamics so that the child is surprised and attuned to it.
The song was also to be fast, reflecting a child’s heartbeat, which is faster than a human’s, and would feature live female vocals “perfectly recorded in the presence of a real child”. Previous research has shown that babies tend to be partial to the singing tones that women often use around babies.