More about cicadas: Are they making music or noise?

Photo credit: Cher Amio licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

In this wonderful essay, philosopher and musician David Rothenberg writes about the wonderful cacophony of cicadas.

Brood X is emerging on the east coast this month. Male cicadas sing loudly to attract their mates, although it turns out that female cicadas also make noise in response.

Rothenberg plays his clarinet to accompany the cicadas, and invites other musicians to join in.

He quotes the late avant-garde composer John Cage as saying, “i[]t’s music if you think it is,” but I’ll leave the decision about whether cicadas make music or noise up to you.

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