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Bird Music (a selection of works for piano)

CDs of the complete set: $10.00

Sheet music, complete bound set:   $25.00

Individual pieces priced below...

The concept of using birdsong as a basis for musical expression is nothing new. Composers from Beethoven to Messaien have taken advantage of this ready source, and have produced music that is lyrical, haunting, and even harsh.


The bird calls I have chosen as material were used not necessarily because of their musical potential (those who know the call of the Brown Jay will most certainly agree), but rather because the birds themselves held some special significance, and in 1979 I began a tradition of writing a piece of music for every new species of bird seen. The pieces are grouped into suites bearing the names of the areas where the birds were first seen. Some of the pieces, such as Pelagia, are based upon the calls of several birds (in this case: Manx Shearwater*, Arctic Loon*, Black-footed Albatross, Sooty Shearwater, and Red Phalarope).


All music contained on these sites and the cover design are Copyright ©1987 by the composer.

*The vocalizations used in the music reflect the indicated species, but the birds actually seen have since been split into Couch’s Kingbird, Black-vented Shearwater, and Pacific Loon respectively.

To see samples of the scores for each piece and hear streaming audio, click on any of the links below (prices for individual scores are noted):

Selections from the Aransas Suite

    Whooping Crane ($1.50 each)

    Orange-crowned Warbler ($2.00 each)

Chimney Swift (from Suite No. 2 for Birds) ($2.25 each)

Selections from the California Suite No. 1
    Olive-sided Flycatcher ($.75 each)
    Townsend’s Warbler ($.75 each)
Selections from the Laguna Atascosa Suite
    Tropical Kingbird ($1.25 each), segue to:
    Say’s Phoebe ($1.75 each)
Selections from the California Suite No. 5
    Leach’s Storm Petrel ($1.25 each), segue to:
    Ferruginous Hawk ($.75 each)
Wandering Tattler (from the California Suite No. 4) ($1.50 each)
Pelagia ($2.75 each)
Selections from the Santa Ana Suite
    Brown Jay ($.50 each)
    Cassin’s Sparrow ($1.25 each)
    Green Jay ($.75 each)
    Altamira Oriole ($.75 each)

 

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