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Do animals have melody?
Do animals have melody?

I must admit I don't really understand what this question means. I was reading this post by Assaf on listening to music where he mentions (quoting Copeland) the basic elements of music - rhythm, melody, harmony&tone color. And so I was thinking, if we asked about rhythm, what is the state with melody?

I think it is hard to imagine what does that mean with animals. I definitely think birds singing has melody, maybe dogs barking has also. I don't have much to say about it and just wanted to open it up as maybe someone has something to say about this.
Hello, Arthur

If you do some searching on youtube using terms such as: 'parrot mozart', you'll find, of course, lots of people who've posted their favourite pet shots.  What is very interesting is that some of these birds show evidence to my ears of binary form.  And they take themes from Eine kleine nachtmusik or The Queen of the Night aria and vary them in a birdlike fashion: taking melodic units and changing them.  I read a few years ago about how some songbirds were compared to Beethoven for their methods of composition.  The author stressed that these were often inherited traits; and so they weren't really Beethovens.  I don't think some of the Amazonian parrots you'll find on youtube have Wolfie in their genes. 
One can spend a good few hours analysing parrots on youtube.  I think the video must make it almost as much fun as it was for Messiaen with his LPs.  Happy listening!
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Latest Post: February 2009
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