Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Song Birds And Bird Songs And Songs

My new calendar has photos of song birds on it. But the publisher just used stock photos. So if the photographer for the photo house identified the bird, the calendar includes what kind of bird is shown. If the stock photo has no information, the calendar identifies the image just as “bird.”

This is January’s song bird, and it’s identified as a “bullfinch.”

I’ve never seen a bullfinch in real life. It’s very pretty, though. I like the color orange and I like birds, so an orange bird gets thumbs up from me.

I bought a calendar with song birds on it for a particular reason.

A few days ago in Another Look At Another Venus I mentioned that I haven’t listened to a lot of orchestral music. That’s true. One reason is that I like to learn about things by talking to people and, as luck would have it, every time I meet someone who’s interested in classical music they turn out to be someone I have a very hard time talking to. I don’t usually have a hard time talking to anyone, but by some twist of fate, the few classical music people I’ve known have been, for me, difficult.

But a few months ago I found a website that approached classical music from a very interesting angle. I also enjoy learning about things if I have a well-defined perspective to use when evaluating what I’m learning. So I’ve been planning on listening to more classical music this year, using this website I found as a jumping off place.

Here is a quote from the website:

The glorious melodies of songbirds have long been a source of inspiration for composers of music. Some composers imitate bird songs to reflect the seasons or nature, or to create a sense of comfort or lightness in their music, while others use them to give the impression of conversation. Birds are very chatty, social creatures, after all! Still others use a fragment of bird song as a theme for an entire piece of music, just for its beauty alone.

Composers have also used bird calls, rather than bird songs, in their music. Bird calls are different from bird songs—they are simpler, more repetitive, and have less variation. Calls are used to signal danger, hunger, a food discovery, aggressiveness, to call groups together (called flocking), or to harass a predator. While both male and female birds engage in bird calls, bird songs—with more pitch and rhythm changes—are primarily done by the males who sing to attract female mates, and to defend territory.

This is pretty cool. It’s an introduction to classical music from the perspective of bird songs! The website is:

How Tweet It Is: Bird Songs in Classical Music

Here is a chart of recommended composers and their pieces which contain music inspired by bird songs. If you click on the chart it will expand. But the chart is also at the website:

I’ve been meaning to get going on this for a while, and I bought the calendar to remind me. I have no particular idea where to start, but I may just pick one of the names I’ve never heard of—Respighi’s “The Birds”?—and get a CD or check iTunes or something.

I’m not making this a top priority, and my calendar lasts all year, so I’m just going to relax and enjoy slowly learning a little about classical music. Now that I have this post up, I can refer back to it for info.


Birds seem happier
with their bird songs than people
who say they enjoy

classical music.
Unless I’ve met a skewed set
of people. Or birds.

I’m going to trust
the birds I’ve met on this one.
They’re wild, but they sing.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Song As Eternal Monster Inside Sound

Street Lights And Slutty Bluetits

Quasi Una Flying Car Fantasia

1 comment:

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