Have Pets?

December 2, 2012 at 10:39 PM · When I was traveling up to Tennessee with a car-load of cats, their preference was clear. They LOVED Prairie Home Companion on NPR, fell asleep almost instantly with anything Schubert, and complained their hearts out on ANY of the Brahms symphonies (when I switched to Schubert they quit meowling, then back to Brahms and cried, then back to Schubert and they fell quiet again).

If you have a pet, be it cat dog, bird or other, what music does s/he like or hate most?

Replies (21)

December 3, 2012 at 12:05 AM · When I was young, we had a budgie. When I started practising, he would chirrup away. we were never sure if he was singing along or trying to drown the noise.

December 3, 2012 at 12:51 AM · ...our budgies try and drown me out...the other parrots join in...

I have the African Grey whistling a few bars of Beethoven's 9th.

The other critters seem indifferent. However, they really don't like when I practice my soprano sax for some reason. Actually...neither do my kids...

Great way to empty the house...

December 3, 2012 at 02:04 AM · My two Budgies like anything! They sing joyfully at every noise (or almost...)

I try to put the volume at something reasonable.

I like to think that they like particularly Tchaikovsky and David Oistrakh. I think they are very happy when they hear them because they sing very much.

But that could also be a mom bias too... :)

My experience, birds love music... dogs not so much but they will endure you by fear of being alone (but you see that they dislike it)

December 3, 2012 at 02:46 AM · One of my cats comes running when I practice! She seems to like Kreisler the best! She doesn't like really high notes.

December 3, 2012 at 05:00 AM · I had a cat that absolutely loved the Who, she would always come in and sit by the speaker when they were playing. Sometimes I would put one of their cds on when we left and when we came back she would be laying by the speaker listening still.

December 3, 2012 at 06:15 AM · I have a Pekingese and two cats, and they all like to settle in near me when I start to play. My tabby cat likes to lay on my feet; my other cat sleeps in my case and my dog sleeps nearby.

My dog is actually my "tone" barometer. He stays asleep a long as I sound good, but if my tone starts to go downhill he wakes up and gives me dirty looks. But I used to have a cat who would run for the hills the minute I picked up my case.

December 3, 2012 at 12:43 PM · We have a toy fox terrier who comes into the room when my daughter is practicing and bangs at her legs until she plays double stops. The dog then sits and howls away throughout the double stops singing her heart out. When my daughter stops playing, the dog is finished and leaves the room.

December 3, 2012 at 01:32 PM · Years ago we had a wonderful little Schipperke, which is a small Belgian breed of dog. It is very small but has long, black hair and big black eyes. His name was Rosin. Only when I played Bach - and no other composer or etude - did he make noise. Usually he would cry and bark. But to this day I still can't figure out whether he was crying because the Bach was such beautiful music, or it was a criticism of my performance. It doesn't matter; we miss him.

December 3, 2012 at 02:02 PM · I use to raise parakeetes/bugies. And boy did they join in all my practise sessions. I'd swear some were actually chirping Bach's Minute 3 since I played that one to the ground ;/. Now if I only could had taught them to harmonize-that would've been fantastic! Perhaps i would be still raising them.

Now we have 3 dogs and 1 cat. Only one dog whines when I play, especially double stops or a martele stroke gone bad.

December 3, 2012 at 02:45 PM · All the animals on our farm (I guess most of them are "pets"!)become quiet when I play on my violin or viola. I think our cows far prefer classical over fiddling. On the other hand, the chickens HATE music esp. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. They all shake their heads as if they have a bug in their ear!

December 4, 2012 at 01:17 AM · Many years ago I worked as assistant to a pair of insane research biologists for National Park Service. We were doing statistics on desert pupfish at Quitobaquito, a natural pond on the AZ/Mex. border. I took notes. while I waited for notes to take, I practiced Bach E-Major Partita, the first movement. When we stopped for lunch, all three of us recognized that some of the local birds--akin to mockingbirds--were imitating the string-crossing passage. That was weird enough, but when we made a follow-up visit, 6 weeks later, they were STILL whistling Bach, with their own embelishments....I don't know if the monkeys will ever make it to Shakespeare; the birds have discovered Bach.

December 4, 2012 at 04:47 AM · When I start to tune, Julie, the Greyhound, starts to howl. Then I play crazy double stops and she howls louder. It lasts two or three minutes and she stops about the same time that I stop. But we have fun with the howl while it lasts. Afterward she lays on the bed and doses through my practice session.

Four years ago when we moved to the country it was probably a Mockingbird that sang that constant refrain from Janachec's Jenufa. And I can't stand that opera! But the bird didn't stop.


