Tuesday, August 09, 2005

If Seals can sing, so can you!

If Seals can sing, so can you!: "If Seals Can Sing, So Can You!

It sounds like a side show, doesn�t it? It does to me. But it�s true; researchers have discovered that some varieties of seals really do sing. Indeed, male leopard seals have been heard singing complex melodies in their lonely search for a mate. Likewise, male Weddell seals, which are a very social creature, lure their mate by improvising original melodies the way a master musician would in front of an audience.
Hearing that seals sing really shouldn�t surprise any of us. Music is a central element of life. Walk through the forest at night in the eastern part of the United States and you can�t help but be moved by the symphony of sound that is created when each woodland creature sings its part.
Music moves us, often in ways that we don�t understand. For example who hasn�t been calmed by the sound of quiet singing such as a lullaby? But more than that, who can explain why cows produce more milk and chickens lay more eggs when listening to certain songs like The Blue Danube? I�ve seen many studies that verify that these observations are true, but none that I�ve seen fully explain why.
Fortunately, we don�t really have to understand why singing and music in general is so central to the world we live in to benefit from it. I doubt that Mozart or Beethoven understood it, but we have all benefited from the works of these two masters, both of whom seem to have benefited from listening to the birds sing. As a matter of fact, many people believe that Beethoven actually stole the opening to his Violin Concerto in D, Opus 61 from the song of the European Blackbird! Maybe, maybe not. But we know from Mozart�s own notebooks that he played the last movement of his Piano Concerto in G Major to his pet starling who then sang the passage"
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