Subject: Whale songs

Lindsay J Porter (
Fri, 20 Jun 1997 12:04:31 +0800

>I have often thought about whale songs and thier place in the modern
>music world.  I hear plently of new age music that utilitizes whale
>songs.  Do whale respond to music of any kind?  Some guitar solos have a
>whale song like quality about them.  Has anyone ever played music for a
>whale?  I play the bass guitar and am going on a whale watch tommorrow
>at Newbury Port from Hilton's Fishing Dock.

There has been some anecdotal literature on the effects of music and
whales/dolphins.  Difficult to analyse whether actual reactions of the
cetaceans are to music or to the presence of a boat or something less
obvious to the human eye.  A dolphin watcher in Hong Kong is convinced that
if he plays "Van Morrison" below the deck of his yacht (so that sound
travels through hull directly into water) then Hong Kong's 'shy' pink
dolphins will come close - he claims that no other artist has the same
effect - although I am unsure as to the extent of music he has played to the

I would be  interested to hear what reaction - if any-  your guitar playing
had on the whales you are going to observe.  In the meantime I shall search
for any information available on whales and human music. 

best wishes

Lindsay J Porter
Dolphin Research Group
The Swire Institute of Marine Science
The University of Hong Kong
Cape d'Aguilar
Shek O
Hong Kong