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  #1  
Old 06-24-2009, 05:06 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Why Do Many British Singers "Lose" The Accent When Singing?

Simple question. I know it's not entirely true, but you could use any number of acts, like say, The Beatles, or even Oasis.

Where does that accent go (I know it's not entirely gone) when singing (is it peculiar to rock and roll?)?

I often find British singers to be much more understandable when singing songs than just speaking.

Culture bias? Reality?
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2009, 05:17 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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According to some people it's because they are trying to sing like Americans who influenced them. That's what the thought was back in the 60s anyway. Since Rock and Roll started in America with guys like Elvis, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry the British singers wanted to sound like them.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:21 PM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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There's no such thing as losing or gaining an accent. There is no neutrality in accents.

British singers often change accent when singing, towards a vaguely American one.

One could argue that the American (or Irish) accent is more suited to singing due to its rhotic "R" pronunciation, but I personally think it's just tradition.

I would also say that Oasis don't really get that American - you can hear their Mancness coming out. The Beatles varied between Scouse and American depending on the kind of song - the rock 'n' roll stuff of their early career was definitely trying to emulate their influences.

A singificant minority of British acts don't alter their accents. Some that spring to mind, off the top of my head, include James Blunt, Blur, Nick Drake, Travis, Franz Ferdinand - the latter two Scots.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:29 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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The Beatles even chose their name to be similar to Buddy Holly's crickets.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:52 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm View Post
There's no such thing as losing or gaining an accent. There is no neutrality in accents.

British singers often change accent when singing, towards a vaguely American one.

One could argue that the American (or Irish) accent is more suited to singing due to its rhotic "R" pronunciation, but I personally think it's just tradition.
And, it sounds to me, many American singers soften their "R"s and open their vowels and move towards a vaguely British accent while singing. And, of course, some American singers are consciously or unconsciously emulating their British idols.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:20 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm View Post
There's no such thing as losing or gaining an accent. There is no neutrality in accents.

British singers often change accent when singing, towards a vaguely American one.

One could argue that the American (or Irish) accent is more suited to singing due to its rhotic "R" pronunciation, but I personally think it's just tradition.

I would also say that Oasis don't really get that American - you can hear their Mancness coming out. The Beatles varied between Scouse and American depending on the kind of song - the rock 'n' roll stuff of their early career was definitely trying to emulate their influences.

A singificant minority of British acts don't alter their accents. Some that spring to mind, off the top of my head, include James Blunt, Blur, Nick Drake, Travis, Franz Ferdinand - the latter two Scots.
I do agree that Oasis has a British accent, moreso than the Beatles. But what I really get from Liam is a sneer.

But there does seem to be something to this "phenomenon". When I've heard Liam and Noel being interviewed, I can barely understand them, but I understand them perfectly well when Liam sings.
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2009, 06:44 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Olivia Newton-John is a good example of this. When she sings, you can barely hear her Australian accent.
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  #8  
Old 06-24-2009, 07:28 PM
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Could it be that singers in general go through less words (per minute) than a speaker? After all, only a handful of words can be arranged into a 30 second verse, but would take perhaps 10 seconds to speak.

It could also be the fact that singers need to maintain a certain level of pitch accuracy in order to not sound terrible, which may contribute to the understandability (is that a word?) of their songs.

Just a guess is all.
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2009, 07:38 PM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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I know I'm not going to explain this well, but as singers in a choir we are taught to enunciate the words we sing in a more "classic" way...to all sound the same. We spend a lot of time concentrating on the proper way to shape the mouth, what sounds to emphasize or de-emphasize. In the choir I am in, we do try to sound more British for many songs! But mostly we try to shape the notes so we all sound alike. When I was in a high school mass choir event, we were sitting in front of a group from southern Ohio...very pronounced Southern accents, even when we all spontaneously broke out singing Blackwater...but the minute we began singing our combined choral pieces, we all affected a more neutral inflection in order to blend and be more clearly heard.
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  #10  
Old 06-24-2009, 07:40 PM
Ruminator Ruminator is offline
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Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
Where does that accent go (I know it's not entirely gone) when singing (is it peculiar to rock and roll?)?
One theory is that singing emphasizes the time stretching of vowels in verses and chorus. It's when people speak at normal speed in between consonants that a foreign accent is easily noticed.

