Musicians minting money singing paeans to nature

London, Nov 27 (IANS) Riding on the lyrical beauty and power of the songs inspired by mother nature, the music industry has raked in around $600 million since 2003, a Trinity College Dublin study reveals.

"Ecosystems have always inspired human beings and references to these are present in ancient and contemporary cultures," said lead author Luca Coscieme.

Lakes, rivers and forests topped the charts with more than 200,000 titles each, followed by tundra, grasslands and deserts, which all inspired more than 100,000 titles, the study said.

Coral reefs, seas, beaches and bays stand in the middle of the chart, each of them scoring in between 15,000 and 70,000, whereas seagrasses were much less popular.

The researchers found that 1.37 million songs held in's 30-million-strong database took their inspiration from our ecosystems.

Between the years of 2003 and 2014, each of these songs was downloaded, on average, 350 times.

At $1.20 a pop - the average cost of an iTunes download - that adds up to $600 million. And that almost certainly underplays the real contribution as the ecosystem keywords used in the analysis did not include popular species or groups of animals, such as birds.

"We are aware that nature and its ecosystems provide us with services, which confer huge financial benefits for society."

"Their aesthetic benefits are often discussed too. But what we are discovering with analyses such as these is that their cultural value actually puts dollars in our pockets," Coscieme said. 

"It's also really cool to think that anyone listening to one of these songs is being touched in some way by nature, even if they don't necessarily know it," he added.

The study was published in the journal Ecosystem Services.

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