The Great Animal Orchestra and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be fulfilled same day by Amazon, is eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Delivery in the UK and 24/7 Customer Service. The book has been read, but is in very good condition. Pages are intact and the spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World's Wild Places Paperback – 1 Apr 2012

8 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
Paperback, 1 Apr 2012
£7.82 £0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (1 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781250006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781250006
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 464,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


Bernie Krause and his niche theory are the real thing. His originality, research, and above all basic knowledge of the sound environments in nature are impressive. The idea of music originating in the sound communication systems of wild animals is a sound and provocative hypothesis. I admire also his attention to the preservation of ancestral-level cultures for their own value but also as a testing ground for theory on human behavioral evolution. (E. O. Wilson)

The Great Animal Orchestra speaks to us of an ancient music to which so many of us are deaf. Bernie Krause is, above all, an artist. I have watched him recording the calls of chimpanzees, the singing of the insects and birds, and seen his deep love for the harmonies of nature. In this book he helps us to hear and appreciate the often hidden musicians in a new way. But he warns that these songs, an intrinsic part of the natural world and essential to human well being, are vanishing, one by one, snuffed out by human actions. Read The Great Animal Orchestra, tell your friends about it. And as Bernie urges, let us all do our part to preserve the age old sounds of nature. (Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder - the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace)

This fascinating book awakens our ancient ears to the source of all music. Read it, and you'll yearn to muffle our din -- and hear anew. (Alan Weisman, author of THE WORLD WITHOUT US and the forthcoming COUNTDOWN)

Krause always reveals wondrous stories of the meaning of music and sounds of our natural environment. Bernie's research into the subtleties of animal and insect sounds is unparalleled, but it is his description of the radical changes that are taking place on this planet that really makes on stop and wonder ... Listen carefully, for the sounds you hear may never be the same again. (Sir George Martin)

A vade mecum of ordered tranquillity -- a gift that came with the harmony of the spheres, allowing even the smallest livings things to sing love songs in many diverse ways while bragging that they are the fittest and will survive above the cacophony of war. A fascinating book of natural history, worthy to be read in the silence your own library, please listen to what it warns about all our futures. (David Bellamy)

Bernie Krause will make you rethink much of what you know about music. A man whose first job was recording the sound of corn growing in a Kansas field, he has spent 40 years listening with professional intent to things the rest of us ever hear. He has studied the way ants sing and whales roar. He can track the sound a virus makes as it moves from one surface to another. Krause is David Attenborough without the pictures and accompanying orchestra. He takes us close to the roots of the music and reminds us to stop and listen, not just lose our bearings in noise.It's such an unusual book -- and, in its quiet way, so important. Remarkable. (Norman Lebrecht)

Bernie Krause, one of the lions of soundscape recording, shares his tales of jaguars, wind, and waterfalls, and how hard it is to capture their sounds. Who knew before that the most emotional animal sound he ever heard was the wail of a beaver after seeing his dam destroyed? Krause has spent decades hunting for those few sonic oases untrammeled by human noise, and at last he brings us his life philosophy. This expansive tale of living amidst wild and beautiful sounds has been well worth waiting for.

(David Rothenberg, ECM recording artist, and author of THOUSAND MILE SONG and SURVIVAL OF THE BEAUTIFUL)

I found this book to be a truly absorbing account of the natural world which will benefit all of us who are concerned about the habitats and survival of the planet's remaining wildlife. This book should and will be an inspiration to us all. I loved it. (Terry Nutkins)

Beautifully written and intriguing. Reading this book makes you feel as though you've just removed plugs from your ears; the symphony of the world moves from background to centre stage. (David Eagleman, author of Sum and Incognito)

An imaginative introduction to a new dimension of the natural world (Kirkus Reviews 2012-01-30)

This memoir of sonic investigation highlights the lessons learned from 40 years of listening to the world's biophonies-the sounds of living organisms. Musician and naturalist Krause uses the language of music to understand everything from birdsong, to ocean waves, to decimated answer his questions about the origins of music, especially how the sonic structures inherent in biophany impacted human expression to take the form of music. (Publishers Weekly)

