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Banzai

Violin and pets

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This is really just a silly thread, but I'll post it for amusement

anyway, and maybe someone else has a similar anecdote.

So.  I have a big goofy dog, and a beautiful cat.  They

both co-exist in a tense state of almost peaceful armistice.

Whenever I play my violin, my dog runs into the room as fast as he

can, very excited, and howls along while I tune.  Sometimes

I'll tune a little longer so he can "sing" with me.  He'll

just sit beside me, facing the same direction, and "help" with the

process.  I always play the same series of notes when I'm done

tuning, and the dog has learned that those notes means "it's music

time" and he lays down and relaxes and listens the entire time I

play.

My little princess however (the cat) evidently has far more

sophisticated musical tastes.  She hisses at the first sound

of my fiddle, flattens her ears, and retreats to the farthest

available point in the house.  She only emerges MUCH later

after I'm done, when she's certain her ears will no longer be

assailed by such noise.

That's all.  Just felt like posting that story.

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I have three shelties that like to lie outside the studio door and listen. The youngest (the one in my avatar) is a fan of solo Bach.

I had a foster dog once who LOVED my cello playing. She's the one and only creature on the planet who enjoyed it -- I probably should have kept her just for that!

The second sheltie is funny -- she loves violin but hates any kind of brass instrument. If I'm playing a CD, she'll stay and listen if it's string quartet or something with mostly string orchestration, but as soon as brass comes in she runs and hides.

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I have a leopard gecko, and whenever I play something, she comes out of her little cave to watch me play. It's pretty cool, cause I didn't think cold blooded animals were interested in music. (or maybe it's an instinctive thing)

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Our cats used to leave the room, their tails stiff and elevated in annoyance, when my daughter would practice. There were some grounds for their disapproval.

I had a dog with a wonderful voice who would yodel along with players when he felt so moved. But my cousin's Huskies, who would salute the full moon in a primitive chorus, were my favorites, with traditional melodies that predate the violin, or human speech.

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My previous and much missed cat insisted on sitting on my feet whenever I played. My current two cats are tone deaf and uninterested in the music but intensely fascinated by the people -- but only the adult students. They find the younger ones terrifying and bolt for the door. Not a clue why.

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We had three little degus, which are squirrel/rat-like creatures related to rabbits and twitter like birds when socializing. One of them loved the E-string level E. Whenever I hit an E, it would sit on its tiny haunches and squeak along. For the life of me, I could not figure out why I could not play a decent E because it always sounded "off" until I caught the little creature singing along to that one and only note.

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Some of these are really fun.  I guess it's true, at least in

some cases, that music does "have power to soothe the savage

beast."

Or at least entertain the savage beast.

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GREAT picture Cam!!

When I started violin I had to practice in the room in which was also placed the cats' litter box. My wife would make me shut the door while practicing, but every now and then there would be scratching at the door as one of the cats wanted to use the "conveniences".

One day as I was yet again murdering twinkle or the like, there was the usual scratching at the door. I opened the door and there was Tinker. She looked up at me and then simply yowled. Just the once, a simple comment. She then turned on her heels and marched off with her tail in the air.

I took the hint and switched to viola shortly thereafter. Now Tinker will actually venture into the room when I play. I also no longer share with the litter tray, but am still sometimes made to shut the door.

Neil

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Flecky, the wonder cat, LOVES violin music. In fact, he will come into the studio while I am practicing or teaching and curl up to sleep. He makes a weird "sheep-like" noise when I or my students stop playing. The best is when I am coaching chamber music - he really enjoys string quartets! (Even if they are playing with less-than-perfect intonation or phrasing!)

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The way animals react to music and musical instruments is quite

interesting!

Here's my penny's worth.

My Jack Russell bitch will actually make her way into my workshop

if I am playing violin viola or cello and start howling for as long

as the playing lasts (or more truthfully as long as I can bear the

howling )....She seems to do this as an involuntary action without

either displaying pain or pleasure...my guess is that she feels an

instinctive  duty to contribute....She'll react to high and

low notes just the same.

A friend came to visit my parents farm one summer a few years

ago. The friend took his guitar into the fields to play and

soon had an enthusiastic audience of cows. He came running to get

me to see this and on repeat the cows all came over again to

listen...& they were listening!...you can tell with cows by the

way they hold their ears!

