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Insects and Music

GUEST,Futwick 21 Apr 13 - 03:53 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Apr 13 - 04:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Apr 13 - 04:56 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Apr 13 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Futwick 21 Apr 13 - 11:00 PM
GUEST,Futwick 26 Apr 13 - 02:12 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Apr 13 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,Futwick 26 Apr 13 - 04:10 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Apr 13 - 04:29 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 13 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Futwick 26 Apr 13 - 08:44 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 29 Apr 13 - 08:26 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Apr 13 - 08:52 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Apr 13 - 08:55 AM
GUEST 29 Apr 13 - 10:50 AM
GUEST 29 Apr 13 - 10:57 AM
Suzy Sock Puppet 29 Apr 13 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Futwick 29 Apr 13 - 09:38 PM
GUEST 29 Apr 13 - 11:11 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 13 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Stim 30 Apr 13 - 12:30 PM
Rain Dog 30 Apr 13 - 12:34 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 13 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Stim 30 Apr 13 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Futwick 30 Apr 13 - 05:12 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 13 - 05:34 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 13 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Tony 30 Apr 13 - 09:39 PM
Gibb Sahib 30 Apr 13 - 10:50 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 13 - 10:54 PM
GUEST 01 May 13 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Futwick 03 May 13 - 12:51 PM
Jim Carroll 04 May 13 - 11:10 AM
Steve Gardham 04 May 13 - 03:45 PM
GUEST 04 May 13 - 04:23 PM
Jim Carroll 05 May 13 - 08:55 AM
Suzy Sock Puppet 06 May 13 - 01:35 PM
Gibb Sahib 06 May 13 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,Futwick 06 May 13 - 11:13 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 07 May 13 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Fuckwit 08 May 13 - 09:57 AM
Jack Campin 08 May 13 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Orientalist Twat 08 May 13 - 01:54 PM
Jack Campin 08 May 13 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Orientalist Twat 08 May 13 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Futwick 17 May 13 - 10:46 PM
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Subject: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 03:53 PM

Do you think humans got at least some musical ideas from the sounds of insects? I was listening to some Arabic music and there was this fiddle that kept playing in this wavering tone that reminded me irrepressibly of a bee in flight. So I went on youtube and just looked around at random and here is an example.

Arabic fiddle

Although this is a Western violin, the music was taken from the kemenche or spiked fiddle that was popular throughout the Middle East, South and Central Asia and going all the way into the Far East. The original spiked fiddles are believed to be of Central Asian origin and these nomadic peoples were avid beekeepers. They rubbed the wood of their hunting bows with beeswax to protect them from the elements. When they started playing a bowed instrument, did it naturally occur to them to mimic the humming of a bee even if they did not do so consciously?

One of the oldest bowed instruments is the kyl kobyz of Central Asia. In the following clip, it sounds at times almost like American country fiddle but at other times takes on that strange, warbling bee-buzzing quality.

kyl kobyz music

Many of our English words are onomatopoeic and taken from nature. Words like "buzz" for example. But so are words we don't often think of that way as "wind" and "wing". You have to create a wind to say these words. "Wing" is the sound of a wing cutting the air. so why not our musical ideas? Language and music, after all, are both forms of communication.

Certainly the American Indians of woods and plains found something very musical and rhythmic in the chirps of crickets. The cricket choruses sound like an entire percussion section at times. Katydids sound irrepressibly like the Latin American guiro.

guiro

The guiro also sounds very much like cicada calls. How could the Indians have possibly ignored the mating season of cicada when the woods and air vibrate with the sounds of thousand of male cicadas calling for females. And what makes the sound? Like drums the males carry on their abdomens called tymbals--vibrating membranes. It is the basis of virtually all our music instruments. Drums and banjos but also violins and guitars except the membrane is a thin, finely worked piece of wood we call the belly (which again makes one think of the cicada).

