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

Bernie Krause
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $8.89
You Save: $7.10 (44%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

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 humans first inhabited the earth.

Krause shares fascinating insight into how deeply animals rely on their aural habitat to survive and the damaging effects of extraneous noise on the delicate balance between predator and prey. But natural soundscapes aren't vital only to the animal kingdom; Krause explores how the myriad voices and rhythms of the natural world formed a basis from which our own musical expression emerged.

From snapping shrimp, popping viruses, and the songs of humpback whales-whose voices, if unimpeded, could circle the earth in hours-to cracking glaciers, bubbling streams, and the roar of intense storms; from melody-singing birds to the organlike drone of wind blowing over reeds, the sounds Krause has experienced and describes are like no others. And from recording jaguars at night in the Amazon rain forest to encountering mountain gorillas in Africa's Virunga Mountains, Krause offers an intense and intensely personal narrative of the planet's deep and connected natural sounds and rhythm.

The Great Animal Orchestra is the story of one man's pursuit of natural music in its purest form, and an impassioned case for the conservation of one of our most overlooked natural resources-the music of the wild.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"An imaginative introduction to a new dimension of the natural world." (Kirkus Reviews )

"Krause's musical expertise allows him to hear the orchestral layering of different species in each biophony, an insight that explains group vocalization as an evolutionary survival mechanism rather than a purposeful chorus of noise." (Publishers Weekly )

"The Great Animal Orchestra speaks to us of an ancient music to which so many of us are deaf. Bernie Krause is, above all, an artist. I have watched him recording the calls of chimpanzees, the singing of the insects and birds, and seen his deep love for the harmonies of nature. In this book he helps us to hear and appreciate the often hidden musicians in a new way. But he warns that these songs, an intrinsic part of the natural world and essential to human well being, are vanishing, one by one, snuffed out by human actions. Read The Great Animal Orchestra, tell your friends about it. And as Bernie urges, let us all do our part to preserve the age old sounds of nature." (Jane Goodall )

"Krause shows us the music of the natural world - long may his work continue!" (Pete Seeger )

"Bernie Krause and his niche theory are the real thing. His originality, research, and above all basic knowledge of the sound environments in nature are impressive." (E.O. Wilson )

"This fascinating book awakens our ancient ears to the source of all music. Read it, and you'll yearn to muffle our din-and hear anew." (author of The World Without Us Alan Weisman )

Review

"An imaginative introduction to a new dimension of the natural world." (Kirkus Reviews )

"Krause's musical expertise allows him to hear the orchestral layering of different species in each biophony, an insight that explains group vocalization as an evolutionary survival mechanism rather than a purposeful chorus of noise." (Publishers Weekly )

"The Great Animal Orchestra speaks to us of an ancient music to which so many of us are deaf. Bernie Krause is, above all, an artist. I have watched him recording the calls of chimpanzees, the singing of the insects and birds, and seen his deep love for the harmonies of nature. In this book he helps us to hear and appreciate the often hidden musicians in a new way. But he warns that these songs, an intrinsic part of the natural world and essential to human well being, are vanishing, one by one, snuffed out by human actions. Read The Great Animal Orchestra, tell your friends about it. And as Bernie urges, let us all do our part to preserve the age old sounds of nature." (Jane Goodall )

"Krause shows us the music of the natural world - long may his work continue!" (Pete Seeger )

"Bernie Krause and his niche theory are the real thing. His originality, research, and above all basic knowledge of the sound environments in nature are impressive." (E.O. Wilson )

"This fascinating book awakens our ancient ears to the source of all music. Read it, and you'll yearn to muffle our din-and hear anew." (author of The World Without Us Alan Weisman )

Product Details

  • File Size: 1420 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (March 19, 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004QZ9PLA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,334 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
In addition to playing with the Weavers, Bernie and his partner Paul Beaver introduced the synthesizer to rock, and they worked with the biggest names in music in the 1960s and 1970s. Bernie's previous book, In A Wild Sanctuary, explored how animals partition their environments to get their calls across without interfering with each other. This selective use of the soundscape, which must be seen as a vital part of ecology and evolution, is now called biophony (life-sound), and along with geophony (earth-sound, like water and wind), makes us more sensitive to what's going on around us. He has recorded thousands of animals, plants, and environments around the world, including many environments that have now disappeared. His work has been pioneering in giving us a whole different qualitative and quantitative approach to what we are losing ... and sounds often record what visual evidence alone cannot.

