Leonardo Reviews – Animal Musicalities


Living in times where the sound of birds is rapidly diminishing, we may see Rachel Mundy’s study on bird song, Animal Musicalities – Birds, Beasts, and Evolutionary Listening, to be more than timely. Far from being a simple field guide for recognising predominantly birds (the beasts from the title are hardly mentioned), this is in the first place an extremely rich publication on the evolution of the study of birdsong. What makes it so rich, and at times somewhat confusing, is that Mundy connects this study with various matters of difference and race. The bird is namely seen as “the other” and is put into connection with “the enduring evaluations of species, races and cultures”, including the treatment of women. Find my full review of the book here.

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