Vocal music

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A men's chorus from the 1940s or 1950s.

Vocal music is a type of singing performed by one or more singers, either with instrumental accompaniment, or without instrumental accompaniment (a cappella), in which singing provides the main focus of the piece. Music which employs singing but does not feature it prominently is generally considered to be instrumental music (e.g. the wordless women's choir in the final movement of Holst's symphonic work The Planets) as is music without singing. Music without any non-vocal instrumental accompaniment is referred to as a cappella.[1]

Vocal music typically features sung words called lyrics, although there are notable examples of vocal music that are performed using non-linguistic syllables, sounds, or noises, sometimes as musical onomatopoeia, such as jazz scat singing. A short piece of vocal music with lyrics is broadly termed a song, although in different styles of music, it may be called an aria or hymn.

Vocal music often has a sequence of sustained pitches that rise and fall, creating a melody, but some vocal styles use less distinct pitches, such as chants or a rhythmic speech-like delivery, such as rapping. As well, there are extended vocal techniques that may be used, such as screaming, growling, throat singing, or yodelling. Vocal music is probably the oldest form of music, since it does not require any instrument besides the human voice. All musical cultures have some form or type of vocal music.

Vocal music without lyrics[edit]

World traditions[edit]

  • Indian classical music is based on a rich vocal tradition, wherein even instruments are evaluated on their ability to follow the human voice, imitate it, or recreate the same expressions.
  • Elaborate untexted vocal improvisation was and still is an important element in Turkish and Middle Eastern music traditions. Such music existed prior to the 13th century and the First Crusade into Palestine and the city of Jerusalem, possibly even before the year 900.
  • The modern descendants of the ancient Kung tribes and clans of Southern Africa utilize similar traditional music techniques.
  • A form of improvisation known as thillana is a very important feature of Carnatic music from South India.
  • Tuvan throat singing often features wordless and improvised song. The sygyt technique is a particularly good example of this.
  • The Anglo-Saxon and Gaelic communities.
  • Hasidic Jews use a form of voice improvisation called nigunim. This consists of wordless tunes vocalized with sounds such as "Bim-bim-bam" or "Ai-yai-yai!" often accompanied by rhythmic clapping and drumming on the table.
  • Puirt a beul, also known as "Mouth Music", is a Scottish vocal technique imitating the sounds of bagpipes, fiddles, and other instruments used in traditional Scottish music. It was popularized in North America by Scottish immigrants, and has been incorporated into many forms of American music from roots music to bluegrass.
  • The Cante Alentejano is just based on vocal music. It's one of two Portuguese music traditions part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, the other being Fado.[2][3]

European classical vocal music[edit]

Solfege, a vocalized musical scale, assigns various syllables such as ‘‘Do-Re-Mi‘‘ to each note. A variety of similar tools are found in traditional Indian music, and scat singing of jazz.

Jazz and popular music[edit]

Hip hop music has a very distinct form of vocal percussion known as beatboxing. It involves creating beats, rhythms, and scratching.

The singer of the Icelandic group Sigur Rós, Jón Þór Birgisson, often uses vocals without words, as does Icelandic singer/songwriter, Björk. Her album Medúlla is composed entirely of processed and acoustic vocal music, including beatboxing, choral arrangements, and throat singing.

Singer Bobby McFerrin has recorded a number of albums using only his voice and body, sometimes consisting of a texted melody supported by untexted vocalizations.

Vocal music with lyrics[edit]

Songs[edit]

See Category:Song forms for short forms of music with words that are sung.

Extended techniques that involve lyrics[edit]

The Second Viennese School, especially Alban Berg and Arnold Schoenberg, pioneered a technique called Sprechstimme in which singers are half-talk, half-sing, and only approximate pitches.

Wide-ranging voices[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Titze, I. R. (2008). The human instrument. Sci.Am. 298 (1):94-101. PM 18225701
  2. ^ "Cante Alentejano, polyphonic singing from Alentejo, southern Portugal". unesco.org. UNESCO. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  3. ^ "Fado, urban popular song of Portugal". unesco.org. UNESCO. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "Comparing The Top Artists, Past And Present, By Vocal Range". HuffPost. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Димаш Кудайберген признан Заслуженным деятелем Казахстана" (in Russian). Almaty TV. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  6. ^ "'The Six Octave Man' from Kazakhstan Coming To New York". Caspian News. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Encyclopédie Larousse. Chant"
  8. ^ Video demonstrating Elvis' vocal range through the years
  9. ^ F Haböck, Die Gesangkunst der Kastraten, (Vienna, 1923), p. 209
  10. ^ Soto-Morettini, D. (2006), Popular Singing: A Practical Guide To: Pop, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Country and Gospel, A & C Black, ISBN 978-0713672664
  11. ^ "Lucrezia Aguiari, dite La Bastardella ou La Bastardina ou Lucrezia Agujari, dite La Bastardella ou La Bastardina. Encyclopédie Larousse"
  12. ^ Nicholas E. Limansky (Translated from English by Jean-Jacques Groleau): Mado Robin, soprano (1918 - 1960) Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Saint Bris, Gonzague (2009). La Malibran (in French). Belfond. p. 25. ISBN 978-2-7144-4542-1.
  14. ^ Ira Siff, « I vespri siciliani » in Opera News, March 2008.
  15. ^ Ardoin, John (1991). The Callas Legacy. Old Tappen, New Jersey: Scribner and Sons. ISBN 0-684-19306-X.
  16. ^ a b L'Invité Du Dimanche, The Callas Conversations, Vol. 2 [DVD] 2007, EMI Classics.
  17. ^ David A. Lowe, ed (1986). Callas: As They Saw Her. New York: Ungar Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8044-5636-4.
  18. ^ Saint Bris, Gonzague (2009). La Malibran (in French). Belfond. pp. 37 and 104. ISBN 978-2-7144-4542-1.
  19. ^ Ellen Highstein: 'Yma Sumac (Chavarri, Emperatriz)' Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy. (Accessed 8 August 2006)
  20. ^ Clarke Fountain, "Yma Sumac: Hollywood's Inca Princess (review). Allmovie, reproduced in the New York Times. 1992. [1]
  21. ^ David Richards, "The Trill of a Lifetime; Exotic Singer Yma Sumac Meets a New Wave of Fans." The Washington Post, March 2, 1987, STYLE; PAGE B1. Accessed August 6, 2006, via Lexis Nexis, [2]