FTX-784 - THE WORLD ENCOMPASSED - 8 CDs
- vol 4
This World Music Course introduced by Alan Lomax, the leader of the team
who put it together in the 1960s, was originally titled "Cantometrics - the
measure of song". As "Folk Song Style and Culture" it was published by The American
Assocation for the Advancement of Science in 1968 and in 1976, the team published
the recorded samples from the Lomax field recordings as well as others from
outstanding international field collections, and thus produced an ethno-musicology
course with tests for researchers and students. So now, "Music from around the
World" is available on 8 CDs together with a ninth forming a final Graduation
CD. Peter Kennedy used this course with his students at Dartington College of
Arts from 1972 and found it particularly successful in all three: Art, Music
and Theatre depts.
VOCAL PITCH (32) - Register or pitch level seems to be another function
of energy. Frequency of high register is associated with complex, exploitative
productive systems and especially with a high calorie food intake (a four-way
correlation). Much low register is characteristic of non-intensive agriculturists.
TEMPO (24) - Very slow tempi are characteristic of cultures with large populations,
in hot and humid climates, or with a poor level of health. Fast tempi are more
characteristic of small settlements or among horticultura,lists where sheep
or goats are the herd animals.
RASP (35) - The quality we term 'rasp' or 'vocal harshness' is far more
characteristic of male than female singers. Indeedt we have found that rasp
in singing is correlated to childhood training for assertiveness$ which is differentially
higher for boys than girls, crossculturally. Where women notably employ rasp
in singingy they tend to be more than equal to men in social and economic spheres.
VOCAL WIDTH (33) - The measure concerns the contrast between the voices
which sound mellow, relaxed, and richly resonant (we call this wide) and the
voices which sound tense, pinched, and restricted in resonance (which we call
narrow). Many singing styles can be characterized as having one or the other;
in some rare cases both may occur; and many ways of vocalizing (like everyday
American speech) are neutral in width- these we call Mid, singers with a 'speech"
tone. Some people easily adjust to this view of vocal resonance; others have
problems with it, perhaps because voice narrowing is not only a subtle, but
an emotionally loaded quality. We recommend repeated listening to the examples
and, if possible, imitating the 'vocal width' by singing along, until the listener
has the 'feel' of this useful distinction - useful because we find the degree
of vocal widening or narrowing to be a good indicator of the relative severity
of the sexual code of the society, and perhaps of the emotional tensions of
YODEL , Extremely Wide - Specialists in voice production say the vocal apparatus
is at its widest in yodeling. This 'bugle' voice is used call out to other human
beings at a distance. The Pygmies of Africa, who may be the living representatives
of early man, constantly sing in yodeling tone. These facts suggest that songs
may have originated as a way of maintaining group contact.