Descriptions and evaluations of 'good singing' in the age of The Voice

Article


Forbes, Melissa, Krause, Amanda E. and Lowe-Brown, Xanthe. 2021. "Descriptions and evaluations of 'good singing' in the age of The Voice." Australian Voice. 22, pp. 17-28.
Article Title

Descriptions and evaluations of 'good singing' in the age of The Voice

ERA Journal ID9878
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsForbes, Melissa (Author), Krause, Amanda E. (Author) and Lowe-Brown, Xanthe (Author)
Journal TitleAustralian Voice
Journal Citation22, pp. 17-28
Number of Pages12
Year2021
PublisherAustralian National Association of Teachers of Singing (ANATS)
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN1839-5236
Web Address (URL)http://www.australianvoice.net.au
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.

Keywordssinging perception, performance quality, singing style, vocal technique, CCM singing
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360304. Music performance
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Creative Arts
James Cook University
University of Melbourne
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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