Hide Articles List

14 articles on this Page




"HOW TO BE B FAiu rifu L.







ANIMALS AND MUSIC. Man is not alone in his appreciation of the charms of music. Animals which come under its influence often show their liking for it, though among them, as among the lords of creation, there are evidently some to whom the sweetest strains give n j pleasurable sensations. A visit to a circus is almost sure to show us that the noblest of all the inferior animals is not insensible to the power of music, and is able to discriminate between its varieties. HORSBS. Horses there may be seen trotting and galloping, advancing and retiring, in accordance with the strains of the orchestra, and even dancing to tunes. Mr Stephens, in his Book of the Farm," says:- There was a work-horse of my own which, even at its corn, would desist eating and listen atten- tively, with pricked and moving ears and steady eyes, the instant he heard the note low G sounded, and would continue so to listen as long as it was sustained and another was similarly affected by a particularly high note. The recognition of the sound of a bugle by a trooper, and the excitement occasioned in the hunter when the pack gives tongue, are familiar instances of the power of horses to discriminate between different sounds. They never mistake one sound for another." ELEPHANTS. Numerous experiments have shown it to be an undoubted fact that elephants are great lovers of music. It seems to have been pretty well established that simple melodies afford these intelligent beasts far more gratification than elaborate harmonies. CAMELS. More than one traveller in the East has noted among his impressions of that part of the world the surprise he felt on witnessing the cheering effect which music has upon camels. During long and tedious marches the conductors of caravans often comfort these patient creatures by playing to them, and the sound of music has such a good influence upon them that, however weary they may be of their heavy loads, they step out with renewed vigour, seeming literally refreshed by the melody. LIONS. It has been noticed that while lions appear to enjoy the high notes of a pianoforte, they are greatly disturbed by the low ones. A lion will lie gently waving its tail to and fro as long as the performer keeps his hands among the treble notes, giving every indication of pleasure at the sounds emitted from the instrument; but directly a bass chord is sounded its attitude changes completely. It springs up from the repose which it has main- tained during the playing of the higher notes, lashes its tail furiously, and dashing about its cage, gives utterance to the deepest yells. It is supposed that the low notes sound to this animal like the roar of some rival with whom it wishes to fight. SHEEP. The Arabs have a poetic saying that the song of the shepherd fattens the sheep more than the richest pastures of the plains; and no doubt the proverb has a foundation in fact. In the East shepherds may be often observed singing and piping to the flocks under their charge with a view to making them contented and docile. The Rev. J. G. Wood, whose death has left so wide a gap in the ranks of observers of the animal world, tells of a lamb which delighted in music, and showed a great deal of discrimination regarding it. Doos. Dogs are very differently influenced by music. Some will exhibit signs of the greatest uneasiness when any attempt at it is made in their presence, going so far as to howl in the most melancholy manner at such elementary forms of the divine art as the ringing of church bells. Others, on the contrary, evince the most lively satisfaction when any instrument is played in their hearing. A lady states that a dachshund of here would jump about, wagging its tan, ana snowing eveiy sign of joy when she opened the piano; and would lie at her feet while she played, however long she might continue, growling when she stopped, and eadea. vouring to keep her at the piano holding her dress in his teeth. A correspondent of a Sussex paper of some years ago says that he had a friend who lived at Rogate who possessed a favourite spaniel. This dog's master played on the violin, and would often sit practising on one side of the fire, while the dog lay on the other side. It would keep quite still and apparently asleep until Luc) Neal" was played, and then would jump up and howl in tbe most agonised manner, calming down again on tbe substitution of some other piece. No other tune had the same distressing effect upon this dog. CATS. Cats do not appear to be so often affected by music as dogs are, though sometimes they display a very decided taste for it. A cat that lived with a family, several members of which played the piano, was never so happy as when sitting on a chair by the side of one them who was practising. It always sat on the left-hand side of the performer, and would leave its chair and sit on the floor if an attempt was made to settle it opposite the treble notes. Its favourite attitude was to rest one paw upon the last note in the buss, and turn its heads towards the player. This animal would announce its desire for a little music by walking up and down the key-board, sounding a note here and there until someone came to gratify its wish. DEER. Deer are very fond of music. In the Highlands milkmaids often coax the cows by singing to them. French peasants sing to the oxen which labour in the fields as a matter of course, under the belief that they. thus encourage them to work their o hardest. BEARS. The performing bears which are often to be seen in the streets, and which dance to music, show that these stolid creatures are capable of distinguishing different tunes.





[No title]