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Re: Mimicry of human music - RFI

Subject: Re: Mimicry of human music - RFI
From: Wild Sanctuary <>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2003 12:33:53 -0700
Well, Syd, we got a mocking bird in the neighborhood that sings 
(among other songs and calls) the the first 8-note riff of 
Beethoven's 5th interchanged with the warning signal of a bus turning 
a corner...Doppler shift and all. Explain that one! Come next spring, 
if he's still around, I'll try to record and post it.


>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 Messiaen
>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" songs
>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 in
>some scientific journal.  Can anyone help me please, with a reference?
>Syd Curtis in Australia
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Wild Sanctuary, Inc.
P. O. Box 536
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
707-996-6677 tel
707-996-0280 fax


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