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Archive of posts tagged Animal Music

Whistler’s Monkey

Bonnie is an orangutan (not a monkey) living at the National Zoo who taught herself how to whistle. And get this: she doesn’t just whistle for food rewards! She actually—bear with me here—likes to whistle, although we can’t be sure. We have to put ‘likes’ in single quotes, because I still can’t understand why an […]


Spring has sung, and the birds are back. And not just the songbirds either, but naughty little fuckbirds1 too. Black-Capped-Fuckadees that go fuck-a-dee-dee-dee2. Songless Woodfuckers3 who can only drum out their love. Bluefucks and yellow-tailed whippoorfucks. Perhaps they are speaking the divine dirty ‘language of the birds’. Or just letting their harmonic throats do the […]

Hipporhythmics: The Four Horse Beats of the Apocalypse

Zoomusicologists are just now beginning to understand the enormous influence non-human animal music has had on the development of human animal music. The three traditional aspects of music―melody, harmony, and rhythm―are not uniquely human at all, and were in fact copied from our fellow animal musicians. Songbirds showed mankind how to whistle melody, in Major […]

Oh! Oh! Canada! Canada!

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 […]

Blue Jays

The blue jays are back in town, at least here in my feathery nape of this hairy neck of the snowy woods. These birds are triple forte all the way, and down-right rocking too. Their eponymous call is a screamo-inflected “jaay-jaay” in Concert A. They often bend down a whole tone to a G, as […]

Holophonic Bug Love Songs

Everywhere are musical bugs, alighting on your ears like black unstemmed noteheads. They buzz like B-sharp bees, or dangle from ledger lines like silent spiders. They fly like flatted F# flies, and hiss like beetles. They crawl into your openings, like earwigs and brainworms, to sink their hooks into you. They call to you in […]

Cock-a-doodle Doo

Since chickens find the same faces attractive as we do, it’s possible we share other aesthetic tastes as well. Take the rooster’s crow for instance: Such pacing and portamento! Drag over the noteheads below to hear the rooster played on a rhodes. I hear it in 3/4 time, like the heartbeat. Afterall, cocks are known […]