Like when the Beatles sing in "Love Me Do"....one line they sing is, "so pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaase, love me do"

The time-stretched and elongated "e" vowel in "please" will hide the accent.
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2009, 08:16 PM
Satellite^Guy Satellite^Guy is offline
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Wasn't there a comedian who played on this, introducing a "british rock band", then he starts singing in an almost southern hard rock style. Then, he introduces an "american band", then starts singing with a pronounced british accent? Seems I've seen this on a stand-up comedy show.

S^G
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2009, 09:16 PM
jasonh300 jasonh300 is offline
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Originally Posted by Satellite^Guy View Post
Wasn't there a comedian who played on this, introducing a "british rock band", then he starts singing in an almost southern hard rock style. Then, he introduces an "american band", then starts singing with a pronounced british accent? Seems I've seen this on a stand-up comedy show.

S^G
There was a comedian who did this heavy Cockney accent that was barely understandable and then broke into a perfectly American rendition of "Moon River".
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  #13  
Old 06-24-2009, 09:53 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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We've done this subject several times before, but this is the only thread that I could find quickly:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=422022
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2009, 11:43 PM
Imasquare Imasquare is offline
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Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
Olivia Newton-John is a good example of this. When she sings, you can barely hear her Australian accent.
ABBA is another great example. They sing with an American accent but speak with a heavy Swedish accent.
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  #15  
Old 06-25-2009, 12:27 AM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
The Beatles even chose their name to be similar to Buddy Holly's crickets.
If that was true, wouldn't it be spelled Beetles? Do you have a cite for this?

I've always heard that Beatles was chosen to emphasize the 'beat' of their music.
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  #16  
Old 06-25-2009, 12:37 AM
Askance Askance is offline
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Both. They chose an insect name to emulate The Crickets. John Lennon being John Lennon he had to change it from The Beetles to The Beatles to be a pun on the beat movement as well.

Last edited by Askance; 06-25-2009 at 12:38 AM..
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  #17  
Old 06-25-2009, 01:54 AM
missred missred is online now
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Part of the drift toward a common accent among singers is that certain sounds tend to be harder to keep on pitch. Think of how your mouth is shaped when you pronounce a long e. It's difficult not to go flat if it's a note that you have to hold. Full labial sounds require softening at the ends of phrases, dentals may need it as well in other places to produce a pleasant melody.
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  #18  
Old 06-25-2009, 03:00 AM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Originally Posted by Askance View Post
Both. They chose an insect name to emulate The Crickets. John Lennon being John Lennon he had to change it from The Beetles to The Beatles to be a pun on the beat movement as well.
That sounds quite believable. But do you have a cite?
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  #19  
Old 06-25-2009, 03:15 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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The obvious cite, the Wikipedia article on them:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles
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  #20  
Old 06-25-2009, 04:24 AM
SmashTheState SmashTheState is offline
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There IS a "generic" accent, at least in English, and interestingly enough it sounds very much like a Canadian accent. That's not a coincidence. Canadian English (and Canadian French for that matter) has evolved much more slowly than US or UK English, probably as a result of having such a small population over such a large geographical area. It has remained largely unchanged since the 18th century. Broadcasters for national media are often taught to speak with this "neutral" accent which has been found to be understandable by nearly everyone, regardless of the local patois.
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:41 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
There IS a "generic" accent, at least in English, and interestingly enough it sounds very much like a Canadian accent. That's not a coincidence. Canadian English (and Canadian French for that matter) has evolved much more slowly than US or UK English, probably as a result of having such a small population over such a large geographical area. It has remained largely unchanged since the 18th century. Broadcasters for national media are often taught to speak with this "neutral" accent which has been found to be understandable by nearly everyone, regardless of the local patois.
Poppycock.
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  #22  
Old 06-25-2009, 04:48 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
There IS a "generic" accent, at least in English, and interestingly enough it sounds very much like a Canadian accent.
Cite!
Quote:
Canadian English (and Canadian French for that matter) has evolved much more slowly than US or UK English..
Cite!


