God Created Great Whales by Hovhaness

Twentieth Century composer Alan Hovhaness composed a work called "And God Created Great Whales". I remember hearing this work for the first time in elementary school. The now-defunct Florida Philharmonic had an open dress rehearsal for local schools and the performance was magnificent. They had a video with whale sounds that played during the concert. I was young then, but I never forgot that performance!

The composer uses the instruments of the orchestra and real whale sounds to create the sonic environment of whales at sea. If you listen to this composition, about 3:30 into the video, the sounds of actual whales are incorporated into the work.

How does the timbre, pitch, and rhythms of the actual whale sounds compare to the sounds of the orchestra? What instruments does Hovhaness use to add to the sounds of the whales?



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