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RE: Mimicry of human music - RFI

Subject: RE: Mimicry of human music - RFI
From: "Martyn Stewart" <>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2003 10:31:10 -0700
Syd, I know that Paul McCartney had this fixation with a blackbird in
his garden on the Mull of Kyntyre in Scotland, he would wait until dusk
for the bird to sing and then play guitar with him, this blackbird
apparently whistled back the tune. This inspired him to write the song
"Blackbird" on one of the Beatles albums.
He said that he had to find the key that the bird was singing in and
they both "Jammed together every night :-)
-----Original Message-----
From: Syd Curtis  
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2003 12:34 AM
Subject: [Nature Recordists] Mimicry of human music - RFI

A non-recordist friend recently asked me in a letter whether birds ever
imitated human music and whether composers ever copied bird-song.  The
latter I can answer at length, (having corresponded with Olivier
when h ewas alive), but not the first.

There is a story of a lyrebird chick raised in captivity and learning to
sing by copying flute music.  He was later released and his "flute"
were taken up by that lyrebird population.  That's the story.  It's been
disputed.  I think it probably did happen.

But somewhere in the distant past, I'm sure I read of something similar
happening in Europe.  A Blackbird, maybe.  And I think it was documented
some scientific journal.  Can anyone help me please, with a reference?


Syd Curtis in Australia

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