Pachelbel’s Chicken: Your Favorite Classical Pieces Played Masterfully on a Rubber Chicken

Music lovers brac­ing against the annu­al onslaught of the Singing Dogs’ “Jin­gle Bells” may find their sav­age beasts soothed some­what by Eddy Chen’s per­for­mance of Pachelbel’s Canon, above.

Nev­er mind that the instru­ment on which he plays four dif­fer­ent tracks is a rub­ber chick­en… or more accu­rate­ly, as per Ama­zon, a Scream­ing Yel­low Rub­ber Chick­en Non Tox­ic Bite-resis­tant Squeaky Toy.

It retains its relax­ing musi­cal­i­ty. Chen, one half of Aus­tralian duo TwoSetVi­o­lin, plays that bird like the dis­ci­plined, clas­si­cal­ly-trained pro he is.

Clas­si­cal chick­en cov­ers became a sur­prise hit for Chen and his part­ner, Brett Yang, vet­er­ans of the Syd­ney and Queens­land Sym­pho­ny Orches­tras, whose vir­tu­al­ly sold out world tour was the first of its kind to be entire­ly financed by Kick­starter dona­tions.

The duo describes its mis­sion as “uphold­ing the integri­ty of clas­si­cal music” while mak­ing it “rel­e­vant to the mod­ern gen­er­a­tion through fun, humour and sim­plic­i­ty,” not­ing, in a joint inter­view with

There are peo­ple out there who are ready to love clas­si­cal music, and we have to active­ly find them. It is the way clas­si­cal music has been pre­sent­ed so far that makes it so aus­tere. We were lucky that we learned the instru­ment for 20 years; if we were not musi­cians, it would be very hard to get into.

Every­one has the poten­tial to like it, but some­times musi­cians alien­ate and scare poten­tial lis­ten­ers with our pride.

Back when clas­si­cal music was new, it was not ‘clas­si­cal’; it was just music.

Today our (clas­si­cal music audi­ence) is very small, but there are many great musi­cians

 Grant­ed, the stan­dards for clas­si­cal music are there for a good rea­son: peo­ple want the best art, and that is a stan­dard we should uphold. At the same time, some­times we see peo­ple break­ing down and freak­ing out because of those stan­dards. It is sad to think of all that lost poten­tial and love for music. We feel we are los­ing audi­ences; we are los­ing peo­ple who used to love music.

The chick­en def­i­nite­ly appeals to young lis­ten­ers, though sure­ly there’s no age lim­it for enjoy­ing its take on Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie No.1

Or Johann Strauss’ “The Blue Danube” Waltz, where­in Yang squeezes a chick­en in each fist whilst Chen mans the vio­lin…

Or the open­ing trum­pet solo of Gus­tav Mahler ‘s Sym­pho­ny No. 5

Or Beethoven’s “Für Elise,” a favorite first clas­si­cal piece for pianists and chick­en play­ers alike…

Oth­ers on TwoSetViolin’s clas­si­cal chick­en playlist include Handel’s “Hal­lelu­jah” cho­rus and the “Waltz of the Flow­ers” from Tchaikovsky’s Nut­crack­er Suite.

Catch up with TwoSetVi­o­lin on the final leg of their Amer­i­can tour and sub­scribe to their YouTube chan­nel for their insights into the clas­si­cal musi­cian’s life and the impor­tance of prac­tice.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch the World’s Old­est Vio­lin in Action: Mar­co Rizzi Per­forms Schumann’s Sonata No. 2 on a 1566 Amati Vio­lin

Behold the “3Dvarius,” the World’s First 3‑D Print­ed Vio­lin

New Order’s “Blue Mon­day” Played with Obso­lete 1930s Instru­ments

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Join her in NYC this Decem­ber for the 10th anniver­sary pro­duc­tion of Greg Kotis’ apoc­a­lyp­tic hol­i­day tale, The Truth About San­ta, and the next month­ly install­ment of her book-based vari­ety show, Necro­mancers of the Pub­lic Domain. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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  • Ruth Marshall says:

    Hel­lo from Ruth in Lon­don. I have a chick­en just like yours (they could be from the same batch!) He is a retired event mas­cot called David but would love to come out and sing a duet with you! Always open to offers 😀

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