Trees in music   Lee E. Frelich
  Jan 07, 2005 06:54 PST 


Other than past discussions of the use of wood to build musical
instruments, I don't believe there have been any discussion of trees in
music. Since I have always been one to do what no one else does (or what
no on else will do or wants to do, or that is generally considered
unfashionable), I'll post something on trees in music while my ears are
still ringing from last nights gigantic performance of 'The Pines of Rome'
by the Minnesota Orchestra.

Ottorino Resphigi composed the Pines of Rome in 1924 as part of his Roman
Trilogy (Fountains of Rome, Pines of Rome, and Roman Festivals). According
to the composer's notes this piece of music uses nature to recall memories
and visions, i.e. what the pines have witnessed over the centuries,
especially in ancient Rome.

The pines in question are Pinus pinnaea, the Italian stone pine, also
called umbrella pine. They occur around villas, near the catacombs, on the
Janiculum (a hill on the opposite side of the Tiber River from the hills on
which the city is built), and they line the Appian Way. The music has four
movements that portray these four locations and events that have happened
there witnessed by the trees. My favorites were the Janiculum, where the
music integrates a recording of nightingales singing with the orchestra,
and the Appian way, which portrays Roman soldiers marching past the trees
at sunrise. This last part uses over 100 musicians, including extra
trumpets distributed in the audience, and gradually mounts to an
ear-shattering climax at the end.

How about the 'Pines of MTSF', 'Maples of Monroe SF' , or 'Hemlocks of the
Smokies'? Anyone know of ENTS favorite tree species portrayed in music?


P.S. Italian stone pines only live a few hundred years--the trees there
today are several generations removed from witnessing soldiers of ancient Rome.
Re: Trees in music   Miles Lowry
  Jan 07, 2005 07:24 PST 

Actually, trees have played their ice instruments for me...their
dissonant compostion was probably the most captivating music I've heard.
Here's the story...

About fifteen years ago I was skiing a cross country race in the
southern unit of the Kettle Morraine State Park. Having trained in the
flats of the Chicago area, my heart and llungs were not fully prepared
for the roller-coaster terrain of that places eskers, drumlins and

It had sleeted the night before the race so that all the oaks and
hickories were coated in ice. As the wind picked up as I rested on top
of a particularly steep hill (Yes, I stopped to catch my breath), it
dislodged hundreds of these tubular shards. As they fell to the grownd,
many of them whistled before hitting the snow pack. I kid you not.
Truely mystical. It has happened to mw only once in these many years of

OK, it's not exactly what you had in mind, but...
Interestingly, the big negative about competing, hiking with a distant
end-of-day goal, being consumed by the trip, etc. is that one insulates
oneself from these mystical opportunites...
RE: Trees in music   Robert Leverett
  Jan 07, 2005 07:34 PST 


   I have seen and marveled at the pines of Rome and have long been a
fan of Resphigi's Trilogy, although I hear the Pines of Rome and the
Fountains of Rome far more than Roman Festivals. In fact, at the moment,
I'm hard pressed to remember what Roman Festivals sounds like. The
visits I made to Rome were among the high points of my life. The sense
of history one feels there can be overwhelming.

   Your challenge to us to think of musical scores to fit 'Pines of
MTSF' and other such possibilities raises the anti for all ENTS. You are
nudging us into the rarified air of an ENTS celebration of trees through
music, something we only talk about as part of our charter.

   Lee, I had to smile at your characterization of yourself - and how
true. How very true. Nobody can ever accuse you of getting stuck in the
ordinary or the banal. Our great friend, you may not be one of a kind,
but you are darn close to it.

   Okay Ents, who can think of tree-music connections? What musical
scores remind us of what species?

   One question to you Lee is: are you getting closer to formally
returning to performing? At some point, we're just going to have to have
a major ENTS rendezvous in Minneapolis. It's got to happen. I gotta see
those flood plain cottonwoods. They're calling to me. And a live concert
as part of a visit would be sooooper dooooper. WAY COOL.

