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The relationship between language and music has much in common - rhythm, structure, sound, metaphor. Exploring the phenomena of song and performance, this book presents a sociolinguistic model for analysing them. Based on ethnomusicologist John Blacking's contention that any song performed communally is a 'folk song' regardless of its generic origins, it argues that folk song to a far greater extent than other song genres displays 'communal' or 'inclusive' types of performance. The defining feature of folk song as a multi-modal instantiation of music and language is its participatory nature, making it ideal for sociolinguistic analysis. In this sense, a folk song is the product of specific types of developing social interaction whose major purpose is the construction of a temporally and locally based community. Through repeated instantiations, this can lead to disparate communities of practice, which, over time, develop sociocultural registers and a communal stance towards aspects of meaningful events in everyday lives that become typical of a discourse community.Read more
- Offers a wealth of practical examples of folk song with analyses, as well as a variety of practical musical examples online
- Draws on ideas from linguistics, performance studies and musicology, opening it up to readers with an interest in popular music, oral story-telling and strategies for questioning hegemonic discourse
- Demonstrates the close relationship between 'song' and 'language', with a focus on ontogenetic and also phylogenetic aspects
Reviews & endorsements
‘Language, the Singer and the Song offers a thorough and convincing sociolinguistic exploration of folk songs. The book refreshes and enlarges our understanding of language and music as communication systems.' Massimo Sturiale, University of Catania-Ragusa, Italy
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- Date Published: March 2019
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107112711
- length: 390 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 157 x 23 mm
- weight: 0.75kg
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Part I. Creating Community and Identity through Song:
1. Language and music
2. 'Breaking through' into performance'
3. The communality of folk song
4. Answering back: rebels with and without a cause
Part II. Variation in Language and Folk Song:
5. 'The times they are a-changing'
6. Ideologies, authenticities and traditions
7. 'Insects caught in amber'
Part III. Folk Song Performance and Linguistics:
8. Voices in the folk song
9. The song: text and entextualisation in performance
10. Going out there and doing your thing
11. Enregisterment through song
12. Whither folk song, whither sociolinguistics?
Appendix: overview of musical concepts.
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