Heard a fascinating story on the radio today (a piece on an article in the science journal "Nature").
Apparently, one type of mosquito only mates under the following conditions:
1) Female puts out a 400Hz wing "buzz".
2) Male puts out a 600Hz wing buzz, and ...
3) A clear 1200 Hz overtone is generated!
Even if the male gets pretty close to the 600 Hz, if there is no overtone, the female says "no cuddling". The scientists can even get the female to feel randy by playing the overtone without the 600 Hz note.
As it turns out, the 400Hz/600Hz interval is just pretty darn close to a perfect 5th (almost an E-B), the interval that musicians have apparently said for decades is the most "perfect" interval.
So, did human music come from mimicking mosquitos? Is the perfect 5th the interval of love (Remember that song from the 70's, "Feelings")?
I can't remember off-hand whether the Beatles wrote songs with a perfect 5th in the melody, but I remember reading in Allan Pollack's notes that what made their music stand out so much was their harmonies ... singing 5ths a lot, as opposed to the more usual 3rds and 4ths.
What do you guys think?
** Off to write songs consistent of nothing but perfect 5ths ... **