RE: Trees in music   edward coyle
  Jan 07, 2005 08:04 PST 


A very refreshing post, and new facet showing how we all are influenced
by trees. I too would have liked the part incorporating the nightingale
Songs with trees in them, hmmm, old oak, mulberry, sycamore, weeping willow,
holly, Christma (sp.).

RE: Trees in music   Lee E. Frelich
  Jan 07, 2005 09:30 PST 


In answer to your questions, I have always associated Brahms symphony #2
with black spruce muskeg and/or dwarf spruce in alpine habitats, and Brahms
#4 with spruce forests at the edge of Lake Superior during November (gray
skies, gray water, huge waves and towering columns of spray as the waves
crash into the granite bluffs under the trees). Brahms did go for walks
into alpine spruce forests in the mountains around Vienna, and it is not
surprising that the character of spruce forests would arise from his music,
although he considered his music to be abstract, and would not tell anyone
if there was a hidden program within the music.

As for my performances, it is getting more and more tempting to get the
violin out and see if its possible for an old fogie like me to attain the
same level of playing I was at when 20 years old.

You are welcome to stop in Minneapolis during one of your cross-country
trips and see the giant cottonwoods. It's in southern MN and really not
much out of your way if you are driving to UT or SD.

Re: Trees in music   Don Bertolette
  Jan 07, 2005 16:29 PST 


George Winston does a nice acoustic version of Forest...


Re: Trees in music   Howard Stoner
  Jan 07, 2005 16:33 PST 

How about "Here we go round the Mulberry Tree" maybe it was "bush", oh
Re: Music in the air - Norwegian Woods   The Darbyshires
  Jan 07, 2005 19:19 PST 

A song by the Beatles, and a Japanese novel (according to Google, anyway)
and an upcoming rock festival in Oslo (also according to Google).

  From: silversail 

Is Norwegian Woods a piece of music, a poem or a cologne?
Re: Trees in music   edniz
  Jan 08, 2005 05:43 PST 


            Although I was one year shy of being a certified music teacher
and listened to classical music very extensively, I don't have any specific
compositions coming to mind that were inspired by trees other than Resphigi'
s composition. Beethoven's 6th, the "Pastoral", was very much inspired by
nature and Beethoven spent many long walks in the great outdoors waiting for
inspirational themes that he would later turn into compositions.

            The music of Sibelius is very evocative of the terrain and
landscape of Finland. This would be great music to have in your car stereo
when traveling through Northern Minnesota. "The Moldau" by Smetana follows
the course of a river from its beginnings until it reaches the sea. Debussy
has "La Mer".

            I will ask my music teachers back at school if they have come
across specific compositions that focus on specific trees or the forest in

Ed Nizalowski
Tree music   John Knuerr
  Jan 08, 2005 06:56 PST 
Lest we get too highbrow, let's not forget Laurel and Hardy's song of the
lonesome pine in their film, Way Out West
Re: Tree music    Neil Pederson
   Jan 08, 2005 07:43 PST 

Dear ENTS,

I've been trying to think of some modern songs about trees or a tree
and the only one I can come up with is U2's 'One Tree Hill.' Rather
bleak, but they are from Ireland, so that may explain the image of
that title. Perhaps modern country has more tree-oriented songs.
..Just remembered Pearl Jam has a song "Up in My Tree." It wasn't
nearly as good as I had hoped.

I was lucky to be exposed to Mongolian folk music. My friend
explained a lot of their songs revolve around nature: trees, water,
mountains, the sky, animals.... These are songs that are probably
several hundreds of years old. One day we met up with the forest
ranger in western Mongolia. During that slow afternoon, our host
began singing a song. The forest ranger quickly joined in. It was
amazing to me that two people that had never met and grew up in
different parts of Mongolia had this bond over music, specifically
music about their environment.