These were beef cows but many years before ,my father had farmed

dairy cows. He said he always played BBC Radio 3, the classical

music station to his cows at milking time and they loved it

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Funny how everyone's pets react so differently!  

My cat Lulu screams hysterically in ecstasy when I play up high on

violin or viola, and jumps in my lap, rubs her head against me

furiously, and sometimes tries to grab my bow.  

It's really sweet, but it gets really distracting, so I usually

keep the door shut now when I practice.

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I once had an old mama cat named Snaggie who hated my fiddle

playing.  As soon as I started, she'd come running

and try to climb my leg, yowling piteously.  I think the

higher overtones "stuck" in her ears and hurt..but she couldn't

stay away, somehow.

One day I started playing in my shorts.  She came in, ears

flat, yowling, and came up my pantless leg.  (She had front

claws like little 5/8-inch-long scimitars - a great mouser she

was)

You can imagine what my playing sounded like while she made her

ascent, clear up past my beltline.

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When I was taking the requisite string class in college, I had to give my husband cello lessons. During the first lesson, we went over the parts of the cello and the first couple of pages of the book (Strictly Strings). Every time he practiced, the cats (3) left the room, but the dog (Black Lab) laid at his feet.

A week after the first lesson, he had his second lesson. As we were going over the parts of the cello, he got stumped on the long black piece that comes up from the bottom of the instrument. The dog, appearing to get frustrated at his inability to recall the name of the part, got up, walked over to the cello and started to whack said part with her tail. "Ah!" Said my husband. "It's the tailpiece!"

It's pretty bad when the dog knows more about the instrument than the person playing it!

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Who here is able to practice the cello with a cat on there lap?

My little helper Roxy who is my icon photo comes running when I

start practicing and it is constantly trying to squeeze in between

the cello an me!

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Hi All - my latest "house-owner" is 3/4 wolf. When I start playing the cello he immediately cames trotting from "wherever" and sits next to me, cocking his head as though to figure it what it is that I'm busy doing. Occasionally my bow hand gets a nose-gentle nudge. He then lies down - fully stretched out - with either a paw or his head resting on my right foot.

As far as I can tell he's quite a peace with my efforts.

Mind you he appears to be studying for a Doctorate in Sleeping.

I would append a picture of the pair of us as I bought a digital camera yesterday morning. However, so far I've managed to i) charge the battery and ii) read to about page 9 of the 132 page manual.

Why did I ever let go of my 1950s Box Brownie? Somehow reading wasn't necessary to operate a camera in those days.

cheers edi

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3/4 wolf?  Be careful with that...

As a contributing member to and regular visitor at the wolf

sanctuary in Washington, I've become very familiar with how often

that particular story can turn into a bad situation fast, once they

grow up.  (I know that's the last thing you probably wanted me

to say, but do be careful...)

On a lighter note, I had no idea when I posted this "silly" thread

that it would still be alive.  However, I have enjoyed reading

all the stories.

I still wonder if I should be insulted that the most "refined" of

my "kids" despises my playing, while the goofiest and smelliest

can't get enough?  Oh well, it did help to endear him a bit

more to me...

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Tropicalfruitmom

When I was taking the requisite string class in college, I had to give my husband cello lessons. During the first lesson, we went over the parts of the cello and the first couple of pages of the book (Strictly Strings). Every time he practiced, the cats (3) left the room, but the dog (Black Lab) laid at his feet.

A week after the first lesson, he had his second lesson. As we were going over the parts of the cello, he got stumped on the long black piece that comes up from the bottom of the instrument. The dog, appearing to get frustrated at his inability to recall the name of the part, got up, walked over to the cello and started to whack said part with her tail. "Ah!" Said my husband. "It's the tailpiece!"

It's pretty bad when the dog knows more about the instrument than the person playing it!

That's practically what my mother said to me time and again when I was growing up: Even a dog would remember what I [i.e. my mother] said ten thousand times...

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Hello Banzai - warning noted.

I have been very careful to use every opportunity to "socialise" him. Walking through crowded shopping malls, going out of our way to meet up with other dogs, children etc. So far he is a model of docility.

Hope he continues to appreciate my music-making.

cheers edi

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Hi Miles,

Who says dogs do not know music? Dogs know a lot of things we do not give them credits for.

True story: my daughter's dog reminded her to bring him (dog to go out on a regular base.

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Hi yuen,

Yep. Although my mother played no musical instruments, she would take a dog over me any time as I suspect....

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