The Musical Influences of Nature
: Electronic Composition and Ornithomusicology

  • Peter McGarry

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Zoomusicology is the study of animal sounds through a musical lens and is leading to a new era of sonic ideas and musical compositions. This project explores these ideas, with a focus on ornithomusicology (the study of musicality in bird song) and experiments with how the bird song could work in electronic music composition. I recorded four different bird species, selected with a variety of song. The chosen songs were transcribed and analysed by ear and the use of spectrographs. Using the recordings of chaffinches, dunnocks, robins and blackbirds, I created musical soundscapes alongside a more traditional styled track. I composed 5 pieces with minimally edited field recordings so the musical ideas could be presented clearly. This project shows the benefits of using birdsong in music for the composer and audience
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorGeoff Cox (Main Supervisor)

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