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I'm singing in the rainforest: Researchers find striking similarities between bird song and human music


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The musician wren is aptly-named, because these birds use the same intervals in their songs that are heard as consonant in many human cultures. This is a what composer and musicologist and a biologist found out in their zoomusicological study. Consonant intervals are perceived to fit well together. They sound calm and stable, and are the basis for keys in Western Music. It is because Musician Wrens preferentially produce successive perfect octaves, fifths, and fourths that their songs sound musical to human listeners.hjbs9yKLbaE

 

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The origin of human music has long been the subject of intense discussion between philosophers, cultural scientists and naturalists. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany and Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, US, have now found striking parallels between our music and the song of a small brown bird living in the Amazon region. The Musician Wren favors consonant over dissonant intervals, something that has rarely been observed in other animal species before. This bird's musicality goes even further: it prefers to sing perfect consonances (octaves, perfect fifths, and perfect fourths) over imperfect consonances leading to some passages which may sound to human listeners as if they are structured around a tonal center.

 

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