Japanese haiku and Chinese poetry abound with references to cicada calls so obviously these poets found the sound musical and thrilling (in the woods of Pennsylvania, the sound is deafening and almost fearsome). Only in the Eastern US do we find the periodical cicada--namely, the 13-year and 17-year "locust." Strange that both use prime numbers for their life-cycle periods and that they are so carefully timed. So much so that they are classified as "magicicada" and opposed to the annual cicadas that abound in our trees every year. These are classified "cicadae."

The magicicada are classified in broods. There are 13 broods of 17-year cicada and 4 broods of 13-year cicada. The link below lists the different broods and their distribution. In my state, we have only Brood X which is not due to return until 2021. Brood II is due this spring throughout Virginia, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, etc. For those who live outside the eastern half of the US. Sorry, you'll have to come here to witness the emergence of the magicicada. They aren't found anywhere else.

Cicada broods

Cicada call

In many cultures, male cicadas are kept in cages to sing out their souls for the enjoyment of their human captors. I have noticed have strangely similar a single cicada call is to slowly drawing a bow over a cello or bass string until the instrument throbs and then the throbbing subsides into little phonemes of tone.

The natives of Australia and Indonesia use instruments that seem to be consciously mimicking the sounds of insects--particularly crickets or cicadas but also flies, bees, wasps and frogs.

Whether or not the didgeridoo was meant to mimic the sound of a cicada, it is extremely reminiscent of standing in the woods of Virginia during the mating season only imagine this at about 100 dB:

Didgeridoo

So did our musical instruments evolve from insect sounds in the woods, plains, and rainforests that we shamanistically communed with? You do tend to lose yourself in those sounds when you're out in the wild. Was it originally our way of joining in?

But it's more than just that. Insects had the music in them. Read about this critter:

Archaboilus musicus is an extinct bush-cricket that lived during the Jurassic period 165 million years ago.[1]
Although behaviors are difficult to reconstruct for extinct species, in 2012 British scientists recreated the cricket's call based on a well preserved fossil from China.[1][2]
Based on studies, it is believed that male A. musicus produced pure-tone (musical) songs using a resonant mechanism tuned at a frequency of 6.4 kHz.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaboilus_musicus

Its perfect wings produced a tone between D# and E, an octave and a half above middle C.

Why then did its descendants lose the pure tones? No one really knows except perhaps the areas where this creature roamed were uncluttered and so evolved tones that insectivores in the area would have a hard time picking up. When those insectivores--essentially dinosaurs--died out, so did the need for pure tone sounds. But that's just a guess.

Even gongs and cymbals have a cicada-like quality to them and, not surprisingly, cicadas that produce that strange metallic quality are heard in China and when they congregate for mating season, the din is unearthly and sounds like...well...like Chinese music, surreal Chinese music. Here is a single Chinese cicada--and again notice how incredibly similar it is to the didgeridoo:

Chinese cicada

Imagine what chorus of thousands sound like.

So, here is the true root of folk music but the most numerous folk on the planet--the 6-legged folk who surge all about us that we largely ignore despite all that they've taught us.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 04:37 PM

Whilst all primates are great imitators, I don't think we need look much further than accident and trial and error to find the sources of all our musical adventures.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 04:56 PM

Well, there's Arthur Askey's Busy Bee:

Oh, what a wonderful thing to be,
A healthy grown up busy busy bee;
Whiling away all the passing hours
Pinching all the pollen from the cauliflowers.
I'd like to be a busy little bee,
Being as busy as a bee can be.
Flying around the garden brightest ever seen,
Taking back the honey to the dear old queen.

(Chorus): Bz bz bz bz, honey bee, honey bee,
Bz if you like but don't sting me,
Bz bz bz bz, honey bee, honey bee,
Buzz if you like, but don't sting me


And three more verses (all on YouTube of course)


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 05:10 PM

Then there's 'The Flight of the Bumble Bees' but I'm more concerned at the moment about the plight of the bumble bees.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 11:00 PM

Other instruments reminiscent of the cicada calls include the sitar and other Indian instruments that give off that twangy drone as well as the so-called Jew's harp. In the old Greek legends that Socrates related to Plato was one that cicadas were once humans who loved to sing so much that they neglected to eat and drink. That last part is true. Adult cicadas don't take in much if any nourishment during the mating season--they prefer to sing and sing and sing.

