Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4]


What Makes a Folk Voice?

Related threads:
Help: Why a finger in the ear? (127)
Perfect pitch may sometimes not be (43)
Singing unaccompanied-Maintaining Pitch (41)
Creating A Voice (12)
a new thought on singing (44)
Help! Singing across breaks in voice (39)
Improve your vocal range? (61)
Singing lessons - please advise (20)
Singing technique: How to breathe (29)
Advice Req: projecting your voice, how?? (29)
Tune Req: What is the proper way to scale notes? (24)


Jim Carroll 22 Jul 18 - 10:31 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jul 18 - 10:03 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Jul 18 - 07:03 AM
The Sandman 22 Jul 18 - 06:46 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Jul 18 - 04:00 AM
The Sandman 22 Jul 18 - 03:10 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Jul 18 - 10:37 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 18 - 07:55 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 18 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,Tootler 21 Jul 18 - 07:12 PM
GUEST 21 Jul 18 - 07:09 PM
The Sandman 21 Jul 18 - 11:14 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 18 - 09:41 AM
Jack Campin 21 Jul 18 - 09:12 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 18 - 09:01 AM
The Sandman 21 Jul 18 - 07:28 AM
Jack Campin 21 Jul 18 - 07:02 AM
Bonzo3legs 21 Jul 18 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Martin Carthy fan 21 Jul 18 - 06:10 AM
Bonzo3legs 20 Jul 18 - 04:15 PM
The Sandman 20 Jul 18 - 02:58 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Jul 18 - 01:13 PM
Brian Peters 20 Jul 18 - 07:57 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jul 18 - 07:48 AM
Brian Peters 20 Jul 18 - 07:21 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jul 18 - 05:00 AM
The Sandman 20 Jul 18 - 04:31 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jul 18 - 04:01 AM
The Sandman 20 Jul 18 - 01:33 AM
The Sandman 20 Jul 18 - 01:19 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jul 18 - 08:32 PM
Brian Peters 19 Jul 18 - 05:13 PM
The Sandman 19 Jul 18 - 04:37 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Jul 18 - 01:01 PM
The Sandman 19 Jul 18 - 12:18 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Jul 18 - 11:49 AM
The Sandman 19 Jul 18 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Guest Eoin Buadhaigh 19 Jul 18 - 11:02 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jul 18 - 10:24 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Jul 18 - 09:07 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jul 18 - 04:26 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Jul 18 - 05:28 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Jul 18 - 02:27 AM
GUEST,ripov 17 Jul 18 - 09:01 PM
Tootler 17 Jul 18 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,DTM 14 Jul 18 - 06:25 PM
The Sandman 14 Jul 18 - 10:02 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jul 18 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Jack Warshaw 14 Jul 18 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Jack Warshaw 14 Jul 18 - 08:05 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jul 18 - 10:31 AM

"Jim, you're my sort of age - do you remember the Wilfred Pickles radio show, Have a Go!"
Don't I just - that foxy Violet Carson woman ruined my adolescence
She went on to play Ena Sharples in the early days of 'Corrie'
I remember the song (I think that was Owen Brannigan)
It was written by a Helen Taylor in 1917 and was issued on sheet music - I think it was sung then by her husband
Not a folk song
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jul 18 - 10:03 AM

Thread drift

Jim, you're my sort of age - do you remember the Wilfred Pickles radio show, Have a Go!

Every couple of weeks - wherever they were some old boy would step and sing a song called Hey Ho! Come to the Fair!

Was that a folk song?

