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Cats And Concertinas


wayman
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I guess that means that if Jim Besser's concertina playing is a bit wonky the morning after a long session with plenty to drink, it's hard to say whether that's because "the hair of the dog" has bitten Jim, or the hair of his dogs has gotten into his concertinas :-)

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I take my hat off to Mr. Wayman.

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My experience is that some, but not all dogs object to the sound of free reed instruments. The sound may be painful to their ultra-sensitive ears and they are also probably a bit suspicious of the breathing of the bellows, but the same dogs will also object to the sound of a mouth organ. To suggest that they are 'singing' along to the music is ludicrous.

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My experience is that some, but not all dogs object to the sound of free reed instruments. The sound may be painful to their ultra-sensitive ears and they are also probably a bit suspicious of the breathing of the bellows, but the same dogs will also object to the sound of a mouth organ. To suggest that they are 'singing' along to the music is ludicrous.

Actually I think you are badly wrong on this Rod.

 

My 'ex' dog, Pickles the springer spaniel, now happily resident with my parents in England, runs to me when I arrive and get out the concertina for a practice session. If the door is closed he will complain outside until allowed in. He knows there is one particular tune that is 'his' and will complain quietly until I hit it. Then all Hell breaks loose. There's no way this can be interpreted as dislike.

 

Perhaps it depends on the quality of play...

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My dog leaves the room as soon as he sees the concertina, but some years ago I wound up with a parrot (a long story), and the parrot thinks very highly of concertina music. He'll fly over and sit on my shoulder while I'm playing and even whistle a bit. The higher the notes the better he likes it.

 

(If you've ever heard a flock of parrots in the wild, you probably realize that this might not be a flattering comment on the sound a concertina makes, but at this point I'll take any fans I can find.)

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I've not 'got it badly wrong' Dirge. Its just that I've never had a dog like Pickles.

 

Well, in your earlier post you did say "in my experience".

 

But other animals are as individual as humans, and several among us have already reported quite different responses from their pets than what you report from yours. Based on dogs I've known, I don't think it's at all "ludicrous" that some dogs really are "singing along".

 

As for the oft-repeated speculation about high-frequency harmonics being somehow irritating to animals who can hear them, I don't know why that should be any different than with us humans. Some of us report being irritated by the highest notes on the standard concertinas, yet others of us (myself, e.g.) are not.

 

I've reported before about differences simply in the ability to perceive sounds of different frequencies: One friend plays a baritone English rather than a treble, because he can't hear the high notes on the treble, while another ignores the bass on her melodeon, because she can't hear those low notes. A third friend experienced physical pain from the squeal of my old computer monitor, which I couldn't hear at all, no matter how hard I tried. She could also hear the sonar squeaks of bats (really!), but she thought that was "cute", not irritating.

 

We humans can also have radically different preferences in types of music.

 

If humans can display such variation, then why not cats and dogs, as well?

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  • 2 weeks later...

One of our recently-acquired cats expressed extreme interest this afternoon. Like maybe concertinas are edible? Or can be chased? The other hasn't bothered to register a view yet.

 

My dad played the accordion. My grandfather had a dog who simply couldn't stand it. He would poke his long snout under the sofa, ram his forelegs in beside his head to cover his ears, and howl miserably. There wasn't much room for interpretation.

 

I was once standing on the shore of Lake Burley-Griffin in Canberra, Australia, playing my flute. A little fish swam up until the water was too shallow and it fell over. I stopped playing and reached down to touch it, and it realised its vulnerability and swam off in a flurry. Two of them and a few loaves of bread and I could be a real hit at a public gathering....

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A further data point: my cat runs away whenever he sees the concertina come out, or (even if he hasn't seen it) whenever he hears the first note. But he is completely unfazed by recordings of me playing that very same concertina. There's something about the live sound which isn't captured by a recording (or isn't reproduced on my laptop speakers). That's what made me initially guess that it's very high overtones, to which my cat may be more sensitive than others.

 

Oh, and he doesn't like the french horn, either, I discovered last week. And that too has lots of overtones, for what that's worth. But he didn't object so much when an old-time string band played a house concert this weekend.

 

Are there high-frequency earplugs for cats? :rolleyes:

Edited by wayman
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  • 3 weeks later...

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