Why Birds Sing: A Journey into the Mystery of Bird Song

Why Birds Sing: A Journey into the Mystery of Bird Song

by David Rothenberg
     
 

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A beautiful and surprising exploration of a phenomenon that is at once familiar and baffling: the mystery of why birds sing.See more details below

Overview


A beautiful and surprising exploration of a phenomenon that is at once familiar and baffling: the mystery of why birds sing.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Nola Theiss
David Rothenberg is a jazz musician and philosopher and he approaches the question of why birds sing from both an emotional and intellectual vantage point. His analysis of birds' songs is done from the tradition of musicians who have tried to capture their songs through notations and physical recordings through the last centuries, but he also is philosophical about birds' motivations and individual talent and styles. This calls for some anthropomorphizing on his part, but his examples of birds that have "played along" with him and imitated and then incorporated his flute's notes into their songs seem to make a case for his theory. Also, there is the story of a lyrebird that heard the song of African birds, was released back into the Australian wilderness; years later, other lyrebirds were singing the tune of the African birds, which seems to make a case for his theory. What's the explanation for these phenomena? As the author says, "The science of bird song, like the art of bird song, is rich in hypotheses but thin on conclusions." It is his journey to understanding the music of birds that is so interesting, like the trip he and another musician took to Australia just to hear the only lyrebird "because he is the only member of his wary, elusive species who can stomach the sight and sound of human beings." The book is filled with illustrations and this paperback edition has a CD of music the author has written in response to bird song, often accompanied by birds. He also includes extensive notes and an index. While some students will find the material written at a very high level, those interested in music and nature will enjoy this book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465071364
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
03/28/2006
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
847,742
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

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