Predictable as the clog dancer and the pre pubertal boy sing If I Were a Blackbird, I'd Whistle and Sing, along with the Percy Edwards type bird whistle impressions. Oh the fun we had!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jul 18 - 07:03 AM

When someone open a thread you can't assume what they want so you put your own point of view - nobody has to respond to it if it doesn't interest them - including youI if it were notthat simple, nobody would as anything
That's the beauty of these discussions - they constantly expand our interests and knowledge
The problem is, if you're not careful you might relax your guard and actually learn something !
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jul 18 - 06:46 AM

but Jim, you and I like tradtional singers but we do not know if the OP was interested in more commercial aspects of the folk voice she mght be after JOAN BAEZ sound


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jul 18 - 04:00 AM

The original poster asked 'What makes a good folk voice' - she didn't specify what folk voice so naturally we all assumed she meant 'our' folk voice - the voice we use to present 'our' folk songs - English language songs in the main.
It's an interesting and important question which, if you wish, can cover the whole International spread of Traditional singing
Some people, including me, are interested in all traditional singing - we get a gret deal of enjoyment from listening to the sound of it, even when we don't understand the words - though knowing what is happening is always a bonus

Apart from that, as singers, it's a useful exercise in discovering how the voice can be produced if you put your mind to it - listening to a wide range of styles and techniques can be an aid to developing your own abilities (and a guide to what to avoid, of course).
For instance, if you understand how vibrato is produced you can learn how to avoid it or get rid of it, assuming you want to.
The voice is a musical instrument for (in our case) passing on ideas, emotions and events - our song traditions are largely narrative or 'word-based)

I believe Bert Lloyd, above all people, made the greatest contribution to making a wide variety of styles and techniques available to us folkies
His programmes, 'Voice of the Gods', 'The Lament', the magnificent 13 part series (for schools), 'The Songs of the People' and, in my opinion, best of all, 'Folk Song Virtuoso', covered a vast range of traditions, styles and techniques in World Music - a wonderful journey through the possibilities of the human voice - both the technique and the uses it was put to.
If you haven't heard them, you should try to - if you have, they're always worth a re-visit.

I have a long standing mate who is, in my opinion, one of the most skilful singers of folk songs not (any longer) on the folk song scene - an irritating shrinking violet of a singer.
It frustrated him no end when he failed to manage the art of the Mongolian 'Throat Singer'
Perhaps he should have bought himself a horse !!
Jim Caarroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jul 18 - 03:10 AM

I was going to add that most of that previous post has very little to do with folk song as I've rarely heard falsetto used except for occasional comic effect. .'
American singer Jimmy Rodgers used it all the time so did the texas drifter gobell reeves Jimmie Rodgers, was an American country, blues and folk ... Rodgers was also known as "The Singing Brakeman".
Yodelling has a lot to do with Swiss folk song


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 10:37 PM

I suppose people choose to sing folk songs in all sorts of different ways. There used to be a bloke called Owen Brannigan who went around singing The Blaydon Races in a very fruity voice. Came to our teacher training college once.

Then theres all those Irish tenors, my Dad was so fond of.

Its all folk music, innit? At least, they were singing folksongs. I'm sure they gave a lot of pleasure to a lot of people.

Folk music isn't just source singers - otherwise we none source singers wouldn't have a role.

Its a bit like the old parable of the man juggling before the altar - because it made him feel God's pleasure in his work. We all bring different stuff to the party,


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 07:55 PM

Sould read Genoa dockers featured a singer entitled 'La Dama'
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 07:29 PM

I stand corrected Tootler, though I do believe that in most men, falsetto is unnatural and has to be achieved artificially
It is actually used in some traditions - tralalere singers in Genoa docker singer entitled 'La Dama' - as a vocal feature to their polyphonic singing rather than for comic effect
I remember hearing a Spanish 'Canto Hondo' singer and believing I was listening to a woman when it was, in fact, a man
I can't think of any English language traditional singing which uses the technique
You are right of course that thi has been a thread drift - it was my old friend, Jack Warshaw, who brought it up - I thought it worthwhile to use it as an excuse to emphasise the tendency of the older generation of singers to use their natural voice.
Considering the somewhat unfriendly reception from some fanzines, I hesitate to bring up the dreaded 'little-girl head voice favoured by many women singers again and all the problems that particular idiosyncrasy that causes
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: GUEST,Tootler
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 07:12 PM

That Guest was me. I put my name in the box but it must have gone when I previewed the post.

