Program Information — Series 3 & 4
Click on a program in the right-hand column to see a description and program notes.

Vocal Tract

To understand in more detail how birds produce sound, we need to explore the workings of the entire vocal tract, including the syrinx, the trachea, the mouth, the beak, the tongue. The programs that follow will take up these elements and introduce analogies to musical instruments and the human voice to help understand birdsong.

Chris Tenney recorded the sandhill cranes at the Los Banos National Wildlife Refuge. He recorded the hermit thrush in the northern Sierra Nevadas. He also recorded the house wren and the warbling vireo.

The common raven recording is from the CD collection Bird Songs of California produced by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

The versions of the Prince of Denmark March played on the tenor trombone and the Bb trumpet (without valves) are from the brass acoustics page of Joe Wolfe's wonderful music acoustics website at The University of New South Wales.

I used Bias Peak to speed up the trombone version (which had been deliberately recorded at half speed) to match the tempo of the trumpet version.

The example of the sygyt method of Tuvan throat singing is from a brief video of Tuvan master Alexei Saryglar that is available on the web. We will explore Tuvan singing more in later shows because it demostrates how individual overtones in a voice can be singled out and amplified.

Series 3
Egg Calls
Chick ID Calls
Chicken Calls
Vocal Tract
Syrinx Styles
Airway Model
Airway Overtones
Coiled Trachea
Beak & Airway
Vowels & Airway
Tuvan Throat Singing

Series 4
Size & Sound
Forest Soundscape
Grassland Soundscape
Bird Hearing
Local Dialects
Regional Dialects
Drumming - Woodpeckers Etc.
Bird Tongues
Bird Brains & Singing
Song Duels?
Dawn Chorus
Finale: Song Sparrow