As for early human musical expression being accidental and a result of trial and error, I'm not sure what that even means. I'm pretty certain the first humans to express themselves musically did so quite deliberately and almost certainly looked to nature and likely admired the tremendous volume that even a single cicada can muster up and sought to duplicate it.

I once watched a documentary shot in Africa where they were tracking lions. A group of natives led a camera crew into the veldt and came upon a lion in the distance dozing in the shade of a tree. They needed to get him up and moving in a certain direction and did it ingeniously. They brought with them a big drum-like thing. It looked to be about a foot and a half in diameter and about as deep. It had a membrane stretched over one end while the other end was open. The underside of the membrane had a tuft of some kind of hair attached to it in a manner I couldn't see. This tuft was coated in wax--probably beeswax. Several hundred feet away from the lion and well hidden, one man held the drum-thing under one arm and with his other arm, reached into the open end and gripped the tuft of hair between forefinger and thumb and pulled, twisting his wrist as he did so. The friction caused by the wax made a rough screech that was amplified by the diaphragm and large resonance cavity amplifying the low frequencies so that it sounded incredibly like a lion's roar.

The guy pulled on the tuft twice producing two short roars and the dozing lion's head just shot up instantly looking in the direction of the sound. Clearly, it thought it was hearing another lion. They moved back a couple of hundred feet and the man gave another couple of pulls and that ol' lion was up and moving towards the sound. Its body language was so obvious: "Who DARES to trespass on MY territory?? Who has the gall to ignore all my territorial markers and brashly intrude on me?? Who DARES to challenge my authority?? I'll hunt you down and kill you!!!"

That's no accident. The people who made this lion drum knew exactly what they are doing and why. An ingenious way to get a lion to move without putting yourself in danger.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 02:12 PM

The cause of the prime number of the periodicity of the cicada life cycle may be due to a time of near extinction during glaciation. Gould and others have posited that the prime number evolved to throw off even-numbered period predators. If you don't think about it too much, it seems to make sense. But if you ask for evidence, there isn't any. Besides, the cicadas emerge in such great numbers that predators eat their fill of them anyway no matter what their periods are.

Glaciation did not affect the eastern part of the US as it did most of the rest of the world. The cicadas took refuge there. Most insects populations like to avoid hybridization and have even-numbered years of periodicity. In the case of the cicada where only a small population congregated for mating purposes, hybridization had to occur causing the even-numbered periodicity to break. After 150 years of this hybridization, only prime-numbered periodicity remains, specifically 13, 17 and 19 years. After 500 years, only the 13 and 17 remains. This was first proposed by Warder Clyde Allee in the 1920s and is called the Allee Effect. A mathematical model was later devised by two Japanese and one American researchers that proved out hypothetically that near-extinction followed by hybridization produced prime-numbered period life cycles of 13 and 17 years.

Some entomologists have also noted that certain 17-year cicadas can emerge from the ground four years early to become 13-year cicadas and hence it is possible that the 13-year variety evolved out of the 17-year. I think it more likely that some 17ers emerge four years early simply because if they emerge any earlier or later, they will be alone--trilling away in the trees with no hope of mating because no other magicicadas have emerged yet.

This demonstrates that the periodicity isn't just a blind process--that a certain amount of choice is involved for each and every magicicada as to when it is right to emerge from the ground. Each cicada simply knows when it's time--as if by magic.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 03:11 PM

Not convinced, Futwick.
You seem to know a lot about animal noises and their uses but little about human behaviour.

The drum the lion hunters were using, at that particular moment was not a musical instrument, it was a decoy.

Musical instruments evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. The noises produced by stringed instruments could easily have been noted from the plucking and stretching of animal sinews, woven hairs. No-one can say for sure but my money is simply on trying something out and discovering what it could do. The imaginative capacity of the greatest ape could easily account for the discovery of all the basic musical instruments.

I'm not a historical musicologist but I'd be interested to know what one would make of your theories.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 04:10 PM

"The drum the lion hunters were using, at that particular moment was not a musical instrument, it was a decoy."

