These Elephants Love Classical Music

Jul 20, 2018

Sweet elephants. Eric Whitacre's "Big Sing." An orchestra specifically for aliens. This week's link roundup has it all.

1. We've seen horse concerts. We know dogs love classical music. But what about... elephants? Pianist Paul Barton plays for the residents of an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, and by all indications, they seem to love it. Here are three of the gentlest videos you'll see all day:

2. This Saturday, venues across California will participate in Eric Whitacre's "Big Sing": a massive simultaneous master chorale concert/singalong that encourages -- nay, demands -- that audiences raise their voices and join the chorus. Sign up here.

3. These instruments can't be heard by human ears. That's the point -- they're not for us, they're for aliens. Experimental philosopher Jonathan Keats's orchestra "translates the fundamental principles of music and sound to a format that other beings in the universe could perhaps respond to."

4. Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater has hosted every rock band from The Beatles to U2 to The Grateful Dead. Before it became the iconic concert venue it is today, it still packed its 9,000 seats with people -- for classical music performances. Colorado Public Radio has the story. 

5. NBC Nightly News investigated the demographic breakdown of US orchestras, and found them seriously lacking in diversity. The National Alliance for Audition Support is working to change that.

6. What did a keyboard instrument sound like in Mozart's time? How would Haydn's sonatas have sounded different than they do on a modern piano? The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment has this video to show us: