Towards a methodological framework for vocal behavior analysis in popular singing




popular singing, methodology, song semiotics, emotive qualities of the voice


We present in this article a methodological framework that combines tools capable of facilitating understanding of choices and interpretive intentions in Popular Singing, as well as perceiving semantic outcomes resulting from vocal procedures and their relationship with other elements of the song. The methodology covers physiological, acoustic, aesthetic, semiotic, and musical aspects. To achieve this, we use concepts and procedures from the semiotics of the song, the emotional qualities of the voice, understanding of musical moments and sound units. Finally, we apply the proposal, which will be experimented through the analysis of distinct interpretations of the same song, and we analyze the construction of the interpretive gesture and the meanings that emerge from the relationships that unfold in the song's plot.


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Author Biographies

Ricardo Lima, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

Ricardo Alexandre de Freitas Lima (Frei) is an associate professor at the School of Music of UFRN, responsible for the courses of Popular Singing and History and Literature of Popular Song. He leads the research groups Nheengaratã (UFRN) and Vox Mundi (Unicamp), dedicated to the study of the voice in Popular Song. He is accredited as a teacher in the Graduate Program of the School of Music at UFRN in the line of Processes and Dimensions of Artistic Formation. He obtained his Ph.D. in Music from the Institute of Arts at Unicamp. His thesis “Vocal Actants: towards a gestural cartography of contemporary Brazilian popular singing” addresses the interpretative gestures of singers from the new generation of Brazilian Popular Music and is in the process of being published by UFRN's Publisher. His master's degree was defended in the Graduate Program of History at UFMG, under the guidance of Dr. Heloísa Starling, with the dissertation Ary Barroso and Edu Lobo: the exaltation of a people in the riffs of the popular songbook. He graduated in Social Communication with complementary training in Social Sciences, also from UFMG. He has been engaged in higher education teaching for 16 years, teaching courses in Popular Singing, Semiotics of Song and Voice, Music and Culture, Voice Physiology, Music and Entrepreneurship, Performance Laboratory, among others. Currently, he is researching the suprasegmental features of sung voice and their indicialities. He is also a singer, composer, poet, and audio artist with three recorded albums, soundtracks for performances, and published soundscapes.

Regina Machado, State University of Campinas, Brazil

Regina Machado is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Livre Docente in Interpretative Practices at the Department of Music of the Institute of Arts at Unicamp. She has released 5 CDs/EPs: ("Sobre a Paixão" (2000), "Pulsar" (2004), "agora o céu vai ficando claro" (2010), "Multiplicar-se única - canções de Tom Zé" (2015), and "Enquanto o tempo para" (2022)). She was awarded the Profissionais da Música 2023 Prize in the category of University Professor of Singing, and the award ceremony took place in Brasilia from June 1st to 4th, 2023. On May 20th, she performed as a guest at the Consuelo de Paula Occupation at Teatro Maria Dudé (SP), with the show "Pássaro Futuro," featuring songs composed by both during the pandemic. Between March 17th and 28th, 2023, she recorded with Déa Trancoso in the city of Belo Horizonte, through a local government edict, an album that brought together compositions resulting from the collaboration of the two artists and featured guest appearances by Luiza Brina, Consuelo de Paula, Sonia Guimarães, and Ná Ozzetti. The album, titled "Canções Guardadas nas Dobras do Tempo," is in its final stages and will be released in September 2023. On April 27th, 2023, she performed at the Teatro de Arena da Unicamp, with her Popular Voice students from the Music undergraduate program, accompanied by the Unicamp Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Cinthia Alireti, in the concert "Universo Caymmi." In 2022, she had a chapter published titled "Facing Covid-19 during the Bolsonaro Regime and the Aldir Blanc Emergency Bill," co-written with ethnomusicologist Suzel Ann Reily for the book "Sounds of Pandemic" (Routledge). She also co-wrote the article "Em busca da sonoridade no contexto da música popular" with Luisa Meirelles and Jonatas Manzolli for the journal Vortex.


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How to Cite

Lima, Ricardo, and Regina Machado. 2023. “Towards a Methodological Framework for Vocal Behavior Analysis in Popular Singing”. Per Musi 24 (July):01-26.



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