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Generic American singing voice

Roger the Skiffler 17 Oct 14 - 09:51 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Oct 14 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 17 Oct 14 - 10:42 AM
Jack Campin 17 Oct 14 - 10:55 AM
meself 17 Oct 14 - 10:56 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Oct 14 - 11:15 AM
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Subject: Generic American singing voice
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 09:51 AM

According to today's Daily Telegraph online:
" Brits, Canadians, Scots, Australians... usually, if they're singing pop music, they're singing it in an American accent. Linguists disagree over why this might be, but there are several theories.

One is that when you sing, you stretch and contract the length of your vowels to fit the rhythm. As rock'n'roll music developed first in America among singers with American accents, the musical patterns lead singers to make their pronunciation sound more like those original American accents.

Another theory is that as singing makes you elongate your vowels and stops you from stressing syllables as strongly as you do in speech, a pop singer simply sounds more "neutral" than someone speaking in, say, a New Zealand or Irish accent. This "neutral" accent happens to sound more like a generic American accent.

Alternatively, non-American pop singers could just be putting it on so they appeal more to listeners in the United States. After all, singers such as Lily Allen have no problem sounding like a Brit on their records."


As Phil Harris almost said:
"Sing in American, boy, American, so I can understand."
Discuss, using one side of the paper only. Trolls will lose marks.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Generic American singing voice
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 10:36 AM

Goes way back to before rock, tho. I remember being struck from first listening to the wireless in the mid-30s that lots of singers sang with "funny ways of saying their words", which my mother told me was called American. Just what you would expect, she said, if it was Shirley Temple singing, because she was American. But I didn't understand why English singers, singing songs by Englishmen like Jimmy Kennedy [& not only in his cod-American songs like South Of The Border], and with English bands like Bert Ambrose's ....

I remember OPing a thread called "Mid-Atlantic - why?" some years ago. Must still be lurking there somewhere...

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Generic American singing voice
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 10:42 AM

If there's truth to claims that the roots of the American accent are West Country England and Irish,
Doesn't that mean that Americans are actually aping Adge Cutler and Val Doonican..???


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Subject: RE: Generic American singing voice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 10:55 AM

Lonnie Donegan didn't really sound American, and his material could hardly have been more transatlantic. So it wasn't always a marketing imperative.


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Subject: RE: Generic American singing voice
From: meself
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 10:56 AM

It's because they want to be Americans.


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Subject: RE: Generic American singing voice
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 11:15 AM

Lonnie Donegan had some odd attributes re this topic. In "Does your chewing gum...?, he started sort of American, and then, with the Grandma stanza, segued into cockney; thereafter fluctuating between the two, and ending, with the last verse coda, right back in determined American. (I got it up on Youtube to confirm my recollected impressions.)

≈M≈


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