Tonight I put on the CD of whale song that comes with the book Thousand Mile Song - Whale Music in a Sea of Sound by David Rothenberg.
He writes, "If you speed up a humpback whale song, it sounds just like a bird. It has the tonality of a catbird, perhaps, with the rhythmic precision of a nightingale - beats, quips, melodies put together in a precise, definitive way. Why should these musical principles appear in nature at such different scales? Maybe music is a part of nature itself, something evolution has produced on different lines, converging into some living beauty that whales, birds, and even humans can know. Music is much easier to appreciate than language, of course. You need not understand it in order to love it."
Bella has never responded to music on the CD player before, but she is definitely interested in the songs of the whales, as am I.
The book is fascinating, beginning with a history that many of us remember and know. Jon Carroll, currently of the SF Chronicle, is quoted from when he wrote for Rolling Stone, and Pete Seeger is here, along with Judy Collins and her haunting song, "Farewell to Tarwathie," where her voice is accompanied by the voice of a humpback whale.
Whales might have been extinct by now, but their songs joined ours, and that duet saved them, and they still need our reverence and protection.