My point about the lion drum is that they knew what sound they wanted and devised a way to make it and it is made the same way as a musical instrument and employs the same principles.

"Musical instruments evolved over hundreds of thousands of years."

They most certainly did not. They are inanimate objects. They cannot evolve.

"The noises produced by stringed instruments could easily have been noted from the plucking and stretching of animal sinews, woven hairs."

The first stringed instruments were made from hunter's bows held against a gourd or some such object as a resonance chamber. That demonstrates that the earliest instrument-makers understood how to amplify a sound. It wasn't chance, they learned it from observing nature. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they were determined to find out how a little cicada gets so much volume and so studied them and noticed the tymbals and imitated them and found that they worked. They would have been incredibly stupid not to be acutely attuned to everything going on around them.

"No-one can say for sure but my money is simply on trying something out and discovering what it could do."

Try WHAT out? Early humans must have had an amazing amount of leisure time if that's the case. They listened to the sounds of nature and sought to imitate them so they observed how those sounds were produced and employed the same principles.

"The imaginative capacity of the greatest ape could easily account for the discovery of all the basic musical instruments"

No one's arguing that.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 04:29 PM

Sorry.
Slipped up there. It should obviously have said 'instruments were evolved' or perhaps 'developed' would be a better word.

Why couldn't it have been simple 'chance' in the extremely long period involved?

It doesn't take much leisure time or ingenuity to hold a bit of cord up to something hollow and twang it!


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 04:53 PM

And then there's "Cicada Serenade"


They got big orange eyes they can barely focus
Some people call 'em 17 year locust
But that's the wrong data
The name is cicada
And they're here now but they won't be here latah.

etc

A classic rap song (from about 1986 I think)-- with, admittedly--as usual with rap--little connection to music.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 08:44 PM

"It should obviously have said 'instruments were evolved' or perhaps 'developed' would be a better word."

Developed from what? From nature. These ancient peoples didn't envision human-like gods. To them, animals embodied the gods. The storm god was a fierce bull or bison, ram or other such creature rampaging, stampeding, crashing into things. So to speak or commune with this god, they donned the horned or antlered head and formalized the stampeding run into dance steps and the sounds of the hooves into drumbeats to communicate to this god. They didn't envision a human god with a big hammer because they didn't have hammers at that time. Their own potential was as yet unrealized. As they watched this animal in the rutting season, they started to associate it with male sexual virility and saw it as a fertility god and the dance steps might change to symbolize sex or the mating ritual. Hell, even male birds flash their plumage and dance to impress females. Of course, we observed this and then adorned ourselves with those feathers--they meant something besides fashion.

The ancient Greek myth that cicadas were once humans who sang so much that they forgot to eat and drink is certainly a throwback to a much more ancient time. You can see the shamanistic connections in the myth. So when humans began to sing, they didn't bellow out arias, they learned their own potential from what the creatures around them did--bird calls and dog howls. Certainly chanting only occurred to them because they heard the crickets, the cicadas, the frogs and the like showing them how to do it.

"Why couldn't it have been simple 'chance' in the extremely long period involved? It doesn't take much leisure time or ingenuity to hold a bit of cord up to something hollow and twang it!"

A lot of leisure time is implied when you way they were just trying things out haphazardly rather than with a specific purpose in mind. WHY would ancient man hold up a string and twang it? In an effort to do what? You can't make a leap from that to music without something in between. He didn't just think, "Say, that string twangs! Let's make music with it!" It would have to remind him of something he already has experience of--animal and insect song and sound not to mention wind and thunder and fire and rain and a raging river.

Do you really think when humans first heard crickets chirruping rhythmically throughout the night that it had no bearing on the development of our concept of rhythm? That we never associated the sound of the flute with the sound of a bird? You must have never listened to "Peter and the Wolf." It's a NATURAL association that we still carry to this day.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 08:26 AM

"The imaginative capacity of the greatest ape could easily account for the discovery of all the basic musical instruments"

No one's arguing that?

Well please allow me.