I was going to add that most of that previous post has very little to do with folk song as I've rarely heard falsetto used except for occasional comic effect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 07:09 PM

What you actually said, Jim was:

I do know that falsetto is not natural to men and in order to produce it in young boys to make them choristers (or to train them for opera) it was once practice to castrate them

And that's not entirely true. It's perfectly possible for most, if not all men to produce a falsetto voice. Some high tenors cultivate it as their regular singing voices as it enables them to sing in the female alto range. Yodelling involves alternating between falstto and regular voice. I can produce a falsetto without straining my voice but it only has a range of a major third. It's still occasionally useful to make singing at the top of my range easier in certain circumstances.

Of course it's often used for comic effect.

In the past castration was used to preserve the voices of boy trebles with particularly fine voices at a time when women didn't sing professionally. Given the risk of infection at the time it was very risky and only a minority actually then had a succesful singing career.

They wanted to castrate Haydn but his parents refused. It's as well they did refuse.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 11:14 AM

a pssing comment and an incorrect one


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 09:41 AM

I mentioned them in connection with men's unnatural falsetto and how it was achieved
It was a passing comment
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 09:12 AM

I've no idea why Jim mentioned castrati at all, and if there was any reason why Western-trained ones should be more relevant it was lost in that mass of unreadably formatted verbiage.

The point about the hijras is that they're around now, easy to locate, and sing in a wide range of styles with varying levels and types of training. If you want to find out what the capabilities of the castrato voice are, they're a far more informative resource than Moreschi's 78s.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 09:01 AM

I ws referring to Western Castrati Dick and you know it
Stop trying to score points
The link I gave clearly states that
"What is worse is the folk snob dictating how a folky voice should sound!!!!!!"
Thanks for your support Bozo
Exactly what I said - there is no such thing as one folk voice
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 07:28 AM

THE LAST CASTRATO, ALLESSANDRO MORESCHI, DIED IN IN 1922, quote jim carroll.
Jim,it would help,if you got facts right


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 07:02 AM

THE LAST CASTRATO, ALLESSANDRO MORESCHI, DIED IN IN 1922

There are thousands of castrati alive and singing right now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijra_(South_Asia)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 06:32 AM

High voices are best, nothing worse than a woman singing with a man's voice. Another super voice is that of Olivia Chaney.

What is worse is the folk snob dictating how a folky voice should sound!!!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: GUEST,Martin Carthy fan
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 06:10 AM

Listen to Martin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 04:15 PM

Polly Bolton had a superb voice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 02:58 PM

Jim talking rubbish as usual. he mentions alex campbell being sick ,what has that go to do with singing , margaret barry was also sick over people while performing that has nothing to do with her singing, neither does his comments about BobDavenport have anything to do with singing.
I have stated who my favourite singers are PhilTanner, Jeannie robertson BobLewis, Harry Cox. none of whom play long guitar breaks.
Jim you are making yourself look foolish


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 01:13 PM

"Yes please."
I have been slated by Dick for criticising Martin Carthy's somewhat idiosyncratic phrasing and his intrusive (in my opinion) accompaniment
Also for suggesting that Ales Campbell's being sick over the front row of a concert I once attended was not the way a highly paid performer should behave
I was also shouted down by Dick (and another) for condemning Bob Davenport's behaviour when he pointly and loudly talked over a woman Irish singers's attempts to explain her Irish language songs to a non-Irish speaking audience at the Musical Traditions Club
When asked to desist, Bob, in his charming way, said loudly, "I thought we'd left this talking shit back in the sixties"
My comments on Martin, who I have met and like, were an opinion I am entitled to offer as a listener
The other two are, I think, in no need of an explanation or apology
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 07:57 AM

