Thursday, 21 March 2013
The Yellowhammer and Beethoven
This afternoon I saw the first Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) in my garden. Nice name for a colorful bird.
Not many people know that the Yellowhammer plays an important role in Beethoven's fifth symphony:
Beethoven admitted he got the idea for the first four notes of his 5th symphony from the yellowhammer's call. The bird prefaces the last, lower, note with 5 or more notes - instead of Beethoven's three - and occasionally sings the last note higher than the others.
It would have been nice to hear the Yellowhammer perform, but he probably waits for a little warmer spring weather before he turns on the music. But he gave me a good reason to listen to the fifth!