WACKY WEDNESDAY | South American Uirapuru Bird Sonata [WOW]

Composer Alexander Liebermann's latest work, based on the South American Uirapuru bird ... 

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Composer Alexander Liebermann latest work, based on the South American Uirapuru bird …

 

September Ear Training Challenge: Uirapuru (Musician Wren). The musician wren is a small brown wren native to the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil. It is famous for its beautiful song and for the stories and legends around it. Many composers have been inspired by it, among others Bayle, Messiaen, and Villa-Lobos.Whilst every single wren has a unique call that is sung with ‘eventual variety’ (repeating a song-type several times before switching to another), they all demonstrate a common preference for perfect consonances (P8, P5, P4) over dissonances and imperfect consonances. That is one of the reasons why a vast majority of us will perceive it as *tonal*.To me the most fascinating part was to find similarities between rhythmic units of the wren call and Brazilian music. One example is the syncopated pattern ‘16th, 8th, 16th’ (m. 3,6), which is typically associated with Samba. Coincidence? Maybe… The history of Samba is definitely more complex than a simple bird imitation, but one has to remember that animal imitations are used in music from around the world, and that several cultures have credited birds and other animals with the origin of music (the Tuvans, the ancient Chinese, etc.). All I am saying is, parallels between nature sounds and music are more common than we think. Doolitle and Brumm’s article entitled ‘O Canto do Uirapuru: Consonant intervals and patterns in the song of the musician wren’ (2012) was the source for most of the information above. I deeply recommend it.

Posted by Alexander Liebermann – Composer on Wednesday, September 2, 2020

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