From an episode of The Grapevine


Learn How Whales Communicate Through Music on The Grapevine

Marine biologist Micheline Jenner joins The Grapevine fill-in host Donna Morabito to talk all about whales and how their songs can be treated as both language and music.

Micheline has spent her life researching migration routes of whales throughout Australia, Antarctica and the rest of the world and has even released a book back in 2017, fittingly titled The Secret Life of Whales.

Having been influenced as a child by her mum’s own love of nature, Micheline always knew that she wanted to be a biologist studying some kind of animal. Turns out the saltwater variety won her over which eventually led Micheline to the Centre for Whale Research in Western Australia.

She explains how whales use sound frequency as a way of expressing themselves and how, like humans, they communicate uniquely within their own pods/families. Micheline believes their language to be musical and not in the slightest bit static as it’s always changing. ‘We believe it is music and this can be the music of the sea, it moves and changes and is ever-evolving,’ she says.

The music of the Humpback whale is also proving to be very popular with artists sampling whale songs in their own work. As the most complex songwriters in the animal kingdom, it’s no wonder we get such great inspiration from our friends under the sea.

Mother and Baby Sperm Whale
Listen to Learn How Whales Communicate Through Music on The Grapevine14:097 January 2019