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! 

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