Language, the Singer and the Song
The Sociolinguistics of Folk Performance
- Richard J. Watts, Universität Bern, Switzerland
- Franz Andres Morrissey, Universität Bern, Switzerland
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
Not yet reviewed
Be the first to review
Review was not posted due to profanity×
- Date Published: January 2019
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781316998458
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
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.
Find resources associated with this titleYour search for '' returned .
Type Name Unlocked * Format Size
This title is supported by one or more locked resources. Access to locked resources is granted exclusively by Cambridge University Press to lecturers whose faculty status has been verified. To gain access to locked resources, lecturers should sign in to or register for a Cambridge user account.
Please use locked resources responsibly and exercise your professional discretion when choosing how you share these materials with your students. Other lecturers may wish to use locked resources for assessment purposes and their usefulness is undermined when the source files (for example, solution manuals or test banks) are shared online or via social networks.
Supplementary resources are subject to copyright. Lecturers are permitted to view, print or download these resources for use in their teaching, but may not change them or use them for commercial gain.
If you are having problems accessing these resources please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sorry, this resource is locked