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Birds influencing music

Birds influencing music
March 11, 2010, 06:41:02 PM
Maybe birds were the first musical influences when people were starting to create melodies?

Re: Birds influencing music
March 11, 2010, 07:36:40 PM
Thats an interesting idea, and I assume birds have been singing longer than we've existed. Bird melodies seem to sound logical as well, maybe thats why they sound logical to us, because our melodies are originally based on theirs. Speculation, but interesting none the less.

Re: Birds influencing music
March 11, 2010, 07:58:27 PM
Birds were possibly an influence on human speech too. Saw a BBC documentary recently where they mentioned that scientists were exploring the origin of a proto-language used only for ritual chants in southern India which bore no similarity whatsoever to any spoken tongue of the region and upon analysis they came to the conclusion that the closest thing to it was birdsong.

Re: Birds influencing music
March 12, 2010, 12:13:08 AM
I found a brief site pertaining to bird songs influencing classical music, I had to translate it because it is in French. This site was mainly on the French composer, Olivier Messiaen and has a section that points out earlier composers, like Vivaldi who got their inspiration from bird songs. Not much, but interesting nonetheless.

http://pagesperso-orange.fr/p.dubois/oiseaux/


Re: Birds influencing music
March 12, 2010, 01:08:22 AM
Birds aren't being musical. They chirp and shriek to stake out some territory for foraging or nesting. The sound warns others of their presence. Monkeys scream and hoot for often similar reasons. Squirrels chitter when a cat is around.

Re: Birds influencing music
March 13, 2010, 02:02:38 AM
I don't know about birds influencing the history of music....yet i think I've heard about Mussorgskij been influenced by their singing, Cage having them sing right on stage....but what i wanted to say - birds aren't exploited yet. There's much inspiration that can emerge out of their melodies. It is a strange approach to "music" as intuitive that the mankind, according to myself, didn't make use of it. But it's just another force of nature. Using bird sounds as a sketch to one's own music would be as valid and of the same quality as using any other source. Maybe even worse, because the art (maybe sorry for introducing my own point of view, i still think of this forum as a free forum for possibly clear debate) should be a revealing of one's own vocabulary using techniques learnt and experiences modulating those learnings. And that should create uniqueness.

Re: Birds influencing music
March 13, 2010, 02:32:30 AM
I don't know about birds influencing the history of music....yet i think I've heard about Mussorgskij been influenced by their singing, Cage having them sing right on stage....but what i wanted to say - birds aren't exploited yet. There's much inspiration that can emerge out of their melodies. It is a strange approach to "music" as intuitive that the mankind, according to myself, didn't make use of it. But it's just another force of nature. Using bird sounds as a sketch to one's own music would be as valid and of the same quality as using any other source. Maybe even worse, because the art (maybe sorry for introducing my own point of view, i still think of this forum as a free forum for possibly clear debate) should be a revealing of one's own vocabulary using techniques learnt and experiences modulating those learnings. And that should create uniqueness.

Maybe you should analyze things on a more visceral level, that is, birds sing, humans who aren't on TV all the time are enjoying the outdoors and take great pleasure in listening them, and because it is a primitve, instinctive, inspiring sound it may influence their art, not some person recording bird sounds and sampling them on a piece of music

Re: Birds influencing music
March 13, 2010, 12:08:50 PM
Yes, as i read my post again i see it sounds like i'm talking just about "using" birds as sounds in music. But what i meant and failed to pass across is that the structure of their melodies is unexploited and unexplored by men. How birds sing is so pleasing to the ear, yet so different from any composed music. Or does someone know of any music that resembles or reflects the methods of intuitive bird singing?

Maybe René Lussier made a tiny step towards this with his Le tresor de la langue, where he records French people speaking and follows the melodic lines of their speech with a nylon guitar and contrabass i think (adding other instruments at times). Quite musical, actually, but most of time it is about the technique.

Re: Birds influencing music
March 13, 2010, 08:32:17 PM
...does someone know of any music that resembles or reflects the methods of intuitive bird singing?

Messiaen certainly used birdsong, but I'm not sure how progressive he was with it in the way you're implying.

Re: Birds influencing music
March 14, 2010, 07:01:28 AM
Am I the only person that finds bird songs annoying?

Re: Birds influencing music
March 14, 2010, 12:11:04 PM
It depends on the bird. Generally I appreciate birdsong, but I think that it should be left to the birds; they have the right sound for it. When it's replicated on instruments it loses it's natural beauty and spontaneity and hence much of its enjoyment.

Re: Birds influencing music
March 16, 2010, 02:52:31 PM
Yes, as well as realistic painting of a landscape can in no way influence our feelings like the real one does. You just know that the painter tried to imitate it. So the birdsong should be just an inspiration in order to not sound "fake"

Re: Birds influencing music
April 18, 2010, 01:19:09 AM
Olivier Messiaen devoted the majority of his career to composing music based on the rythmic and melodic properties of birdsong. Notable compositions are: 'Reveil des oiseaux,' 'Oiseaux exotiques', and 'Catalogue d'oiseaux.' May be a bit experimental for one who's not familiar with Messiaen, or for the casual classical listener.