I find Phil Tanner's singing moving because of it's contained exhumerance - a recreation of the situation each time
There's a magnificent photograh of him singing to a group of old people, many of whom apear not to be listening
Rather than attempting to win them over, he appears to be singing for himself - for me, the sign of great singing


I always like to imagine he was singing 'Henry Martin' when that Picture Post photo was taken in the old people's home - you're right, he certainly is generating his own excitement there. 'The Parson and the Clerk', on the other hand, is a well-crafted piece of comic singing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 07:48 AM

"Sam Larner's style had evolved to enable him to win fishermen's singing competitions; "
I don't believe that is the case - Sam sang for locals every week of his life - that is where his stle evolved
He in fact retired from the sea quite early because he'd torn his insides up pulling wet nets
As far as 'feeling' goes you don't need to add it if you feel it, it's already there
It's the putting it in for effect that leads to histrionics and 'acting out

I find Phil Tanner's singing moving because of it's contained exhumerance - a recreation of the situation each time
There's a magnificent photograh of him singing to a group of old people, many of whom apear not to be listening
Rather than attempting to win them over, he appears to be singing for himself - for me, the sign of great singing
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 07:21 AM

Jim: In speech your tones are evoked by your feeling' what you are saying (you don't even have to think about it if you 'feel' the song you sing)... Then comes interpretation, which is far more individual

I agree with all of that, Jim. Of course putting too much feeling into a song might become histrionic, but I've never been a believer in the 'deadpan' theory of authentic traditional singing, and a bit of expression does no harm IMO.

Harry Cox and Sam Lerner and John Strachan and Jimmy McBeath and Sheila Stewart and Brigid Tunney and Tom Moran and Joe Heaney.... and dozens of others I listened to (and still do)... What distinguishes them all is they are all different - miles apart in some cases - they sang like themselves

This is true as well - Sam Larner's style had evolved to enable him to win fishermen's singing competitions; Phil Tanner was a pub singer; Walter Pardon didn't sing 'out' at all until in later life. Those performance environments, and the personalities of the individuals, are of course reflected in the way they sang.

Singing 'like yourself' was exactly the point I was trying to make before, possibly a bit simplistically. When I hear the phrase 'folk voice' I think about that odd amalgam of country yokel and Oirish that was fashionable amongst the traddy elements of the folk scene in the 1970s / 80s, and which you can still hear occasionally today. It's that style that Will Noble found so amusing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 05:00 AM

".To my knowledge Bob has never played long guitar breaks of any kind, he is an unaccompanied singer"
You have often expressed your admiration for guitar gymnast singers and lashed out at those who criticise them
Lloyd's 'grin' was not a 'stle' it was a technique for producing a sound in order to sing traditional songs
"they are used to deal with a situation tradtional singers would not have encountered, "
So you reserve the right to use non traditional devices while at the same tim critcising Lloyd fro doing the same thin
Somewhat Dick double-standards' don't you think
Bert was singing in exactly the same situation as you and faced a problem which he cured
Traditional singers have used all sorts of odd techniques to produce difficult effects - I was told last week of Irish singers singing into corners to keep in pitch - singing with the hand cupped over the ear is millenia old for singers
A street singer in Newry was recorded by the BBC singing through a megaphone... there are a myriad of devices that have been used and now lost
Let's leave this Dick before this thread disappears up its own jaxi eh
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 04:31 AM

" that sort of thing came with the log gappy guitar breaks and the gappy breaking up of lines and hiccough phrasing or vibrao of the singers you appear to admire."
bollocks, i have never said anything to that affec
I said i admired the singing of Bob Lewis.To my knowledge Bob has never played long guitar breaks of any kind, he is an unaccompanied singer
   Llyod and his grin had nothing to do with tradtional singing styles of singers from the geographical british isles.
His fixed grin It was an affectation and altered his natural voice.
2. your quote"(any more than did your techniques of choosing your songs by speed or key"
I never claimed they did, they are used to deal with a situation tradtional singers would not have encountered, however choice of speed of songs is not connected with altering the style that tradtional singers used in their songs or the sound of the natural voice. It is more a question of presentation than alteration of style
As usual you are muddying the waters.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 04:01 AM

