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Additional resources for An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind
Jug jug jug, the rhythms are rough-hewn, not sweet. So far the depth and verve of this night music舗s clicking, searing rhythms has not been caught by either poet. One has to look to a third great romantic, John Clare, who heard the nightingale舗s rhythmic coos as nature舗s central poetic sound, the sweet beat that set his whole sense of rhyme aloft. In May 1832 Clare noted down the sounds of a nightingale singing outside his window in an apple tree. 舡 In this manifesto for his art, Clare describes how words and rhythm come to him from his daily work in the fields and his attention to the brilliant sounds surrounding him.
As I dive into the history of this research, it turns out to be a much more subtle and intricate story. There is no clear reason why house sparrows get by with simple sneeps and pips, while the brown thrasher needs thousands of distinct song motifs. Without that amazing need to sing, the thrasher舗s just a plain brown spotted bird high up in the trees. Evolution is not supposed to produce beauty for the sake of loveliness alone. Science needs data to back up every claim. A responsible scientist won舗t pretend to know why birds sing so well; will he disagree with the idea that birds burst into song out of pure joy?
Stop dancing. 舡 After a particular clarinet pitch, he proves his name: Baaaph baaph baph ba, Baaaaaaph, baaph baph ba. Sounds more like a trombone played underwater. Did I come to find music in this? Call the sounds of bird life music and there舗s a place for humanity within them. Call them language and it舗s a foreign tongue with no hope of being understood. To write out the song of the rose-breasted grosbeak, Aretas Saunders had to use free-ranging neumes as well as unpronounceable syllables. Here are rhythms, tones, melodies up and around舒none of them too close to our systems of music or language.