Posts tagged ‘music’

Have you cleaned your ear yet?

 

Often in the urban jungles, the voices of birds get muffled by the sounds of cranes (machine) and noise pollution. In such a scenario, how can we ‘listen’ to the voices of nature?

There are some scientists who are working on acoustic ecology to bring out these nature sounds for people. Apart from scientists, even musicians are making an attempt to revive nature sounds, like Troels Folmann, who is trying to raise awareness about music with bumblebees.

Acoustic Ecology is a term coined in the early 1970s, emerging largely from the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. The writings of R. Murray Schafer, most notably A Sound Education and The Tuning of the World (reissued asThe Soundscape), have provided a foundation from which several distinct yet related threads have grown.

Prominent themes in acoustic ecology today are:

  • The effect of soundscapes on humans, in cities, nature, and buildings, including urban planning and architectural design that takes sound into account.
  • Ways to become more aware of the sounds we are making, so we can make these choices more consciously.
  • Reflection on the soundscapes we encounter day to day.
  • The effects of human sounds on wildlife.
  • The “right to quiet,” which comes into play in wild lands recreation debates about motorized use, as well as in urban settings.
  • The idea of acoustic windows or acoustic niches, employed by various species in a given habitat to avoid masking each other’s vocalizations.

Source: http://www.acousticecology.org

Some researchers are attempting to find how people react to different sounds and how various sounds in daily lives impact them.

In the world that we live today, sounds of nature can actually heal us. Are you listening?

December 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm 1 comment

Bird Scientists Borrow Music Technology from Teenagers in Search for Rare Bird

Written by surfbirds on March 20, 2012 in RSPB, surfbirds archive

Britain’s teenagers have embraced portable MP3 technology to admire the latest releases from divas including Adele, Jessie J and Lady Gaga. But this year scientists are taking the lightweight players to our highest hills and mountains to help them appreciate singers of a completely different kind.

The ring ouzel, otherwise known as the mountain blackbird, is a bird which inhabits the highest and wildest countryside of Britain and Ireland. However, the song of this rugged bird has been fading away from some areas and scientists want to find out why the bird is disappearing from so many of its former haunts. The scientists will be using MP3 players – loaded with a track of the bird’s song – to establish where the birds are breeding during the second UK-wide ring ouzel survey, this year. In 1999, the scientists needed to take bulky cassette recorders and speakers to achieve the same result.

The survey partnership includes the RSPB, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW). The survey will begin as the birds return to their upland nesting sites – from the end of March – from their wintering grounds in the mountains and hills of North Africa and southern Spain.

The first national survey, which took place in 1999, revealed that the ring ouzel was disappearing from several upland areas where it was formerly widespread, including parts of Scotland, south Wales and large swathes of Ireland. The birds last nested in Shropshire in 2004 and on Exmoor a little earlier. In most areas it is believed to have declined alarmingly over the last century. In 1999, there were thought to be fewer than 7,500 pairs nesting in the UK. The declines were so marked that the ring ouzel was added to the red list of the Birds of Conservation Concern in 2002.

Innes Sim is an RSPB scientist who has been studying the bird for 14 years in Scotland. He said: “The ring ouzel has a beautiful song and it sings on some of our most wonderful stages, such as the highest mountains of Scotland, Wales and England. I have been studying these birds in Scotland since 1998 and I am deeply alarmed by its widespread and deepening disappearance: the hills would be lonelier without
them.”

CCW senior ornithologist Sian Whitehead said: “The status of ring ouzels in Wales continues to be a cause for concern, and so we welcome this year’s survey. This will provide a much-needed update on the status of this bird that is so iconic of the uplands of Wales.”

Allan Drewitt, a senior ornithologist with Natural England, said: “There is currently no accurate estimate of the ring ouzel’s population – this survey will tell us how many are left and where they are, and that gets us one step closer to understanding why they’re disappearing and how we can help bring them back.”

Andy Douse, an ornithologist with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) said: “This is a species in decline at the moment and the survey will give us a better understanding of this decline and should also give us more information about the pressure it may be facing. We are absolutely committed to this survey which will paint a clearer picture of the changes affecting this upland species.”

The scientists play a recording of the bird’s song at specific points. By observing the responses from male ring ouzels in the area, the scientists can establish the breeding status of any birds found.

Although scientists can’t fully explain the bird’s disappearance, recent research suggests a reduction in the survival of young and, possibly, adult birds may be to blame. Factors on the bird’s breeding and wintering grounds, or during migration, may include: climate change; changes in livestock grazing which can affect the bird’s nesting and feeding areas; hunting in Europe; and a reduction in the amount of juniper berries, which are the bird’s principal food source on the wintering grounds.

http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blogs/blog/2012/03/20/bird-scientists-borrow-music-technology-from-teenagers-in-search-for-rare-bird/

 

March 22, 2012 at 5:37 am Leave a comment


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