Steve wrote: Whilst all primates are great imitators, I don't think we need look much further than accident and trial and error to find the sources of all our musical adventures.

Yeah, that sounds like Steve. According to him, everything in the world happened by accident. He's very talented musically but not very intellectual inclined. If you want to talk to somebody about all your wonderful thoughts and ideas, do yourself a favor and don't talk to Steve.

Steve, stop being a jack ass. Man is the master imitator! All musical sounds are based on the sounds of nature! And if what you said, in that dismissive tone of yours were true, monkeys would be playing banjos- and as far as I know they don't. Maybe at your house they do

On the other hand, dogs have been known to dance:

http://youtu.be/HqbVbPvlDoM


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 08:52 AM

Can't remember the details but Bert Lloyd included a recording of honey-gathering pygmies imitating bees while they worked.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 08:55 AM

Didn't quite finish that - should read:
Can't remember the details but Bert Lloyd included a recording of honey-gathering pygmies imitating bees while they worked, in one of his World Music programmes back in the 60s.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 10:50 AM

Oh there you are Jim. Looks like I have the last word on the other thread. Don't want to jinx it by adding on, but there was one other thing I wanted to mention.

There is a knight lying in the high chancel of Ludlow church, in Stropshire:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/

His wife is Lady Alice. I sense a connection between Fair Margaret and Sweet William in which the couple are buried in the higher and lower chancel, the latter version of Lady Slice in which the couple are buried in higher and lower chancel, and Walter Pardon's version of Lord Lovel in which this same thing happens.

It's s like a local thing where it seems only fitting to use those as burial sites. It's like when Lord Lovel reached this area, they did away with the choir and styled it according to regional preferences, what they were familiar with.

Ok, that's all I had left to say on the matter. We can talk about wildlife now.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 10:57 AM

Lady Slice :)))))


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 11:52 AM

Futwick, here's one for you c. 1517:

Brother Benno was walking along, chanting his prayers. He came to a marsh where the frogs were chanting too. Their sound was so great that Brother Benno could not hear himself. So he said in a loud voice, "Be still!" And they were.

In the stillness, Brother Benno began to feel very small. He thought, God might enjoy the chanting of these frogs more than my prayers. So he said to the frogs, "I am sorry for being so rude. Please go on singing as you wish."

One by one the frogs began to croak. Soon they were a choir of sound again. And brother Benno listened...


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 09:38 PM

That story is a bit Zen-like, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 11:11 PM


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 07:24 AM

Breaking news for bees:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/29/179868454/europe-bans-pesticides-in-move-to-protect-honey-bees


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 12:30 PM

Until recently, humans were pretty much restricted to making sounds the way that all the other creatures did--which explains the similar sounds.

The difference between humans and insects seems to be that we develop and expand ideas using sounds. While it is true that animals communicate with each other using noises, the idea of music, which is to say that a bunch of sounds, either in sequence or all at the same time, sounds cool, seems to be ours alone. At least we've done a lot with it. Cicadas have one lick, and they beat it to death.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Rain Dog
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 12:34 PM

Angelic Cricket Chorus


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 01:15 PM

Wow. Incredible!


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 02:42 PM

It' worth noting that those sounds are not made actually made by the crickets, they are interstitial sounds, made by altering the playback speed of the crickets, and overlaying original tracks.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 05:12 PM

Our magnetosphere is an avant-garde symphony that would have turned Stockhausen green with envy:

sferics


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 05:34 PM

The sferics are familiar from listening to the radio but the other ones- the tweeks and whistlers- are like sound effects from early sci-fi. UFO's

I was about to pack. I thought they were coming back for me :-)


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 08:36 PM

Because I had never heard of this avant-garde composer Stockhausen, I listened to him for a good hour or so. At first I thought "What's this? This isn't really music. It's just sounds." But if you do listen for a bit, you find yourself doing just that. Perhaps it's just the sheer unpredictability and randomness of it that keeps your ear tuned. Then your ear tries to identify sounds, it tends to want to seek out something familiar. A lot of it reminded me of sound tracks in movies (unidentifiable but familiar) and at one point I was sure I heard Jimi Hendrix tuning his guitar in the background :-) Now that guy could make some awesome sounds with a guitar. In fact, he made sounds that could easily be described as sferic, tweeky & whistleresque :-)


