Bug Music

Bug Music

How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise

Book - 2013
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In the spring of 2013 the cicadas in the Northeastern United States will yet again emerge from their seventeen-year cycle--the longest gestation period of any animal. Those who experience this great sonic invasion compare their sense of wonder to the arrival of a comet or a solar eclipse. This unending rhythmic cycle is just one unique example of how the pulse and noise of insects has taught humans the meaning of rhythm, from the whirr of a cricket's wings to this unfathomable and exact seventeen-year beat.

In listening to cicadas, as well as other humming, clicking, and thrumming insects, Bug Music is the first book to consider the radical notion that we humans got our idea of rhythm, synchronization, and dance from the world of insect sounds that surrounded our species over the millions of years over which we evolved. Completing the trilogy he began with Why Birds Sing and Thousand Mile Song, David Rothenberg explores a unique part of our relationship with nature and sound--the music of insects that has provided a soundtrack for humanity throughout the history of our species. Bug Music continues Rothenberg's in-depth research and spirited writing on the relationship between human and animal music, and it follows him as he explores insect influences in classical and modern music, plays his saxophone with crickets and other insects, and confers with researchers and scientists nationwide.
This engaging and thought-provoking book challenges our understanding of our place in nature and our relationship to the creatures surrounding us, and makes a passionate case for the interconnectedness of species.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781250005212
1250005213
Characteristics: 278 p. : ill., music ; 25 cm

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JCLBryanV Mar 07, 2017

David Rothenberg's "Bug Music" is a highly readable and eccentric investigation into an aspect of nature too easily taken for granted. There is a philosophical nature to Rothenberg’s writing--he is a professor of both music and philosophy—but don’t let that scare you. He stays grounded in the science of natural musicality. Delving deeply into the sounds of cicadas, crickets and katydids, Rothenberg is not afraid to suddenly go big-picture on his readers. "Bug Music" is ultimately a lot of fun and if you don’t share Rothenberg’s enthusiasm for the intricate connections between bug sounds and human music, you will by the end.

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