Science

Koko's Breath Control With Musical Instruments: Video Clips

The Gorilla Foundation/YouTube

On Thursday, I wrote about the gorilla Koko's ability for fine breath control as she plays with musical instruments such as the recorder and the harmonica. Quite a few readers have asked to view Koko in action, and today the Gorilla Foundation provided the short video you see here.

As you watch, keep in mind that the activity under discussion is how Koko voluntarily deploys her breathing with fine control- not her musical talent! Koko toots on the instruments, and I notice in the final scene with her harmonica, she even plays different tones. As some of the helpful comments offered by musicians who wrote in to my original post explain, these skills are harder to accomplish than it may first appear.


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