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Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th

Janie 09 Jan 09 - 09:24 PM
Bill D 09 Jan 09 - 09:39 PM
pdq 09 Jan 09 - 09:39 PM
katlaughing 09 Jan 09 - 11:27 PM
open mike 10 Jan 09 - 03:27 AM
Gurney 10 Jan 09 - 05:23 PM
Tangledwood 10 Jan 09 - 06:16 PM
Janie 10 Jan 09 - 06:36 PM
Don Firth 10 Jan 09 - 07:08 PM
Janie 10 Jan 09 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,Abby 10 Jan 09 - 09:12 PM
Janie 10 Jan 09 - 09:20 PM
Barry Finn 10 Jan 09 - 10:42 PM
Acme 10 Jan 09 - 10:45 PM
Don Firth 11 Jan 09 - 08:08 PM
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Subject: BS: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: Janie
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 09:24 PM

Heard an interesting piece on NPR Morning Addition on the way to work this morning. Before a female mosquito will mate with a male, he has to adjust the sound his wings make to a specific frequency. She then chimes in at another frequency and together they make a nearly perfect 5th. This then creates an overtone. Only when the overtone begins, do they mate!

Below is a bit of an exerpt that you can you can use to perhaps spice up your own romantic life:>)

If Music Be The Food Of Love

What makes A. aegypi so unusual in the animal world is how precisely it modifies its tones.

Rex Cocroft is a behavioral biologist at the University of Missouri who has recorded the sounds made by numerous kinds of insects. He says many animals, from birds to katydids, use sound in mating behavior. This experiment showed something new.

"We think of insects as being masters of timing and rhythm and not so much as masters of pitch," Cocroft says.

There's a field of science called biomusicology, he says, that investigates the idea that what we like in music may derive from what we've heard in the natural world.

"For example, when people were writing early melodies like Gregorian chants," Cocroft says, "when you have a large jump up in frequency, then you tend to drop down stepwise, and people were asking, 'Well, do animals show similar kinds of rules?'"

If that sounds crazy, consider this: The interval between the male mosquito's tone and the female's is quite close to what musicians call a perfect fifth.

In fact, composers for centuries considered the interval of a fifth to be the most euphonious. So if mosquitoes have it right, all you need is a melody with an interval of a fifth and you'll be guaranteed romantic success. The composer of that romantic chestnut "Feelings" apparently figured that out: The first two notes are a perfect fifth.


The entire article or podcast can be found here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 09:39 PM

"We're playing OUR song, baby! Fly down, I think I love you."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: pdq
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 09:39 PM

In the normal course of daily life for a mosquito, it's wing speed (and therefore the pitch of the note it produces) depends directly upon the ambient air temperature. The colder it get the lower the pitch.

Trust me on this. There are some things that I just know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 11:27 PM

How kewl!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: open mike
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:27 AM

maybe they can be prevented from mating by sound...
they do make sonic mosquito repellant devices...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: Gurney
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 05:23 PM

This should be above the line. Well, it's about music, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: Tangledwood
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 06:16 PM

It has been pointed out on another forum that perfect 5th just happens to be mandolin tuning. So,do mando players suffer more mozzie bites than guitarists?


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Subject: RE: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: Janie
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 06:36 PM

I was intrigued by the paragraph on biomusicology, of which I had never heard.    All I have looked at so far is the link I posted, but think I will try to learn more and follow some of the research in this field.   

Consider the significant differences, as well as the similarities in the older music and rhythms from Africa, Europe, Asia, where humankind arose and to where we first dispersed. Also consider that there must be a biological basis and reason for music.

Facinating.


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Subject: RE: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 07:08 PM

Yeah, I heard the NPR thing on mosquitoes also.

Some time back, a good friend gave me a copy of Daniel J. Levitin's This is Your Brain on Music. Absolutely fascinating! Highly recommended. Here's a review:

Clicky.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: Janie
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 07:41 PM

Thanks for the link, Don. Gonna head for the library tomorrow to see if they have a copy.


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Subject: RE: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: GUEST,Abby
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 09:12 PM

They also said that the bugs create an overtone when they do this. Any idea what the note could be?


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Subject: RE: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: Janie
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 09:20 PM

In the podcast, you can hear the overtone. I think it is identified in the podcast, but don't clearly remember.

Maybe Don or someone else who also heard it will recall.


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Subject: RE: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 10:42 PM

I've met some of the oppsite sex that after a fifth they make sounds that are heavenlly but usually their timing & rhythm is a bit off but I always feel for their pitch

Barry


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Subject: RE: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: Acme
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 10:45 PM

That was an interesting story, wasn't it?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Mosquito Duets Perfect 5th
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Jan 09 - 08:08 PM

I believe (based on what I remember from a Physics of Music class I took back in the mid-1960s) that the overtone would be a major third, completing a major chord: root, major third, perfect fifth.

As I recall from the NPR broadcast, the female mosquito produces a note of about 400 cycles per second, which is close to an A, but somewhat flat (reckoning by the current standard of 440 cps = concert A), and the male tries to zing in on about 600 cps (also, flat compared to what it should be: 660 cps [ratio, 2 to 3 to produce a perfect 5th]). The two notes together actually mix several overtones, but the strongest one is a major third above the root of A, namely C# in this case. [Note that the female 'skeeter has a deeper voice than the male 'skeeter.]

Every note (with the possible exception of "purified" electronically produced notes) produce both the fundamental and a series of overtones. The varying strengths of the overtones of different instruments is why you can tell, say, a flute from a clarinet, even when they're both playing the same fundamental note. Some overtones reinforce each other, and this is what happens when 'skeeters--or anything for that matter--start playing duets.

. . . I think. . . .

Don Firth


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