We'd probably have to dig through old-tyme country music to find
songs about trees; a time in this country when more people lived
closer to trees.

The only somewhat tree-related music I can think of is Aaron
Copeland's Appalachian Spring. How can you not think about spring in
Appalachia and not think about its trees?

Could ENTS suggest a mixed-CD full of songs about trees [Laurel and
Hardy included!]?

Re: Tree music   Neil Pederson
  Jan 08, 2005 07:50 PST 

And, I meant to include that a friend gave me a CD of Inner
Mongolian folk music. One song is called "Music of the Pine Tree
Forest." Other tracks are:

Singing Birds on a Silent Mountain

Ducks Playing in Cold Water

River Full of Redness [during the sunset]

Re: Tree music
  Jan 08, 2005 07:58 PST 

Oak ridge boys??? LOL
Re: Trees in music
  Jan 08, 2005 08:00 PST 
Hello ENTS:

As far as trees in of the first songs I ever remember hearing
that was related to trees was a song by Sonny James in the early 1960's called
"Don't Cut Timber on a Windy Day"

However, my own preferece for tree music is the sound of the twigs and
branches in the tops of white ash make as they click and pop against one another
on a bitterly cold and windy winter night as you walk through the woods or the
gentle whooosh of a summer breeze through the needles of white pine trees.
I never realized how much I enjoyed the sound of wind through white pine
needles until I lived in WV where softwood trees are at an absolute minority.

Russ Richardson
Re: Tree music
  Jan 08, 2005 08:32 PST 

   To add to that the Sons of the Pioneers had a son named "Tall Timber". That song, "Cool Water", and "Tumbing Tumbleweed" were western classics before the cry in the beer and somebody done somebody wrong songs came to dominate the country and western genre.

Re: Tree music
  Jan 08, 2005 08:36 PST 

    Aaron Copeland's Appalachian Spring is a classic. There is actually a lot of "new age" music that is nature oriented and some of it quite good. In fact, I would argue that no are of musical development and thought has given so much attention to nature than in the new age genre.

RE: Tree music   edward coyle
  Jan 08, 2005 10:28 PST 


Pop songs are my experience. There are many with trees that I listed only
as trees, but here they are with the title, or artist.
- Oh, Christmas Tree
- Sycamore tree, Mama Cass
- Apple tree, Andrew sisters
- Old oak tree, Tony Orlando-Dawn
-Tree(sp.?) underneath,Bread
-Tangerine trees, Beatles
- Lemon tree, Redwood tree, Peter, Paul and Mary
- Sugar tree,Pam Tillis
-Aspenglow,John Denver
-Maple Leaf Rag,Joplin
-The Ashgrove, Whittaker
-Willow weep for me, ?
-House of Bamboo,Andy Williams?

That's all I can think of.

RE: Tree music   edward coyle
  Jan 08, 2005 11:05 PST 

House of bamboo,Earl Grant. I looked it up because I couldn't remember
many of the words,just the tune.
RE: Tree music-- RUSH!!!   Will Blozan
  Jan 08, 2005 11:50 PST 
Let's not forget the classic song by Rush, "The Tree's". It is purely about
trees and the homogenizing effects of logging. After a "battle" between the
oaks and maples, the song ends, "And the trees were all made equal, with
hatchet, axe, and saw."

RE: Tree music-- RUSH!!!   Gary A. Beluzo
  Jan 08, 2005 12:32 PST of my favorite bands. How about "If a Tree Falls in the
Forest" by Bruce Cockburn?

RE: Trees in music   Lee Frelich
  Jan 08, 2005 12:33 PST 


I attended the Pines of Rome concert Thursday night in Orchestra Hall and
then listened to the radio broadcast on Friday night (all MN Orchestra
concerts are broadcast live across the country every Friday night), and one
can compare the two experiences by making an analogy of hiking in the
forest compared to watching a nature show on TV.

