Descriptions and evaluations of “good singing” in the age of 'the voice'

Forbes, Melissa, Krause, Amanda, and Lowe-Brown, Xanthe (2022) Descriptions and evaluations of “good singing” in the age of 'the voice'. Australian Voice, 22. pp. 16-28.

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Abstract

What constitutes "good singing" can be hotly contested amongst singing voice pedagogues, yet little is known about what the general public considers to be "good singing". Within a program of research on musical identity and singing self-concept, this mixed-methods pilot study considered how members of the public (N = 52) described and evaluated stylistically different versions of a sung melody to test a hypothesis that reality TV singing may be deemed as "good singing". Participants were exposed to three versions of "Happy Birthday": 1) amateurs singing "as they would normally sing"; 2) professionals performing a "plain" version; 3) the same professionals singing an embellished version in the style of The Voice reality TV show. Results indicate that both professional versions were considered "better singing" than the amateur singing. While respondents focused on the technical deficiencies for amateurs, descriptions of the professionals concerned style. Stated exemplars of "good singing" were split between the two professional versions-based on sophistication and creativity ("professional: embellished") or vocal quality ("professional: plain"). While respondents' preferred version largely matched their chosen exemplar of "good singing", participants were more likely to sing along with the "amateur" version. Implications for singing voice pedagogy and engagement in singing activities for wellbeing are considered.

Item ID: 73267
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1839-5236
Keywords: singing perception, performance quality, singing style, vocal technique, CCM singing
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Copyright Information: Copyright © Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2022 07:17
FoR Codes: 36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3603 Music > 360304 Music performance @ 60%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520505 Social psychology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology @ 40%
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1301 Arts > 130102 Music @ 60%
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