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Bug Music

Bug Music

David Rothenberg

In the spring of 2013 the cicadas will return on their seventeen year cycle - the longest gestation period of any animal. Their deafening sound upon their arrival is familiar to most Americans. Cicadas are famous throughout the world for the song - created by the males, and distinctive to each species. When they arrive, cicadas become the backbeat of summer - they like heat and do their most spirited singing during the hotter hours of a summer day. They are one unique example of how the rhythm of insects taught humans the meaning of rhythm, from the whirr of a cricket's wings to this long, unfathomable, exact seventeen year beat. In looking at cicadas, as well as other humming, clicking, and thrumming insects, Bug Music is the first book to consider the radical notion that we humans got our idea of rhythm, synchronisation, and dance from the world of insect sounds that surrounded our species over the millions of years over which we evolved. Rothenberg explores a unique part of our relationship with nature and sound - the music of insects that has provided a soundtrack for humanity throughout the history of our species. This book continues Rothenberg's research and writing on the relationship between human and animal music, and it follows him as he explores the exotic insect markets in Shanghai, plays his saxophone with crickets and other insects, and confers with researchers and scientists nationwide. 320 pages.

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