The Pines of Rome and old growth forests are both grand in scale, and,
although they may still be worthwhile, they aren't the same when they come
out of a box. Unfortunately we are raising a whole generation of people in
this country whose experiences in life all come out of a box, and they
don't understand what they are missing (with the exception of ENTS members).

You really have something to look forward to some day when you hear The
Pines of Rome live.


RE: Trees in music   Gary A. Beluzo
  Jan 08, 2005 12:38 PST 


I also have George Winston's "Forest" album. wonderful, melodic piano.

Re: Trees in music   Michele Wilson
  Jan 08, 2005 12:45 PST 

Speaking of tree music: I can offer that I have been working on writing an
anti-highgrading song, the music all set, still working on the verses. If
anyone else other than myself contributes a verse that becomes part of the
song, of course that individual would be part of the eventual copywright. I
have to go see my next door neighbor, who makes his living writing musical
jingles for various kinds of commercials, to see how much it will cost to
record the song once I've got enough verses. The song will be entitled
"You've Got to Lose the Highgrade (Before the Highgrade Loses You)" and I
intend to record two renditions with the same general melody, of course, one
a heavy hittin', rockin' blues ballad, with orchestral arrangements to add
flavor and emotion-grabbing technique (weeping violins in the background,
along with chainsaw roars every now and then) and the other rendition will
be more of a rockabilly version with a countryish twang at the end of the
sung words...of course, it is my intent to get the attention of as wide an
audience as possible and not everybody loves pure blues as much as I do.
Perhaps I should even do a fun & folksy, acoustic kids version! Anyway, I
imagine I'll have to gather at least few thousand buckaroos together first
(I'll have to hire some studio musicians and count on some folks doing it
for fun!) or perhaps get cost/share funding through some environmental
source(s), with the intent to get the song on national radio, if for no
other reason than to get folks to wonder what the hell highgrading is all
about. So, wish me luck in this venture, ENTS!
Michele Wilson

RE: Trees in music   Gary A. Beluzo
  Jan 08, 2005 14:17 PST 

Hi Michele,

Those of us with musical ability should get together...a few years ago Bob
Leverett, Jani Leverett, and I wrote several songs and recorded them at a
friend's house (Jon Rishel)in Chicopee. One was called "Mount Tom: Island
of Diversity" that was played on local radio stations during the debate to
expand the traprock quarry...another was called "Cold River Dawn", about the
MTSF area. Several of us have been toying with the idea of coming up with
about 10-15 original songs and then putting together a CD.

Incidentally, I have some digital recording and mixing capability on my Dell
Computer at home and my friend Michael Kowal has a 10 track digital recorder
with keyboards and synthesizer modules to create bass, drums, etc...Jon
Rishel though has a full digital recording studio.

Anyone else interested?

Re: Trees in music   Don Bertolette
  Jan 08, 2005 17:06 PST 
Your preference reminded me of a song from the sixties, too. Johnny Horton sang a song titled "Whispering Pines" that captures his version of "the gentle whooosh of a summer breeze through the needles of white pine trees".
Re: Trees in music   Don Bertolette
  Jan 08, 2005 17:15 PST 

Let's see how similar our collections you also have Enya's "The
Memory of Trees" ?
Re: Trees in music
  Jan 08, 2005 19:55 PST 

My memory of this song is from WW II, but I have no idea how old it really

Don't sit under the apple tree (with anyone else but me)
RE: Trees in music
  Jan 08, 2005 20:15 PST 

On another musical note, the following appeared in a musical blog:

"I have noticed while walking in the woods that occasionally when I
come upon a tree that is hollow, whether alive or dead, I can knock
on it at different heights on the trunk and produce a simple melody.
Due to the height of the tree, and it being hollow, the sound
produced actually travels a very long distance, something like a
humongously scaled xylophone."


