Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Do songbirds know music theory?


Recommended Posts

Forgive me for my ignorance about music theory. Is this right? Western music is based on... what do you call it... diatonic scale? Do-Re-Mi, etc. One semi-tone between notes? Eastern music is different. How? Do they have tones between semitones? And what is Eastern music? Does that mean India or more than that? And what kind of scale do songbirds use?

> > > [ Live! ] < < <

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 8
  • Created
  • Last Reply
There are tons of scales - you should try putting "music scales" into Google or some other search engine and spend the day reading: here's a good link on Indian music alone - tons of info: http://chandrakantha.com/articles/scales.html The bird thing is pretty interesting. You should post back anything you uncover. I doubt they know theory any more than ants know civil engineering ;) .

Steve Powell - Bull Moon Digital

www.bullmoondigital.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Songbirds, animals and other mammals do not knowingly use musical scales. Their pitch and timbre of their vocalization is usually defined by the natural design of the throat chamber (like a Helmholtz resonator). Their vocalizations or songs are not composed to make musical sense to us, but for the communication and survival of their species.

GY

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that the Western scale is based upon intervals found in the natural overtone series (with a few notable adjustments). The overtone series, IIRC: octave perfect fifth perfect fourth major third minor third minor third major seconds (three or four of them) minor second These correspond to the notes that you can play on a valveless wind instrument, like a bugle. This list covers every possible interval, in that all intervals that aren't on the list can be made by combining the ones that are included. Music theory, like mathematics, describes the order inherent in natural phenomena, like bird chirps.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Duke, dude - I want to thank you for starting this topic - it reminded me of a song I wanted to work on. I heard the most beautiful melody come out of this bird on a camping trip a few years ago and always wanted to turn it into a trance tune, and this thread reminded me of it. I tried it out on a normally tuned guitar and it was a three note, slow melody with a counterpoint that switched at dawn and dusk. I think it's amazing where on could draw the influences from! Thanks, Harold
meh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm still curious about songbirds and intervals. But I guess some might use infinite intervals, in that they literally bend notes from lower to higher pitch or vice versa. I was just curious if a songbird that sings a long "song," like a nightingale or even a mockingbird... if it consists of do-re-mi semitones or otherwise. I gotta know. Might have to find a birdwatching forum. Dan, what does IIRC mean?

> > > [ Live! ] < < <

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...