"There are were certain folk revival singers, Lloyd, .Armstrong, who used or advocated particular styles which were not based on traditional singers styles and who did not sing in their natural voice."
Are there - the two you mentioned certainly don't fit that description ?
Frankie actually ran voice workshops based on the idea that you first 'found' your natural voice, then extended it to its full potential
The human voice is much like the brain - most people use only a fraction of its capacity (I'll refrain from the joke that springs to mind :-)

Frankie used some of the exercises MacColl devised for the critics group and added more she got from listening to Eastern European singing - they were all based on traditional singing and no other styles
I never attended her workshops but I'm pretty sure they were aimed at women singers

Bert did little other than use the famous Bert Lloyd 'grin' to harden his tone, he was aware of the necessity to do so for certain songs, but had difficulty in achieving it
It was, I believe, a technique he picked up from observing Eastern European singers
There was never an example of non-tradition in his singing in my experience - that sort of thing came with the log gappy guitar breaks and the gappy breaking up of lines and hiccough phrasing or vibrao of the singers you appear to admire
As for the the unlistenable non-narrative musical mish-mash of 'Electric Soup Folk....

Bert, Frankie, and all the singers I remember enjoying drew directly from the tradition - they interpreted their songs and appeared to enjoy them as expressions of emotions rather than music with words added, as is so often the case elsewhere
Their methods of work may not have come from the tradition (any more than did your techniques of choosing your songs by speed or key) but their aim was to reproduce the songs traditionally

You say Bob Lewis has a 'folk' voice - so does Harry Cox and Sam Lerner and John Strachan and Jimmy McBeath ands Sheila Stewart and Brigid Tunney and Tom Moran and Joe Heaney.... and dozens of others I listened to (and still do)
What distinguishes them all is they are all different - miles apart in some cases - they sang like themselves
In most cases they had a way of singing that wasn't particularly varied - as you say, that is not the case with the 'performer'
When the scene was at its healthiest most revival singers weren't 'performers' and didn't want to be - we sang unpaid at clubs and we aimed to please ourselves while at the same time being aware that we had a responsibility to both the songs and the listeners to make a reasonable job of them
Our pleasure came from our having done so
This is from an intreview we did with MacColl - it sims up perfectly my feelings about public singing

“Now you might say that working and training to develop your voice to sing Nine Maidens A-milking Did Go or Lord Randall is calculated to destroy your original joy in singing, at least that’s the argument that’s put to me from time to time, or has been put to me from time to time by singers who should know better.
The better you can do a thing the more you enjoy it. Anybody who’s ever tried to sing and got up in front of an audience and made a bloody mess of it knows that you’re not enjoying it when you’re making a balls of it, but you are enjoying it when it’s working, when all the things you want to happen are happening. And that can happen without training, sure it can, but it’s hit or miss. If you’re training it can happen more, that’s the difference. It can’t happen every time, not with anybody, although your training can stand you in good stead, it’s something to fall back on, a technique, you know. It’s something that will at least make sure that you’re not absolutely diabolical         
The objective, really for the singer is to create a situation where when he starts to sing he’s no longer worried about technique; he’s done all that, and he can give the whole of his or her attention to the song itself, she can give her or he can give his whole attention to the sheer act of enjoying the song”.
(Interview tape 3).

