Perhaps he might enjoy a few hours of German art songs

I’ve been reading about music and dogs – several books, websites, and so on have suggested leaving classical music on when the dog is alone so as to relax him or her. This I certainly have the resources to do. But I did wonder why classical. And also if they meant, like, Alban Berg. Most of the references to the idea mentioned things like Vivaldi. One in particular said that dogs react to heavy metal with fear and anxiety (fair enough), pop music is like human conversation or nothing, and “classical” (loosely defined) was apparently soothing.

I did wonder, though, whether this is an artifact of the very human idea that classical music is by nature soothing. I remember being in my office once listening to one of my favorite violinists tear through a Tartini concerto and a colleague stuck his head in to ask me something and commented that I had some very relaxing music on. I remember thinking “really?” and considering whether to say “really?” but I can’t remember what I actually said. In either case, the intent of neither the concerto nor the performance was to put the listener to sleep.

2014-10-04 17.05.11My dog seems to like music (he can be seen at left, thinking deeply about Handel’s Hercules), but I’ve never tried him for extended periods on anything other than Bach, bits of Handel or Joyce DiDonato Sings Everything, so I’m not sure whether he finds Bach, Handel and Rossini more or less soothing than, say, Bikini Kill.

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