Music for Elephants

Home / Featured / Music for Elephants

Short summary of Paul Barton’s work:

by  AsiaWorks
April 1, 2016


Music for Elephants is a unique and moving documentary about a British concert-pianist playing music to blind, injured and orphaned elephants with extraordinary results. For more information visit

Co-Produced by AsiaWorks

by  Paul Barton
June 17, 2013


12 Bar Blues – Piano Duet with Peter the Elephant – Thailand


Please read the description for more information about the content of this video.

More videos: “Music for Elephants”


Piano Duet


Watch Peter the elephant discover/play the clarinet:


Light-heated musical mayhem when Peter the elephant joins in a 12 bar blues on piano with his trunk — entirely of his own accord.

I’ve noticed elephants, such as Peter have moods at different times of day. Usually in the cooler early evening before nightfall (In Thailand) they are in a more relaxed and potentially playful mood.

Peter the elephant lives at Thailand.

Photos playing piano for elephants in Thailand

There are other similar albums on this Goggle+ account.

With reference to recent comments (19/11/2013)

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

* 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.

* 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.

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



* 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.