A Musical Bestiary

Today we are fea­tur­ing pieces of music that relate to the ani­mal king­dom: a “Musi­cal Bes­tiary” after the idea of medi­ae­val man­u­scripts describ­ing var­i­ous wild beasts, both real and imag­i­nary. The result is an excep­tion­al­ly broad col­lec­tion of musi­cal styles and gen­res, from Flan­ders & Swann to The Great Ani­mal Orches­tra. Tune in at main.vcradio.org or “Play Vir­tu­al Com­mu­ni­ty Radio” on your smart speaker.

If you would like to dis­cov­er more about the beasts that appear in medi­ae­val man­u­scripts, may we rec­om­mend The Medieval Bes­tiary — a pro­fuse­ly illus­trat­ed resource of all kinds of crea­tures — and the source of our head­er image.

Illus­tra­tion: The Drag­on

The drag­on is the only beast that is afraid of the mild-man­nered, mult-col­ored pan­ther and cow­ers below it. Oth­er ani­mals are attract­ed to the sweet breath of the pan­ther. All of the drag­ons in this man­u­script are depict­ed as wing­less serpents.

Source: Bodleian Library, Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty. The copy­right hold­er has released this image under a Cre­ative Com­mons licence (CC-BY-NC 4.0).