Song Spotlight: “Duetto Buffo Di Due Gatti (Humorous Duet For Two Cats)”

Fluffy brown and white kitty with a white butterfly perched on its nose
  • Mood: Humorous, Light-Hearted
  • Themes: Funny Songs, Songs about Animals
  • Tempo: Slow
  • Genre/Style: Classical

We often associate western classical music with seriousness and exactness. Many composers capture the complex emotions that we experience and transform them into great works that stand the test of time. So, it may be easy to forget that composers have also found ways to express their humor. We’ll explore that silliness composition, which we think is the cat’s meow. (Pun intended! Ha!)

Though frequently attributed to Rossini, this tune is a compilation written in 1825. The musical phrases and ideas are drawn mainly from Rossini’s 1816 opera Otello. The compiler is said to be Robert Lucas De Persall, who worked under the pseudonym G. Berthold. Though it is in the genre of Classical music, this tune is far from stuffy, and it features a duet with a surprising twist: The only word throughout this entire piece is “miau” (meow).

“Duetto Buffo Di Due Gatti (Humorous Duet For Two Cats)” is a great song to use in a group and would go well with a collection of songs about animals,or funny songs. It can be used as a transition into group discussion, or as an opportunity for musical engagement and movement.

Try This:

Theme: This song would fit well into a collection of funny songs, or songs about animals. Other complementary songs may include You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd,” “Tiger By the Tail,” and “Octopus’s Garden.”

Discussion: Encourage the group to discuss their favorite pets or talk about what animals would or would not make good pets and why.

Share pictures of cats or encourage group members to bring pictures of one of their pets and tell funny stories of their antics.

Make up a story about a cat, using a particularly expressive photo of a cat as inspiration.

Movement: You can do expressive or dramatic movement to this piece, slow movements on the held meows and shorter movements on the moving notes.

Watch the performance of this piece. Compare it to other classical performances and enjoy the humor.

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