Birdsong and classical music

This summer you too may have occasion to be a receptive audience to birdsong, quotidian or ecstatic.

We all know the cardinal’s impossibly happy song on a beautiful morning. (It makes us ashamed to lie in bed, doesn’t it? (What-cheer, what-cheer … wheet, wheet, wheet, wheet. Get up! Get up! Get up! The world is waiting!) And you might have heard, as I did a month or so ago, the expert and fluid mimicry of a catbird. Even the humbler birds that perch around your house and visit your feeder have their song — the chickadee’s fee-bee, the purple finch’s warble.


The black-headed grosbeak has been compared to Yo-Yo Ma — or is it vice versa?

So what do we make of the Classical Music as Birdsong claim about the song of the grosbeak and Yo-Yo Ma’s cello:

I just interviewed an author who described the song of the Black Headed Grosbeaks as Yo-Yo Ma laying into a sonata.

He then went further, calling it a cascade of notes, almost more than you could take in, with the type of energy where you could hear the violinist or cellist attack the strings.

He then asked me if I knew a better referrent than Yo-Yo Ma. I didn’t. Do you?

You can check out the comments this blogger received (click the Classical Music as Birdsong link above). Or you can weigh in here on your own, with your own curious comments and questions.

Did you think that Aaron Janse sounded somewhat grosbeakish in a recent concert? Or that Jane Garvin’s flute gave the larks a run for their money? We are talking nature here, of course, and culture — and the intricate, intimate connection between them.

Posted in emotion, life experience, nature-culture and tagged , , , .

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