Bovine mooosic: a negated reality

by Andrea Gaddini
Teacher of Solfeggio and Harmonic Mooing at Cattle Conservatoire of Hereford

It's of common sense that the bovine species, between the countless other merits, created the music, and even gave it its name, even if some silly people thinks the name is taken from the Muses.
On the other hand, the sentence of the great French poet Jules Supervielle (1884-1960): "Souvent les boeufs font semblant de ruminer alors que du fond de leur âme ils chantent" (often cattle pretend to ruminate, while in the deep of their soul they sing) perfectly catches the occasion used by cattle to sing. The development of the prestomachs in ruminants has actually the main goal to supply the animals with a musical instrument, having moreover a soundbox (the rumen) wider than any human musical instrument.
Since the ancient times the humans tried to wring the secrets of ruminant musicality, using parts of the bovine body in order to make musical instruments (lyre-shaped horns), or even using the whole animal (photo 1).
A great number of famous singers were actually bovines, anyway betrayed by their voice and their size, like the famous Luciano Pavarotti, a Modenese breed bovine (photo 2).
The humming chorus was invented by a bovine and ... how should we consider the colors chosen for the piano keys?
Many works evidenced that dairy cows give more milk if milked as they listen classical music, performed live (photo 3), listened from a stereo (photo 4), or from the radio (photo 5).
Even the stave is probably a bovine invention, or at least was directly inspired by the Friesian's spotted coat (photo 6).

How to ignore the crushing coincidence between the geographic origin of the greatest composers and the regions which gave origin to cattle breeds?
The principle of choosing the simpler explanation is in force even in this case, so we can say that music is a genuinely bovine phenomenon, and the greatest composers were bovines.
Giuseppe Verdi was a White Valpadana bull, renowned for the white "v" on the black muzzle (photo 7) (V for Verdi: just a coincidence?), and the last name he chose as a pseudonym evidently recalls the color of pastures (Verdi means "green") .
Violetta, the leading role of "La Traviata", bears a typical name for a cow, and moreover she fells ill of tubercolosis, a typical bovine disease.
Gioacchino Rossini was a Marchigiana breed bull (photo 8), and its famous "The Thieving Magpie" in origin was called "The Thieving Cow" and was dedicated to a Friesian cow renowned for her habit to embezzle hay to the stable companions; the famous composer from Pesaro had to change the animal in the title, but chose another black and white one, just like the primary Friesian.
Giacomo Puccini was a Maremmana bull and his "Madame Butterfly" was obviousy a cow (photo 9), how evidenced by her name, composed by butter (made from cow milk) and fly (an insect closely related to cattle); moreover "La fanciulla del West" is set between the cowboys.

Even the greatest non-Italian composers were bovines: Mozart was an Alpine Grey bull (Rhätisches Grauvieh), and his horn concertos betray the bovine origin of the Salzburg genius; moreover the leading roles of his "The Magic Flute", Papageno and Papagena, in origin were a young bull and a heifer, but then the overwhelming anti-bovine censorship forced him to turn them into a pair of parrots (photo 10), and to change the original title of the work which was "The Magic Cowbell".
The renowned Beethoven's symphony no.6, nicknamed "Pastoral", evidences that the greatest Bonn composer was a bovine too, as revealed by his bull neck (photo 11), and that he remembered with homesickness the times when he was free to graze on green German pastures.
The male leading role of Georges Bizet's "Carmen" is a bull-fighter, Escamillo, and the author discloses his bovine nature by his aversion, anyway understandable, for that serial killer of bulls (photo 12).
The Georg Friedrich Haendel's concerts named "Water Music" were inspired to the singing of cattle on the way to watering.
Even Wagner wrote a bovine inspired work: "The Flying Dutchman" (photo 13), that at first was dedicated to a Friesian cow (thus a Dutch one) which take flight to migrate, another cattle trait concealed by a conspiracy of silence (see "Flying cattle: a negated reality").

The cattle's melancholic and reserved disposition makes them very fit for blues and spirituals (photo 14 and 15), that they traditionally perform towards evening, with a great skill, so that a Longhorn breed cow was named "Singing the Blues" (see photo 16 and the website).
It would take too much time to list all the rock-stars which in their works betray a bovine origin, like the Henry Cow band, Elvis Presley with Milk Cow Blues Boogie and Milky White Way, Pink Floyd with Atom Heart Mother cover (photo 17), Frank Zappa with its LP "Uncle Meat" (photo 18), a dramatic report on hamburgers' world, and more recently, Curt Kirkwood's "cow-punk".

It's not far away the time when cattle will claim their musical merits, the playlists will be composed only by cattle music, the symphony choirs will be composed only by bovines and the orchestras will acclaim their conductor: "Muuuti!".

my works of upsetting scientific vulgarization on cattle

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page created: January 8th 2006 and last updated: December 2nd 2010