Wednesday, May 5, 2010

spring music

One of the background delights of spring is the sound of birds, singing and calling to each other.  When you step outside in the middle of the winter you just don't hear them making music.  Somehow the song of birds is a fitting complement to the adornment of trees with leaves and the bursting of color from flowering blossoms.  A little research shows that birds actually learn their music from parents.  Generally the male makes the sounds and teaches the male chicks.  The songs and calls of a species are very similar but there are subtle variations that allow parents to find their offspring.  Scientists are confident that birds sing as a warning, to define territories and to keep track of their young.  Birds also just seem to enjoy making music that expresses their identity.  It's interesting that some birds continue to learn new sounds throughout life...some birds are skilled at mimicking others...some pairs of birds are able to sing in perfectly timed unison (called duetting).  Musicologists believe that bird songs have played a key role in the development of human music.  Great composers like Vivaldi and Beethoven have incorporated bird song into their compositions.  Even rock musicians used birds in the background of some of their recordings and one particular piece: "Birdsong" was written to remember the late Janis Joplin.  Of course the music of birds has also inspired many poets and is linked with our own romance.  I like to think that our Lord has composed the music of birds to celebrate the visual beauty and pleasant fragrance of spring with an equal delight for our ears and for His.  Beauty has its own purpose as it reflects the artistry of the Creator.
Psalm 84:3-4 Birds find nooks and crannies in your house,
      sparrows and swallows make nests there.
   They lay their eggs and raise their young,
      singing their songs in the place where we worship.
   God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God!
      How blessed they are to live and sing there!
Rob Smith

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