Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Can whales and dolphins compose music worthy of performance? It seems so
Karen Weintraub has a New York Times article describing the songs of whales, especially humpbacks. “These Whales Are Serenaders of theSeas; and It’s Quite a Racket”.
It seems whales can compose music of some sophistication. They get other males to sing in unison with them, but some whales will break off and not conform. The idea is to find females. That may be true with birds, but the actual music is more complicated and worthy of being studied as music, maybe eve being performed by experimental groups.
Does this fit the pattern with humans that, for the most part, composers were men until at least the mid nineteenth century, after which female composers gradually got more notice (like Amy Beach).
Classical music originally reflected religious values but in time may have also served a socializing purpose.