They all do it. They can all audibly project harmonic tones, and they sing these tones in a series of patterns to perform a song - one of nature's most beautiful phenomenons.
The DM Songbirds Collection celebrates this beauty, bringing together some of the most loved garden performers.
Amazingly some songbirds purposely miss out certain pitches of tone which results in them vocalising musical scales know to humans; such as the pentatonic scale - beautifully sung by the North American Hermit Thrush. And some musicologists even believe that birdsong could have been one of the main catalysts in developing early man's musical ear.
But as any mathematician will tell you, it's not just the science of sound that has harmonic patterns. You will find a multitude of harmonic patterns embedded within the universal laws of nature: governing the very fabric of life.
Optics, the science of light, uses prisms to break down rays of light (think 'Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon') to show the whole spectrum of colour and the relationship patterns between the shades. And, much like musical tones, some colour tones are harmonious and compliment one another, and some not so. As the famous French composer Debussy once famously said:
'Music is the arithmetic of sounds as optics is the geometry of light.'
And where do we find a pairing of these artistic natural phenomenons: colour and sound? How about our very own songbird the Blue Tit, with its complimentary blue and yellow shading, and a delightfully cheerful chirp? Or the tiny Goldcrest, with the intricately defined edging to its wing, a striking golden crest set ablaze, and its delicate little tune? The warbling Robin with its bright red breast perfectly compliments a drab winter's landscape with both colour and song. Even the Blackbird goes against its name and brings a flash of yellow in its beak to compliment its distinctive tune.
To have these little songsters in our parks and gardens is a true blessing, but if you drag yourself out of bed very early this time of year and get yourself to a woodland, well, you will hear the full orchestra in all its rapture! We know it as the dawn chorus.
'The concert starts with a Blackbird at 3:25am. Don't be late!!'
Image © Daniel Mackie
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In Greek mythology, Halcyone and Ceyx were lovers who incurred the wrath of the god Zeus by mocking him and his wife. Angered, Zeus killed Ceyx.