Have you ever seen animals react humorously to classical music? (esp. Florence Foster Jenkins)?

OK, I had recently asked a question about "worst butcherings of classical msuic," and some of you mentioned Florence Foster Jenkins. I had never heard of her, so I listened, and dear God...


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I should have taken my "links not included" line seriously! This link is her rendition of Queen of the Night, and the tagline was "the world's most inept opera singer frightens felines." It was so horrendous I unplugged my headphones so my brother could listen and, not kidding!, my cat (who was sleeping by my computer) had his ears go haywire and he gave me this look of *utter* fright, it was priceless. I'm not surprised my cat looked so scared, she sounded like a real cat being strangled...

Have you ever seen animals react to classical music? Because it reminded me of my sister's old cat, who hated it when she played violin; he would skulk and growl in the corner, and once, when she stopped to talk to me, he approached the violin slowly in deep suspicion, tail swishing furiously, and kept pawing at it and then jumping back a foot and growling. It was hilarious.

My cat, the one who loved the clip so much, has an obsession with forbidden places and is always trying to get into my piano. I started chasing him away, and then he started dive-bombing into it from the other side of the room. And my old viola teacher had an African grey parrot who loved saying three things: the sound of water dripping fromt he faucet, "1,2,4! 1,2,4!", and "I'm bored!" (He picked that one up from my brother's lessons).

Animals are so much fun...

11 Answers

  • hafwen
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Great question, Kalibasa!

    Do you mind if I give an example here, using folk music?

    Anyway, the Estonian folk group I play with consists of a number of loud, piercingly strange instruments which many humans find difficult to cope with, let alone animals! We have bagpipes (two sets!), hurdy gurdy and rohrpill (reed pipe) - as well as the more gentle fiddle, clarinet, recorder and wooden flute.

    We rehearse at the clarinettist's place each week, and he has two little Shi'tzu dogs, who always howl along with the bagpipes and rohrpill. They glare at us, then throw their heads back and howl in unison, like a pair of police cars...and of course, their noise totally clashes with us, harmonically - though tonally, it kind of works...

    I'm sure if I could translate Estonian Doggish, they'd be saying: "SHUT THOSE %$@#ing THINGS UP, THEY SOUND AND LOOK LIKE DYING GOATS!"

    Oddly, though, the clarinettist's one year old daughter absolutely adores these bizarre instruments...it's nice to know we're not TOTALLY detested...

    Hafwen x

  • petr b
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I had a personable cat who would always come to the piano, and sit by me on the bench whenever I played. He especially seemed to like the vibrations of Mozart's music. This same cat was utterly freaked at the high frequencies and unfamiliar timbres of composers' Otto Luening / Vladimir Ussachevsky recording of early electronic music from the N.Y. Columbia U. electronic music department - ears down, crouch stance, diving under a chair to hide.

    I had another cat (I'm old, there are several generations of companionable critters in my history) who would jump up on the grand piano's lid (down position), lie on his side, and drop his head down sideways and watch the hammers and dampers move, apparently with deep interest.

    Voltaire defined a violin as a wood box strung with cat gut which is then stroked with horse hair in order to tickle the ear. I wonder what cats might have thought of that sound from those collective materials.

    Dogs howling when (some) people sing or perform? Critics.

    Oh, and Florence Foster? What a HOOT! Literally.

    Best, Petr B.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Lol! These are great. I can't wait to see all the answers. We have a couch by our piano, and oftentimes when I practice, my dog will run to the couch, jump up on it, and fall asleep :) That's about it though.

    Unrelated to classical music, but at least it's performing arts--I can't resist sharing it. My sister played Lilli in Kiss Me Kate once, and the actor who played Fred would often come to our house to practice their scenes together. If you've ever seen Kiss Me Kate, you know that Fred and Lilli don't get along for much of the show--there were quite a few bits of shouting and fighting and even a little stage combat. Once, after they were done, they left the room to find that our dog had been sitting outside the door the whole time. Now, you must understand, our dog is the most peaceful, laid-back puppy you will ever meet. He never gets angry or nervous and everyone is his best friend. But he had heard *Fred* yelling at my sister, and he was not happy. He snarled, bared his teeth, barked, everything. *Fred* was just like, "What the heck is wrong with your dog?" and my sister could only reply, "I don't know, he's never acted this way before!" XD