December 4, 2012 at 05:21 AM · I had a dog, Nikko who won a talent contest singing along with Sons of the Pioneers. Her favorite songs were 'Tumblin' Tumbleweed' and 'Ghost Riders in the Sky'.

December 4, 2012 at 02:05 PM · My cat runs away as soon as she sees me taking out any instrument (I play viola and recorders in addition to violin), and on the few occasions when she has been inadvertently shut into the room I'm practicing in, she basically panics until I let her out. Everybody is a critic.... This is in contrast to our last cat, who tolerated violin music and actually seemed to find recorder music pleasant -- he'd sometimes come into the room when I was playing, to listen.

February 18, 2013 at 07:26 PM · This is an interesting question! I have a dog that HATES music with a lot of accidentals in it. She likes slow, soft, quiet music. She doesn't mind classical music by composers like Vivaldi, or fun fiddle pieces, but they wouldn't be her first choice.

I could put my cat on my bed and practice away, and he'd sleep through anything. He might run if I played the drums, though.

February 18, 2013 at 09:53 PM · Cat#1 dislikes anything played on the violin and will leave the room.

Cat#2 HATES anything played on the violin and if I as much as touch it runs as if chased by a pack of dingos...

Like??? The music of a can of food opening or the glug of milk into a saucer....

February 18, 2013 at 09:53 PM · [I believe my cat doubled up the message - he said there were two of them and they were entitled to one response each. Sorry for the topic noise. OUCH - stop it Nick! I'll play my violin....

That got rid of him....

February 19, 2013 at 09:19 PM · When our dog is upset or scared, I play CD with Bach cello sonatas. It takes 2-3 minutes of listening to calm him down.

February 20, 2013 at 01:34 PM · Fascinating and fun responses! I'll re-post something from another, similar thread but only re cats from the past:

From Raphael Klayman

Posted on June 13, 2012 at 02:49 AM

It's fascinating how they're all different. For 15 years I belonged to a calico cat named Desiré (Desi for short). She didn't like my playing one bit, but was kind enough to let me live in her apartment and serve her. She especially didn't like my high notes on the E string. She'd rarely come into the living room when I practiced, but did so once in a while to check something out in a window. Sometimes as an experiment I'd stop what I was working on and play a really high note. Desi would shoot me a dirty look as if to say “what are you doing? You're just doing that to annoy me, aren't you?” If I played the note again, she'd promptly leave the room. Maybe I unwittingly said something terrible to her in Cat-o-nese!

In those days I used to listen to vinyl records. Desi was usually indifferent to records – except when the needle got to the end and made that nasty noise, which bothered both of us. The only time I saw Desi react negatively to recorded music was once in the middle of Ein Heldenleben. It was nowhere near any of the famous violin solos, but in that agitated section with a lot of percussion which always reminded me of the German invasion of Poland, Desi looked very disturbed and left the living room.

Some months back I visited two bassist friends who have two cats. I played there, and one of the cats was indifferent while the other one was entranced by my playing!

I have a cellist friend who had a cat who was generally sanguine about her playing – except for one note, which always made him meow his disapproval in no uncertain terms. Once she gave an at-home recital. Came the passage with the offending note and he meowed raucously, as if to say “I thought I told you not to play that note!” Of course everyone cracked-up and the recital came to a stop! [EDIT] [Flag?]

Update: during the fallout from Hurricane Sandy I briefly stayed with a pianist friend who had 3 cats. When I first started to practice there, 2 of them seemed indifferent, but one of them came up to me with her eyes very wide open and consternation on her face, as if to say "Dude, what are you doing? I don't think that's even allowed here. You'd better check with my Mom." Once, rehearsing with another pianist, her up-till-then sweet dog barked at me terribly as soon as I started to play, and wouldn't stop. And years ago, rehearsing with another pianist with 2 love birds, one got very excited and sang along happily. The other just stared at her mate as if to say "What are you so excited about?"

February 20, 2013 at 04:05 PM · My cat, and other cats I have had before him, seem to love Mozart (on the radio). He sits very near the speakers, wiggles his ears slowly, and smiles. Put something else on and he's gone.

Anything that is very harmonious seems to work for him.

February 21, 2013 at 10:07 AM · My cat seems to hate any violin music. At first I thought it was just me being a beginner. She would leave the room and meow whenever I practiced or played. However, I later realized that she would do the same even when a violin solo was played on the computer or TV, so not just me :)

She does seem to love the piano and seem very fond of Beethoven.

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