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 09:39 PM

I was in a jam session once with some cicadas, and I was extremely impressed with both their skill and their cooperative spirit. At first I tried to play along with them on my wooden tongue drum. But their rhythm was too complex for me and I couldn't get in sync with them. After I tried that for 10 or 15 minutes, they all stopped very suddenly and listened as I continued drumming. Then, after only about 15 or 20 seconds of me soloing, they all started in again at once, like a bolt of thunder, louder than before, and precisely in time with my drumming. We went on like that for a long time, and it was the best percussion jam I ever took part in.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 10:50 PM

I've listened to plenty of Arab music (used to play with a group, with Arab musicians) and I never thought the fiddle sounded like a bee. If anything, I think some people from that music's perspective would say the instrument strives to imitate the human voice. I *know* it wasn't meant to be so, but the suggestion of an insect sounds a bit insulting.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 10:54 PM

And now for something completely different:

Cave Crickets 

This blog and many of the comments are totally hilarious! Be sure to check out the whole site. Dan Greenspan is a scientist who goes everywhere and takes magnificent photographs. He takes them underwater even. And he's a wonderful writer and teacher also :-)


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 13 - 08:03 AM

Gibb Sahib, don't be silly. The fiddle is an instrument that sounds like a bee. Zzzzzzz. If you think that's insulting, try remembering that human life cannot be sustained without bees. They do more than make honey :-)


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 03 May 13 - 12:51 PM

Without bees, we would be in a terrible fix. They are the world's primary pollinator. Every culture that had indigenous populations of bees kept apiaries because they are essential to their way of life. Man and bee share an essential and symbiotic relationship. That's why things like colony collapse disorder is so serious. If we lose bees, we're in the shit. and if you think the Arabs and Persians and Indians and Central Asian nomads didn't understand that, you don't know as much about those cultures as you think. Beekeeping is an ancient, honorable and essential profession.

Rather than calling Arabic music bee-like to be an insult, it should be considered an honor. Bees are beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 May 13 - 11:10 AM

"Looks like I have the last word on the other thread."
I assume that's Steve Gardham who forgot to sign his posting - just as he forgot to produce evidence to back up his nonsensical claims.
If you feel it important to "have the last word" - please feel free to take whatever satisfaction you wish to from whatever point you think you might have made - it's a pity real scholarship isn't like that otherwise we'd all be scholars!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 May 13 - 03:45 PM

You assume wrong again, Jim.
I'm not interested in last words!


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 13 - 04:23 PM

Futwick, I like you. Jim, nonsense. I figured Steve had abandoned our conversation, therefore I thought to pawn his loss of interest off as my victory. Actually I posted here what I should have posted on the other thread because I saw you here - as if anybody here ever stays on topic which they don't.

There is no last word here. Except everything Futwick says...


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 May 13 - 08:55 AM

"I'm not interested in last words!"
Somebody is and he/she's a little coy at coming out from under his her bridge.
Apologies - for this mistake, but nothing else.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 06 May 13 - 01:35 PM

My Dear Lord Futwick,

I have not heard from you in a while. I hope all is well.

I have a lovely story to share with you about my grandson who, as you well know, is the light of my life. We were playing outside and a bee came by. Because of his mother's fear and loathing of all insects, Carter began to panic. I told him that bees do not bother people unless people try to hurt them. Just to prove my point. I moved near the spot where the bee was until I was only about a foot away. And I continued to sit there close to where the bee was going about his business. Then I told Carter (very smart 3 yr. old) that bees are here to help everything grow. Later on, I overheard him asking his other grandmother "Mema, do you like bees?" Mema replied no, as in, of course not! To which Carter replied confidently, "Bubbe does!"