Here, Bernie asks whether the sounds and rhythms of human music could have been adopted wholesale from the animals in our environments -- in short, whether animals taught us to sing and dance. The rhythms and songs of these animals will astound you, and give you a different perspective on the inspiration for our music.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-changing book March 30, 2012
Format:Hardcover
All too rarely a book comes along that changes one's life and worldview by opening up new vistas of knowledge, thought and feeling. This is such a book.
Bernie Krause built upon a musical education and grounding to create a new dimension of sound. After building a career in the music business--itself a rare achievement--he turned to the sounds of nature. He deals with sound as his mentor, considering sounds from the land and ocean, evaluating the organized sound of life itself, covering what he calls `biophony' as a proto-orchestra, revealing the interior of the magnificent reality represented by the sounds of life that surround us every waking moment.
The book has many dimensions: it is a scientific treatise of exceptional scholarly quality and clarity; it is a book of global scope, since the author has worked worldwide, on land, at sea and undersea in pursuing the soundscapes of animal life; the book studies and documents the influence of human activity on ecosystems that predate humanity by hundreds of thousands of years, explaining the destructive aspects of human-derived sound, which he calls `noise'; and it is a richly anecdotal book of profound human insights, since it enables the reader to appreciate, in ways that were hitherto unavailable, the influence of sound in essentially every aspect of our lives, in places rich with mystery that most of us will never visit. Krause believes, and who are we to argue with him, that human communication over the millennia may be based on the natural sounds that preceded speech and singing--after all, animals, birds and marine life were here long before Man.
If one had to level a criticism at the work, it would be the missed opportunity of not including a CD of natural sounds, or at least offering one to readers, but this does not happen.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle does not support audio content for this book July 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition with Audio/Video
Despite Amazon's claim that the Kindle edition has audio content, this is not correct. Apparently, the "Kindle" edition permits the reader to access the recorded sounds embedded in the book through iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch only. The text itself is absolutely wonderful -- so wonderful that one really, really wants to hear the sounds the author so beautifully describes. Amazon should do whatever it takes to make this available to Kindle readers. Krause has been on NPR and in the NY Times discussing his recordings of nature sounds and Amazon owes it to loyal customers to make available to us what it makes available to readers who use other devices.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Great Animal Orchestra By: Bernie Kraus
Reviewed by: Mike Cumberland

This book will change the way you listen. Krause awakens the spirit of the reader from the ennui of the everyday to the acoustic susurrations that surround us each day. As he notes, as a species, we now tend to block out our surrounding sounds with our own digital technology, but we also do this as a limbic brain protective / survival mechanism.

Krause skillfully relates the progression of his early personal experiences to his journey of amassing a collection of soundscapes worthy for generations to come. This book brings his salient technical journal and professional writings into a consummate assemblage of easily understood ideas. His explanation and use of terms such as: spectrograms, geophonies, biophonies, and anthrophonies are easy to grasp through diagrams and his easy writing style.

I was happily pleased that Mr. Krause made the reader aware of "The Sixth Extinction" concept through soundscape recordings -- but as much pleased that the point was not belaboured upon as Farley Mowat's Sea of Slaughter; which is down-right depressing.

One particular éclat phrase is particularly poignant, "... while a picture is worth a thousand words, a natural soundscape is worth a thousand pictures." (Krause, p. 71) This particular phrase alludes to the multi-dimensionality of life that Krause has captured in his extensive research studies. He not only clearly explains the three-dimensionality of vision, but on goes to concisely explain the fourth dimensionality of the inclusion of space and time through his spectrographs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Soundscapes
If you're looking for a book about recording techniques or equipment, this isn't it. If you're looking for information about how to record the sound of individual animals, this... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mild Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This book should be required reading for schools. The earth is our habitat and should be preserved. Respect for life is of the greatest importance.
Published 3 months ago by Heli
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a great book
Lobe these books with the sound files in them. So illustrative and educational. I want to get the whole series.
Published 3 months ago by Perf
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational!
This book provides an angle of perception not commonly considered. It has given me a fresh appreciation for the audible world around me. Read more
Published 4 months ago by E. Suchman
2.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't deliver.
Not really about science. I got the feeling that Krause is more into promoting himself as a great hippie-scientist than really talking about Bioacoustics. Read more
Published 4 months ago by HMohr
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written and Inspiring
Mr. Krause (the writer) came to my attention during an interview he gave on NPR. Intrigued, I sought out this book and enjoyed it so much that I also purchased the audio book... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Brian Sumner
5.0 out of 5 stars An ear opening book
A day after gazing at the beautiful "silent" mountain scenery from a friend's residence high in Carmel Valley, CA, and wondering why on earth the crickets or cicadas were seemingly... Read more
Published 11 months ago by D.N.Wijewardane
5.0 out of 5 stars Sounds related to the book narrative
For all of the sounds highlighted in this book, visit [...] They can all be found at that site. B. Krause
Published 13 months ago by Bernard Krause
3.0 out of 5 stars Great man, fair book
I am a quite strong admirer of Bernie Krause and an advocate of what he has accomplished.
We need more people in the world that think and act like him. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Charles M. Bradford
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor
This is a loose collection of thoughts, reads and conversations about music and nature sound. The author surely excels in atmospheric recordings, but this mixture of science... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Diego
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