    Well, it's very difficult to explain to a dog you were just rehearsing for a play! :P

    Source(s): Sorry for being irrelevant :')
  • Maria
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Very Cool Remember the lyrics I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band, I saw a needle that winked its eye. But I think I will have seen everything When I see an elephant fly. I saw a front porch swing, heard a diamond ring, I saw a polka-dot railroad tie. But I think I will have seen everything when I see an elephant fly. I seen a clothes horse, he r'ar up and buck And they tell me that a man made a vegetable truck I didn't see that, I only heard But just to be sociable I'll take your word I heard a fireside chat, I saw a baseball bat And I just laughed till I thought I'd die But I'd be done see'n about everything when I see an elephant fly

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  • 1 decade ago

    This is a little... Ahem... Eh... PG-13... But who cares...

    So was at the zoo with one of my sisters, the one who is a classical musician, the flutist... Anyway, we were walking around with an MP3 player and a little speaker hooked up to it... (A lot of people gave us some really nasty looks... I think we were listening to Brahms...)

    Anyway, it was a very un-busy day and we were at a place in the zoo where nobody else was... There were two big tortoises that were, well, to put it simply: mating... (it was involving getting on top of the female tortoise and then sliding off her and a lot of drool... I won't get into more detail... In fact, I think I've told too much as it is...)

    So, we walked by and were watching this weird sight to the Brahms when the male tortoise stopped, got off the female tortoise and walked over too us..

    Oh, the poor tortoise... Her man walked out on her..

    Hahaha... It was hysterical... The female tortoise looked absolutley insulted... Hahaha... Oh...

    Anyway... Sorry to bring in a disturbing story, but it sure was funny... We walked away and let the tortoises continue their, erm... Business...

    I loved the video you had... Oh... Hysterical!


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My cat has the strangest infatuation with Opera's...

    it may sound crazy, but anytime I put an Opera on, my cat comes running into the room and tries to get as close to the speakers as he can.

    he paws them, licks them, meows like crazy, purrs...he doesn't do it with any other type of music, no other genre but Classical, only Opera's. It's the strangest thing ever, adorable though.

  • 1 decade ago

    a couple of summers ago, one of our horn colleagues celebrated his 50th birthday with a big garden party. he invited most of the brass players ( we wives got invited, too) with the proviso that some appropriate music be played. well, he lives out in a beautiful rural part of the country, and his garden backs up to a huge pastureland. the cows were out, and came ambling over to the fence when the guys all started in playing.

    they stood there for the 15 minutes of music, and remained standing there, as if to say, "so, go on. Play some more." One or two drifted away, but came back immediately when the guys started up again.

    Our hostess ran in and got the video camera that had been tucked away in the closet for years, and we have it on film. As it statrted to get dark, the farmer came over to collect them for their "bedtime". He was just as astonished as we were.

    since then, our colleague goes outside to play his horn for the cows on his birthday.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Eh, not really. Just now, though, I was holding my mother's new puppy and she tried to jump over my face and scratched it.

    There are other things my wonderful dogs do (we don't own any cats because they're utter evil to us). For example, one of our great Danes likes to jump up and put her paws on our piano. Before my first dog died (R.I.P.) he liked to listen to me practice the cello and piano. I guess it was a natural thing to do, but he howled with it. It was funny, I guess. Sally, the great Dane mentioned above is weird and likes other sounds, but none of them are classical (e.g. thunder, fire crackers. All sorts of really loud noises) She's abnormal for a dog, but I love her. As for my other dogs... they're really lazy and won't react to sounds.


    I just tested your question out by having my dog listen to Crown Imperial (William Walton) and he looked at the speakers with the most bugged eyed look (does that make sense?) I dunno why, I liked it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This isn't about the music, but it's about the instruments. My cat is always scared and runs away whenever I pick up my cello, but when its lying there, she seemed to like the scroll of it. She also runs away when I play Pathetique on the piano.

  • 1 decade ago

    Research scientists have shown interest in this sort of thing.

    According to one study, lab rats react more favorably to Strauss waltzes than to Schonberg.

    According to another study, lab rats react more favorably to Mozart than to hard rock.

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