Hugh's Reviews > Thousand-Mile Song: Whale Music In a Sea of Sound

Thousand-Mile Song by David Rothenberg
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's review
Jun 25, 08

Read in June, 2008

I wanted to like this book more than I did. Heck, it even comes with a CD of music played to a variety of whale songs. But for every one insight (from WWII through the 1960s, the information that whales "sang" was a closely kept military secret, and that research into their songs was designed to filter their "noise" out from the sound of enemy submarines), there are 10 wild hypotheses and conjectures that ultimate lead the reader to understand we know almost nothing about whale songs in spite of careful plotting of hundreds of thousands of hours of whale song. The author, a musician, tries earnestly to make a case for aesthetic considerations in research into whales, but as he himself admits, it leads to simply competing ideas and concepts

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