Vocal music


Vocal music

Vocal music is music performed by one or more singers, with or without non-vocal instrumental accompaniment, in which singing provides the main focus of the piece. Music which employs singing but does not feature it prominently is generally considered instrumental music (e.g. the wordless women's choir in the final movement of Holst's The Planets) as is music without singing. Music without any non-vocal instrumental accompaniment is referred to as "a cappella". [Titze, I. R. (2008). The human instrument. Sci.Am. 298 (1):94-101. PM 18225701]

Vocal music typically features sung words called lyrics, although there are notable examples of vocal music that are performed using non-linguistic syllables or noises, sometimes as musical onomatopoeia. A short piece of vocal music with lyrics is broadly termed a song.

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 of vocal music.

Vocal music without lyrics

World traditions

* Elaborate untexted vocal improvisation was and still is an important element in Turkish and Middle Eastern music traditions. Such music existed prior to the 1200s 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 Sámi yoik is a predominantly wordless form of vocal expression.
* The musical tradition of mouth music (Puirt á beul) was used in various forms of traditional music in 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 technique based around 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.

European classical vocal music

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

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

The singer of Icelandic group Sigur Rós, Jón 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

ongs

See Song and for short forms of music with sung words.

Extended techniques that involve lyrics

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

References

ee also

* Choir
* Vocable
* Vocal registration
* Vocal learning
* Human Voice
* National Center for Voice and Speech
* phonation


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vocal music — Vocal Vo cal (v[=o] kal), a. [L. vocalis, fr. vox, vocis, voice: cf. F. vocal. See {Voice}, and cf. {Vowel}.] 1. Of or pertaining to the voice or speech; having voice; endowed with utterance; full of voice, or voices. [1913 Webster] To hill or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • vocal music — Introduction       any of the genres for solo voice and voices in combination, with or without instrumental accompaniment. It includes monophonic music (having a single line of melody) and polyphonic music (consisting of more than one… …   Universalium

  • vocal music — noun 1. music intended to be performed by one or more singers, usually with instrumental accompaniment • Syn: ↑vocal • Hypernyms: ↑music 2. music that is vocalized (as contrasted with instrumental music) • Hypernyms: ↑music …   Useful english dictionary

  • vocal music — music that is performed by human voices …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Vocal pedagogy — Vocal pedagogy, or voice pedagogy, is the study of the teaching of singing. Vocal pedagogists are people who study the teaching of singing. To some extent all voice teachers are vocal pedagogists because vocal pedagogy informs them about not only …   Wikipedia

  • Vocal harmony — is a style of vocal music in which a consonant note or notes are sung at the same time as a main melody in a predominantly homophonic texture. Vocal harmonies are used in many subgenres of European art music, including Classical choral music and… …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Baltimore — Music of the United States AK AL AR AS AZ CA CO CT DC DE FL GA GU HI IA ID IL IN KS KY LA MA …   Wikipedia

  • Vocal — Vo cal (v[=o] kal), a. [L. vocalis, fr. vox, vocis, voice: cf. F. vocal. See {Voice}, and cf. {Vowel}.] 1. Of or pertaining to the voice or speech; having voice; endowed with utterance; full of voice, or voices. [1913 Webster] To hill or valley,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Vocal chords — Vocal Vo cal (v[=o] kal), a. [L. vocalis, fr. vox, vocis, voice: cf. F. vocal. See {Voice}, and cf. {Vowel}.] 1. Of or pertaining to the voice or speech; having voice; endowed with utterance; full of voice, or voices. [1913 Webster] To hill or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Vocal cords — Vocal Vo cal (v[=o] kal), a. [L. vocalis, fr. vox, vocis, voice: cf. F. vocal. See {Voice}, and cf. {Vowel}.] 1. Of or pertaining to the voice or speech; having voice; endowed with utterance; full of voice, or voices. [1913 Webster] To hill or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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