How and when does music become possible? Is it a matter of biology, or culture, or an interaction between the two? Revolutionizing the way we think about the core values of music and human exceptionalism, Hollis Taylor takes us on an outback road trip to meet the Australian pied butcherbird. Recognized for their distinct timbre, calls, and songs, both sexes of this songbird sing in duos, trios, and even larger choirs, transforming their flute-like songs annually. While birdsong has long inspired artists, writers, musicians, and philosophers, and enthralled listeners from all walks of life, researchers from the sciences have dominated its study. As a field musicologist, Taylor spends months each year in the Australian outback recording the songs of the pied butcherbird and chronicling their musical activities. She argues persuasively in these pages that their inventiveness in song surpasses biological necessity, compelling us to question the foundations of music and confront the remarkably entangled relationship between human and animal worlds. Equal parts nature essay, memoir, and scholarship, Is Birdsong Music? offers vivid portraits of the extreme locations where these avian choristers are found, quirky stories from the field, and an in-depth exploration of the vocalizations of the pied butcherbird.
Outback Encounters with an Australian Songbird
Author: Hollis Taylor
Publisher: Indiana University Press
This volume is the first sustained examination of the complex perspectives that comprise ecomusicology—the study of the intersections of music/sound, culture/society, and nature/environment. Twenty-two authors provide a range of theoretical, methodological, and empirical chapters representing disciplines such as anthropology, biology, ecology, environmental studies, ethnomusicology, history, literature, musicology, performance studies, and psychology. They bring their specialized training to bear on interdisciplinary topics, both individually and in collaboration. Emerging from the whole is a view of ecomusicology as a field, a place where many disciplines come together. The topics addressed in this volume—contemporary composers and traditional musics, acoustic ecology and politicized soundscapes, material sustainability and environmental crisis, familiar and unfamiliar sounds, local places and global warming, birds and mice, hearing and listening, biomusic and soundscape ecology, and more—engage with conversations in the various realms of music study as well as in environmental studies and cultural studies. As with any healthy ecosystem, the field of ecomusicology is dynamic, but this edited collection provides a snapshot of it in a formative period. Each chapter is short, designed to be accessible to the nonspecialist, and includes extensive bibliographies; some chapters also provide further materials on a companion website: http://www.ecomusicology.info/. An introduction and interspersed editorial summaries help guide readers through four current directions—ecological, fieldwork, critical, and textual—in the field of ecomusicology.
Music, Culture, Nature
Author: Aaron S. Allen,Kevin Dawe
Explores the relationship between listening and musical composition focusing on nine American women composers inspired by the sounds of the natural world
American Women Compose the Natural World
Author: Denise Von Glahn
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Birding is My Favorite Video Game is a collection of fun, quasi-educational comics combining weird science, cute visuals, sweet wit, and a strong environmental message. Based on the popular webcomic Bird and Moon, this collection brings facts about birds, bees, and insects to life in the quirkiest, most wonderful way.
Cartoons about the Natural World from Bird and Moon
Author: Rosemary Mosco
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Socio-environmental crises are currently transforming the conditions for life on this planet, from climate change, to resource depletion, biodiversity loss and long-term pollutants. The vast scale of these changes, affecting land, sea and air have prompted calls for the ‘ecologicalisation’ of knowledge. This book adopts a much needed ‘more-than-human’ framework to grasp these complexities and challenges. It contains multidisciplinary insights and diverse methodological approaches to question how to revise, reshape and invent methods in order to work with non-humans in participatory ways. The book offers a framework for thinking critically about the promises and potentialities of participation from within a more-than-human paradigm, and opens up trajectories for its future development. It will be of interest to those working in the environmental humanities, animal studies, science and technology studies, ecology, and anthropology.
Author: Michelle Bastian,Owain Jones,Niamh Moore,Emma Roe
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
An authoritative and entertaining exploration of Australia's distinctive birds and their unheralded role in global evolution Renowned for its gallery of unusual mammals, Australia is also a land of extraordinary birds. But unlike the mammals, the birds of Australia flew beyond the continent's boundaries and around the globe many millions of years ago. This eye-opening book tells the dynamic but little-known story of how Australia provided the world with songbirds and parrots, among other bird groups, why Australian birds wield surprising ecological power, how Australia became a major evolutionary center, and why scientific biases have hindered recognition of these discoveries. From violent, swooping magpies to tool-making cockatoos, Australia's birds are strikingly different from birds of other lands--often more intelligent and aggressive, often larger and longer-lived. Tim Low, a renowned biologist with a rare storytelling gift, here presents the amazing evolutionary history of Australia's birds. The story of the birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of the continent itself and also the people who inhabit it.
Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World
Author: Tim Low
Publisher: Yale University Press
Bird song is one of the most remarkable and impressive sounds in the natural world, and has inspired not only students of natural history, but also great writers, poets and composers. Extensively updated from the first edition, the main thrust of this book is to suggest that the two main functions of song are attracting a mate and defending territory. It shows how this evolutionary pressure has led to the amazing variety and complexity we see in the songs of different species throughout the world. Writing primarily for students and researchers in animal behavior, the authors review over 1000 scientific papers and reveal how scientists are beginning to unravel and understand how and why birds communicate with the elaborate vocalizations we call song. Highly illustrated throughout and written in straightforward language, Bird Song also holds appeal for amateur ornithologists with some knowledge of biology.
Biological Themes and Variations
Author: C. K. Catchpole,P. J. B. Slater
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
In this book, Susan McClary examines the mechanisms through which seventeenth-century musicians simulated extreme affective states—desire, divine rapture, and ecstatic pleasure. She demonstrates how every major genre of the period, from opera to religious music to instrumental pieces based on dances, was part of this striving for heightened passions by performers and listeners. While she analyzes the social and historical reasons for the high value placed on expressive intensity in both secular and sacred music, and she also links desire and pleasure to the many technical innovations of the period. McClary shows how musicians—whether working within the contexts of the Reformation or Counter-Reformation, Absolutists courts or commercial enterprises in Venice—were able to manipulate known procedures to produce radically new ways of experiencing time and the Self.
Author: Susan McClary
Publisher: Univ of California Press
In Satellites in the High Country, journalist and adventurer Jason Mark travels beyond the bright lights and certainties of our cities to seek wildness wherever it survives. In California's Point Reyes National Seashore, a battle over oyster farming and designated wilderness pits former allies against one another, as locals wonder whether wilderness should be untouched, farmed, or something in between. In Washington's Cascade Mountains, a modern-day wild woman and her students learn to tan hides and start fires without matches, attempting to connect with a primal past out of reach for the rest of society. And in Colorado's High Country, dark skies and clear air reveal a breathtaking expanse of stars, flawed only by the arc of a satellite passing--beauty interrupted by the traffic of a million conversations. These expeditions to the edges of civilization's grid show us that, although our notions of pristine nature may be shattering, the mystery of the wild still exists--and in fact, it is more crucial than ever.
Searching for the Wild in the Age of Man
Author: Jason Mark
Publisher: Island Press
Winner of the International Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction Animal tracks, word magic, the speech of stones, the power of letters, and the taste of the wind all figure prominently in this intellectual tour de force that returns us to our senses and to the sensuous terrain that sustains us. This major work of ecological philosophy startles the senses out of habitual ways of perception. For a thousand generations, human beings viewed themselves as part of the wider community of nature, and they carried on active relationships not only with other people with other animals, plants, and natural objects (including mountains, rivers, winds, and weather patters) that we have only lately come to think of as "inanimate." How, then, did humans come to sever their ancient reciprocity with the natural world? What will it take for us to recover a sustaining relation with the breathing earth? In The Spell of the Sensuous David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand of magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which--even at its most abstract--echoes the calls and cries of the earth. On every page of this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with a passion, a precision, and an intellectual daring that recall such writers as Loren Eisleley, Annie Dillard, and Barry Lopez.
Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World
Author: David Abram
The New York Times bestseller that makes scientific subjects both understandable and fun: “Every sentence sparkles with wit and charm.” —Richard Dawkins From the Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times science journalist and bestselling author of Woman, this is a playful, passionate guide to the science all around us (and inside us)—from physics to chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, and more. Drawing on conversations with hundreds of the world’s top scientists, Natalie Angier creates a thoroughly entertaining guide to scientific literacy. For those who want a fuller understanding of some of the great issues of our time, The Canon offers insights on stem cells, bird flu, evolution, and global warming. For students—or parents whose kids ask a lot of questions about how the world works—it brings to life such topics as how the earth was formed, or what electricity is. Also included are clear, fascinating explanations of how to think scientifically and grasp the tricky subject of probability. The Canon is a joyride through the major scientific disciplines that reignites our childhood delight and sense of wonder—and along the way, tells us what is actually happening when our ice cream melts or our coffee gets cold, what our liver cells do when we eat a caramel, why the horse is an example of evolution at work, and how we’re all really made of stardust.
