RP accent in singing?

terry   Wednesday, August 27, 2003, 00:21 GMT
I heard some American choir people say that they have to sing with an accent that's like British Received Pronunciation.

Ryan   Wednesday, August 27, 2003, 03:21 GMT
Yeah, and many British pop and rock singers sing like Americans. I think it's dumb that certain accents are mandatory for certain music and have always respected British and Australian pop musicians willing to sing in their native accents and not American ones.

Clark   Wednesday, August 27, 2003, 03:36 GMT
Keith Urban sings with an American accent, but when he speaks, you can tell he is definately NOT American.

I never thought I would like his music, as I thought only Americans could do country, but Keith has proved me wrong. I really like his music.
mjd   Wednesday, August 27, 2003, 04:54 GMT
It's strange. On some British singers you can definitely hear the accent, on others you can't. Singers like Noel Gallagher of Oasis and Chris Martin of Coldplay are unmistakably British and you can hear their accents in their singing. Thom Yorke of Radiohead is a bit more ambiguous (not his speech, but his singing). Kylie Minogue, while she's Australian, I don't really hear any accent on her when she's singing.

While some of this may have to do with commercial appeal, I think the genre or style of music has a lot to do with how the performer sings. Accent becomes a bit fuzzier in song....for example, I don't American r's are as hard in song (not always the case but often enough); perhaps this is the reason British and American accents aren't always as "pronounced" on singers. Enough of my rambling.
Rugger   Wednesday, August 27, 2003, 08:08 GMT
Isn't Keith Urban an Australian country music singer?

It's true that more and more Aussie muscians are now singing with an American accent. Kylie Mingogue did sing with an Aussie accent early on in her career but now her singing voice is more Americanised and also sounds synthetic. However, you can hear the Aussie accent (in varying degrees) in the singing of popular Aussie muscians/bands such as Silver Chair, The Vines, The Whitlams, Powder Finger, Savage Garden, Olivia Newton John, Natalie Imbruglia, Kasey Chambers, and Delta Goodram.

Clark, Australia has a very strong country music scene. Australian country music artists often sing with an American accent, but there is an identifiable difference between Australian and American country music. Have you listened to Kasey Chambers sing? You can hear the American accent in her singing voice, yet her singing has a uniquely Australian country music quality to it.
Jacob   Wednesday, August 27, 2003, 13:46 GMT
Choral singing demands pure vowel sounds; American accents in general tend to add diphthongs or otherwise mutate the sound of a vowel instead of holding it pure. That sounds bad in a choir for a couple reasons -- eg, (1) everyone tends to do it a little differently, so it damages the unity you want in a choir and (2) changing the shape of a vowel often leads to inadvertantly changing pitch, too.
Ryan   Wednesday, August 27, 2003, 16:54 GMT
What about Midnight Oil? A definite Aussie accent there!

Clark   Wednesday, August 27, 2003, 20:16 GMT
No, I have never heard of Kasey Chambers.

Yeah, Keith Urban is Australian, but for some reason I thought he was originally from New Zealand.

Anyone know about Karl Urban? He plays Eomer in the Two Towers; he is from New Zealand, so I wonder if there is any relation. Then again, there could be a lot of Urbans in New Zealand and Australia, so that might be no big deal.
Rugger   Thursday, August 28, 2003, 09:48 GMT
Keith Urban is actually a New Zealand born Australian.

Ryan, thanks for mentioning 'Midnight Oil'. 'Men at Work' also had a strong Aussie accent in their songs.
scottish   Monday, September 01, 2003, 15:41 GMT
do you really think that most rock or pop songs would sound good sung un a british accent.
scottish   Monday, September 01, 2003, 15:43 GMT
have you ever heard an english person singing in an english accent?????????? (with acception to "knees up mother brown" and all that cockney crap)?
Ben   Monday, September 01, 2003, 15:54 GMT
I think it's influence, really - certain English bands try and sound like American ones, so they sing with an American accent. At the same time, there are some who are separate from that, so the American accent is less noticeable. David Bowie, for example, sings with an unmistakable English accent. As does Damon Albarn from Blur. Yet Mick Jagger has an American accent when he sings. Funny old world, really.