The piece has been designed to improve chicken wellbeing.
Chickens on a farm in New Zealand were treated to a performance of a special symphony on Friday, 6 October.
Musicians from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, smartly dressed as if in a concert hall, flocked together in a field to give a performance at the Bosktock Brothers farm in Hawke’s Bay.
Their feathered audience wandered around as the musicians played the new composition, Chook Symphony No. 1, which had been especially created for the chickens.
Scientific research has suggested that classical music can be beneficial for hens and other livestock, and so the Bostock Brothers decided to partner with the orchestra to try to boost the wellbeing of their free-range birds.
Composer Hamish Oliver tested different sounds and instruments to discover which ones the chickens responded to best.
Mr Oliver said: “The Bostock Brothers chickens were responsive to the viola, oboe, and bassoon, so I combined a string quartet with the squawkiest instruments of the woodwind family (oboe and bassoon) and added some inspiration from the chicken sound-world.”
The symphony combines these imitation chicken noises with a distinctly baroque sound, as if the piece were composed by Jo-hen Sebastian Bach or George Frideric Hen-del.
The composer added: “It’s not everyday that composing opportunities for a feathered audience come up and this has been a new kind of musical challenge for me, a definite career highlight – a quirky project that has a serious intent and purpose behind it too.”
A recording of the symphony has been released on Spotify and YouTube.
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