That says it all for me
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 01:33 AM

"The one sing a 'performer' has to do is to choose their songs carefully so they don't all sound the same"
that was my point about revival singers singing for 40 minutes and having to think about different keys and different tempos, which tradtional singers did not have to do, yet you claimed not to undernd my point.
your quote, also raise another interesting point, how to run successful singarounds, this can be down to a good MC who knows his singers likely repertoires and styles and arranges his singers so that the night consists of songs that follow each other to some extent in contrasting tempos and styles.That is my opinion of how to run a good singaround
If an MC relys upon going round the room, in strict clockwise or anti clockwise fashion the chances of this happening are down to luck,and the singaround could consist of four long slow songs one after another, which imo can reduce the effectiveness of the songs


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 01:19 AM

To clarify my point Jim
There are were certain folk revival singers, Lloyd, .Armstrong, who used or advocated particular styles which were not based on tradtional singers styles and who did not sing in their natural voice.
I sing in my natural voice and prefer traditional singers like Bob Lewis who sing, that is merely my taste, that is what I prefer to think is how a folk voice should sound. I hope that is clear, we seem to be in agreement that we prefer singers who use their natural voice much as tradtional singers did


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 08:32 PM

"'folk voice'"
I agree with that Brian, but it's not that simple
Your voice has a repertoire of sounds which are evoked to respond to certain situaltions
You don't use the same tones to a fractious child as you do when you are persuading a woman to....
The same with singing (if you work at it)
In speech your tones are evoked by your feeling' what you are saying (you don't even have to think about it if you 'feel' the song you sing - it comes naturally - certain emotions produce certain tones - hard, soft, narrow, broad.... I believe that is the case with singing

If you regard you voice as a box of tools that first need mastering until you can do whatever you want with them, then keep then in good condition, you can re-create any type of song you want - the whole repertoire becomes accessible to you (if you wish)

Then comes interpretation, which is far more individual - in our workshops we used to ask our singers to sum up in as few words as possible (one is perfect and sometimes sufficient) what the main emotional objective of the song was - why was it first created?
THere are excercises for both of these aspects

Sure - Traditional singers didn't do this but they didn't need to - the songs were part of their culture - often real 'mothers milk' stuff

The one sing a 'performer' has to do is to choose their songs carefully so they don't all sound the same
If they don't do that, the audience's ears 'go to sleep' and you lose their attention (Charles Parker once researched this using schoolkids)
One of the litmus tests of this is to listen to a solo singer on an album and see how long your attention span lasts - more problematical with longer one-sided CDs compared to the old vinyl LPs
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 05:13 PM

As a newcomer to this thread, who (I admit) has not had time to read every post, could I offer the opinion that a 'folk voice' should just be 'your voice'.

Some of the more embarrassing vocal sounds I've heard in my time were made by people who were trying to produce what they imagined to be a 'folk voice'. I had an interesting conversation with Will Noble on the subject a little while ago.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 04:37 PM

Jim you appear to be on a different wave length.
I am responding to the OP who clearyis involved in the folk revival, at no point does she state that the folk voice, she is referring to, is the voice as used by tradtional singers, she might mean the voice associated with revival singers, it is not clear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 01:01 PM

"Do you understand that?"
If you are going to revert to your old-usual bad-mannered self you can go pee up your Kilt Dick, I'm not interested
I understand you perfectly - what I understand most of all is you are not responding to a blind word I've written
I have a little more to say about 'the folk voice' (which basically is a misnomer - there ae as many 'folk voices' as there are different types of 'folk song'
After dinner perhaps
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 12:18 PM

if it does not make sense Jim, try this ,i was referring to joseph taylor a singer who entered in competions, since he entered in competitions his situation was different from say walter pardon.
the OP is in a folk revival situation she is asking about a folk voice , not about nervousness of trad singers, my post makes absolute sense. here it is again in a REVIVAL CONTEXT
   Jim,TRADTIONAL SINGERS unlike folk song singers in clubs, did not have to do 40 minute spots in folk clubs, so for example. .I try to sing naturally,however I have to give some thought to planned changes of keys for one song after another [something that a trad singer did not have to do]
I think it is reasonable advice to say that if a singer wants to use a folk voice for 40 minutes at a time , that good breathing technique, plus thought about using different keys, as well as singing natrually enters in to the equation.
Finally, the OP is in a revival situation. the oOP does not state that she wants to sing like a tradtional singer she talks about a folk voice , this could mean a folk revival voice , you choose to interpret it as singing like a tradtional singer, I interpret as a meaning in a folk revival voice, but not a classical voice, or opera voice or jazz voice , Do you understand that?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 11:49 AM

