Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Classical Music For The Birds

Finch : Male House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) perched with a colorful background
Photo of male house finch, one of my favorite songbirds, courtesy

Today's topic, ornithology in music, was requested by one of our European followers, @MiscVixen on Twitter.  Several classical music works immediately come to mind: 

Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, the Pastoral:  In the second movement cuckoos, nightingales, and quails are depicted.

Respighi composed The Birds.

Vivaldi's work, Spring, depicts birds singing.

Haydn's Toy Symphony employs two or three toy birds.

Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute, has the comic-relief character, the Bird Catcher.

However, this blog is about learning something I didn't know about this topic, so the following are a few rather interesting things I didn't know.

First, there is a classical music album you can buy that was expressly compiled for your bird's enjoyment:  Classical Music for Birds:  Calming Instrumental Music for Your Bird.

Next, there are many people who are avid bird-watchers, also called "birders", who are lovers of classical music, and have conducted experiments watching the reactions of birds to classical music.  Birder South describes itself as a "magazine for bird-lovers in the Southern United States, and has a wonderful article published in 2008 about birds, birders, and classical music:  click here to read that wonderful article.

Last, the composer Messien, who wrote pieces based on transcribed bird songs, said:  "Birds are the opposite of time.  They represent our longing for light, for stars, for rainbows, and for jubilant song."

Thanks to @MiscVixen on Twitter for requesting today's topic!  What did you learn today?

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