Quote:
probably as a result of having such a small population over such a large geographical area.
Australia has an even smaller population over a comparable area, and Australia is geographically isolated, being surrounded by non English speaking neighbours (not including the 7th state). So Australian Englsh must be even more generic.


Quote:
It has remained largely unchanged since the 18th century.
Cite!

Quote:
Broadcasters for national media are often taught to speak with this "neutral" accent
Cite!

Quote:
which has been found to be understandable by nearly everyone, regardless of the local patois.
Cite!.


This whole post smells of cowplop.
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  #23  
Old 06-25-2009, 04:50 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by jjimm View Post
Poppycock.
Yeah. What he said.
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  #24  
Old 06-25-2009, 04:58 AM
Koxinga Koxinga is offline
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I always thought Joe Cocker sang American-sounding gibberish, and was really surprised to hear him speaking with a Brit accent at the end of the clip. So enunciation doesn't seem to be the driving factor, at least in Joe's case

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  #25  
Old 06-25-2009, 12:04 PM
SirRay SirRay is online now
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Australia is geographically isolated, being surrounded by non English speaking neighbours (not including the 7th state)
7th State?
I thought it was North Island, South Island, & West Island...
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  #26  
Old 06-25-2009, 12:32 PM
mj_2 mj_2 is offline
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When I was a kid hearing Styx's Dennis DeYoung singing Lorelei I would have sworn he was English. I was surprised to find out later he was from Chicago.

Guess it goes both ways.

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  #27  
Old 06-25-2009, 12:52 PM
WOOKINPANUB WOOKINPANUB is online now
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I always have to chuckle when I hear Keith Urban singing like a good ol' country boy. Well, not chuckle so much as stick a shrimp fork in my ear. I'm also tempted to mock his clever use of the name "Urban" but I see that it's just a shortened version of his birth name Urbanski so I'll just have to settle for laughing at his ridiculous, affected accent.
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  #28  
Old 06-25-2009, 02:25 PM
FalconFinder FalconFinder is offline
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I have an interview with Joe Elliott and Phil Collen of Def Leppard where the interviewers asked them why they sing in an American accent and both of them agreed it's because they were imitating the Rolling Stones and other English bands who were imitating American singers they liked.

Joe says at one point it would sound silly to sing Pour Some Sugar On Me in his English accent. He then sings a bit in his natural accent to illustrate the point. It was pretty funny. Phil, being funny, said he liked it and should try it at the next gig...

Basically, in their case, it just sounds cooler to them to sing with an American accent as opposed to English accent.
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  #29  
Old 06-25-2009, 02:51 PM
Indistinguishable Indistinguishable is offline
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Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
There IS a "generic" accent, at least in English, and interestingly enough it sounds very much like a Canadian accent. That's not a coincidence. Canadian English (and Canadian French for that matter) has evolved much more slowly than US or UK English, probably as a result of having such a small population over such a large geographical area. It has remained largely unchanged since the 18th century. Broadcasters for national media are often taught to speak with this "neutral" accent which has been found to be understandable by nearly everyone, regardless of the local patois.
And what a coincidence that you yourself happen to be Canadian, eh?

Do you really think that you could walk into a pub in England or Australia or where-have-you and have the locals agree that you're the one speaking most "neutrally" and understandably, while they're all the ones speaking in bizarrely affected manner? Of course not.

Last edited by Indistinguishable; 06-25-2009 at 02:55 PM..
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  #30  
Old 06-25-2009, 03:03 PM
WOOKINPANUB WOOKINPANUB is online now
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I thought Smash The Statewas saying that there is indeed a generic / neutral accent in American English which I would agree with. If he does indeed include all English speaking places then yeah, he's a a bit of a nuttuh
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  #31  
Old 06-25-2009, 03:14 PM
SmashTheState SmashTheState is offline
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Cite! This whole post smells of cowplop.
My information comes from a dead-tree book, the name of which I no longer remember, as I read it some 20-odd years ago. I just did a quick Google search on "neutral accents" and this is what I found:

* The "purest" accent is that which is phonetically closest to the written language.

* In English, the largest recent transformation in pronounciation occured in the 17th century, when in England, Ireland, and Scotland it became customary not to pronounce the 'r' unless a vowel followed it. This means the "purest" English accents are those belonging to English-speaking communities which were cut off from mainstream English society before this point: Australia and Canada.

* The difference between Australian and Canadian English is largely one of class: Canada was settled largely by the middle and working class, while Australia was settled largely by lower-class criminals. Therefore Canadian English was the result of a higher educational standard and conforms more closely to the written language.

:. Canadian English is the most neutral English accent.
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  #32  
Old 06-25-2009, 03:33 PM
Indistinguishable Indistinguishable is offline
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Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
* The "purest" accent is that which is phonetically closest to the written language.
Not that this means anything, but, fine, let's take this as our criteria:

Do you pronounce "metal" and "medal" the same or differently? Canadians typically pronounce both with a voiced alveolar flap in the middle, removing the contrast present in the written language. In contrast, most Britons, for example, do not.

Do you use the same vowel in "lout" and "loud" or different ones? Canadians typically use a diphthong which starts more centered in the first one, despite both using the same spelling for their vowel. In contrast, most Americans, for example, do not.

Do you pronounce "Mary", "marry", and "merry" the same or differently? Do you pronounce "cot" and "caught" the same or differently? You may preserve the distinctions here, but most Canadians do not.

There's no great reason to say Canadian English conforms more closely to the written language than any other major variety of English. Not that there's even any particular reason to focus on such correspondence in the first place as some arbiter of accent "purity"; so far as human language goes, spoken language is naturally developed and primary, while written language is highly artificial and subject in its standardized orthography to any number of factors of historical caprice.

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  #33  
Old 06-25-2009, 03:50 PM
Indistinguishable Indistinguishable is offline
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I tell you what: it's the Danish with the purest accent. Ever since the Anglo-Frisians split off from their better-speaking peers, they've so thoroughly failed to preserve the proper historical pronunciations that they even had to reinterpret their whole spelling system to try and cover it up. I mean, really; the Great English Vowel Shift? What kind of bullshit is that?

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Old 06-25-2009, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Indistinguishable View Post
Do you use the same vowel in "lout" and "loud" or different ones? Canadians typically use a diphthong which starts more centered in the first one, despite both using the same spelling for their vowel. In contrast, most Americans, for example, do not.
I believe this is the source of the American stereotype of Canadian's pronunciation of "aboot" in which the Americans fail to hear the diphthong that characterizes the Canadian pronunciation of "about" because the Americans do not pronounce the two vowels separately.

Also, I believe Canadians pronounce "sorry" as if the word "story" was missing the 't' whereas Americans pronounce it such the 't' is missing from "starry". The same is true for the "orr" in "tomorrow". Americans might say that's how "orr" is supposed to be pronounced, since "sorey" would be how to spell what Canadians pronounce "sorry" as. That is, it's a reflection of the poor state of English spelling that Canadians pronounce how things are apparently spelled.

Incidentally, I was born in Ohio and raised by locals even though my parents were Michiganders and I've lived in the latter most of my life. I tend to pronounce "milk" and "pillow" as if the first vowels in each is an 'e', something that is incredibly natural to me but apparently not the standard. A small amount of research shows that while the standard is standard for a reason, there is definitely regional variation in how that vowel is pronounced - one site even said that my pronunciation was "wrong"! It clearly did not understand what legitimate regional variation was; while I can clearly sympathize with folks that believe "axing a question" to be wrong, just how a vowel is pronounced can easily vary.

There is variation in pronunciation all over the place, some easier to notice than others. It's when others have a wildly different way of saying the same printed words you wonder which one is "right" when really they both slowly diverged from each other.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:00 PM
BigT BigT is offline
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Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
The "purest" accent is that which is phonetically closest to the written language.
If purest had to be defined, that is how I would define it. And in my choral training, at least, that is exactly the accent we were striving for. In every other language, we were supposed to try and sound a like a native of that time period, but not English. I still have an IPA book that basically says that.

Still the accent we were trying for was Standard American English, not Canadian. From what I can tell, SAE is basically the same as the "Midwestern Accent."

I don't find this explanation satisfactory for pop music, however, as it breaks all the other choral music "rules". Trying to sound like their favorite singers makes sense, as does the stuff about elongated vowels hiding the accent, as the longer vowels can be more deliberate. I also want to add that pitch and word choice play a role in accents, too, and obviously those would be covered up.
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  #36  
Old 06-25-2009, 07:40 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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This has been informative and interesting, thanks to all. Was always curious about this issue.
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  #37  
Old 06-25-2009, 07:48 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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I've heard the OP's question asked, discussed, and answered a lot of times.

But how is it from the other side? If you are from an English-speaking country outside the U.S., do most of your singers "sound American" to you, or do you not notice it? Do non-famous, non-popular British singers sound less "British" because of something that happens naturally in singing? As for the Beatles, the usual example, it's not as if they didn't have accents to American ears when speaking. You could cut that Scouse with a shovel!
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:18 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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But how is it from the other side? If you are from an English-speaking country outside the U.S., do most of your singers "sound American" to you, or do you not notice it?
Yes, they sound American to me. I've assumed either that they do so unconsciously to emulate the prevailing style (which is generally set by Americans), or that they've been requested to do so specifically by their management and producers. When my choir has done film score recordings, we've been explicity asked to 'Americanise' our pronunciation, supposedly to make it more acceptable to American audiences.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:34 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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If you listen to British Rock/Pop singers or even Australian ones they do change the way they sing. Just look at British people prononunce the world "Sure" as "shore." When they talk they say "SHORE." But when they sing they say "SURE," as if it rhymes with purr or fur.

Vera Lynn an older British singer sounds British.

Petula Clark, Olivia Newton-John, Kim Wilde do not. Add Lulu, Bonnie Tyler and even Sheena Easton who was very Scottish when she first arrived on the scene in the early 80s. Go to YouTube and listen to Sheena talk in the early 80s and now she barely has any accent when she talks. But Ms Easton still never sounded Scottish or English when she sang "Morning Train (Nine To Five)"
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  #40  
Old 06-26-2009, 01:46 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
Do non-famous, non-popular British singers sound less "British" because of something that happens naturally in singing?
I sing folk stuff and put on an accent (of varying quality) appropriate to the song. If it's C&W I do Texan, if it's Irish folk I do it in an Irish accent. If I sing the Beatles I put on a fake American accent because that's how they sang it. And yeah, it is obvious to me that others do it too.
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  #41  
Old 06-26-2009, 02:08 AM
hibernicus hibernicus is offline
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Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
in England, Ireland, and Scotland it became customary not to pronounce the 'r' unless a vowel followed it.
Are you sure your source said "England, Ireland, and Scotland"? Because it would be more accurate to say "(parts of) England, but not Ireland or Scotland". We still pronounce our final "r".
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Old 06-26-2009, 03:12 AM
SmashTheState SmashTheState is offline
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Originally Posted by hibernicus View Post
Are you sure your source said "England, Ireland, and Scotland"? Because it would be more accurate to say "(parts of) England, but not Ireland or Scotland". We still pronounce our final "r".
Mea culpa. You're right, I just went back and re-read it:

A very large change took place in some accents of England that seems to have started in the seventeenth century. Speakers in parts the south and east of England started to pronounce /r/ only when it was followed by a vowel. This ed to changes in the way the vowels were pronounced. This change has spread over most of England, and is also found in accents (like Australian, Singapore, and New Zealand English) which developed from English accents of the last 300years (in these accents 'sauce' might be pronounced the same as 'source' and 'spa' pronounced the same as 'spar'). But accents which developed from English accents older than that (such as most US accents of English) still pronounce /r/ at the ends of words and before consonants. Because this is such a large change, the accents that have kept this 'post-vocalic r', like most kinds of US English, Scottish English, and Irish English, seem more like accents of the seventeenth century than do those of accents which have lost the /r/.
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  #43  
Old 06-26-2009, 03:17 AM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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Anyone ever listen to Herman's Hermits? Peter Noone and his cohorts never tried to hide their British accents!
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  #44  
Old 06-26-2009, 04:58 AM
Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party is offline
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Every modern British rock band (i.e. from the 90's until today, and many from the 80's, e.g. New Order, the Smiths, Joy Division) I can think of sing in their native accents. In fact, I cannot think of a "new" British band I'm familiar with that sings in an American accent, and there seems to be a definite shift away from trying to sound American, or even stereotypically English, to using heavy local accents when singing (see, for example, Arctic Monkeys and Glasvegas).

I think the answer to this question is the same as the answer to the question why e.g. The Killers sound so British: because they think it sounds cool, and because they think it will sell more records.

Last edited by Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party; 06-26-2009 at 05:01 AM..
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:59 AM
The Seventh Deadly Finn The Seventh Deadly Finn is offline
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It's funny. I always assumed that the act of singing, because it's such an artificial way of enunciating, stripped away accent variations, and that's why British acts sounded unaccented to my American ears. I assumed that James Taylor, say, sounded just as unaccented to British ears as Van Morrison did to mine.

Now I find out they were deliberately singing in fake American accents. Weird. But then, being American is weird in general-- it's bizarre when you find out how much attention people in other countries pay to your culture, when you know nothing about theirs.

I once deeply offended a Japanese girl by starting to explain to her what the Academy Awards were. She acted as though I was explaining that the world was, in fact, round. But, hell-- I certainly don't know what the big Japanese movie awards are called; why would I assume she knew about ours?

Last edited by The Seventh Deadly Finn; 06-26-2009 at 04:59 AM..
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:30 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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thetruewheel, I hope by reading this thread you realise that "unaccented" in that context actually means "sounding similar to my own accent".
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetruewheel View Post
I once deeply offended a Japanese girl by starting to explain to her what the Academy Awards were. She acted as though I was explaining that the world was, in fact, round. But, hell-- I certainly don't know what the big Japanese movie awards are called; why would I assume she knew about ours?
As a country you're (usually) bigger that other countries, your global media are definitely louder than other countries', and (in my experience) your citizens care less about other countries - possibly due to the first two...
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:17 AM
Candyman74 Candyman74 is offline
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And in response I might say "Why do American singers lose their accents when singing?"

The act of singing distorts regional dialects; singers generally sound a lot more similar to each other (accent-wise) than speakers do. An American has a much stronger accent in speech than when singing.

Last edited by Candyman74; 06-26-2009 at 10:18 AM..
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:18 PM
The Seventh Deadly Finn The Seventh Deadly Finn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm View Post
As a country you're (usually) bigger that other countries, your global media are definitely louder than other countries', and (in my experience) your citizens care less about other countries - possibly due to the first two...
I know, we're total dicks! I don't know why you keep encouraging us; it only makes us worse.
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:59 PM
StaudtCJ StaudtCJ is offline
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I know that there is an Operatic semi-informal standard. Is it possible that some of these individuals have had at least some voice training, which teaches how certain vowels and consonants should be intoned? This could account for the loss of accent. The difference in accent from a Russian, Japanese, and Italian soprano is not very noticable. How this would apply to popular music, including rock and pop, I don't know for sure. However, if they had traditional voice training, it would affect their singing accent.

Also, emulating the originating style can cause this. Foreign singers who are singing American Bluegrass generally have the Bluegrass "twang". It's integral to the sound of the piece.
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:56 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
:. Canadian English is the most neutral English accent.
No, no, my accent, which is utterly non-existant, is the most neutral accent.
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