Mudcat Café message #935743 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58902   Message #935743
Posted By: GUEST
17-Apr-03 - 09:35 PM
Thread Name: Singing in dialect
Subject: RE: Folklore: Singing in dialect
I have very mixed thought on this subject, but it is something that I have struggled with since I mainly sing Irish Traditional material.

If we are talking about accents and dialects, this is my feedback. While I do not like to hear affected accents, I recognize that some performers do this to more fully portray the flavor of the song and the people and sometimes they do it as a performer gimick to break up the flow of the set. On the other hand, I do not like to hear traditional songs sung with folk singer bland midwestern american accents. It is very irritating to me to hear a workshop leader throw aspersions at singing in a Scots accent, while having no problem with singing in a deep southern accent. What is with that???

However, to me the more interesting subject is the inflection and tone of the song. When I sing Irish traditional material, I cannot help but find bits of the Irish sound in my singing. (OK, I am a horrible mimick too, and can't even call back to Tennessee, where I grew up, without getting off the phone with a twang) I do work to remove the over-the top stuff, but I would never want to remove the finer sounds that make it sound Irish and not American. We could go on and on about what those inflections are, but people know it when they hear it. For example, many times I have had Irish people ask me if I am from Ireland because I sound authentic. I am not singing in an accent, but clearly I am incorporating some of the sound. Some of it is just vocal technique.

So, I guess I have equal dislike for over the top accents as I do for over americanized singing. There you go... to each their own.