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A curious account of the effect of various kinds of music on different animals is given by a writer in The Spectator. The general order of the experiments, based upon the supposition that animal nerves are not un-' like our own, was so arranged that the attention of the animals should be first arrested by a low and grad�ually increasing volume of sound, in those melodious minor keys which experience showed them to prefer. The piccolo was then to follow in shrill and high-pitched contrast; after which the flute was to be played to soothe the feelings ruffled by that instrument. Pleasure and dislike were often most strongly shown where least expected; and the last experiment indica�ted stronger dislikes, if not stronger preferences, in the musical scale,;in the tiger than in the most intelli�gent anthropoid apes. With "Jack," a six-months-old red orang-outang, " as the sounds of the violin began, he suspended himself against the bars, and then, with
one hand above his head dropped the other to hit side and listened with grave attention. He then crept away on all fours, looking back over his shoulder, like a frightened baby," and covered himself with his piece of carpet. Then his fear gave place to pleasure, and he sat down, with smoothed hair and listened to the music. The piccolo at first frightened him, but he soon held out his hand for the instrument and was allowed to examine it. " The flute did not interest him, but the bagpipe, reproduced on the violin, achieved a triumph." The capuchins were busy eating their break�fast; " but the violin soon attracted an audience. They dropped their food and clung to the bars, listening, with their heads on one side, with great attention. At the first sounds of the flute the macaques ran away; and the piccolo excited loud and angry screams from all sides." When the flute was played to the elephant, he stood listening with deep attention, one foot raised
from the ground and the whole body still. " But the change to the piccolo was resented. After the first bar the elephant twisted round and stood with its back to the performers, whistling and snorting and stamping its feet. The violin was disliked, and the signs of disapproval were unmistakable." The deer were strongly attracted by the violin, and showed equal pleasure at the tones of the flute. The ostrich seemed to enjoy the violin and the flute, though it showed marked dislike for the piccolo. " The ibexes were startled at the piccolo, first rushing forward to listen, and then taking refuge on a pile of rock, from which, however, the softer music of the flute brought them down to listen at the railing. The wild asses and zebras left the hay with which their racks had just been filled; and even the tapir which lives next door, tot up to listen to the violin; while the flute set the
Indian wild ass kicking with excitement. But the piccolo had no charms for any of them and they all returned to their interrupted breakfasts." A sleeping tiger was awakened by the soft playing of the violirj near its cage, listened to the music for a time in a very fine attitude, then purred, lay down again and dozed. At the first notes of the piccolo, it " sprang to its feet and rushed up and down the cage, shaking its head and ears, and lashing its tail from side to side. As the notes became still louder and more piercing, thfc tiger bounded across the den, reared on its hind feet, and exhibited the most ludicrous contrast to the calm dignity and repose with which it had listened to the violin. With the flute which followed, the tiger be�came quiet, the leaps subsided to a gentle walk, and coming to the bars and standing still and quiet once more, the animal listened with pleasure to the music."
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III