Birdsong and popular music – what do they have in common everyday difficulties and risks

During the spring quarantine, the drone of aircraft, the honking of cars and low-frequency background from the side of the roads disappeared not only from our life… IN Bloomberg and BBC talked about the study of bird behavior in San Francisco (USA). Their singing became louder and louder.

We decided to find out what, in fact, such an effect might resemble. Is it similar to what is happening in the music industry? What’s up with the musicians themselves and you and me?

Photo: Abdul Basit.  Source:
Photo: Abdul Basit. Source:

What’s happening

Global self-isolation has left an imprint on the acoustic background of a huge number of suburban locations and settlements. San Francisco and the suburbs were no exception. In April, scientists noticed that the bridge across the Golden Gate Strait was almost empty, and decided to test a number of “audio hypotheses” associated with the behavior of a certain kind songbirds that prefer to live in northern Canada and the western United States. This topic was him familiar, plus – there were reference records for comparison obtained in this place back in 2015, so the results of the study turned out to be very interesting and convincing.

Scientists have found that the singing of birds has not only become more noticeable to humans [на самом деле уровень громкости практически не изменился], more importantly, increased content variability such “compositions”. The birds were able to sing more than in a noisy environment, which means it was more effective to designate territory and communicate.

The last task just requires more variability – in order to stake out space for themselves, the sparrows double it. Listen, how do they sound in different locations.

How noise affects

Birds do indeed adapt to the sound context around them – for example, they sing at higher frequencies where there is a constant low frequency hum. This hypothesis confirmed signal specialists big tits in Leiden (Netherlands).

Photo: Andrew Stapleton.  Source:
Photo: Andrew Stapleton. Source:

But there is a limit to everything. Scientists emphasized that some species are not at all able to change behavior in a reasonable time for survival, so their presence is dying out next to noisy highways and airports. This state of affairs also explains the fact that the “shouting” of the background requires additional energy consumption, which cannot but affect the “content”, the very variability of bird song and their survival. This addiction showed for Berlin nightingales.

What do we get with this

If you draw an analogy with what is happening in the music industry, you can see a similar relationship. Noise, but this time informational, surrounds the audience from all sides.

Politics, news, social media, email marketing, and notifications make it difficult to focus on work and rest. Our brain quickly gets used to such a “diet”, instinctively demands more and more compact and simple input signals. Their number is increasing, so it becomes much more difficult to concentrate on anything. So, five years ago in Time magazine told about a Microsoft study that showed a decline in our ability to hold attention from an average of 12 to 8 seconds, which is already a second “less than a goldfish.” By the way, BBC journalists failed to confirm this comparison, but it is clear to everyone that there is indeed a distraction situation, particularly in remote mode.

On the other hand, the digitalization of show business has really opened up many more opportunities for musicians – anyone can record, upload and release a track today. But does the practical complete absence of “friction” guarantee a real opportunity to earn money? Our trying to find an answer to this question, showed that rather not.

Photo: Georg Arthur Pflueger.  Source:
Photo: Georg Arthur Pflueger. Source:

The struggle for listeners’ attention only intensified and became more expensive for the musicians themselves. Today they have to look no longer for recording studios, but for new ones. ways attracting investments to promote their creativity. In such an environment, many decide to act straightforwardly – in order to break through the crowd of competitors and the information agenda and other distractions for the audience, musicians are increasingly make lyrics easier: Reduces the variability of themes and language constructs, and increases the volume of instruments and effects in tracks higher. This topic the other day discussed on Habré

Will those who are not ready to choose such simple solutions be able to adapt and win our attention? Will they help us to find such musicians algorithms or only push them to the final departure from the stage? Is the fate awaiting them for those species of birds that can no longer build nests on roadside poles and supports hung surveillance systems and surrounded by the hum of cars? Let’s talk about this in the comments and our next materials.

PS Sometimes it’s enough just to hum something: what is humming effect

What is in our Hi-Fi World:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *