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Vocal expression in recorded performances of Schubert songs

Timmers, R. (2007) Vocal expression in recorded performances of Schubert songs. Musicae Scientiae, 11 (2). pp. 237-268. ISSN 1029-8649


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This exploratory study focuses on the relationship between vocal expression, musical structure, and emotion in recorded performances by famous singers of three Schubert songs. Measurement of variations in tempo, dynamics, and pitch showed highly systematic relationships with the music's structural and emotional characteristics, particularly as regards emotional activity and valence. Relationships with emotional activity were consistent across both singers and musical pieces, while relationships with emotional valence were piece-specific. Clear changes in performing style over the twentieth century were observed, including diminishing rubato, an increase followed by a decrease of the use of pitch glides, and a widening and slowing of vibrato. These systematic changes over time concern only the style of performance, not the strategies deployed to express the structural and emotional aspects of the music.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2007 European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Musicae Scientiae.
Keywords: Music Performance; Model; Emotions; Communication
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Department of Music (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 25 May 2011 15:31
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:32
Published Version: http://www.escom.org/page2/page2.html
Status: Published
Publisher: European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43014

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