RE: Tree music -Clint Eastwood   Edward Frank
  Jan 08, 2005 21:01 PST 


A friend of mine loaned me her Rush album with "Trees" in it after a hike
at Cook Forest. One classic song from the musical "Paint Your Wagon" is
"I talk to the Trees" sung by Clint Eastwood. We should in passing mention
the Monty Python Song - "I'm a Lumberjack."

Ed Frank
Re: Tree music   robie hubley
  Jan 09, 2005 10:11 PST 

Here's some more for youall:

Mbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Rainforest. Recorded by Colin Turnbull and
Francis S. Chapman. Smithsonian Folkways CD SF 40401.

Polyphony of the Deep Rain Forest, Music of the Ituri Pygmies. JVC VICG-5015-2.

Music of the Rainforest Pygmies. The historic recordings made by Colin M.
Turnbull. Lyrichord LYRCD 7157.

African Tribal Music and Dances. Music of the Malinké, Baoulé and others.
Legacy International CD 328.

Echoes of the Forest. Music of the Central African Pygmies. Elipsis Arts CD

Voices of the Rainforest. Music of the Kaluli in the Bosavi rainforest,
Papua, New Guinea. Rykodisk RCD 10173.

Gentle Persuasion. Sounds of the Tropical Rain Forest. Special Music
Company. SCD 4586.

Gordon Hempton: Old Growth. Earth Sounds. Peter Roberts Productions PRCD2002.
Re: Trees in music   robie hubley
  Jan 09, 2005 10:25 PST 

The Band did a song called "Whispering Pines' as well. Good song!

It's on their second album, the album called 'The Band. A great album.
Re: Trees in music   robie hubley
  Jan 09, 2005 10:39 PST 

"You may have heard of the music of man, but not the music of earth; you
may have heard of the music of earth, but not the music of heaven.

"The breath of the called the wind. At times it is
inactive. When it is active, angry sounds come from every aperture. Have
you not heard the growing roar? The imposing appearance of the mountain
forest, the apertures and cavities in huge trees many a span in girth:
these are like nostrils, like mouth, like ears, like beam sockets, like
goblets, like mortars, like pools, like puddles. The wind goes rushing
into them, making the sounds of rushing water, of whizzing arrows, of
scolding, of breathing, of shouting, of crying, of deep wailing, of moaning
agony. Some sounds are shrill, some deep. Gentle winds produce minor
harmonies; violent winds, major ones. When the fierce gusts pass away, all
the apertures are empty and still. Have you not seen the bending and
quivering of the branches and leaves?

"The music of earth...consists of sounds produced on the various apertures;
the music of man, of sounds produced on pipes and flutes. I venture to ask
of what consists the music of heaven.

"The winds as they blow...differ in thousands of ways, yet all are
self-produced. Why should there be any other agency to excite them?

"This is the music of heaven. The music of heaven is not something besides
the other two. The different apertures, the pipes and flutes, and other
living beings, all together constitutes nature. .... They spontaneously
produce themselves.... That everything spontaneously becomes what it is,
is called natural. Everything is as it is by nature, not made to be so."

- from 'A Taoist Classic Chuang-tzu', Foreign Languages Press, Beijjing.
Re: Trees in music   robie hubley
  Jan 09, 2005 10:46 PST 

Malcolm Arnold's 'Larch Trees', Opus 6.

Phil Harris: Woodman Spare That Tree

Joni Mitchell: Cactus Tree

Peter, Paul & Mary: Lemon Tree
Re: Trees in music   Michele Wilson
  Jan 09, 2005 13:03 PST 

I love the whoosh sound, too. The forest is a very musical place, not to mention mystical, as one of the emails mentioned.

