Science - February 9, 2012

Nature's loveliest sounds

Blackbird at number 1.

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There is no denying it, even for the nature sounds man, Henk Meeuwsen: the blackbird is top of the pops. But after that, his taste deviates considerably from that of the average Dutch person. Henk Meeuwsen was a guest on the Vara radio talk show Vroege Vogels (Early Birds) last Sunday, when the Top 40 Nature Sounds was announced. Some of the recordings on which Dutch listeners could vote over the past month were his work. Meeuwsen has gradually made a name for himself as an authority in this field. No one who wants to do something related to natural sounds can afford to ignore him.
The blackbird is the undisputed number one, on that Meeuwsen agrees. ‘That sound is not just beautiful, but you feel as though you understand what a blackbird is saying.' After the blackbird, the Dutch chose the sound of the surf, the nightingale, field birds and a purring cat. Meeuwsen himself prefers the sounds of the midwife toad, the crane and a barking deer. The full top 40 can be seen and heard on the Vroege Vogels website.

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