Modern composers, too, have continued to be fascinated
And it's not just birds, of course, that 'sing'. Tapes of whales 'singing'
have been very popular in recent years. In China, instead of birds, some
people keep a caged cicada because of the 'music' that it makes!
- Olivier Messiaen, the French composer, carefully transcribed the
songs of different birds and used them in pieces such as Le Reveil
des Oiseaux ('The Awakening of Birds' 1953), Oiseaux exotiques
('Exotic Birds' 1956) and Catalogue d'oiseaux ('Catalogue of
- Rather than transcribing birdsong Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara
has written a Cantus Arcticus ('Arctic Song') which uses pre-recorded
tapes of whooper swans and other northern birds.
Music Imitating Nature - Composers
& Birdsong - But is it Music?
Music of the Spheres - Science
& Music - Does Nature Sing?
To Think About and Do