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The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World's Wild Places
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The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World's Wild Places

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  321 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Musician and naturalist Bernie Krause is one of the world's leading experts in natural sound, and he's spent his life discovering and recording nature's rich chorus. Searching far beyond our modern world's honking horns and buzzing machinery, he has sought out the truly wild places that remain, where natural soundscapes exist virtually unchanged from when the earliest huma ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 19th 2012 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
There are some fantastic ideas in this that I hadn’t really thought about. One is considering the health of an ecosystem by measuring sound of its biophony (the intricate niches and layers of sound/song emitted by life in an ecosystem) at different intervals before and after a disruption. Another was considering how life forms shape the sounds they make to fit niches within the whole of the biophony, and how the niches and sounds evolve when a system is disrupted. As someone who has been obsessi ...more
Dec 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
Quite interesting, although a bit repetitious, when discussing soundscapes (geophony, biophony, anthrophony) & the bioacoustic recordings & logs that the author has made over the past 40 years. This is Krause's area of expertise & he elucidates it well. The book is less compelling when the author extrapolates from his experience & data to make assessments and broad judgements about wildness & nature in relation to homo sapiens. For example, he talks about a wild pre-modern Am ...more
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, nature
bernie krause's the great animal orchestra offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of bioacoustics, soundscapes, and the evolution of music. krause, a naturalist and recording artist (he was formerly a member of the weavers and is noted for his pioneering and influential work with synthesizers and in film), developed his niche hypothesis to describe the unique "sound signatures" made up of varying non-human animal voices that define a particular time and place (which may shift in response to ...more
David R.
Apr 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
This one started with an intriguing premise, but goes downhill pretty quickly. There are a disturbing number of unsupported claims, and what documentation that exists is suspect to say the least. I'd skip pass this one by.
May 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Neat idea.

The main idea is that animals in any given given ecosystem have evolved to speak at different frequencies: "All god's creatures got a place in the choir... Some sing low, some sing higher..."

The author gives evidence that sonograms can/should be used to monitor habitats that have been logged. The "soundscape" shows differences that won't otherwise be seen. Habitats that have been disturbed show more chaotic vocalizations -- with more frequency overlap for the critters. Presumably this
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one -- Krause's perceptiveness and poetic words are both beautiful. I have clearly not given enough thought to the sound environment around me, and the sonograms illustrating the impacts of human noise on ecosystem soundscapes are genuinely frightening. Thanks to Krause, I'm so much more aware of the sounds around me, and realizing how it really is impossible to get away from human sounds, at any time or place.

I admit I skimmed a lot of the sections on music origins (far t
Cassandra Kay Silva
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This is a weird one! I picked this up thinking it to be of more of a scientific nature but found it instead to be more poetry and the lamenting of a heart for the sounds lost to us from the death of species. It was in some ways very moving. I loved his very lyrical wordy style. I found it captivating, like a piece of music. There isn't much to this in way of science, howver it is a wonderful view into the mind of someone who does hear likely as much as he sees with his eyes if not more. Totally ...more
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Whether you're a fan of sound or ecology
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly life-changing, but the soundscapes were nice to listen to

I set up my laptop and place a Shure SM-57 microphone on the edge of one of the mesh seats of the aluminum chairs on the back deck of my house in Philadelphia. The neighborhood I live in with my family is densely populated, but suburban in its layout. Most streets are residential. There’s a strip of businesses struggling to stay open on the main thoroughfare – a hearing aid store, a shoe repair shop, a few dollar stores, an antique kitchen appliance seller
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Dr. Bernie Krause is both a musician and a naturalist. During the 1950s and 60s, he devoted himself to music and replaced Pete Seeger as the guitarist for The Weavers. For over 40 years, Krause has traveled the world recording and archiving the soundsof creatures and environments large and small. He has recorded over 15,000 species. He lives in California.
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“Many of us don’t distinguish between the acts of listening and hearing. It’s” 0 likes
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