Language is rich with dozens of words for the act of seeing - look, stare, peek, ogle, glimpse, squint, gawk, etc. - but the act of listening is represented by only two: hear and listen. The Great Animal Orchestra, rectifies this shortfall with its rich descriptions of biophony, Krause's immensely useful term for the increasingly threatened sound fields of life on the planet Earth. Readers will enjoy not only Krause's personal story - his fifty-year journey uncovering the world of natural sound textures, their meanings and implications - but will feel as if they have experienced these sounds, ancient and modern, for themselves. The world will not seem the same to you after reading this marvelous book. (Walter Murch, Academy-award winning sound editor for Apocalypse Now and The English Patient)

Krause shows us the music of the natural world - long may his work continue! (Pete Seeger)

Discover how each species has its own vocal niche in the intricate soundscape of a stable ecosystem. (Temple Grandin, author Animals in Translation)

All this magnificent, if arcane, knowledge has now been brought together by Krause in a masterly tour of the soundscape. Entitled The Great Animal Orchestra, it makes a convincing case for the soundscape's overlooked value, partly for itself, and partly as an indication of the health of the natural world, and for one overwhelming reason for us as humans: in nature's collective voice, he says, can be located the origins of human music, and perhaps even human language (Michael McCarthy Independent)

At the heart of this idiosyncratic volume is Krause's niche hypothesis ... Krause comes across as a likelable oddball, extolling the virtues of homemade clip-on cats ears and the authentic kind of ant music ... the book's coda is a passionate plea to halt human noise pollution (Sunday Telegraph)

In his fascinating book, Krause urges us to open our ears ... his tone is full of wonder (Daily Mail)

A fascinating plea for humanity to turn the volume down and just listen (Herald)

A passionate advocate ... Krause writes with a rush of enthusiasm for the subject (BBC Wildlife)

Weird and wonderful ... This is an extraordinary and important book. I challenge anyone to read it and not hear for themselves sounds they have never heard - or rather never noticed - before. I walk out now onto a refreshed, renewed moor: I accept sadly that it does not have the depth and complexity that it had even half a century ago, but I can hear it better and walk more softly myself after reading The Great Animal Orchestra (Sara Maitland Spectator)

Alluring ... a fun and informative read that is likely to change the way that any reader listens to soundscapes, both urban and rural (Sunday Times)

A wonderful advertisement for the effects of natural sound ... Krause writes like the field naturalist he is, attentively and with a light tread ... the optimism of his spirit is infectious: this is one of those books you are grateful to have read (Marek Kohn Independent)

The way Krause describes what he hears will make you want to put on a pair of headphones and sit in the forest for a day (Conservation Magazine)

This is far more than a book of charming's a profound meditation on why the earth makes its sounds and how everything - birdsong, waves hitting beaches, the grunts of animals, the patter of rainfall in a tropical forest - is part of a constantly evolving and interconnected process ... Krause combines learned theorising with tales of his own adventures and the result is a spirited and constantly surprising book (Geographical)

A beautifully written and surprising book, packed with colourful stories (Steven Poole Guardian)

Book Description

A fascinating and unique exploration of nature's music, from plants and animals to wind and rain. Radio 4 Book of the Week.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Half Man, Half Book on 14 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
Fascinating book on the aural soundscape that we have all around us, and are sadly now loosing. Krause has recored 15,000 hours of natural sounds in his time, and has cherry picked the best of them. He uses his data to show that even selective logging in a forest can have massive devastation of the wildlife, and just how much difference noise pollution can make
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Manuel Faria on 12 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautiful book! As I went through the pages I dived into the forest sounds, I could almost hear them. Bernie Krause has created a very important document that will help a lot of people to understand the power of the wild soundscape. As a sound designer and a musician, I felt enlightened after reading such knowledge and sensibility. Excellent piece of work! Congrats!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Miss Samantha Grayson on 8 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has the wow factor. The sounds described simply come alive in your mind as you read through this book, and it makes you hear what is happening around you completely differently. This is a great book to read to yourself, but because of the descriptions it is also a great book to read out loud to children.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By snowflake on 15 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A lovely, inspiring book about how music started with inaminate sounds to influence the noises and music that animals and humans make. And of course about how our industrial din destroys natural soundscapes, and how music is losing contact with its roots!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again