None of what you say makes sense Dick
Hving sat in front of traditional singers for over thirty years I've gained a modicum of understanding of the problems arising, even among singers who aare familiar with modern technology
"Grannie - eggs" etc
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 11:17 AM

"The tendency of most traditional singers was to pitch their voice around where they spoke - Harry Cox and Sam Larner being perfect examples of this
Not coincidentally, they usually sang using speech patterns, putting the punctuation and natrural pauses where they belonged"
very good
Jim,TRADTIONAL SINGERS unlike folk song singers in clubs, did not have to do 40 minute spots in folk clubs, so for example .I try to sing naturally,however I have to give some thought to planned changes of keys for one song after another [something that a trad singer did not have to do]
I think it is reasonable advice to say that if a singer wants to use a folk voice for 40 minutes at a time , that good breathing technique, plus thought about using different keys, as well as singing natrually enters in to the equation.
jIM manners did exist in 1908, collectors varied in their use of good manners.And Taylor being a competition singer would have been used tosingning in competitions and unlikely to have been intimidated or nervous of Grainger
Finally, the OP is in a revival situation., but probably not having to do more than one song at atime


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: GUEST,Guest Eoin Buadhaigh
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 11:02 AM

As guest DTM said above 'Honestly and don't try and copy someone else you admire or think is a 'great' singer, sing in your own voice, in your own dialect. (lots of practice)


Eoin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 10:24 AM

I think you will find that WW1 was a cakewalk compared to singing into a machime to some people
We have attempted to record deep sea fishermen who would rather have their arms cut off than sing into a microphone
Singing to an audience (in a concert hall or to neighbours) is totally different to singing to strangers
Granger was a pioneer in the field of collecting - recording techniques and manners didn't exist in 1908
Like a lot of things connected with folk songs "nobody knows"
All this is somewhat irrelevant anyway
The tendency of most traditional singers was to pitch their voice around where they spoke - Harry Cox and Sam Larner being perfect examples of this
Not coincidentally, they usually sang using speech patterns, putting the punctuation and natrural pauses where they belonged (unlike far too many of today's singers of folk songs)
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 09:07 AM

Jim,
The people being recorded in Germany in WWI were mainly young men sent out to be cannon fodder.

Joseph Taylor was certainly not nervous. He was a confident, well-respected member of the community, a churchwarden if I remember rightly, an estate manager? He certainly wouldn't have been fazed by Grainger. Apart from that Grainger would have heard him sing the songs before recording them as they were part of a competition, and would have acted accordingly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 04:26 AM

"The high vocal register was actually preferred THEN. "
In Joseph Taylor and those around his age maybe - overpitching can be a feaure of old age
The tension produced by nervousness is also a feature of sending the voice soaring (Maccoll developed a whole series of relaxation exercises to tackle it)
Singing your songs in recordable fragments into a strange machine for a very eccentric foreign visitor like Grainger can't have been easy for farmworkers
One aspect of discussion has been whether Taylor's vibrato was natural or produced tension
Walter pardon once commented on how high he'd pitched his singing on a radio interview - it was evr a problem for him while singing to an audience, where he was always completely relaxed

"be happy to practise on me!"
Damn - why didn't I think of that earlier? (-:
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jul 18 - 05:28 PM

Listen to the early cylinder recordings. The high vocal register was actually preferred THEN. The main reason was The lack of amplification, so the voice could carry and command attention in noisy places (pubs, on board ships, market places, etc.)

