Is a Singing Bird Musical?

Mike Curtis ironmanc@JUNO.COM
Thu Jul 31 03:34:33 EDT 1997

On Tue, 29 Jul 1997 18:14:24 -0400 (EDT) writes:
>In a message dated 97-07-28 22:05:01 EDT, (Mike
><< Singing birds, while beautiful, are not the least bit musical. >>
>I think I know many people, musicians, artists, potheads, etc., that
>disagree with you on this fact. This is a fascinating question, though.
>ask the list: Is a singin bird "musical?"

Fine - I'll take a shot at explaining my statement.

I love singing birds, be they crows or canaries.  (And yes I have a pet
crow).  I've owned many birds over the years, and thoroughly enjoyed
their singing and other antics.  Some have remarkably humanlike traits.

But singing comes naturally to them.  While most birds sing by instinct,
and some birds can mimic, none can actually create music like mankind.

Man has the unique ability to actually create music and sounds that have
never been made before.  Man can also put meaningful (and sometimes not
so meaningful :-) words to these sounds.  These sounds and/or words can
often convey incredible power.  Ever see a person that can keep from at
least tapping their foot when a lively, cheerful, and fun polka is
played, or when a heavy shuffle boogie is played?  Have you ever seen a
wet eye after a particularly sad song?

These are some of the things that define "music".

While birds make beautiful sounds, they're not the same as music.

Still, I love listening to the birds in the morning, in the park,
wilderness, zoo, bird store, and the many other places we can hear their
beautiful songs.

 -- IronMan Mike Curtis
The One Man "Better'n A" Band
Electric harmonica, guitar, bass pedals, vocals
Cassette available - Email for details

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