Peter the Elephant Plays Piano, 12 Bar Blues Music Duet in Thailand

Peter the Elephant Plays Piano

 One of a Kind 12 Bar Blues Piano Duet

Watch when Peter the elephant plays piano using his trunk in a spontaneous duet session of 12 bar blues with Paul Barton in Thailand.  It’s delightful.  Keep your eyes open for the other elephant shaking his (or her) booty.  So fun!  I just love elephants, don’t you?

 Published on Jun 17, 2013

Peter the Elephant Plays Piano

Well, do you love that as much as I do?  I can’t help feeling what an honor it must be for Paul to play for these elephants. The elephants are blind, by the way, and live in a sanctuary on the mountains of Kanchanaburi, north-east of Bangkok.

In answer to some questions Paul was asked about the welfare of these elephants, he explained that:

* The person standing beside Peter the elephant is “Pat”.  Pat is Peter’s mahout, which is a person that devotes his or her life to looking after an elephant, usually in Asia. This is a dangerous job.  Pat is Thai.

* Pat is responsible for Peter’s well-being, day and night, all year round. Pat’s daily duties include keeping Peter safe from other bull elephants as well as looking after visitors to Peter’s home at the Royal Elephant Kraal in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

* Pat and Peter have a special bond.

Peter the Elephant plays piano

* Pat is not reading a magazine in this video, he is filming with his tablet.

* Pat is not prodding Peter, he is just reminding him not to get too carried away and smash the piano keys with his heavy trunk as he has, unintentionally, on previous occasions.

* The chain around Peter’s neck is flimsy. It is there so Pat can walk at Peter’s side and guide him occasionally around vehicles or other potentially harmful bull elephants on the way to bath and drink in the river, for instance. Those with experience working with elephants in Thailand know this flimsy chain is no restraint to an elephant whatsoever. It is not there to cause Peter any harm, just the reverse.

* Peter has NOT been trained to play piano. This video is Peter’s spontaneous reaction to a piano during a brief encounter one evening between Peter and Paul Barton, a visiting pianist to the elephant Kraal where Peter lives.

* Piano keys are no longer made of ivory. The piano in this video has plastic keys. All piano keys are made from synthetic polymers and plastics. The use of ivory for piano keys decreased dramatically after World War II and thankfully stopped altogether in 1989 with the CITIES worldwide ban on ivory trade.

Paul Barton plays piano for Elephant


Paul Barton is a 50-year old British classical and contemporary pianist in association with FEURICH, Vienna and La Pédale Harmonique, Paris.  He studied Fine Art at Royal Academy of Art, London.  He is a freelance artist and musician, and is married to Khwan Barton, a wildlife artist.

Paul Barton is known to have dragged a piano up a mountain in Thailand so he could play Beethoven for blind elephants.  He claims to have achieved a long-held ambition as he sat behind his piano, just a few meters away for the graceful giants, calmly playing his instrument. Even with a bad back, he felt that he “wanted to make the effort so I could feel like I had undergone a personal challenge.”

Paul said:

“It was a 50th birthday present to myself.  My wife and I have been working with blind elephants for many years, and I thought it might be something they would enjoy to listen to.

Yorkshire-born Paul moved to Thailand 16 years ago with his wife to be closer to the elephants.

Peter the Elephant Plays Piano – FIND MORE

This video is one of a series in “Music for Elephants”. There are 23 videos with piano and elephants in this playlist…

Peter the elephant lives at Thailand.

Photos playing piano for elephants in Thailand here:… There are other similar albums on this Goggle+ account.

Peter the Elephant Plays Piano, 12 Bar Blues Music Duet in Thailand

SOURCE:  DailyMail
Peter the elephant plays piano
Peter the Elephant and Paul Barton


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MY QUESTION FOR YOU TODAY   Wow, right?  Have you ever seen anything like this?  Do you love elephants as much as I do?  I think I missed my calling.  I was meant to work with wild animals.  Would you love that too?

* Please leave a comment below and remember to share. *

It’s just sexy!

Jeanne Melanson, Founder of Animal Bliss, a very cool blog about animals - wildlife and domestic too


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10 thoughts on “Peter the Elephant Plays Piano, 12 Bar Blues Music Duet in Thailand”

  1. I’m sorry, but despite my willingness to believe that an elephant such as Peter could find something to enjoy in the music, and your claim that “Pat is not prodding Peter, he is just reminding him not to get too carried away and smash the piano keys with his heavy trunk”, I think the video proves otherwise.

    Towards the end of this clip, the camera has moved around the piano to the side where Pat is standing, and there is a moment where Peter’s trunk is down, yet Pat taps him anyway, which is contrary to your explaination. I think Pat is prodding Peter in at least two ways, one to flap his ears, and another to put his trunk on the keyboard.

  2. I was smiling so broadly by the end of this, watching the elephant play with his trunk and flap his ears. I’ve seen my pet parakeets (when I owned them) react to music but nothing ever like this. I have to admit that most mammals do not excite me (although I do enjoy the company of cats) – I’m more of a bird person.

  3. Hi Jeanne
    This is a amazing story ,
    not only that the elephant plays ,
    I think what Paul Barton did is amazing as well.
    I like this story ,thanks for sharing.

  4. Hey Jeanne,

    Aww got to love an elephant. They are such beautiful, intelligent creatures.

    Thank for sharing,

    It was a lovely post,


  5. Amazing elephant. Its quite amazing if you think what these animals can do.I know they where intelligent but this much is quite amazing. I certainly love elephants, we in India have the Ganesha the elephant god.


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