This first came to my attention when I heard that during WWI prisoners of war from many lands were recorded speaking and singing by students from Heidelberg University in Germany. Those recordings have only recently been studied and those singers in the main sang in a high register well above their natural voice. This then made me think of Grainger's recordings, particularly of people like Joseph Taylor. Since this time however technology has allowed us other means of amplification and we no longer are forced to sing regularly in noisy places on a regular basis. I am not advocating castration! Though I do know some people who would be happy to practise on me!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jul 18 - 02:27 AM

"I'm not sure I entirely agree, I"
Nor am I Tootler, though that's what I've been told
I do know that falsetto is not natural to men and in order to produce it in young boys to make them choristers (or to train them for opera) it was once practice to castrate them
THE LAST CASTRATO, ALLESSANDRO MORESCHI, DIED IN IN 1922

I think the point about traditional singing, certainly among the older generation of English language singers (England, Scotland, Ireland, US etc), was that they regarded their songs an narratives and the function of the voice was to pass on the information the song contained, so the more 'natural' the better
In Ireland they talked about 'telling' a song and I've read about Scots singers "saying" a song
The more natural the voice, the better the song is carried
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 17 Jul 18 - 09:01 PM

Have you ever sat in a "repro" pub and looked at the woodwork? No self respecting tradesman would ever have hacked the wooden beams in that fashion. No plasterer would leave so many lumps and bumps and scrapes. Even an "amateur" would try to to avoid making such a mess. And so it is with every trade. Why, as musicians, or singers, do we think we need to be out of tune, out of time, or produce an unpleasant tone; surely in the past those who loved their trades would have given them their best?? And so should we, whatever our best is. As Guest DTM says, our HONEST best.
Sometimes, at the time, it doesn't seem to work. I remember a lady singing about the "blows of the blacksmiths hammer" with a purity that suggested she had no idea of the inuendo. But I shall always remember that performance!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Jul 18 - 04:33 PM

Men's 'head voice' tends to be falsetto

I'm not sure I entirely agree, I'm aware when I'm using head voice, I can feel it (in my head, oddly enough :)) and it's not usually falsetto. I do tend to use it more at the upper end of my range, though and falsetto does need the head voice.

In the choir I belong to, the choirmaster sometimes suggests we use falsetto to sing high notes quietly. However, if I want to really get that final top G or A out for the dramatic ending of a song, it has to be from the diaphragm to get the volume without straining the voice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 06:25 PM

Honesty.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 10:02 AM

good technique and a lot of listening to folk styles


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 08:43 AM

Traditional singers mainly pitched their voice around where they spoke (age and physical condition allowing) - their physically 'natural' voice)
THe easiest way to develop your voice for traditional singing is to find your natural voice and learn to control and extend it
"Both men and women have head and chest voices"
Hi Jack
Men's 'head voice' tends to be falsetto
Head voice (unless it is 'natural' to yo) takes twice as much air to produce and can make singing long lines a problem
In women, it tends to produce the dreaded 'gear change' - a tonal shift from head to chest aaand vice versa, which can sound odd if not controlled
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: GUEST,Jack Warshaw
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 08:13 AM

Both men and women have head and chest voices


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Makes a Folk Voice?
From: GUEST,Jack Warshaw
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 08:05 AM

Hey, nothing wrong with the voice you were born with, or singing what you've heard from another singer, or, nowadays, from recordings which have moved you in some way, the way folksongs have always been passed on. You can hold infuse your interpretation with respect for your source or informant without impersonating him/her. The job of an artist is to touch the listener's senses and emotions as nothing else can. This applies whether it's a song for work, fun, love, discontent, awareness or any other function. It should be clear, unambiguous and, preferably, singable by others. It helps to believe or find truth in what you're singing. True, some vocal qualities sell, and innate talent can be nurtured, but why enter a 'rough' 'rustic' 'inferior' 'working class' artform in the first place if not to be part of the unique sounds and feelings of authentic, home-made music free of pretension, manipulation and profit-driven choices?
www.jackwarshaw.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 28 September 12:53 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.