A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science
Author: Natalie Angier
This monograph examines the place of repetition in perceived musical structure and in theories of music. Following a preface and introduction, there are four main chapters: 'Theory', 'Analysis', 'Metatheory and Meta-analysis', and 'Cognition and Metacognition'. Chapter 2 (Theory) sets out the principles underlying the creation and cognition of musical structure developed by the author in earlier studies, in the dual context of David Lewin's mathematically based theory of musical intervals and transformations and Gilles Fauconnier's concept of mental spaces (which was formulated in the context of cognitive science). Chapter 3 (Analysis) shows the theory in operation in relation to the first movement of Mozart's piano sonata K.333. It indicates how structural issues may be related to considerations of aesthetic response and musical 'worth' through comparison with J.C. Bach's Sonata op. 5 no. 3. Chapter 4 (Metatheory and Meta-analysis) uses the new theory to interrogate the propositions underpinning set theory and transformations, offering a psychomusicological critique and potential development of, for example, the work of Forte, Morris, Isaacson and Straus. This enables issues raised earlier in relation to the work of Lewin to be addressed. In conclusion, in Chapter 5 (Cognition and Metacognition), the matter of cognitive preferences and constraints is considered in relation to repetition in music, which permits a final investigation of different approaches to musical analysis to be undertaken. In summary, by synthesising the findings of diverse earlier work in the context of the new theory, it proves possible to move thinking forward on a number of fronts, and to indicate potential directions for future empirical and analytical developments.
Theoretical and Metatheoretical Perspectives
Author: Adam Ockelford
The astonishing richness of birdsong is both an aesthetic and a scientific mystery. Evolutionists have never been able to completely explain why birdsong is so inventive and why many species devote so many hours to singing. The standard explanations of defending territories and attracting mates don't begin to account for the variety and energy that the commonest birds exhibit. Is it possible that birds sing because they like to? This seemingly naive explanation is starting to look more and more like the truth. Why Birds Sing is a lyric exploration of birdsong that blends the latest scientific research with a deep understanding of musical beauty and form. Drawing on conversations with neuroscientists, ecologists, and composers, it is the first book to investigate the elusive question of why birds sing and what their song means to both avian and human ears. Whether playing his clarinet with the whitecrested laughing thrush in Pittsburgh, or jamming in the Australian winter breeding grounds of the Albert's lyrebird, Rothenberg immerses himself in the heart and soul of birdsong. He approaches the subject as a naturalist, philosopher, musician, and investigator. An intimate look at the mostlovely of natural phenomena, Why Birds Sing is a beautifully written exploration of a phenomenon that's at once familiar and profoundly alien.
A Journey Into the Mystery of Bird Song
Author: David Rothenberg
Publisher: Basic Books
A psychiatrist shows readers how to generate harmony in their everyday lives, using attention, focus, devotion, and commitment as a means to persevere in a world filled with conflict and violence.
Exploring the Psychology, Wisdom and Poetry of Gandhi, Thoreau, the Buddha, and Others
Author: Paul R. Fleischman
Publisher: Pariyatti Press
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
The role of non-native species in their new environments is one of the central issues in conservation biology and ecology today. This book presents a comprehensive evolutionary exploration of the complex and dynamic interactions between introduced species and native ones, and shows that non-native species can bring useful and important contributions to novel ecosystems. Based on a wide variety of examples and case studies, a strong case is made for a more positive and objective approach to non-native species and a greater appreciation of the valuable ecosystem services they provide.
The Need for a Broader Perspective
Author: Radu Cornel Guiaşu
The book can be viewed as representing the birth of evolutionarybiomusicology.
Author: Nils Lennart Wallin,Björn Merker,Steven Brown
Publisher: MIT Press
In our own near future, a global conspiracy at the highest levels threatens to sacrifice our Earth for the promise of a far more exclusive place - Otherland, a universe where any fantasy can be made real, but which is ruled by Earth's wealthiest and most ruthless power brokers, the Grail Brotherhood. Otherland, surrounded by secrecy, is home to the wildest dreams and darkest nightmares. Incredible amounts of money have been lavished on it. The best minds of two generations have laboured to build it. And somehow, bit by bit, it is claiming the Earth's most valuable resource - its children. Only a few have become aware of the danger. Fewer still are willing or able to take up the challenge of this perilous and seductive realm. But every age has its heroes; unusual times call for unusual champions, and destiny awaits them in Otherland.
Author: Tad Williams
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
This book provides new insights about learning by synthesising existing and emerging findings from cognitive and brain science.
Publisher: OECD Publishing
This beautifully illustrated book on landscape gardening addresses shrubs and how to determine which you should plant among your perennials and where. Shrubs provide the foundation for a pleasing, yet low-maintenance garden. They are long-lived, have the ornamental appeal of perennials, and provide variety in color, size, shape, and texture, as well as shelter and berries for birds. Shrubs can make attractive arrangements indoors and provide seasonal variation through the entire year. Gillian Harris’s illustrations are botanically correct works of art that make this book absolutely irresistible.
Natives and Ornamentals for Midwest Gardens
Author: Moya L. Andrews
Publisher: Indiana University Press