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2021, Volume 22
Descriptions and Evaluations of "Good Singing" in the Age of The Voice 

Melissa Forbes, Amanda E.Krause, Xanthe Lowe-Brown


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.


KEYWORDS: singing perception, performance quality, singing style, vocal technique, CCM singing



To cite this article:

Forbes, M.,Krause, A. & Lowe-Brown, X. (2021). Descriptions and Evaluations of "Good Singing" in the Age of The VoiceAustralian Voice, 22, 16-28.

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