Vocal pop pleasures. Theoretical, analytical and empirical approaches to voice and singing in popular music

Martin Pfleiderer


Voices and vocal expression play a crucial role in popular music. Voices are linked immediately to the human body and various affective states. But vocal expression could be conventionalized and conventionalized and manipulated deliberately by the learned cultural patterns of expression too -- in everyday speach as well as in music. Two approaches to investigate voice and singing in popular music are outlined: Firstly, an analytical approach is illustrated by a characterization of a vocal performance by Ray Charles, using transcriptions and spectrograms. Secondly, an empirical approach to the effects of vocal performances is illustrated by listeners surveys asking for ascriptions of emotions and personality traits to music excerpts.


Voice, singing, methodology, emotions, personality, psychology

Full Text:


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.