Music for birds to sing
Why Birds Sing: A Journey Into the Mystery of Bird Song by David RothenbergThe astonishing richness of birdsong is both an aesthetic and a scientific mystery. Evolutionists have never been able to completely explain why birdsong is so inventive and why many species devote so many hours to singing. The standard explanations of defending territories and attracting mates dont begin to account for the variety and energy that the commonest birds exhibit. Is it possible that birds sing because they like to? This seemingly naive explanation is starting to look more and more like the truth. Why Birds Sing is a lyric exploration of birdsong that blends the latest scientific research with a deep understanding of musical beauty and form. Drawing on conversations with neuroscientists, ecologists, and composers, it is the first book to investigate the elusive question of why birds sing and what their song means to both avian and human ears. Whether playing his clarinet with the whitecrested laughing thrush in Pittsburgh, or jamming in the Australian winter breeding grounds of the Alberts lyrebird, Rothenberg immerses himself in the heart and soul of birdsong. He approaches the subject as a naturalist, philosopher, musician, and investigator. An intimate look at the mostlovely of natural phenomena, Why Birds Sing is a beautifully written exploration of a phenomenon thats at once familiar and profoundly alien.
Why Do Birds Sing?
Bird Songs by Gareth Huw Davies. The vocal ability of birds has inspired. Birdsong can be a natural phenomenon of intense beauty. But our enjoyment is incidental to the main purpose, which is one bird communicating with others. Birds became the world's master musicians in order to convey to potential mates, rivals and predators all the important things they have to say, from "Clear off! The musical detail would have impressed the great composers.
Although you might find the concept of playing music specifically for your parakeet rather silly, pet birds and music are hardly a mismatch. Birds sing, don't they? And some parrots are actually fans of human music as well. Parakeets, like many other pet birds, often react fondly to music that is serene, peaceful and quiet. Loud music is a no-no for them. Two genres that might put your parakeet's mind at ease are soft classical and New Age music.
Even non-birders can appreciate the delicate tones and melodious tunes of birdsong, but it is more than just music to birds. Understanding why birds sing can help birders learn different cycles of a bird's life and how to best listen to birds at different times of the year, including how to identify birds by voice and sound.
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Birds have played a role in Western Classical music since at least the 14th century, when composers such as Jean Vaillant quoted birdsong in some of their compositions. Among the birds whose song is most often used in music are the nightingale and the cuckoo. Composers and musicians have made use of birds in their music in different ways: they can be inspired by birdsong; they can intentionally imitate bird song in a composition; they can incorporate recordings of birds into their works, as Ottorino Respighi first did; or, like the cellist Beatrice Harrison in and more recently the jazz musician David Rothenberg , they can duet with birds. Authors including Rothenberg have claimed that birds such as the hermit thrush sing on traditional scales as used in human music, but at least one songbird, the nightingale wren , does not choose notes in this way. However, among birds which habitually borrow phrases or sounds from other species such as the starling , the way they use variations of rhythm, relationships of musical pitch , and combinations of notes can resemble music. The similar motor constraints on human and avian song may have driven these to have similar song structures, including "arch-shaped and descending melodic contours in musical phrases", long notes at the ends of phrases, and typically small differences in pitch between adjacent notes, at least in birds with a strong song structure like the Eurasian treecreeper.
This is an article from Curious Kids , a series for children. All questions are welcome — serious, weird or wacky! My name is Hannah from Toronto, Canada, age 4. I would like to know why do birds sing. Thanks — Hannah, age 4, Toronto. Lots of animals use sounds to say things to other animals of their kind.