Re: Trees in music   Michele Wilson
  Jan 09, 2005 13:07 PST 

My mom, who has been a professional musician since the age of 9 (now she's
86+) has done that apple song many, many times. It's a wonderful tune and,
I wouldn't be surprised, if it dates back to the 1940's or so.
Re: Trees in music   Michele Wilson
  Jan 09, 2005 13:13 PST 

When considering marking a tree to be cut during a harvest or thinning, I
whack my scale stick on the trunk of suspected unsound lower boles, produce
various musical sounds as you mention, make whatever judgement call is
deemed appropriate, and continue on my way. Yes, the forest is a very
musical place to be. The trilling of the birds on a gloriously sunshining
morning is enough to whisk away unimportant negative thoughts that might be
lingering in one's consciousness and helps to bring to light that sense of
appreciation one hopefully can relish and bask in at the mere notion of
being in the forest on that particular day.
Re: Trees in music
  Jan 09, 2005 18:08 PST 

I have been in the woods in nearly all of the conditions described in the
Chinese translation you passed along. The descritpion of varying degrees of
sounds to expect in windy to very windy conditions is so....right there.

RE: Tree music   Ernie Ostuno
  Jan 09, 2005 20:05 PST 

Thanks for that list, Robie. Few could appreciate trees more than those
who depend on them remaining in their natural, unprocessed form. Rather
than turning them into those boxes that we live out of that Lee
mentioned. I share the concern that we are spending more and more time
insulating ourselves from the natural world. Especially this time of

As for suggesting some tree music...I remember seeing a group called
Andes Manta playing at an event at Penn State called "Eco-Palooza"
several years ago. I was blown away not only by their sound (they truly
rocked), but by their spirit, which was that of the Amazonian
rainforest. Many of their songs are about the natural world,
incorporating Incan legend.

Re: Trees in music   Don Bertolette
  Jan 09, 2005 20:39 PST 
Then you can probably guess what song ran through my head last August when I drove up the AlCan highway?
Re: Trees in music
  Jan 10, 2005 05:19 PST 

North to Alaska!!!

Hard to believe it was the theme song for a John Wayne Movie...

RE: Trees in music - Enya   Lee E. Frelich
  Jan 12, 2005 07:15 PST 

Bob et al.

Thanks for all the postings on tree music. I never imagined that my first
post on this topic would elicit so many--and so varied--responses, from
traditional Mongolian music to Aaron Copeland, to things I have never heard
of--like Enya, South Park, and Rush. I have no idea what these latter three
are, however life is often more interesting when some things remain a

RE: Trees in music - Enya   Miles Lowry
  Jan 12, 2005 07:25 PST 

I am not all surprised that South Park and Rush have been out of your
line of sight. I suspect a few of theposts were sent with their
writers' tongues firmly against the inside of their cheeks.

The Pines of Rome to South Park....ah, American pop culture!
RE: Trees in music - Enya   Don Bragg
  Jan 12, 2005 10:54 PST 


Although you may not recognize it unless you are a fan, Enya's distinctive sound is frequently used in commercials, promotions, and in television programs. While the multi-tiered humor of South Park and the hard rock stylings of Rush are not for everyone, people of all sorts appreciate Enya. No point in leaving this one of the mysteries of life--I would definitely recommend a sampling of her work!

RE: Trees in music - Rush   Narain Schroeder
  Jan 12, 2005 07:56 PST 

Couldn't stand to see this one left out.

by Rush

The Trees

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced the're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade.

There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream `Oppression`
And the oaks, just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.
RE: Trees in music - Rush   Neil Pederson
  Jan 12, 2005 18:40 PST 

Dear ENTS,

I had always heard The Trees by Rush was written in the vein of Ayn
Rand philosophy and was really about government attempts at racial

Apparently, not [see below]. Apparently the lyricist was thinking
about trees being like people. Hmm, maybe it is in that vein?


Q: Is there a message in "The Trees"?

"No. It was just a flash. I was working on an entirely different thing
when I saw a cartoon picture of these trees carrying on like fools. I
thought, "What if trees acted like people?" So I saw it as a cartoon
really, and wrote it that way. I think that's the image that it conjures
up to a listener or a reader. A very simple statement."

