Foreword by Philip Kitcher1. An Outback Epiphany2. Songbird Studies3. The Nature of Transcription and the Transcription of Nature4. Notes and Calls: A Taste for Diversity5. Song Development: A Taste for Complexity6. Musicality and the Art of Song: A Taste for Beauty7. Border Conflicts at Music's Definition8. Facts to Suit Theories9. Too Many Theories and Not Enough Birdsong10. Songbirds as Colleagues and ContemporariesAcknowledgementsList of AbbreviationsGlossaryNotation and Supplement ConventionsBibliographyIndex
Hollis Taylor is Research Fellow at Macquarie University. A violinist/composer, ornithologist, and author, her work confronts and revises the study of birdsong, adding the novel reference point of a musician's trained ear.
"Hollis Taylor has given us one of the most serious books ever written on animal music. Is Birdsong Music? is so engaging that all who care about humanity's place on Earth should read it. We are certainly not the only musicians on this planet." -David Rothenberg, author of Why Birds Sing "Thirty years ago, many musicologists wondered if women could compose real music. In the intervening years, we have broadened our sights, including not only women as musical agents but also people who hail from locales outside Western Europe and North America. Hollis Taylor now invites us to consider seriously the creativity manifested by Australian birds, challenging our species-centric concepts of music. A fascinating and persuasive book." -Susan McClary, author of Desire and Pleasure in Seventeenth-Century Music "Progress in the biology of human music is hampered by the notorious intractability of defining music. In this predicament Hollis Taylor boldly asks how much of what we know of human music can be found in the exquisite vocal artistry of perhaps the foremost bird singer, the pied butcherbird. Her pioneering quest for an answer is heroic and wide-ranging, both physically and intellectually, and she shares it with us in this fascinating book." -Bjorn Merker, editor of The Origins of Music "One of the best books ever on birdsong-perhapsthebest." -Dominique Lestel, author of L'animal est l'avenir de l'homme "The beautiful book Hollis Taylor has written about the song of the pied butcherbird shows how fertile and pertinent zoomusicology is. Her important bulk of data and reflection support and enrich the ongoing reappraisal of human culture. We musicians are no longer alone." -Francois-Bernard Mache, composer and author of Musique au singulier