Music and Animal Songs

The Dome, Bramall Music Building
Arts and Law, Research
Wednesday 14th March 2018 (13:00-14:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

  • Music Colloquium series 2017-2018

Speaker: Emily Doolittle (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)

Venue: The Dome, Bramall Music Building (3rd Floor)

All Students and Staff are welcome to attend. Attendance is required for all MA Music Students.


In 1997 I moved from North America to Amsterdam, and heard a European Blackbird sing for the first time. I was fascinated by the ways its song did and did not sound like human music, and wrote a piece exploring these differences and similarities. At the time I thought that would be my animal song piece, and then I’d move on – but instead it raised more questions than it answered, and I’ve been investigating the relationship between animal song and music ever since, both as a composer and as a researcher. In this talk, I’ll discuss some of my collaborative music-science research on the vocalisations of birds, cetaceans, and pinnipeds, and show how musical and scientific methods of analysis can be used together to better understand animal songs. I’ll also play and discuss examples of my compositions that have been informed in various ways by my animal song research