-- Neil Peart, in the April/May 1980 _Modern Drummer_ magazine

Re: Message lull   Lee Frelich
  Feb 19, 2005 15:43 PST 



But, since there is a lull and I have a few minutes, I will post some
observations that go back to the trees in music theme, although this time
it will be music of people who like trees. After having gone to several
hundred symphony concerts over the last 40 years, I noticed the following

Other faculty from forestry, forest ecologists from other departments, as
well as physicists and mathematicians regularly show up at
concerts. Virtually all of our graduate students have played musical
instruments, and most were in a symphony orchestra in High School and/or

Wildlife ecologists, prairie ecologists, and statisticians are never seen
at concerts, most have never played an instrument, and they can't even get
Bach, Beethoven and Brahms in the correct chronological order. I feel sorry
for this group of people who by my standards don't have much of a life
(maybe I don't have much of a life by their standards either), but in any
case I have no explanation as to why these patterns exist.

Message lull, music, and Jake Swamp
  Feb 20, 2005 05:06 PST 

   Very interesting observations about the group of professionals who exclude themselves from enjoying the works of the masters. I haven't a clue as to why the pattern you observe exists. Statisticians are an unsual breed and I can imagine them being different, but couldn't have predicted their tastes. The absence of the wildlife ecologists and prairie ecologists is a real mystery. Intuitively, I would have expected at least the latter to be much invested of classical themes that turn to nature. Who can figure?



Re: Message lull, music, and Jake Swamp   John Eichholz
  Feb 20, 2005 09:38 PST 


Ok, start with me. I am a mathematican, although not practicing. I am
not only fond of jazz, but more into african and afro-american
percussion. There is a precision to it, and even a complex rhythmical
beauty, but not in the classical, predictable sense. I think it is
beyond analysis, actually. I also practice and study the drumming. I
don't know if Beethoven lived before or after Bach although I do know
that Dvorcak was after both.

Re: Message lull, music, and Jake Swamp   Lee Frelich
  Feb 20, 2005 10:34 PST 

John, Tom, Bob et al.:

Regarding nature themes expressed in music, complex unpredictable rhythms
made their way into so-called classical music starting in the mid-1800s
with Berlioz, and then Brahms, Dvorak, and Tschaikovsky in the late 1800s,
and then they really took off with Mahler, the Russians (Stravinsky,
Khachaturian, Shostakovich and others), the Scandinavians Sibelius and
Nielsen, The English composer Elgar, as well as eastern Europeans, from
1890 to 1950. It is interesting that these composers mention forests and
natural landscapes as influential on their music.

Strictly speaking, classical music refers to the period from the 1700s to
the early 1800s (Bach, Mozart, Haydn), which had a set form, like the
architecture of the time. It was much harder to express natural themes in
that music than what came later.

Trout Brook, Elders Grove, and questions for Lee   Robert Leverett
  Apr 11, 2005 09:36 PDT 

    I was especially pleased to confirm Monica's tall pine to 129.5.
That seems to be close to the limit of what the general area of
Fitzgerald lake can grow. There are plenty of white pines around across
a fairly broad age range to measure, and pines reaching 100 feet are
everywhere, but then they seem to struggle to go over 115 feet.
Monica's pines are exceptions. Hey, maybe white pines like classical
music, and as Monica plays on her pianos, the pines show their
apprecation by growing taller. I think Monica has been in her home for
around 25 years.

   Just to remind everyone, Monica is going to give ENTS its first
formal music concert in October at her home. For anyone interested in
seeing her musical profile, please feel free to visit
Monica is the Elsie Erwin Sweeney Professor of Music at Smith College
and a concert pianist. She has been chair of the music department. I do
hope she and Lee Frelich will be able to play together in October.


Robert T. Leverett
Cofounder, Eastern Native Tree Society