Bird Fancyer's Delight, The

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2011070520110709In the 18th century, musical manuals circulated showing songbird keepers how to teach their birds to sing human tunes.|These treatises were known as the Bird Fancyer's Delight, sheets of music specially written to play to a pet bullfinch, linnet or canary in order that it would learn the tune and sing it back.|The idea was to engineer primordial feathered recorders in the home, 100 years before the arrival of the phonograph and the advent of recorded sound.|Musician and inventor Sarah Angliss explores to what extent this interplay was successful and looks for its modern day equivalent.|Her journey takes her via Yorkshire's 'Champion of Champion' canary fancyer Ken Westmorland, whose prize birds' rolling sounds are not their natural music.|She listens for song during a Northumbrian dawn chorus with poet Katrina Porteous and ornithologist Geoff Sample and reflects on human attempts to control nature and birdsong.|And she joins composer Aleks Kolkowski who worked with canaries and a string quartet to make some highly unusual inter-species music.|Producer: Neil McCarthy.|Sarah Angliss uncovers the fascinating story of how we tried to teach the birds to sing.