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From Magpies to Messiaen: Birds in Music

Birds In Music is a project in which students study the influence that birds have had in music as well as create original music based on imitations and actual samples of bird song. Musicians have been influenced by their surroundings since the beginning of music. Whether the quoting and imitation of bird song in Messiaens's compositions, or even Finish composer Harri Viitanen's transformation of bird calls through computers and MIDI instruments, bird song has found its way into countless pieces of music.

This project is a long term unit which leads students through various experiences culminating in a composition that makes use of bird calls in various ways as compositional material. One of the main focuses throughout the lesson, is the development of aural skills.

The following site is a resource for students to use during the course of this project. If you are a visitor we hope you enjoy taking a look at this exciting project!

Part I - Music Theory & Aural Skills

Part II - "Birds in Music" A look at and listen to some composers

Part III - Bird Song as compositional material

Part IV - Original Composition

 

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