For centuries, composers have drawn inspiration from the oldest melody-makers in the world: birds. Take, for instance, the piece “Summer Has Arrived” from the mid-1200s. It features musical references to the cuckoo bird, a species that would continue to inspire Handel, Beethoven and Mahler hundreds of years later. Nashville Public Radio’s Kara McLeland has more on the history.
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.