So there you have it dear cousin. I have done my good deed for our tiny little friends :-)

By the way, does that village idiot still call you Lord Fuckwit? Normally I would prescribe discipline but you know how it is with fools. They have license to say whatever they please. Tradition. And you have to admit, it was funny!

I hope to hear from you soon.

                                    Yours,

                                     Lady Hounsibelle


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 May 13 - 07:23 PM

and if you think the Arabs and Persians and Indians and Central Asian nomads didn't understand that, you don't know as much about those cultures as you think.

What the hell are you talking about.

You hear music that is unfamiliar to you, with a different tonal system (quarter tones) and which prefers a different timbre (no broad tremolo), and it sounds to you like insects. Then you go about rationalizing why, yeah, it most probably must be insects that inspired it (Bugs are everywhere, dude!) and yeah, these people who play music you don't know well, even though they don't say their music is like insects, in fact really are playing insect-based music—because it sounds that way to you. In fact, they should be flattered because insects are all, like, good 'n' stuff. Like a steaming pile of horseshit fertilizes crops (so we should like our music being compared to horseshit.)

What an orientalist twat.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 06 May 13 - 11:13 PM

"You hear music that is unfamiliar to you"

Oh, really? What exactly do you know about my life, my race, my experiences?

"What an orientalist twat."

Tell me where you think I was born?


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 07 May 13 - 07:41 AM

Don't hazzanim make this beelike sound when they chant? I think they do. Maybe even Greek Orthodox. Anyway, I don't believe that Arab music has exactly cornered the market on quarter tones.

Sahib, I get the feeling you like being insulted. Is that why you seek out offense where none was intended?

Orientalist twat? Never heard that one before :-)


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Fuckwit
Date: 08 May 13 - 09:57 AM

I got a question for you Futwick:

Who gives a flying fuck whether a fiddle sounds like a bee or not? Seriously, no one cares about this but you.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 May 13 - 11:30 AM

I have just come back from holiday in New Zealand. Spent some time walking in (what remains of) the native bush, where the dominant species were always birds - with a phenomenal variety of calls, at all times of the day.

For the Maori before the Europeans arrived and exterminated most of the birdlife, the sound would have been overpowering. The whole country was a vast birdsong choir. Maori instruments were limited in variety and mostly quiet.

Taonga Puoro

There can have been no such thing as solo music - whatever you played, you were playing along with the birds, and the vast superiority of their acoustic resources to anything a human could do would have been obvious. Playing an instrument would have been a statement of humility.


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Orientalist Twat
Date: 08 May 13 - 01:54 PM

Misanthropology 


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 May 13 - 02:59 PM

I read the book you're quoting from something like 30 years ago and still have a copy, but I don't see how it's supposed to be relevant, either to my post or the previous ones. (You probably don't know how ownership issues have been and currently are resolved in the context of Maori culture in Aotearoa).

Why aren't you using your real name, or at least a Mudcat handle?


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Orientalist Twat
Date: 08 May 13 - 07:43 PM

Who said that my comments must be relevant to the topic or previous posts? I just happened to be thinking about that book so I pulled up a link and posted it. As far as I know I am under no obligation to contribute to a coherent discussion. In fact, I started my own thread and "catters" showed up to argue over unrelated topics as if I wasn't even there.

Btw, did you really read that book or are you just saying that to appear omniscient? I see a lot of that on here. Along with anarchy and Social Darwinism :-) Yeah, after hanging around Mudcat for roughly one short month, I am aware that the majority have a certain personality type which I would call "disingenuous provocateur."

Actually, my son has a B.S. in Anthropology and has been to New Zealand and Guatemala. So I'm more familiar than most with the Maori, in theory anyway. He has a necklace with a carved pendant similar to one of the ones shown on that site. It's a pretty thing :-)

As to why I don't use my mudcat handle? I don't feel like it. Maybe it symbolizes my dwindling commitment to visiting this forum. Anymore questions?


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Subject: RE: Insects and Music
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 17 May 13 - 10:46 PM

"I got a question for you Futwick:

Who gives a flying fuck whether a fiddle sounds like a bee or not? Seriously, no one cares about this but you."

You care, quite obviously.


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