The Music Makers
The music makers, Lemuridae melodia, are part of the same family as the lemurs indigenous to the island of Madagascar. Given the intense urbanization and deforestation that has been ravaging this unique island for the better part of a century, it was commonly believed that the music makers had gone extinct since at least two decades. However, they have recently been rediscovered on mainland Africa. How they came to establish a new population on the continent is unknown as of yet, but scientists believe that they are the descendants of illegally shipped animals.
Although their name might indicate a rather vocal species, the music makers are extremely discrete animals, and their observation requires patience and luck in equal amounts. They live in groups of ten to twenty animals, and between two and four members of the tribe are always on lookout. Unlike most animals, who only sound the alarm when danger is spotted, the music maker watchmen/women are constantly relaying the state of their surroundings to the group by imitating various sounds found in the jungle.
For the untrained ear, it is almost impossible to distinguish the deliberate sounds made by the lemurs from the background noise found in the forest. And because the whole group is constantly aware of everything happening around them, it is extremely difficult to sneak up on them. However, when the music makers are pushed out of their natural habitat by lack of food or human action, their “music” renders them extremely conspicuous, and thus easy prey for nearby predators, or poachers. Which is why their population on Madagascar was one of the first to suffer massive decline due to human interference with their natural habitat.
Before the arrival of the white man, music makers were among the most revered species of lemurs. Local villages considered them to be an incarnation of God, and recent research by Prof. Dhamouli Badabambam, of the African Institute for Dope Beats (AIDB), suggests that the tribal music that emerged on or around Madagascar was heavily influenced by the sound of the lemurs.
Even in modern times, the music makers have continued to inspire performances around the world, whether it be carnival bands from the early nineteen-hundreds, or modern drum'n'bass from the nineties. And who knows? Maybe their recent rediscovery will revive the trend.
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