Paralanguage and The Beatles
Citation:DUGGAN, BLAITHIN, Paralanguage and The Beatles, Trinity College Dublin.School of Creative Arts, 2020
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Scholarship concerning popular song has lent itself to studies throughout the arts and humanities, but it has not received a close study oriented through paralanguage. That is the nonverbal characteristics of speech that can modify meaning, give rise to expression or convey emotion. In linguistics, paralanguage is divided into four categories: primary voice qualities, qualifiers, alternants, and differentiators. Popular singer-songwriters draw on our everyday experience of words and music by using common phrases learned through society and culture. These phrases are often expressed through paralanguage. In popular song, these may be learned through imitation or covering, a centuries old technique, often used as a learning tool. Taking The Beatles as a case study, the research gives an account of paralanguage in their singing style. It is argued that certain nonverbal aspects were learned through their emulation of their predecessors and contemporaries. The recording is taken as a primary source, for it retains subtle nuances of pitch that arise in performance. Using spectral views and traditional models of music notation, these nonverbal utterances are graphed and annotated. The methodology is reinforced through Fernando Poyatos? tripartite series: that is, paralanguage, language, and kinesics. The consistency of paralanguage gives rise to expressive tropes in song. These are conveyed through performance and are retained on recordings. The reappearance of expressive tropes, in line with text, gives rise to paralinguistic personae. Not only does this inform an inter-song thematic process, it addresses a broader study of vocal performance and learning theory in popular song. By combining theories of nonverbal communication and musicology the study offers a fresh take on a subject that can be heard, is often acknowledged, but is not easily analysed.
Author: DUGGAN, BLAITHIN
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin. School of Creative Arts. Discipline of Music
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available