This little bird has a big song. He double-tracks the melody like John Lennon in his syrinx. It’s so loud, you can easily pick him out of your local biophony―other oscine song, insectival drone, and mammalian utterances―high up in the Seventh Octave, comfortable in his perch above Middle C. Ornithologists have even set nationalistic lyrics to his migrant song. Click on the score to play. Drag over the guitar tab to hear the approximate key in Equal Temperament.
The White-throated Swallow roughly sings a Perfect Fourth (E), down a semitone to a Major (D#) Third, and down a major third to the Root (B). The classic acoustic chord B Major (add 11) will encompass all of these tones. In the slowed down version, you can clearly hear that the second note is sharp and doesn’t quite go down to the D# proper. Thus, the Sparrow’s Major Third is a lot larger than our modern interval, and more akin to the ancient spacious Pythagorean Third. The feel of the song is swung, with the one presumably falling on the “Sweet” followed by triplets of “Canadas”.
A second song has yet to be given lyrics. Just like in “Oh Sweet Canada”, the tonality has a strong Major Third interval, except in the song below there is a Minor outro.
Firm. Happy. Awe. Happy. Sad. In that order. Doh. Me. Fa, Fa. Me, My, My, My. The Major/Minorness of this bird fits nicely within our urban soundscape. Major Thirds are found in bell song, car horns, door bells, telephones, and oh yeah, pop music. Major and Minor were locked away inside Music since the beginning of Time and Tone. Throughout the ages, Man and Bird helped each other to unravel the Secrets of the Harmonic Series.
The White-throated Sparrow’s wordless tune is a lot like the chicken’s cock-a-doodle-doo melody. They would make great incidental harmonies together.
Apparently, birds have a Song Control System (SCS) hidden somewhere in the brain cells of their Consciousness (CNSC). Endless experiments may confirm the existence of a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) and quite possibly the hotly pursued Selfy Self (SELF2).